Kevin Ollie agrees to new deal with UConn, turns down NBA

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UConn second-year head coach Kevin Ollie had been viewed as a potential candidate for several NBA coaching vacancies. However, the university and its coach have worked out a new deal, assuring Ollie remains in Storrs.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Ollie has agreed to an extension with the school, which will bump his annual salary to $3 million. While the length of the deal has yet to be reported the new contract more than doubles the salary from this past season past season.

The Los Angeles Lakers were planning on reaching out to Ollie, according to reports, though never contacted him, according to Wojnarowski’s league sources. The Cleveland Cavaliers was pursuing Ollie the hardest.

Ollie made his way to the UConn sidelines after his pro career as an NBA journeyman. Following two seasons as an assistant for the Huskies, he was tasked with replacing Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun. In his first season, UConn was barred from postseason play due to its low APR score. The Huskies made up for their tournament absence the previous year with a memorable run in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, capturing the program’s fourth National Title with a 60-54 win over Kentucky.

Despite graduating Shabazz Napier, UConn has returning and incoming talent on the perimeter. The Huskies are predicted as a top 20 team for the 2014-2015 season, according to College Basketball Talk’s Way-Too-Early Top 25.

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.

NEW PODCAST: Indiana, Cal, troublesome trends and a weekend preview

California's Jabari Bird celebrates a score against Oregon in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.

Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.