Illinois State Athletics

Illinois State promotes assistant Torrey Ward to associate head coach

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With former associate head coach Dana Ford leaving the Illinois State program to take over as head coach at Tennessee State, head coach Dan Muller has a position to fill on his coaching staff. Thursday it was made official that Muller has promoted assistant Torrey Ward, who has been a member of Muller’s staff since the 2012-13 season (Muller’s first), to associate head coach.

In the immediate aftermath of Ford’s departure Ward, who has worked with the Illinois State front court players during his time in Normal, was made the program’s recruiting coordinator according to the Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph.

“I am very appreciative of Dan for the confidence that he has in me and for this opportunity to serve as associate head coach,” Ward said in the school release. “This is indeed an honor for me, and I am happy to be a part of the Redbird men’s basketball program.

“I am looking forward to continuing our efforts to take an already-successful program to new heights, while developing our student-athletes to be successful on and off the court.”

Joining Ward on Muller’s staff are assistants Luke Yaklich and Dean Oliver with the latter being hired earlier this month. Oliver played point guard at Iowa from 1997-2001. Illinois State won 18 games and reached the quarterfinals of the CBI last season, falling to eventual champion Siena. The Redbirds return two of their top three scorers from that team, guards Daishon Knight and Bobby Hunter.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.