Craig Smith

Report: South Dakota to break ground on new $66 million facility next week

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South Dakota opted for a new head coach in former Nebraska assistant coach Craig Smith in the offseason and now the school will also get a new basketball arena.

According to a report from Mick Garry of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, a groundbreaking ceremony will take place next Tuesday, south of the current DakotaDome, for the $66 million facility.

The majority of the work will begin later in the summer but the project includes a 6,000 seat basketball and volleyball facility to be completed by the fall of 2016. The arena then connects to a building that will have a science, health and research lab and will include classrooms, clinical areas, office space and the new weight room.

A soccer and outdoor track facility is also slated to be finished by the fall of 2015.

The 6,000 seat arena will feature a ground-level main floor and a second-level concourse that includes practices courts.

This is a big move for the Coyotes, as they’ll have one of the nicer facilities in the Summit League to go along with a new head coach in Smith.

South Dakota finished 12-18 and in the middle of the pack in the Summit at 6-8 and former head coach Joey James was not retained.

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 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.