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Florida A&M, which relieved Clemon Johnson of his head coach duties in mid-April, has completed its head coaching search with the school announcing Thursday night that Byron Samuels has been hired. Samuels served as basketball operations coordinator at Georgia last season, and this will be his third head coaching job at the Division I level.
Samuels, who was also an assistant on Jerry Green’s staff at Tennessee from 1997-2001, served as head coach at Hampton from 1995-97 and at Radford from 2002-07. Samuels posted a record of 75-123 at those two stops, with Hampton going through the process of transitioning to the Division I level at the time.
Samuels will have his work cut out for him at Florida A&M next season, with the Rattlers losing leading scorers Jamie Adams (17.2 ppg, 3.7 apg) and Reggie Lewis (12.7 ppg). In total FAMU will have to account for the departure of six graduating seniors.
Florida A&M filling its vacancy means that two Division I head coaching jobs remain open: Marist, which recently lost Jeff Bower to the Detroit Pistons (general manager), and Mississippi Valley State.
Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.
The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.
Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.