Wednesday afternoon new Marist head coach Mike Maker moved one step closer to filling out his coaching staff, as an addition and a retention were announced by the program. The retention is Paul Lee, who has been a member of the Marist coaching staff for the last six seasons, with former Keflavik Basketball Club (Iceland) head coach Andy Johnston being the addition.
Johnston, who served as the head coach of four different teams at Keflavik (men’s, women’s and the under-21 teams for both the men and women), also has coaching experience at the Division I level. He spent five years at St. Francis-Brooklyn (2008-13), helping the program earn a fourth place finish in the NEC in 2011-12.
“We are thrilled to welcome Andy to the Marist men’s basketball family,” Maker said in the release. “His wealth of experience as both a head and assistant coach adds tremendous value to our staff and program.”
Marist finished the 2013-14 season with a 12-19 overall record, but their 9-11 mark in MAAC play represented a three-win improvement on their 2012-13 league record (6-12). Marist will have to account for the graduation of center Adam Kemp and guard/forward Jay Bowie, but they return rising senior guard/forward Chavaughn Lewis (17.5 ppg, 5.0 ppg, 2.8 apg) and rising redshirt sophomore guard Khalid Hart (14.7, 3.0, 2.5).
Maker will also add five newcomers to the program, including guard James Griffin and forward Obi Momah.
The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.
South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.
Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.
The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:
A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:
That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.
But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?
Watching Michigan State’s Miles Bridges throw down high-level dunks in local summer pro-ams has been a good way to pass the time the last few weeks.
The 6-foot-7 Bridges has been annihilating rims all summer as he had more ridiculous dunks on Tuesday night. Playing with former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine and some of his current Spartans teammates, Bridges had more crowd-pleasing plays to add to his summer reel.
Lansing State Journal reporter James Edwards III has been on the scene for Bridges’ games all summer as he has more dunks from the future lottery pick.
Minnesota is keeping a big-time shooter at home as Class of 2018 shooting guard Gabe Kalscheur pledged to the Golden Gophers on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-4 Kalscheur is the third in-state prospect to pledge to head coach Richard Pitino in the Class of 2018 as he joins three-star forward Jarvis Thomas and four-star big man Daniel Oturu. The three-star Kalscheur gives Minnesota a valuable floor spacer and a winner as he’s a three-time state champion at DeLaSalle. All three of these commitments also played together with Howard Pulley in the Nike EYBL.
During this spring and summer in the Nike EYBL, Kalscheur averaged 14.9 points and shot 39 percent from three-point range as he made 61 treys in 21 games.
Pitino has certainly done a nice job of keeping local players home as he’s hoping that trend continues with upcoming in-state five-star prospects like 2018 point guard Tre Jones and 2019 forward Matthew Hurt. The Golden Gophers will have to win national recruiting battles to keep those guys home, but they’ve done a nice job of getting the other guys that they need to keep home.