UMass has parted ways with Derek Kellogg

Leave a comment

UMass has relieved Derek Kellogg of his head coaching duties.

“Decisions like this are always difficult but after a thorough review of our men’s basketball program, I believe that a leadership change is needed to realize a higher level of competitive success expected at the University of Massachusetts,” Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford said in a statement.

The news comes directly after the Minutemen’s 73-60 season-ending loss to St. Bonaventure in Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament in Pittsburgh. UMass tied Saint Joseph’s for the second-worst record in the A10 this season, ahead of only Duquesne. It was the second consecutive losing season for the Minutemen, who slid down the conference standings from 2015-16.

Kellogg, a native of the area, played for John Calipari at UMass. After stops as an assistant at George Mason and Youngstown State, Kellogg reunited with the Hall of Famer in Memphis for eight seasons. He took over his alma mater in 2008.

At the helm, Kellogg had three 20-win seasons, made it to a pair of NITs and got UMass into the NCAA Tournament in 2014, snapping a drought of 16 years. However, he failed to build on that success, as the program has declined in the years following that tournament appearance.

Things seemed to be turning around, as Kellogg brought in the conference’s top recruiting class this fall, led by Dejon Jarreau and Chris Baldwin. A young roster will almost always go through its share of growing pains, and UMass losing 10 games by six points or less provides proof of that. But frustration from the alumni and the fan base already existed. Supporters would point to a 30-point loss to last-place Duquesne late in the year as evidence that a change was in order.

Bamford, who inherited Kellogg from his predecessor, will have a brand-new practice facility and a strong roster of talented, young players — assuming they don’t transfer out of the program — to sell to coaching candidates.

Kellogg had a 155-137 (67-83 A10) record during his time in Amherst.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

(YouTube)
Leave a comment

Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

Leave a comment

Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
1 Comment

The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

Leave a comment

Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

Leave a comment

Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.