Daniel Martin

Bob Cantu

Assistant and interim head coach Bob Cantu will not be retained by USC

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Longtime assistant Bob Cantu will not remain on the USC bench during the Andy Enfield era, the coach acknowledged via his Twitter page Saturday night.

“I would like to thank USC for 12 good years!” he wrote. “I will not be returning as a coach at USC and wish the best to the future staff.Fight on!!”

Cantu served on the USC staff for 12 seasons and was named the interim head coach of the Trojans on Jan. 14 after the firing of Kevin O’Neill. The team went 7-8 after Cantu took over to finish the season and he received a good deal of praise about his handling of the team.

He has worked with the USC staff through four different coaching regimes, but will not remain on for a fifth. During his time with the school, 11 of his players made the jump to the NBA from the USC program.

USC hired Enfield on April 2 after his time with Florida Gulf Coast. According to reports, the Trojans are interesting in bringing high-level San Diego State recruiter Tony Bland onto the staff.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Empire State Building set to light up colors of Final Four teams

Empire State Building
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The Empire State Building in New York City will commemorate this weekend’s Final Four games by alternating the colors on display at the top of the historic city landmark.

From Syracuse’s official athletic website:

Beginning at sunset on Saturday, ESB will shine its four sides for each team:
North Side: Syracuse University (orange and blue) East Side: University of Michigan (navy blue and yellow) South Side: University of Louisville (red and white) West Side: Wichita State (yellow and black)

Following the games, ESB will shine its north and south sides for the winner of University of Louisville vs. Wichita State, and its east and west sides for the winner of Syracuse University vs. University of Michigan.

The building often shines different colors depending on holidays and other events. In recent months, it has been made blue for autism awareness and red, white, and blue for President’s Day, among other things. According to the site, there will be a special “interactive” lighting ready to go for the national championship game on Monday evening.

By the time the sun sets, Wichita State-Louisville (PREVIEW HERE) will already be underway. That game tips off at 6:09 p.m. ET and sunset in the city is set to take place around 7:30 p.m. ET. It will be fully dark by the time Syracuse-Michigan (PREVIEW HERE) tips off at approximately 8:50 p.m. ET.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Jalyn Patterson’s last-second 3 gives Montverde NHSI championship

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We can only hope for endings as entertaining as this at this weekend’s Final Four.

With 12 seconds to play, St. Benedict’s guard and Syracuse commit Tyler Ennis hit a three-pointer off an inbounds pass to give the Gray Bees a 65-64 lead. On the ensuing possession, Florida-bound Montverde senior Kasey Hill drove the length of the floor and drew the defense inward toward the lane, kicking it out to  an open Jalyn Patterson in the corner.

Patterson nailed the open three with seconds remaining and gave Montverde the 67-65 victory and NHSI championship at Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Md., on Saturday.

That three gave Patterson five points on the game in the win.

Montverde erased a 14-point halftime lead to win Saturday, led by senior Dakari Johnson and Hill. Johnson is committed to Kentucky as part of coach John Calipari’s massively talented 2013 class.

For St. Benedict’s, Ennis played through a right shoulder injury that he suffered after a collision early in the game.

Check back soon for more on the NHSI Championship.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Oregon St. assistant David Grace to join Steve Alford’s staff at UCLA

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To follow along with the 2013 Coaching Carousel, click here.

Oregon State assistant David Grace will leave his position with the Beavers and take over in the same capacity at UCLA, multiple outlets are reporting and the coach confirmed via Twitter early Sunday morning.

Grace spent five seasons with Oregon State and has also served in the United States military. From Oregon State’s official athletics biography:

Prior to Oregon State, Grace, a decorated military veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, rose quickly through the high school and college coaching ranks, becoming known for his tireless work ethic and inspirational leadership. He developed an intimate knowledge of the game forged over 30 years of working in all aspects of the sport after playing, coaching, and refereeing basketball games across America and on three continents.

Grace is also known for his strong recruiting ties to Southern California, which will be a major asset to Alford’s staff at UCLA. He joins Ed Schilling, who has ties to Indiana recruiting, and Duane Broussard, who was on Alford’s staff at New Mexico, to round out the bench with the Bruins.

With Shabazz Muhammad gone to the NBA, it is still yet to be seen how much of last year’s Pac-12 championship squad will return. Reports are that Jordan Adams will stay with the Bruins, but it is unclear where freshman Tony Parker will be when this fall rolls around.

For more, check out CSNNW.com.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Rosters and schedule announced for 2013 Portsmouth Invitational

Butler v Marquette
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The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament gives college seniors an opportunity to showcase their skills in front of NBA and European scouts, with many hoping to improve their draft stock and sneak into the second round, or break from the second round into the first. Below is the roster for the tournament, with the schedule found here from the PIT’s official website.

O.D. Anosike (Siena)
Kyle Barone (Idaho)
Jared Berggren (Wisconsin)
Devin Booker (Clemson)
Laurence Bowers (Missouri)
Kenny Boynton (Florida)
Ryan Broekhoff (Valparaiso)
Tyler Brown (Illinois State)
Reginald Buckner (Ole Miss)
Keith Clanton (Central Florida)
Ian Clark (Belmont)
Rotnei Clarke (Butler)
Will Clyburn (Iowa State)
Jack Cooley (Notre Dame)
D.J. Cooper (Ohio)
Vincent Council (Providence)
Robert Covington (Tennessee State)
Ed Daniel (Murray State)
Brandon Davies (BYU)
Dwayne Davis (Southern Miss)
Kevin Dillard (Dayton)
Larry Drew II (UCLA)
James Ennis (Long Beach State)
Chris Evans (Kent State)
Carrick Felix (Arizona State)
Kevin Foster (Santa Clara)
Abdul Gaddy (Washington)
Ramon Galloway (La Salle)
Jamelle Hagins (Delaware)
Solomon Hill (Arizona)
Murphy Holloway (Ole Miss)
Richard Howell (NC State)
Jordan Hulls (Indiana)
Colton Iverson (Colorado State)
Vander Joaquim (Hawaii)
Elijah Johnson (Kansas)
Lamont Jones (Iona)
Arsalan Kazemi (Oregon)
Maurice Kemp (East Carolina)
Mark Lyons (Arizona)
Anthony Marshall (UNLV)
Rodney McGruder (Kansas State)
Brock Motum (Washington State)
Aziz N’Diaye (Washington)
Derrick Nix (Michigan State)
Stan Okoye (VMI)
Jamal Olasewere (LIU-Brooklyn)
Travis Releford (Kansas)
D.J. Richardson (Illinois)
Mike Rosario (Florida)
Colt Ryan (Evansville)
Durand Scott (Miami)
D.J. Seeley (Cal State-Fullerton)
E.J. Singler (Oregon)
Peyton Siva (Louisville)
Andrew Smith (Butler)
James Southerland (Syracuse)
Chase Tapley (San Diego State)
Brandon Triche (Syracuse)
Elston Turner (Texas A&M)
Christian Watford (Indiana)
Scott Wood (NC State)
Tony Woods (Oregon)
Khalif Wyatt (Temple)
Mouphtaou Yarou (Villanova)

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Arizona assistant James Whitford hired as head coach at Ball State

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To follow along with the 2013 Coaching Carousel, click here.

Arizona associate head coach James Whitford has been introduced as the next head coach at Ball State, the school announced Saturday.

The vacancy was created when Ball State fired coach Billy Taylor on March 14 after six seasons and an 84-99 overall record.

“In my mind, Ball State offers the best combination of academic excellence, basketball tradition, outstanding arena and fan support of any school in the Mid-American Conference,” Whitford said in a release. “When you add the unparalleled recruiting base in the state of Indiana and the great teaching those high school players receive from their various coaches, this job became one I targeted over the last few weeks.”

Whitford has coached at Arizona for four seasons and came from Xavier, the same prior stop as head coach Sean Miller. Whitford was promoted to associate head coach after the 2010-11 season and is known as one of the high-level recruiters on the staff. He has helped to pull in a number of major classes for the Wildcats, including the 2013 edition that features top prospects Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Aaron Gordon.

Prior to Whitford’s time at Xavier, he worked for 11 seasons at Miami (OH) and helped that program to a Sweet 16 appearance in 1999. He turned down an opportunity to become the head coach at that school following last season, deciding instead to remain at Arizona.

Ball State finished 15-15 this past season, including 8-8 in MAC play.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_