Daniel Martin

Jeff Jones

American’s Jeff Jones reportedly to be hired at Old Dominion

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Head coach Jeff Jones will leave American University and take over in the same capacity at Old Dominion, David Teel of the Daily Press is reporting.

According to the report, the hire will be formally announced at a press conference on Thursday.

Jones has spent the last 13 seasons at American, amassing an overall record of 212-182. He helped the Eagles to four 20-win seasons in the past six, despite a 10-20 record this past season. American made back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2007-08 and 2008-09. The 07-08 appearance was the first in the school’s history.

Jones is a graduate of Virginia and was the point guard for the 1981 Cavalier team that reached the Final Four with star Ralph Sampson. He went on to become the youngest coach in ACC history when he was hired at his alma mater in 1990 at the age of 29.

He will take over for Blaine Taylor, who had been battling personal troubles and was fired midway through the 2012-13 season. He was replaced on an interim basis by assistant Jim Corrigan. Corrigan was in final contention for the full-time position, Teel reports.

Old Dominion finished this past season with an overall record of 5-25, including 3-15 in the CAA.

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

What is next for the Rutgers administration in wake of Mike Rice’s firing? (VIDEO)

Tim Pernetti
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Once the state’s governor goes as far to release a statement regarding the coaching situation at a school, it’s all but done. When that governor is Chris Christie, a man with a good deal of national visibility, it’s really done.

Rutgers fired head men’s basketball coach Mike Rice Wednesday morning after video leaked to the press that showed the him grabbing and pushing players, as well as using profane language that included a homophobic slur. The move prompted a nod of approval from Christie’s office, via his Twitter account.

But there is one overriding problem that remains in this situation. The man guilty of the acts themselves is gone, but what about athletic director Tim Pernetti? Pernetti was the one who found Rice’s suspension early in the season satisfactory enough and, had this video not leaked or had whistleblower Eric Murdock not left the program, Rice might still have his job today.

“I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice,” Pernetti said in a statement Wednesday. “Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community.”

This was not an isolated incident, like the shove we know of that happened between Mike Montgomery and Allen Crabbe earlier this season at California. The tape leaked Tuesday at Rutgers showed a pattern of behavior over a period of time.

The question will ultimately come down to how much accountability there is within that particular program. Should the four-month delay between the evidence of the wrongdoing and firing of Rice be enough to oust Pernetti as well? Does it even go higher up the chain of command beyond him?

With that in mind, there appears to be a contradiction in what Rutgers president Robert Barchi has said about the timing of when he viewed the tape:

“Yesterday, I personally reviewed the video evidence, which shows a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior,” Barchi said, as reported by NJ.com. “I have now reached the conclusion that Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability.”

That runs contradictory to this question to Pernetti, via NJ.com:

Q. Has Rutgers president Robert Barchi seen the tape – and if not, has he been made aware of everything that’s on it?
A. “Yes and yes. President Barchi and I worked closely together when this issue came up. We worked closely together with members of the board. He’s a lot like me. We deal with everything in the wide open. We had the same concerns but we felt strongly that the actions that we took was important to take and deal with it.”

Rutgers has not released any specific statements about the job status of Pernetti yet, but the old adage rings true again in this situation. The coverup is typically worse than the crime. Had Pernetti and Rutgers officials fired Rice at the time of the initial viewing of the tape, the public might have slapped them on the wrist for not knowing about the events at practice sooner and it would have been Big East and college basketball news.

But now, with the national spotlight focused upon them, Pernetti and Rutgers have to answer questions about how they viewed that footage and came to the conclusion that a suspension was enough and the incidents depicted merited no further action. And that is not an easy one to answer at this point.

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

Mark Cuban: ‘If Brittney Griner can play, we’ll take her with our second-round pick’

Brittney Griner

After a dominating four years at the college level, Baylor’s Brittney Griner is all but a lock to be the top overall pick in this year’s WNBA draft. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban pointed out the obvious in saying he’d draft her, too. Well, it would be obvious if Cuban were talking about the WNBA, but he’s not.

In a conversation with the Dallas Morning News, he suggested he would take Griner with one of his team’s picks in the 2013 NBA Draft.

“If Brittney Griner can play, we’ll take her with our second-round pick,” Cuban said in the context of talking about under-the-radar picks. “I don’t care.”

He went on to elaborate, again via the Dallas Morning News:

Cuban said he’s serious about the possibility of bringing in Baylor’s 6-8 star now that her college eligibility is done. “If she’s the best on the board, we’ll take her,” Cuban said. “If we have the 60th pick and she’s on the board, we still might take her.”

“I’ve thought about it already,” he said. “Would I do it? And right now, I’d lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it. “You never know until you give someone a chance. And it’s not like the likelihood of any late-50s draft pick has a good chance of making it. If we had tryouts, I would have no problem inviting her to work out and see how she did. No problem whatsoever.”

Is Cuban just talking, or would he seriously consider it? Could Griner make an NBA roster or see minutes on the floor? She responded via Twitter:

See more here via CSNWashington.com.

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

Iowa takes down Maryland to advance to NIT championship


The championship game is set for the NIT at Madison Square Garden.

Behind 21 points from swingman Roy Devyn Marble, Iowa beat Maryland, 71-60, to secure a spot in the NIT championship game against Baylor to be played Thursday night.

Iowa won simply by being efficient with the basketball. The Hawkeyes turned the ball over just six times while forcing Maryland into 16 turnovers of its own. That +10 margin and their ability to get to the free throw line (19-of-24 FT) was the difference Thursday.

The upcoming NIT championship between Iowa and Baylor will be a battle between contrasting styles. Baylor likes to push the ball with point guard Pierre Jackson. That has translated into an offensive attack that is ranked 31st in the country in points per game. Iowa, on the other hand, focuses on rebounding the ball, a category where it ranks 10th in the nation.

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

Jerome Seagears to transfer from Rutgers in wake of Mike Rice video leak

Jerome Seagears
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On the same day that video of Rutgers coach Mike Rice physically confronting and swearing at players was leaked to the press, news has broken that sophomore guard Jerome Seagears would be transferring out of the program.

Brendan Prunty of NJ.com first reported the story, which also says that junior college transfer Vincent Garrett will be leaving the school.

Seagears played major minutes in his two seasons at Rutgers, averaging 6.5 points and 2.6 assists per game this past season. His best game of the year came on Jan. 27 in a loss to Connecticut when he scored 21 points.

There is no way to directly tie the events of the tapes leaked Tuesday to the number of players leaving the Rutgers program, but Prunty points out the numbers:

Five players have transferred out of Rutgers in the last year: sophomore guard Malick Kone announced his intentions to leave last week while shooting guard Austin Carroll (American) and forward Gilvydas Biruta (Rhode Island) both left in the spring of 2012.

Rutgers finished this season with a 15-16 record, including 5-13 in the Big East.

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

Sophomore Amir Garrett will transfer from St. John’s

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Sophomore swingman Amir Garrett will leave the St. John’s program and transfer to another institution, he announced via a series of messages on his Twitter page Tuesday night.

Garrett, who came to St. John’s in the second semester of his freshman season after running to eligibility issues with the NCAA at the beginning of the 2011-12 season, saw decreased minutes during his sophomore year. He averaged 5.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in just over 20 minutes per game for a team that finished 17-16 on the year, including 8-10 in the Big East.

Garrett is a native of Los Angeles, Calif., and was part of Steve Lavin’s first full recruiting class that came to Queens. That class included nine players: Moe Harkless, Sir’Dominic Pointer, D’Angelo Harrison, Norvel Pelle, JaKarr Sampson, Phil Greene, Nurideen Lindsey, God’sgift Achiuwa, and Garrett.

Of those nine, Pelle never played college ball because of academic issues and has now entered his name into the 2013 NBA draft, Lindsey transferred to Rider and was eligible to play immediately this past season, and Harrison was suspended for the end of the regular season and entire postseason for conduct detrimental to the team.

Garrett has opportunities outside of basketball, though. He is currently signed to play minor league baseball in the Cincinnati Reds farm system, but says that he will continue his basketball career at another school.

This now frees up a scholarship for St. John’s in 2013 and Steve Lavin is actively recruiting point guard Rysheed Jordan, a Philadelphia native.

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