RENO, Nev. (AP) AJ West, who led Nevada in scoring and rebounding a year ago, has left the Wolf Pack for personal reasons.
West, a 6-foot-9 senior, was one of only 11 players in the nation to average a double-double last season with 12.2 points and 10.8 rebounds. His 5.9 offensive rebounds per game led the country and were the most in the NCAA in 20 years.
The Brooklyn, New York, native was averaging 9.6 points and 7.7 rebounds this season but he recently fell out of the starting lineup and his playing minutes were declining under first-year coach Eric Musselman.
West said in a statement provided to the Reno Gazette-Journal on Tuesday that he’s leaving for undisclosed personal reasons and doesn’t “want to be a distraction to the team.”
Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com
Since taking over as the head coach at Nevada this summer, Eric Musselman’s enjoyed a great deal of success on the recruiting front. Two talented transfers in guard Marcus Marshall and forward Leland King will take the floor in 2016-17, as will a freshman class that now has three commits.
Thursday afternoon four-star shooting guard Josh Hall verbally committed to the Mountain West program. The 6-foot-7 Hall, who attends Genesis Academy in Lynchburg, Virginia, announced the news via his Twitter account.
Hall, who last October committed to Rice, joins point guard Devearl Ramsey and power forward Kenneth Wooten in Nevada’s 2016 recruiting class. And in Hall and Ramsey, the Wolf Pack have their backcourt of the future with veterans such as Marshall (one season of eligibility remaining) and junior D.J. Fenner among those who can serve as a buffer of sorts as the freshmen get acclimated to Division I college basketball.
Hall’s a Los Angeles native who this summer played for the California Supreme grassroots program on the Nike EYBL circuit. Hall averaged 10.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, shooting just under 51 percent from the field in those games.
Nevada added a local forward on Monday as junior college product Sam Williams pledged to the Wolf Pack, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.
The 6-foot-8, 208-pound Williams played at nearby Hug High School before going to Mt. San Jacinto College for two seasons. In his second season at Mt. San Jacinto, Williams was conference player of the year after averaging 25.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Williams shot 54.1 percent from the floor and 41.6 percent from 3-point range for the season.
Originally committed to Cal State Fullerton, things didn’t work out with that commitment, so Williams opened things up and searched for options. In a report from Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal, Williams will enroll in classes in December and spend this season redshirting.
After the redshirt year, Williams will have two years of eligibility remaining and essentially becomes a 2016 commitment for head coach Eric Musselman. During the redshirt year, Williams can acclimate to the Division I level and also add strength before he likely plays on the wing for the Wolf Pack.
Sunday night Nevada head coach Eric Musselman added another piece to his front court for the 2015-16 season, as 6-foot-8 forward Cameron Oliver announced that he’ll be joining the Wolf Pack program. Oliver originally signed with Oregon State in the Class of 2014 but did not enroll last fall. Oliver did not play basketball last season.
Oliver joins a front court led by senior A.J. West, who last season was a third-team All-Mountain West selection after averaging 12.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per contest. Also returning in the front court are fellow upperclassmen Lucas Stirvins and D.J. Fenner, with junior college transfer Kaileb Rodriguez joining the program and sophomores Elijah Foster and Robyn Missa looking to earn more minutes.
Oliver is another piece for a program that recruiting-wise had some success with transfers this spring. Marcus Marshall (Missouri State), Leland King (Brown) and Jordan Caroline (Southern Illinois) all decided to join the program, and they’ll be good pieces to build with once they become eligible to compete in 2016-17.
Oliver is the third freshman to join the Nevada program this spring, with guard Lindsey Drew and Juwan Anderson being the others.
As expected, Nevada has officially announced the hire of Eric Musselman.
Musselman spent last season as an assistant coach at LSU and the two seasons prior to that as an assistant at Arizona State. Prior to that, Musselman gained plenty of experience as a head coach at different levels of professional basketball. He was the head coach of the Golden State Warriors from 2002-04 and coached the Sacramento Kings in 2006-07. More recently, Musselman was the head coach of the NBDL’s Reno Bighorns.
Musselman will replace David Carter, who spent six seasons as the head coach at Nevada. The school will give him a five-year contract pending approval by the board of regents.
The Wolfpack went 9-22 last season.
LSU announced on Tuesday the addition of former NBA head coach Eric Musselman to their coaching staff.
Musselman, who spent the past couple of seasons as an assistant with Arizona State, was the head coach of the Golden State Warriors from 2002-2004 and coached Sacramento during the 2006-2007 season. He finished second in Coach of the Yeaar voting to Greg Popovich during his first season with Golden State.
“We are excited about the addition of coach Eric Musselman,” said LSU head coach Johnny Jones. “He brings a wealth of NBA and college experience that will be beneficial as we strive to continue to take LSU Basketball to new heights. He will be involved in all aspects of our program.”
Musselman is a basketball lifer whose father, Bill, was also an NBA head coach. He’s not a guy that’s being brought into the program because of his ability to recruit. LSU was one of the more talented teams in the SEC last season, but they struggled with their execution and discipline a season ago. Musselman is the kind of x’s-and-o’s basketball mind that can address that issue.
“I really am excited to join the LSU family, a place that has such a storied athletic program, and help Coach Jones and the staff continue to make strides,” said Musselman in the release. “It will be challenging to learn about another great conference as the SEC. Anytime you can join a program that has a Final Four appearance in the past decade and 20 NCAA Tournaments overall, you know great things can happen again. In talking with Coach Jones, I am excited to get to work and help make it happen.”
LSU returns two potential NBA Draft picks in Jarrell Martin and Jordan Mickey, and with Musselman in the mix as well, a trip to the NCAA tournament should be the expectation.