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Former Georgia Tech guard headed to Tennessee State

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Tennessee State has made an addition to its roster for the 2016-17 season, as former Georgia Tech guard Chris Bolden will play for head coach Dana Ford as a graduate student. News of Bolden’s eventual transfer was first reported by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.

Bolden was handed a six-game suspension by Georgia Tech in mid-February for a violation of the student-athlete conduct policy, and with that suspension running through the Yellow Jackets’ first game in the ACC Tournament he did not play another game for Brian Gregory’s program. In May Gregory announced that Bolden would not return to the program for the 2015-16 season, which did not come as a surprise.

With the 6-foot-3 guard on course to graduate in December he can move on to another program for his final season of eligibility.

Bolden started 11 of the 25 games in which he played last season, averaging 6.9 points in 21.3 minutes of action per game. For his career at Georgia Tech, Bolden averaged 6.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

Tennessee State will lose four guards from its perimeter rotation at the end of this season. Returnees Marcus Roper (10.0 ppg in 2014-15) and Xavier Richards (6.7 ppg) are both seniors, and transfers Keron DeShields (Montana) and Jordan Reed (Binghamton) are in their final season of eligibility as well.

Eastern Kentucky’s Dan McHale throws out first pitch at Lexington Legends game (VIDEO)

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After serving as an assistant on Richard Pitino’s staff at Minnesota for the last two seasons, Dan McHale received his first head coaching opportunity this spring when he was hired at Eastern Kentucky. With that comes a change in responsibilities, going from offering suggestions to making decisions as some like to say and also getting to know the new community and vice versa.

Thursday night McHale threw out the first pitch at the Lexington Legends minor league baseball game, and he managed to get the ball over the plate. In an interview with Lexington’s NBC affiliate, McHale stated that he last played baseball as a high school senior in 1997 (he was a second baseman).

And even though Coach McHale didn’t bring the heat, his throw won’t go down in history alongside those made by the likes of 50 Cent and former Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory.

Video credit: Lexington Legends

Murray State has decided on a successor to Steve Prohm

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The last domino in the 2015 Coaching Carousel has fallen.

Matt McMahon, a former assistant coach at Murray State and currently an assistant at Louisiana Tech, will replace Steve Prohm, according to a release from the school. Prohm left the Racers on Monday to replace Fred Hoiberg as the head coach at Iowa State.

McMahon was hired by new Louisiana Tech head coach Eric Konkol as associate head coach late last month. To get an idea of just how long he lasted in Ruston, McMahon’s most recent tweet — from June 1st — talks about how excited he is to start his first full week with the Bulldogs. He played his college ball at Appalachian State, where he played in the NCAA tournament as was a two-year starter.

“I want to thank Allen Ward and President Davies for giving me the opportunity to return to Murray State as the head basketball coach,” McMahon said in the release. “My family and I have enjoyed our four years in this community and we look forward to many more. I also owe a great deal of thanks to Steve Prohm for bringing me to Murray and serving as a mentor to me. I also want to thank our players past and present for their hard work and commitment to the program. Their success on the court, in the classroom and in the community has allowed me to be in this position today.”

This decision is also important for Iowa State fans, as they wait to find out who will be on the Cyclone staff next season. Will Prohm’s current staff remain with McMahon in Murray, Kentucky, or will they be following Prohm to Ames, Iowa? Will Prohm begin his Cyclone tenure with proven high-major recruiters — T.J. Otzelberger? — on staff?

After two seasons, Tennessee State fires head coach Travis Williams

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To follow along with the 2014 Coaching Carousel, click here.

After only two seasons as head coach, Tennessee State has chosen to fire head coach Travis Williams, the school announced in a release on Tuesday.

Williams was 23-40 in his two seasons as the head coach of the Tigers but they struggled this season, losing their first 10 games of the season before finishing 5-25 overall. At one point, Tennessee State was 2-21 this season and they didn’t defeat a Division I opponent in the non-conference portion of the schedule despite senior guard Patrick Miller being the nation’s fourth leading scorer at 23.2 points per game.

“We thank Coach Williams for his hard work both as an assistant and as a head coach, and we wish him the best in all future endeavors,” Tennessee State athletic director Teresa Phillips said in the release. “We want to move in a different direction and believe that this decision is in the best interest of Tennessee State and our Men’s Basketball program.”

Williams also served as an assistant coach for previous Tennessee State head coach John Cooper from 2009 through 2012.

OVC Conference Tournament Preview

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The OVC heads to Nashville as the Belmont Bruins look to defend their city and win the conference tournament championship in just their first season as conference members. But in order to do so they will have to stave off several talented and feisty teams looking to make a name for themselves at the Bruins expense.

This hasn’t been the banner year that many expected. The conference’s previous powerhouse, Murray State, has struggled to maintain their lofty status following a breakout season. Morehead State, a postseason legend of years’ past, is in the first year of a coaching change and Tennessee State played without their star player for much of the regular season.

Anything less than a Belmont victory in the championship game over Murray State would have to be considered both a disappointment and a shocking upset.

But if we’ve learned anything from this season thus far, it’s to expect the unexpected.

(CLICK HERE to browse through all of our conference tournament previews)

The Bracket

Where: Municipal Auditorium (Nashville, TN)

When: March 6-9

Final: March 9, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Favorite: Belmont

Belmont enters their first OVC Tournament as the prohibitive favorites following their inaugural OVC campaign in which they finished 14-2 in league play. Ian Clark and Kerron Johnson anchor one of the top backcourts in the country. The senior duo combines to average 31.6ppg and stopping them will be the number one priority for all opponents who run in to them. But the Bruins have other weapons too. Forwards Trevor Noack and J.J. Mann both average double figures and are high-percentage shooters.

And if they lose?

Murray State, the darlings of 2012 have been pushed to the conference backburner with the arrival of Belmont into the OVC. But the Racers still have Isaiah Canaan and his 21.6ppg. The Racers also have Ed Daniel, the league’s top rebounder. If the Racers want to make the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years, they will need to ride the coattails of their team leaders.


The Colonels of Eastern Kentucky will have a tough task in front of them if they want to steal the league’s automatic bid away from Belmont. But EKU does have the benefit of being 3-0 against teams they will have to face before potentially playing Belmont in the finals. But the x-factor will be team rebounding. The Colonels are ranked a dreadful 345th in total rebounding. But they can help the cause by making a high percentage of their field goals.


– Ian Clark & Kerron Johnson, Belmont: They make up arguably the most dynamic and prolific backcourt in in both Atlantic Sun and Ohio Valley history. Only twice this season have both players failed to reach double figures in the same game.

– Isaiah Canaan, Murray State: Everybody knows his name and everybody knows his game. But that hasn’t helped teams stifle the league’s top scorer. Canaan has failed to score less than 15 points just twice this season and has scored at least 20 points in each of the past four games.

– Robert Covington, Tennessee State: Despite missing the first nine games of league play due to knee injury, Covington is capable of scoring in volume on any given night. He also has developed a knack for being a big game player, and tends to save his best performances for high stakes situations.

– Nino Johnson, Southeast Missouri State: The sophomore big-man has been playing his best basketball of the season as of late, registering a double-double in three of the past four games and has been a match-up nightmare for many of the top teams in the league.

CBT Prediction: The Murray State racers boune back from a two-game losing streak to make a run to the OVC championship where they will face No. 1-seed Belmont. Isaiah Canaan will lead the Racers to the brink of victory, only to have the Bruins close the door on them, winning the OVC championship in their first year as members.

You can contact Troy Machir on Twitter at @TroyMachir