Glen Miller promoted to associate head coach as UConn restructures staff

Leave a comment

With the move from Jim Calhoun to Kevin Ollie some reshuffling of the coaching staff at Connecticut was expected, and the school made those changes official on Friday afternoon.

Glenn Miller, who was an assistant on last year’s staff, was promoted to associate head coach while Karl Hobbs moves from director of basketball administration to assistant coach.

Hobbs joins George Blaney, who was Calhoun’s associate head coach, as assistants on Ollie’s staff and Kevin Freeman was promoted from assistant director of basketball administration to Hobbs’ old position.

So while there was some reassigning of duties the fact remains that Ollie, in his first season as a head coach at any level, has three assistants with extensive head coaching experience (57 years of it) to call on.

“As I said when I accepted the job as head coach at Connecticut, I think I have the greatest coaching staff in the country,” Ollie said in the statement released by the school.

“I feel extremely fortunate to have a staff with so much head coaching experience behind me. I know that we are going to work as hard as we can to continue the legacy of tremendous success that UConn enjoyed under Coach Calhoun.”

The question facing Ollie and his staff will be how they account for the departure of three starters, two of which were first-round NBA Draft selections (Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb), and a solid front court contributor in Roscoe Smith (14 starts).

Guards Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright will lead the way, and freshman guard Omar Calhoun should have ample opportunities to make things happen as well.

But most of the personnel hits came in the paint, where junior Tyler Olander is expected to lead the way.

Ollie may be faced with front court uncertainty, a postseason ban and a one-year contract, but it isn’t much different from what he dealt with for much of his NBA career.

With the question of the structure of the coaching staff now answered, the Huskies are ready to figure out if their former point guard is the man to lead them into the future.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate returns to school

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The nation’s most entertaining shot-blocker is back for another season.

Sagaba Konate, a 6-foot-9 center from Mali, will return to school for his junior season to anchor West Virginia’s defense for yet another season, according to ESPN.

Konate declared for the draft and went through the combine, and while his shot-blocking and intensity shined through there as it did throughout the season, he’s more of a mid-to-late second round pick than he is a first rounder at this point.

As a sophomore, Konate averaged 10.8 points, 7.6 boards and 3.2 blocks. He also shot 79 percent from the free throw line.

So let’s sit back and enjoy what we get to see for another year:

Luke Maye to return to North Carolina for senior season

Abbie Parr/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Here’s something I never thought I’d say: Luke Maye is returning to North Carolina for his senior season, meaning that the Tar Heels will have their preseason National Player of the Year candidate back in the fold.

Who saw that coming?

“I have had a great experience learning from the NBA process and growing as a basketball player during the past couple weeks,” Maye wrote on Instagram. “I would like to thank my family, friends, coaches and teammates for all of their support. Through this process, I have decided that I am going to comeback to school to improve as a player and finish my college career. I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that I will face and there is no better group to do it with than my teammates and the Carolina family! Time to finish the right way with two of the best players and leaders that I know! Let’s finish our legacy the right way!”

Maye, who averaged 16.9 points and 10.1 boards as a junior, declared for the draft last month, but he did not get invited to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago last week. The 6-foot-9 forward is a stretch four that will fit perfectly at the four for the Tar Heels this season, with Nassir Little, Cam Johnson and Kenny Williams on the perimeter and a trio of sophomore bigs to handle the five.

Getting Maye back was key, but expected. UNC reaching their ceiling this season will depend on whether or not their point guard play is up to par. With Jalek Felton gone and Joel Berry II graduated, that is going to come down to whether or not Seventh Woods can handle the lead guard role or if Coby White can step in and start as a freshman.

Old Dominion lands former four-star center

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Elbert Robinson came out of high school in 2014 as a borderline top-50 recruit with offers from the likes of Florida, Kansas and Louisville before he ultimately chose to attend LSU.

The 7-foot-1 center, though, never even averaged 10 minutes a game in Baton Rouge and now will be finishing his career as a graduate transfer at Old Dominion, according to multiple reports.

“Old Dominion was perfect for him,” Lawrence Johns, Robinson’s grassroots coach, told the Virginian-Pilot. “I know for a fact that nobody in (Conference USA) is over 7 feet.

“I told him to go there and show people why he was the No. 1 center the year he came out.”

Robinson, who sat out last year for medical reasons, could step right into a major role with the Monarchs, who lost their starting frontcourt this offseason. He averaged 2.1 points and 1.4 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game last year for the Tigers.

VIDEO: Mixtape for North Carolina-bound Nassir Little

1 Comment

Nassir Little is one of the most improved players in the high school basketball ranks, going from being a guy that was a borderline five-star prospect to being a potential No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

At 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and athleticism to burn, he has all the makings of being one of the switchable wing defenders that are en vogue in the modern era of the NBA.

Former UNC star Phil Ford has surgery for prostate cancer

Allen Dean Steele /Allsport
1 Comment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina says former point guard Phil Ford has had surgery for prostate cancer.

Team spokesman Steve Kirschner said Wednesday that Ford underwent the procedure Tuesday after he was diagnosed during his annual physical. Dr. Eric Wallen, the UNC physician who is treating Ford, says the cancer was caught early because Ford “has been proactive regarding his health.”

Ford played for Dean Smith in the 1970s and scored 2,290 points, a mark that stood as the school record until Tyler Hansbrough broke it in 2008. Ford also spent 12 seasons as an assistant to Smith after a seven-year NBA career in which he was the rookie of the year in 1979.