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Key Assistant Coaching Hires

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Beginning in September and running up until November 10th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2017-2018 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package.

Every offseason sees a lot of movement among college basketball’s assistant coaching ranks. But now that an FBI investigation has slammed college basketball with a huge offseason scandal, it has put even more eyes on the position that often helps so much in recruiting.

While it’s tough to gauge what the eventual fallout will be from the FBI’s findings, here are 10 programs who made solid additions to their coaching staffs this offseason.

Some of these coaches are former head guys who have taken assistant jobs while others are up-and-coming assistants with strong track records of landing players and developing talent.

There were notable hires made all over college basketball, but these are 10 to keep an eye on.

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Michael Porter Jr., Missouri Athletics

MICHAEL PORTER Sr., Missouri: Porter gets this spot mostly for being the recruiter that brought Missouri two of its best players in Michael Porter Jr. and Jontay Porter. But Porter is also the only member of this new Tigers staff under Cuonzo Martin who has worked at the school before. Yes, Porter Sr. was with the women’s basketball team before jumping to the men’s side to coach his sons, but he knows the school’s facilities and selling points, and as a parent, he’s had children already attend the school.

The irony of Porter’s inclusion on this list is that he was an assistant at Washington – where both Michael Jr. and Jontay were committed – until April, when he was fired along with Lorenzo Romar, as …

LORENZO ROMAR, Arizona: … the former Washington head coach now joins Sean Miller’s staff at Arizona after facing every team in the league for the past 15 years. As the new associate head coach of the Wildcats, Romar has recruited and scouted this league for as long as anyone. He gives Arizona a fresh perspective in what could be a huge year for them. Romar is accustomed to recruiting elite talent. He’s had six NBA first-round picks over his last six years at Washington, including top-ten picks in back-to-back years. He landed both Markelle Fultz and the Porters. He could get players, and he still should be able to get those players, who will now be coached by Miller.

TRENT JOHNSON, Louisville: With all of the turmoil and turnover at Louisville, first-time head coach David Padgett made a solid move in bringing in Johnson, a former veteran head coach. Having spent time at TCU, LSU, Stanford and Nevada, Johnson has been involved in a lot of different programs and helps give Padgett some experience on the bench. It also helps that Padgett can trust Johnson because he’s known him for more than 20 years. In high school Padgett was teammates with Johnson’s son, Terry, as the deep family connection helps form immediate trust for a coaching staff that was put together on the eve of a tough season.

DONNIE JONES, Wichita State: Since the Shockers are joining the American this season, hiring a former head coach in that league isn’t a bad move. Formerly the head coach at UCF, Jones knows some of the coaches and personnel in the league since he was only coaching there two seasons ago. Besides the familiarity factor, Jones is a solid recruiter and he’s been a winner as an assistant coach, having helped Billy Donovan and Florida to two national titles while working as an assistant with the Gators.

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CAMERON DOLLAR and DAVE RICE, Washington: New head coach Mike Hopkins gets some head-coaching help on the sidelines with former head coaches Dollar and Rice. The addition of Dollar, in particular, is intriguing since he was the head coach at Seattle and knows a lot of the region’s talent. Also a former assistant at Washington from 2002 through 2009, Dollar should hit the ground running. Rice has also recruited at a high level during his time at UNLV and should be an asset thanks to his extended time on the West Coast.

GREG HAIER, TONY BENFORD and BRAD ARMSTRONG, LSU: Will Wade hired a staff that has already recruited at a high level this year thanks to the late signing of point guard Tremont Waters and the verbal pledge from five-star big man Nazreon Reid. Armstrong is familiar with the SEC thanks to his stint at Ole Miss while Benford and Haier are veteran recruiters who bring a wealth of experience.

BRUISER FLINT, ED SCHILLING and TOM OSTROM, Indiana: The move from Dayton to Indiana meant that new head coach Archie Miller had some tough decisions as he’s put together a strong staff for the Hoosiers. Ostrom comes with Miller from Dayton as a noted recruiter of several very good players. Schilling is a former Indiana high school coach who has done a nice job in an assistant position with UCLA the past few seasons. Flint, with 16 years of head-coaching as a background, is the veteran of the staff who has seen it all.

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Billy Donlon (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

BILLY DONLON, Northwestern: The Wildcats lost former assistant coach Pat Baldwin in June when he took the head-coaching job at Milwaukee as Donlon steps in from Michigan. A unique fit for the Northwestern job, Donlon follows in the footsteps of his father, Bill, who was a Wildcat assistant for seven seasons in the ’80s and early ’90s. Northwestern assistant Brian James is also Donlon’s former high school coach at Glenbrook North, where Collins also formerly starred. It should make for a comfortable fit in Evanston, as Collins continues to build a tight-knit staff with a lot of local ties.

RAPHAEL CHILLIOUS, UConn: After stumbling in recent years, the Huskies could use a shot in the arm as they’re hoping a healthy roster and some staff changes can help. Spending seven of the past eight seasons at Washington and one season at Villanova, Chillious has been one of the premier recruiting assistants in the country for the better part of the past decade. A national recruiter who has coached a handful of lottery picks, Chillious should get the Huskies involved for some quality players.

STEVE LUTZ, Purdue: Head coach Matt Painter made a solid hire with the addition of Lutz from Creighton after former assistant Jack Owens took the head job at Miami (Ohio). Lutz helped deliver big man Justin Patton and prized guard transfer Marcus Foster to the Bluejays as he’s been a good recruiter who has delivered results. Lutz brings some fresh blood to a Purdue staff that hadn’t seen a change since 2013.

 

VIDEO: Former Michigan athletes Austin Hatch and Abby Cole tie the knot

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The life of former Michigan basketball player Austin Hatch has not been without its challenges, as during his pre-college years he survived two separate plane crashes that took the lives of his parents, a stepmother and two siblings.

Hatch’s scholarship offer to Michigan was honored by head coach John Beilein despite the impact that the crashes had on Hatch physically, and Hatch would go on to earn his degree and land a job at the corporate office for Domino’s. This past spring, Hatch was honored during the team’s Senior Day festivities.

By that point Hatch was already engaged to Abby Cole, who played volleyball at Michigan from 2013 to 2016. And over the weekend, the two tied the knot in what was a highly emotional day for all involved. Below is a video of their wedding day, which was chronicled by Derek Postma.

Congratulations and best wishes to Abby and Austin on their marriage.

Arizona lands Cornell forward Stone Gettings for 2019-20 season

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Arizona landed its first addition for the 2019-20 season on Monday, as an Ivy League power forward revealed his intention to join Sean Miller’s program as a graduate student.

6-foot-9 forward Stone Gettings, who averaged 16.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game at Cornell last season, picked Arizona over Stanford and Vanderbilt according to Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com. A second team All-Ivy selection, Gettings is on course to graduate from Cornell in December. Instead of using his final season of eligibility at Cornell, Gettings will sit out this season before playing at Arizona.

Gettings does have a connection to the Arizona program, as one of his high school teammates was former point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright. The addition of Gettings will give Arizona a front court player who can score around the basket and from the perimeter, as he shot nearly 37 percent from beyond the arc last season.

Gettings isn’t the first Ivy League player to make his decision regarding a new school well in advance of his being able to move as a grad transfer, as former Yale point guard Makai Mason took a similar approach. Mason, who missed the entire 2016-17 season with a torn ACL, announced prior to last season that he be joining the Baylor program as a grad transfer for the 2018-19 campaign.

Not counting Gettings, Arizona has four scholarship front court players on its current roster who will have eligibility remaining in 2019-20, in current junior Chase Jeter, sophomores Emmanuel Akot and Ira Lee and freshman Omar Thielemans.

Bill Self: Silvio De Sousa’s eligibility not in jeopardy ‘at this stage’

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One of the biggest question marks heading into the 2018-19 season for the Kansas Jayhawks is the eligibility status of Silvio De Sousa.

If you’ve forgotten, a player that is believed to be De Sousa was referenced in a second round of indictments handed by the FBI. In those documents, De Sousa’s guardian is alleged to have asked an Adidas rep for at least $20,000 to repay a rival apparel company for a payment that was made to secure De Sousa’s commitment to another school. Prior to a surprise commitment to Kansas, De Sousa was long considered a Maryland lean. His AAU program and high school team were both sponsored by Under Armour, whose flagship program is Maryland.

According to Kansas head coach Bill Self, at this point De Sousa is still eligible.

“Nobody at this stage has given us any information that he could be in jeopardy at this stage,” Self said.

This is not surprising.

The way that I would expect this to play out is similar to the way it played out for players that were referenced in the indictments that came down last fall. Kansas is going to string this thing along until we get to a point in time close to the start of the season, when they will announce that De Sousa is being held out of competition. It is better for Kansas to bite the bullet and play without De Sousa than it would be for them to risk knowingly suiting up a player that can be retroactively ruled ineligible.

That sucks for De Sousa.

The good news for Kansas, however, is that Udoka Azubuike is back, as is Mitch Lightfoot, while both Dedric and K.J. Lawson will be eligible as they add freshman David McCormack. There is more than enough frontcourt depth to withstand the loss of De Sousa.

VIDEO: The #ShiggyChallenge has reached college hoops with Loyola’s coach showing his skills

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New Loyola-Maryland head coach Tavaras Hardy became the first college basketball head coach to get in on the Shiggy Challenge, as he posted this video to twitter on Tuesday morning:

What is the #ShiggyChallenge?

It’s the latest viral dance, which started just two weeks ago when an online personality named Shiggy posted himself dancing to Drake’s “In My Feelings” on Instagram:

#Mood : KEKE Do You Love Me ? 😂😂😂 @champagnepapi #DoTheShiggy #InMyFeelings

A post shared by Shoker🃏 (@theshiggyshow) on

From there, it took off, with everyone from Odell Beckham Jr. to James Harden trying to prove themselves capable of taking down the #ShiggyChallenge.

And now Tavaras Hardy is doing it.

The end.

Takeaways from the UAA Challenge: Nico Mannion and Josh Green are must-see, Anthony Edwards tops 2020

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EMERSON, Ga. — Although the Peach Jam was huge focal point of the first evaluation period, Under Armour had themselves a solid event with the UAA Challenge just north of Atlanta. With plenty of signature matchups and five-star talents, there were a lot of things to watch during a brief stop there during the first live evaluation period.

Here are some things to watch with the UAA, when they’ll be the focal point during the third live evaluation week as they host the UAA Finals in Las Vegas next week.

NICO MANNION AND JOSH GREEN aRE THE BEST 1-2 PUNCH IN THE UAA

Over the last few years, the duo of Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis have built a big reputation in the UAA. Deservedly so. But, over the next few weeks, the West Coast Elite duo of point guard Nico Mannion and Josh Green will be more fun to watch.

While the duo of Antoine and Lewis could end up being better long-term prospects (that’s a debate for another time), the duo of Mannion and Green have a unique chemistry playing with each other that Antoine and Lewis can lack at times since they play such similar positions.

Both Mannion and Green made major waves this weekend in the UAA Challenge.

Confirming to NBCSports.com that he intends to reclassify into the Class of 2019 from the Class of 2020, Mannion looked like he was ready to make the leap into college hoops. Second in the event in assists per game, Mannion had 38 of them over a six-game span (6.3 per game) and only had four turnovers in 164 minutes of action.

Also shooting 59 percent from the field and 83 percent from the free-throw line on his way to 15.8 points per contest, Mannion was incredibly efficient. He showed court savvy, athleticism and a solid perimeter jumper. Mannion has Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Marquette, Oregon and USC hard after him as he will be an intriguing point guard to watch during July.

Green, a 6-foot-6 two-way wing, was also incredibly efficient as he shot 71 percent from the field and 60 percent from three-point range on his way to 18.0 points, 3.1 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game. With four or more assists in four games, Green has natural floor vision and passing ability to go along with his scoring prowess. After showcasing a shaky perimeter jumper at times in the past, Green has worked with a trainer the past few months to become more consistent from deep. Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA, USC and Villanova are some of the schools that Green mentioned to NBCSports.com as being in the mix.

Both Green and Mannion are already five-star prospects. It’ll just be interesting to see them close out the live period the next two weeks because they have a chance to make some major noise.

ANTHONY EDWARDS HAS A CHANCE TO BE 2020’S BEST

The Class of 2019 doesn’t have a lot of star power in terms of No. 1 quality players — my colleague Rob Dauster went over that yesterday — but there seem to be a few worthy contenders in the Class of 2020.

Among them includes 6-foot-5 shooting guard Anthony Edwards. The Atlanta native was one of the must-see players of the first evaluation period. Playing in a high-profile matchup against five-star 2020 guard Jaden Springer, Edwards displayed a natural scoring ability thanks to his ridiculous athleticism and acumen for putting the ball in the basket; he’s what hoopheads will call a “bucket-getter”.

Although his jumper wasn’t falling from three-point range (5-for-22), Edwards still shot 57 percent from the field while putting up 22.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game during the weekend.

Displaying more vision and passing ability with his Atlanta Xpress team than in the camp setting, Edwards looked like a more complete guard at the UAA Challenge. He also defended to the tune of an event-leading 2.4 steals per game as Edwards has long arms and a quick first step to jump into passing lanes.

There is plenty of competition for the top spot in 2020, but Edwards is going to be among the major contenders with his summer play.

JEREMIAH EARL-ROBINSON IS AS PRODUCTIVE AS ANYONE IN THE CLASS

This summer has seen Jeremiah Robinson-Earl produce everywhere he has played. The 6-foot-8 Class of 2019 forward helped the USA U18 team win a gold medal while also leading the UAA Challenge in rebounds the first week of July.

A double-double machine who is improving his perimeter skill, Robinson-Earl is a hard-playing and intriguing combo forward who should join a high-level college rotation immediately. He has great secondary leaping ability that enables him to be a menace on the offensive glass as he’s particularly adept at putbacks.

If Robinson-Early can show an improved perimeter jumper and an ability to attack off the dribble, then he’ll have a chance to be a top-ten player in the class. He has the motor and production to rise if he fixes his flaws and he’ll have plenty of time to be a showcase player at IMG Academy next season.

Kansas is a perceived favorite with Robinson-Earl, as Bill Self coached him on the U18 team over the past several weeks before the live period. North Carolina and Arizona are among some other schools also trying to stay in the mix for Robinson-Earl as they try to pry him away from the Midwest.