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College Basketball’s 2019 Coaching Carousel

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College basketball’s coaching carousel has started for the 2019 offseason as we’ll see numerous changes in the coaching ranks over the next several months.

To help keep track of all of the movement, CBT has created this page to monitor all of the movement.

As the offseason continues, and new hires are made, we’ll update this list every time a coaching change is made.

Be sure to follow our Twitter account @CBTonNBC for the latest college basketball news and notes.

HIGH MAJOR OPENINGS

ALABAMA

OUT: Avery Johnson and Alabama agreed to part ways after Alabama missed the NCAA tournament this season. Johnson spent four seasons with the Crimson Tide, but they made just one NCAA tournament in that time.

IN: The Crimson Tide made the first major splash of the 2019 offseason with the hiring of Buffalo’s Nate Oats. Oats is an interesting fit in Alabama. He is from Wisconsin, played and coached at the Division III level in the state and spent 11 years coaching high school ball in Michigan before heading to Buffalo. He’s never coached outside of the Great Lakes region. And now he’s taking over Alabama?

ARKANSAS

OUT: Mike Anderson is out with the Razorbacks after eight years and three NCAA tournament appearances. The Razorbacks join an aggressive group of SEC schools looking for head coaches despite recent tournament appearances.

IN: After a successful stint at Nevada, Eric Musselman has made the move to the SEC as the new head coach of the Razorbacks. Musselman led the Wolf Pack into national prominence with three NCAA tournament appearances and a Sweet 16 last season.

CALIFORNIA

OUT: Three days after Wyking Jones received word that he would get one more season in Berkeley, athletic Director Jim Knowlton changed his mind and fired Jones after just two seasons as the head coach. Jones was promoted after Cuonzo Martin left Cal to take over at Missouri. There isn’t much talent on the Cal roster, but there is plenty of it in California.

IN: It looks like former Georgia and Nevada head coach Mark Fox is going to be getting this gig. It’s not a terrible hire. Fox had plenty of success in Reno, and he does have a really good reputation in coaching circles. There was some new blood that deserved a shot, but they could have done worse.

CINCINNATI

OUT: The UCLA coaching search took forever but it finally landed a coach in Mick Cronin. Although Cronin didn’t make deep NCAA tournament runs, he weathered the Bearcats’ transition from the Big East to the American by taking the program to nine straight NCAA tournament appearances. Cronin’s hire at UCLA may draw criticism, but there is little doubt that he’s a huge part of keeping Cincinnati one of the most consistent programs in the country.

IN: The Bearcats did not promote assistant Darren Savino, as many thought and expected them to do, instead hiring John Brannen, who has spent the last four seasons with Northern Kentucky after six years on staff at Alabama.

NEBRASKA

OUT: Nebraska finally did the inevitable, firing Tim Miles after seven seasons with the program. Miles has been the head coach of the Cornhuskers since 2012, racking up a 116-114 record and a 52-76 mark in Big Ten play. He reached the NCAA tournament in his second season in Lincoln, but failed to get back. In 2017-18 season, Nebraska finished 22-11 and went 13-5 in the Big Ten, becoming the first school from that conference to miss out on the NCAA tournament after winning more than 11 games in league play.

IN: Fred Hoiberg was hired to replace Tim Miles, and it’s a pretty great fit. Nebraska is not all that different from Iowa State in terms of the fanbase, the recruiting base, their standing within the conference, etc. Hoiberg should be able to get the same kind of player, play the same style and win some basketball games.

NEVADA

OUT: Eric Musselman is moving on to Arkansas after helping take Nevada to the NCAA tournament three times — including a Sweet 16 run in 2018. Helping the program reach a national level, Musselman did an effective job of recruiting transfers and stud freshmen to make the Wolf Pack the top program in the Mountain West.

IN: The Wolf Pack worked quickly, replacing Musselman with former UCLA and New Mexico head coach Steve Alford, who had much more success in Albuquerque than the did in Westwood.

ST. JOHN’S

OUT: Chris Mullin is stepping down as the coach of the Red Storm after four seasons at the helm. A legendary player at St. John’s in the ’80s, Mullin was never able to recapture the magic of his playing days as the team’s head coach. St. John’s only made one NCAA tournament appearance during Mullin’s four years as they went from 12-0 to barely making the Big Dance in 2018-19.

IN: The search did not go quite as well as people in and around New York would have liked, but the Johnnies ended up with a decent — albeit somewhat out of left field — hire as they brought in Mike Anderson, who had been fired by Arkansas.

TEMPLE

OUT: Fran Dunphy, a stalwart in Philadelphia hoops, is in the final stages of his coaching career, as he will step down at Temple after the season.

IN: This was decided before the season started, but he will be replaced by Aaron McKie, a Philly native and Temple alum that has spent five years as a member of Temple’s staff.

TEXAS A&M

OUT: The Aggies moved on from head coach Billy Kennedy following the conclusion of the SEC tournament.

IN: The worst kept secret in college basketball is finally official: Buzz Williams will be the next head coach at Texas A&M. This is a great hire and a great fit. The SEC got tougher today.

UCLA

OUT: The first coaching carousel move of this offseason happened way back in December when Steve Alford was fired. Although UCLA isn’t the job it used to be, it remains one of the best and most storied programs in the country. It also might be the most fascinating coaching search in the nation since the Bruins wasted a three-month head start on the rest of the country.

IN: Following a long and drawn-out search, Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin is heading West. After the Bruins attempted to land Kentucky’s John Calipari and TCU’s Jamie Dixon, they ended up with Cronin, a coach who led the Bearcats to only one Sweet 16 in 12 seasons. With UCLA fans and alums hoping for national titles will Cronin be enough for their high standards? Only time will tell.

UNLV

OUT: Marvin Menzies three-year tenure as the head coach at UNLV is over, and it will be fascinating to see who that administration tabs to be the guy to try and take that program back to the heights of the 1990s. There have been some big names that have popped up, from Thad Matta and Rick Pitino to Tyronn Lue and Jason Kidd.

IN: Replacing Menzies will be South Dakota State head coach T.J. Otzelberger. As the head coach of the Jackrabbits, Otzelberger led the program to multiple NCAA tournament appearances while coaching one of the nation’s best players in Mike Daum.

VANDERBILT

OUT: The Commodores and new athletic director Malcolm Turner opted to move on from head coach Bryce Drew after only three seasons. Drew led Vanderbilt to an NCAA tournament appearance while also recruiting two McDonald’s All-Americans to the school last season. But the program struggled to a 9-23 season and 0-18 mark in the SEC.

IN: Vandy has signed Jerry Stackhouse, a former NBA player that has some experience coaching in the AAU ranks, to replace Bryce Drew.

VIRGINIA TECH

OUT: Buzz Williams is heading to Texas A&M after helping lead the Hokies back into national relevance. Williams led Virginia Tech to three straight NCAA tournament appearances — including the program’s second-ever Sweet 16 appearance in 2019.

IN: After Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard turned down the job, Virginia Tech moved quickly to hire Wofford’s Mike Young. Leading the Terriers to five NCAA tournament appearances and seven postseason trips in the past decade, Young is coming off of a season in which he led Wofford into the Round of 32 from the mid-major ranks.

WASHINGTON STATE

OUT: One day after its season ended with a loss to Oregon in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament, Washington State has parted ways with head coach Ernie Kent. Kent spent five seasons in Pullman, posting an overall record of 58 wins and 98 losses. Against Pac-12 competition the Cougars were just 22-68 during Kent’s tenure, with the program’s best conference mark being a 7-11 record during the 2014-15 season (Kent’s first at the school). Washington State is considered by many on the west coast to be one of, if not the worst job in the high-major ranks.

IN: Signing a six-year deal, former San Francisco head coach Kyle Smith is the next head coach at Washington State. Smith has been a Division I head coach for nine seasons, the last three coming with the Dons. After taking Columbia to multiple CIT appearances, Smith had three straight 20-win seasons with San Francisco.

THE REST

APPALACHIAN STATE

OUT: Jim Fox’s tenure at Appalachian State came to an end this year. He was never able to get things going in the right direction, finishing below .500 every season and mustering just one finish in the top five of the Sun Belt. That came in 2017-18, when the Mountaineers finished 9-9 and tied for 5th in the league.

IN: App State hired away former Wofford assistant Dustin Kerns from Presbyterian, where he had the best season in program history in his second year.

BELMONT

OUT: A legend has moved on. Rick Byrd retired after spending 33 seasons as the head coach of the Belmont Bruins, ushering them from NAIA into being one of the best mid-major programs in the country. This will be a sought-after job in the mid-major ranks.

IN: Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander has been tabbed as the man to replace Byrd. Alexander spent 16 years as an assistant coach at Belmont from 1995-2011 so this is an expected move as well. As head coach of the Bison, Alexander led the program to three straight 20-win seasons and an NCAA tournament appearance last season before an NIT runner-up finish this season.

BYU

OUT: After 14 seasons as the head coach at BYU, Dave Rose is stepping down. Rose went to the NCAA tournament eight times in his first ten seasons as the head coach of the Cougars, but in the last four years, BYU has mustered just three trips to the NIT. The name popping up here is Mark Pope, who played in the NBA and has been at Utah Valley State for the last four years.

IN: It took longer than expected, but BYU finally has the name they wanted all along in Utah Valley State’s Mark Pope. A former BYU assistant who spent a handful of years in the NBA, Pope has led the Wolverines to back-to-back 20-win seasons and three straight CBI appearances.

BUFFALO

OUT: Following four successful seasons, head coach Nate Oats has been hired at Alabama. Leading the Bulls to three NCAA tournament appearances in four seasons as coach, Oats led Buffalo to a top-25 mark this season and back-to-back appearances in the NCAA tournament’s Round of 32.

IN: Associate head coach Jim Whitesell will take over the Bulls as he’s been with the program since 2015. A former head coach at Loyola (IL) for seven seasons, Whitesell has a 109-106 record at the Division I level with no NCAA tournament appearances.

CAL POLY

OUT: After 10 years at the helm, Cal Poly is moving on from head coach Joe Callero. Peaking in years three-through-five with two 18-win seasons and an appearance in the 2014 NCAA tournament, Callero never got the program back on track during his final five seasons. Finishing with a 6-21 record and 2-12 mark in the Big West this season, the Mustangs will be looking for only their fourth different head coach since the program transitioned into Division I in 1994. While Cal Poly hasn’t been particularly successful, they have allowed coaches plenty of time to build things their own way.

IN: Cal Poly hired Fullerton assistant coach John Smith, who has ties to the junior college scene in California.

ELON

OUT: Matt Matheny was at Elon for 10 years, seeing them make the move from the SoCon to the CAA, but he was never able to get it going at the school. The Phoenix had just one second above .500 since the move in 2014 and in 10 years, he made it to just one postseason — a 2013 trip to the CIT.

IN: The Phoenix have hired Mike Schrage, who has spent the last two years on Chris Holtmann’s staff at Ohio State. Schrage has connections in the state of North Carolina after spending eight years on staff at Duke.

FAIRFIELD

OUT: Moving on from head coach Sydney Johnson after eight seasons, Fairfield will try to make a move up the MAAC with its new hire. Finishing 116-147 during his tenure at Fairfield, Johnson led the Stags to three CIT appearances — most recently in 2016-17. Johnson had some early momentum with a 22-win season and third-place finish in the MAAC in year one, but Fairfield never achieved those heights again. The Stags finished 9-22 and 6-12 in conference play in 2018-19.

IN: Longtime Stony Brook assistant coach Jay Young will be the next head coach the Stags.

GEORGE WASHINGTON

OUT: After three seasons as the head coach of the Colonials, the school announced on Friday that Maurice Joseph will not be returning to the program next season. MoJo was put in a difficult spot, taking over the program on an interim basis in September of 2016 after head coach Mike Lonergan was fired. He earned a contract with the success they had that season, but he was unable to build on it.

IN: GW moved quickly, hiring Jamion Christian away from Siena. Christian is a Virginia native that spent five seasons coaching at Mount St. Mary’s in Maryland before spending one season at Siena. This is a hire that should work out quite well for GW.

GEORGIA STATE

OUT: Ron Hunter left Georgia State after five seasons in Atlanta to take over at Tulane, who fired Mike Dunleavy after just three seasons in New Orleans.

IN: Rob Lanier, who has spent the last the five years as Rick Barnes’ associate head coach, will be the man that replaces Hunter. Lanier also had two different stints on Barnes’ staff at Texas, and helmed Siena from 2001-05.

HOLY CROSS

OUT: After a long career and four seasons in charge at Holy Cross, Bill Carmody announced his retirement on June 18. Carmody took the Crusaders to the NCAA tournament in 2016 and had a record of 58-73 during his tenure.

IN: Long-time Marquette assistant coach Brett Nelson is the new head coach at Holy Cross. A former McDonald’s All-American as a player at Florida in 2000, Nelson has been on coaching staffs at Ball State, Drake, Arkansas and Marshall. Nelson was associate head coach with the Golden Eagles since 2017.

HOWARD

OUT: Head coach Kevin Nickelberry resigned after nine years with the program. Howard made a CBI appearance in 2019 as Nickelberry was 96-194 during his tenure.

IDAHO STATE

OUT: The contract of head coach Bill Evans will not be renewed as he went 71-141, with a 46-83 mark in Big Sky games. Evans was the head coach for seven seasons, winning Big Sky Coach of the Year in 2016.

IN: Idaho State has hired Ryan Looney away from Point Loma, a Division II program in California that is coming off of a trip to the Division II national title game with the best player in the Division II ranks, Daunton Hommes, on his roster.

KENNESAW STATE

OUT: Veteran head coach Al Skinner announced his decision to step down after the 2018-19 season on Feb. 21 in an official announcement from the school. Skinner spent four seasons with the Owls, never finishing above fourth place in the Atlantic Sun. Kennesaw State bottomed out with a 6-26 mark this season as Skinner was 41-84 in four seasons at the school. Formerly head coach at Boston College and Rhode Island, Skinner once made seven NCAA tournament appearances in nine years with the Eagles, but he hasn’t coached a tournament team since 2009.

IN: It took a while to get it done, but Kennesaw State finally replaced Al Skinner by going out and hiring Amir Abdur-Rahim.

LIPSCOMB

OUT: Head coach Casey Alexander is going to Belmont — where he was a former assistant coach under Rick Byrd for 16 years. Alexander led the Bisons to an NIT runner-up finish, NCAA tournament appearance in 2018 and three straight 20-win seasons as replacing him will be difficult.

IN: Veteran Division II head coach Lennie Acuff is the choice for Lipscomb. With a career 554-325 record over stops at Alabama-Huntsville, Berry and Belhaven, Acuff has a winning track record throughout a long career. It’ll be intriguing to see how Acuff acclimates to the Division I level.

MARYLAND-EASTERN SHORE

OUT: UMES made the decision to move on from Clifford Reed.

IN: UMES hired Jason Crafton, who was on staff with the 76ers last season, as their head coach. He spent the previous six seasons as the head coach at Nyack College.

MERCER

OUT: Bob Hoffman is out as Mercer’s head coach after 11 years at the helm, according to a release from the school. Most famous for guiding the Bears to the Round of 32 with an upset win over Duke in 2013-14, Hoffman never figured things out once Mercer transitioned from the Atlantic Sun into the SoCon the following season. Mercer is taking a risk with this decision as Hoffman led the program to six postseason appearances in seven seasons before a bad 2018-19 campaign ended in an 11-19 record. Hoffman achieved a 209-164 overall record during his tenure with the program.

IN: Purdue assistant coach Greg Gary has been tabbed as the new head coach at Mercer. An assistant coach at the Division I level for 25 years, Gary has spent the past eight seasons with the Boilermakers after multiple stints at Duquesne and time with South Florida, Tulane and McNeese State.

MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE

OUT: After a 6-26 seasons that saw the Delta Devils go 4-14 in the SWAC, MSVU opted to make a move on Andre Payne.

IN: Former NBA guard Lindsey Hunter was hired to take over MVSU.

MONTANA STATE

OUT: Brian Fish was at Montana State for five years but never finished better than sixth in the Big Sky despite the fact that he has had Tyler Hall on the roster for the last three years. That’s not good. The timing for this was awful, however — Fish lost his daughter last month.

IN: Cal State Fullerton assistant coach Danny Sprinkle is making the move to Montana State, where he played four seasons from 1995-1999. Sprinkle helped lead the Bobcats to the program’s last NCAA tournament appearance in 1996 as a freshman guard.

MORGAN STATE

OUT: Todd Bozeman is out at Morgan State after the program opted not to renew his contract. In 13 years with the Bears, Bozeman led the program to an NIT appearance and back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2009 and 2010. But Morgan State hasn’t achieved a winning season since 2012-13 as the program has fallen on tough times. Bozeman was 195-218 during his stint, and he’s the winningest coach in program history.

NIAGARA

OUT: The Purple Eagles announced their decision to move on from head coach Chris Casey in an official release. In six seasons at Niagara, Casey was only above .500 one time, finishing with a solid 19-14 record and CIT appearance in 2017-18. But the Purple Eagles reverted back to a 13-19 record this season as Casey finishes his tenure with a 64-129 record.

IN: After a couple of years of seeing his name pop up during the coaching carousel, John Beilein’s son, Pat Beilein, finally has a Division I coaching gig. He was hired by Niagara to replace Chris Casey.

NORTHERN KENTUCKY

OUT: Leaving for the Cincinnati head job is John Brannen. In four seasons leading the Norse, Brannen did an impressive job of taking the newly-minted Division I program to the postseason. Twice going to the NCAA tournament and also making an NIT appearance, Brannen started a strong foundation for the future.

IN: Darrin Horn is back in the head-coaching game after spending a few seasons as an assistant at Texas under Shaka Smart. Formerly head coach at Western Kentucky, and then South Carolina, Horn should be familiar with how recruiting works with the Norse since he’s already recruited the state of Kentucky when he was with the Hilltoppers.

OHIO

OUT: Saul Phillips is out at Ohio after five seasons in the MAC. Coming to the Bobcats after taking North Dakota State into the Round of 32, Phillips never found similar success with Ohio. The Bobcats had back-to-back 20-win seasons in Phillips’ second and third season, reaching the CBI in 2016, but Ohio has not improved in years after back-to-back 14-17 seasons. With Ohio sending recent head coaches onto the high-major ranks in John Groce (Illinois) and Jim Christian (Boston College), Phillips turned out to be a disappointing hire. Phillips finishes 81-77 at Ohio with an underwhelming 40-50 mark in MAC play.

IN: The Bobcats officially announced on Selection Sunday that they have hired Jeff Boals away from Stony Brook. Boals is a former team caption for Ohio, leading them to the 1994 NCAA tournament. He spent years as an assistant in the area, including an eight-year stretch at Ohio State, before taking over Stony Brook. This past season he led the Sea Wolves to a 24-8 record.

PRESBYTERIAN

OUT: Former head coach Dustin Kerns has moved on to Appalachian State after two seasons with the program. Kerns led a turnaround for the Blue Hose as they finished 2018-19 with a 20-16 mark and CIT appearance after an 11-21 first season.

IN: Presbyterian turned to a familiar face to lead the program. Former player Quinton Ferrell has been named the new head coach after spending five seasons as an assistant coach at College of Charleston. Ferrell led the Blue Hose to a Division II NCAA tournament appearance and two 20-win seasons as a player.

SAN FRANCISCO

OUT: Head coach Kyle Smith signed a six-year deal to become the new head coach at Washington State after three straight 20-win campaigns with the Dons. Smith helped San Francisco to back-to-back CBI appearances in his first two seasons as he was 63-40 with the school.

IN: Promoted to new head coach is associate head coach Todd Golden. A former Auburn assistant and player at Saint Mary’s, Golden takes over for his former boss, Kyle Smith. Golden should be familiar with the WCC from his days as a player and assistant as he’s a rising star in the coaching world.

SAINT JOSEPH’S

OUT: Saint Joseph’s made the decision to fire Phil Martelli after 24 seasons as the head coach. The Hawks have missed the last three NCAA tournaments, although the program was plagued by injuries during that stretch. It’s the end of an era in Hawk Hill, as Martelli had been with the program for 34 years.

IN: The Hawks announced that they have hired former 76ers assistant coach Billy Lange to take over for Phil Martelli.

SIENA

OUT: Jamion Christian left Siena after just one season, taking over at George Washington after Maurice Joseph was fired.

IN: The Saints made the sensible decision to replace Christian, promoting assistant coach Carmen Maciariello to head coach. He’s a local kid that graduated from Siena and spent the first year of his coaching career as the DBO at Siena.

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

OUT: Head coach T.J. Otzelberger is heading to UNLV as the Jackrabbits will need to find a new head coach. Otzelberger leaves South Dakota State after a 70-33 mark in three seasons that included two NCAA tournament appearances.

IN: The Jacks promoted from within, bumping Eric Henderson up to head coach. With Mike Daum and David Jenkins moving on, he is going to have a bit of a rebuilding job on his hands.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

OUT: Following a quarterfinal exit from the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, head coach Barry Hinson announced in his postgame press conference that he was leaving his post at Southern Illinois. It hasn’t been made clear if Hinson is resigning, or being fired, as he said, “It is time for me to step away,” during an emotional press conference. In seven seasons at Southern Illinois, Hinson went 116-111 — twice winning 20 or more games in a season. But the Salukis never made the postseason as the once-proud Valley program has struggled to find its footing since six consecutive NCAA tournament appearances earlier this century. Hinson has also spent time at Oral Roberts and Missouri State as he’s fifth all-time in Missouri Valley Conference wins.

IN: Southern Illinois officially announced the hiring of Loyola associate head coach Bryan Mullins. A member of the SIU Hall of Fame as a four-year player from 2006-09, Mullins helped the Salukis to two NCAA tournament appearances — including the Sweet 16 in 2007 as the team’s point guard. The 32-year-old Mullins is an exciting hire for the Salukis as he’s received a lot of praise for his rise at Loyola. Mullins is also the program’s all-time leader in assists and steals as he’ll have local recruiting credibility that the program lacked a bit under Barry Hinson.

SOUTHERN MISS

OUT: Doc Sadler has resigned his position as head coach, the school announced in a release. Spending five seasons with the program, Sadler did an admirable job turning around a Golden Eagles program gutted by NCAA sanctions due to former coach Donnie Tyndall’s widespread academic fraud. Sadler’s teams at Southern Miss improved all five seasons, culminating in this season’s respectable 20-13 finish and CBI appearance.

IN: The Golden Eagles hired Jay Ladner, who had spent the past five seasons as the head coach at Southeastern Louisiana, to replace Sadler.

SIU-EDWARDSVILLE

OUT: The Cougars decided not to renew the contract of previous head coach Jon Harris, as they’ve officially named assistant coach Brian Barone as interim head coach. Harris was an underwhelming 31-88 in his four seasons at the helm. Barone has been an assistant with the program for two seasons as his interim tag is based on pending approval from the school’s Board of Trustees. Since transitioning into Division I in 2008-09, SIU-Edwardsville has never won more than 12 games in a season.

IN: Brian Barone, who has spent the last two years as an assistant with SIUE, was named the interim coach last week after Harris was fired.

STETSON

OUT: The Hatters opted to move on from head coach Corey Williams. Spending six years at Stetson, Williams never found his footing with the Atlantic Sun program, as the Hatters never finished above seventh in the league. Williams, a former standout at Oklahoma State, was previously an assistant at Florida State under head coach Leonard Hamilton as he finished with a 58-133 mark during his Stetson tenure.

IN: Donnie Jones is the new head coach at Stetson after spending the past few seasons as an assistant coach at Wichita State and Dayton. A former head coach at Marshall and UCF, Jones is 133-128 during his coaching career.

STONY BROOK

OUT: Jeff Boals has left Stony Brook to take over Ohio, where he is an alum and a former team captain. The Sea Wolves are coming off of a 24-8 season, after Steve Pikiell helped build that program into one of the better programs in the America East.

IN: The Seawolves replaced Boals by promoting assistant coach Geno Ford to the head coaching position. Ford has 10 years of head coaching experience, including seven at the Division I level with Kent State and Bradley.

TENNESSEE TECH

OUT: After 17 years with the program, head coach Steve Payne is stepping down. Spending eight years as the head coach, Payne guided the Golden Eagles to two postseason appearances (CIT and Vegas 16) during his tenure while achieving four winning seasons. Consistency eluded Payne, however, as Tennessee Tech never had back-to-back winning campaigns. Finishing 8-23 overall and 12th place in the Ohio Valley Conference this season, Payne leaves with a 118-134 career mark. Before becoming head coach, Payne also spent nine seasons with Tennessee Tech as an assistant coach.

IN: Former Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey is taking over at Tennessee Tech after recently spending time as an assistant coach at Alabama. Pelphrey also spent time as a head coach at South Alabama as he’s made two NCAA tournament appearances in nine seasons.

TROY

OUT: After six seasons, Troy has decided in a change-of-direction by letting go Phil Cunningham. The Trojans made one NCAA tournament appearance with Cunningham in charge during the 2016-17 season as they had a 22-win season and a surprising run in the Sun Belt conference tournament. But Cunningham never made a postseason appearance outside of that as he was 80-111 during his time in charge.

IN: Longtime UT Arlington head coach Scott Cross, who spent last season as an assistant at TCU, will reportedly be the next head coach at Troy. This is a terrific hire — it was a head-scratching decision when Cross was fired last year.

TULANE

OUT: The Mike Dunleavy experiment died on Saturday afternoon, as the former NBA head coach saw his tenure in New Orleans come to an end after a 4-27 season. The Green Wave did lose three starters to injury and saw two players leave the program last season and wind up in the NBA, but 4-27 is 4-27. It’s not a great job in a league where it will be hard for them to get into the top half of the conference.

IN: Tulane made a really nice hire by going out and getting Ron Hunter from Georgia State. Hunter reached three NCAA tournaments in five seasons with the Panthers and has proven to be able to get players, particularly transfers from larger programs looking for a fresh start.

UMKC

OUT: Kareem Richardson’s tenure with the Kangaroos has come to a close. He spent six seasons at the school, but after an 11-21 season came to an end in the WAC quarterfinals, the program opted to make a change. He is the only coach that has taken UMKC to the postseason.

IN: Billy Donlon, who is the former head coach at Wright State, was named UMKC’s head coach. He has also spent time on staff at Northwestern and Michigan.

UTAH VALLEY STATE

OUT: Mark Pope is heading to BYU after leading the Wolverines to some solid success. With three straight CBI appearances and back-to-back 20-win seasons, Pope is going to be very tough to replace for Utah Valley State.

IN: Mark Madsen, a former Stanford player and longtime part of the Los Angeles Lakers organization — as a player and as a member of the coaching staff — was hired to replace Pope.

WILLIAM & MARY

OUT: The Tribe announced a move to replace 16-year head coach Tony Shaver. Compiling a 226-268 record during his tenure, Shaver made two trips to the NIT with William & Mary while also advancing to the CAA Tournament finals four times. Finishing 14-17 this past season, William & Mary made that last NIT appearance in 2015.

IN: William & Mary announced the hiring of George Mason assistant coach Dane Fischer as the program’s new head coach. Fischer has also spent time as an assistant at Rider and Bucknell as he’s known for his recruiting prowess and emerging respect as a rising coach to watch.

WOFFORD

OUT: Virginia Tech made a quick move in hiring Mike Young away from the Terriers. Spending 17 seasons as head coach at Wofford, Young made five NCAA tournament appearances in the past decade — including a Round of 32 appearance this season.

IN: Wofford announced on Sunday that they were promoting associate head coach Jay McAuley to head coach. McAuley had spent four years as an assistant on Mike Young’s staff at Wofford in two different two-year stints.

The 16 NBA draft stay-or-go decisions that will shape college basketball’s 2020-21 season

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The end of the 2020 NBA Draft early entry decisions period is now bearing down on us.

Underclassmen that opted to declare for the draft saw the deadline to remove their name and retain their collegiate eligibility bumped back to August 3rd due to the coronavirus pandemic. To be frank, the extra two months has not done much more than allow these players to try and get a better feel for what the basketball landscape will look like during the 2020-21 season.

But truth be told, so much is still up in the air. No one knows what college basketball is going to look like next season, not with college campuses likely to develop into mini-COVID outbreaks if students return to campus. No one can say for certain if the G League is going to happen next year, or if foreign leagues are going to allow Americans to enter their country based on the way that the United States has handled the pandemic.

Throw in the fact face-to-face meetings haven’t been made and NBA teams are currently more concerned about finding ways to keep their players that are in the bubble in the bubble, the kids making the most important decision of their lives are put in a terrible spot.

I don’t envy anyone having to make these choices right now.

But choices are going to have to be made.

And these are the 16 most influential stay-or-go decisions remaining.

For the most impactful transfer waivers, click here.

Preseason Top 25 | Mock Draft 3.0 | Early Entry Tracker

2020 NBA DRAFT DECISIONS

1. LUKA GARZA, Iowa

This one should be obvious. Garza is coming off of a season where he averaged 23.8 points and 9.8 boards for a top 25 team, was named a first-team All-American and put himself alongside Dayton’s Obi Toppin in the race for National Player of the Year.

But he’s also in a unique spot where he doesn’t really project as a great pro because of his lack of athleticism and mobility. How often does a player that is that unquestionably great return for another year in the collegiate ranks? Cassius Winston did it. Doug McDermott did it. They were both preseason National Player of the Year favorites, which is precisely what Garza will be. It’s a big deal having him on the floor, to say nothing of the impact that he has on everyone else on that Iowa roster.

Depending on how the chips fall, I think that Iowa can still be in the mix as a top 25 team without Garza, and I don’t think that it would be crazy if Garza opted to take a deal overseas. He can make a lot of money in Europe.

But with him back?

I think this team is capable of getting to a Final Four and winning a national title. And if I had to guess, I would guess Garza is more likely to be wearing Iowa colors than not next season.

2. XAVIER TILLMAN, Michigan State

Michigan State is going to take a hit next season because they are losing Cassius Winston, but the Spartans will still have a chance to win the Big Ten title if they bring back Xavier Tillman.

For my money, Tillman had an All-American junior season. He’s the anchor of Michigan State’s defense, a leader in the program on and off the floor and an underrated weapon offensively because of his ability to pass the ball. He’s the piece that brings everything else together for this roster.

And there are going to be some weapons there. Rocket Watts will be a year older, Gabe Brown, Malik Hall and Marcus Bingham. Joey Hauser will be eligible to play, and there’s a chance that Josh Langford will be back for his final season. Aaron Henry declared for the draft, but it seems fairly likely he’ll be back for his junior season.

But without Tillman, that is all just window dressing.

I would draft Tillman in the late first round if I was an NBA team. I think he’s the best two-way big man available in this year’s draft and a player that can impact an NBA game today. He’s already married. He had his second child in February. He’s mature and carries himself as a professional as it is. The smart financial decision here would probably be to enter the draft.

That said, he may be a guy that can improve his draft spot by being the focal point offensively. He’s also said that he will not be leaving campus without a guaranteed contract, and for some reasons, there are questions about whether or not he can get one. The way that Michigan State has set him and his family up on campus is wonderful, and he has a really good thing going while sitting a year away from a college degree.

At this point, I think Tillman is a legitimate 50-50 decision.

WHAT ABOUT AARON HENRY AND JOSH LANGFORD?

Henry is clearly a valuable piece to the puzzle for the Spartans, as is Josh Langford, who may or may not be returning after a foot injury cost him the 2019-20 season. Losing Henry would be a blow, but the sense I get is that he will be back in school. Langford is a bigger question mark, and there’s an argument to be made that his absence last season was the biggest reason that the Spartans struggled early.

3. COREY KISPERT, Gonzaga

For my money, of the three Gonzaga players who still have their names in the 2020 NBA Draft, Corey Kispert is the most influential. He’s a good defender and a great shooter as a 6-foot-6 wing, a role that gives him value as an NBA prospect. There’s a real chance that he can get picked in the late 30s or early 40s this year. That might be enough to get him to leave school.

Kispert’s skill-set also slots him in a position where the Zags really don’t have any depth to speak of. Mark Few’s teams pound the ball into the paint, and next season is not going to be any different given the amount of talented big men on the roster. But without Kispert’s floor-spacing, the lane can get clogged up awful quick. For a team that projects in the preseason top five, that matters.

WHAT ABOUT FILIP PETRUSEV AND JOEL AYAYI?

Losing Ayayi would certainly hurt, because his value as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker that can also space the floor is immense. The best teams in college basketball this decade all played with two point guards. Ayayi would qualify as point guard No. 2 on a team with Jalen Suggs. I think, however, he needs another season of seasoning in college.

Petrusev, however, is a totally different conversation. I’m not sure how he fits in the modern NBA. But I’m also not sure if he’s going to be able to improve all that much on the year he just had, not with Drew Timme on the verge of being Gonzaga’s next great center and Oumar Ballo ready to have a huge redshirt freshman season. Petrusev projects as a pro in Europe, and he can probably get paid pretty well next season somewhere other than the NBA.

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4. TYRELL TERRY, Stanford

Tyrell Terry was one of the more underrated freshmen in college basketball last season. He averaged 14.6 points, 4.5 boards and 3.2 assists while shooting just under 41 percent from three. He’s listed at just 160 pounds, but he’s certainly on the radar of NBA teams and might even be able to sneak his way into the end of the first round.

So he has a very real decision to make.

Because, as a potential breakout star as a sophomore, Terry will be playing on a team with the potential to win the Pac-12. The Cardinal bring back everyone off of last year’s team while adding Ziaire Williams, a five-star, one-and-done freshman that will slide right in at the four. With Terry, arguably the best point guard on the west coast if he returns, Stanford could have two lottery picks on their roster and we could legitimately be looking at a team that can get to the Final Four.

Without him, do they even have a point guard on the roster?

5. JARED BUTLER, Baylor

I currently have the Bears sitting as the No. 3 team in my preseason top 25, and that’s assuming that Butler is coming back to school. That, however, is not a guarantee. Butler showed enough as a creator in isolation and ball-screens this past season that he could end up getting picked early in the second round of the draft, and that has been enough to make worse players opt to leave school.

The big issue with Baylor this past season is that they went through stretches where they just couldn’t score. Butler is, by far, their best scorer, the one guy that can go create a bucket out of nothing. Without him, how long will those scoring droughts last?

WHAT ABOUT MACIO TEAGUE?

Teague was Baylor’s second-leading scorer last season. I don’t think that he’s nearly the NBA prospect that Butler is, but having the two of them together are awfully important for Baylor to live up to their hype. The key for Teague: He just finished his fourth year in college. Does he want to return for his redshirt senior season?

6. CHRIS SMITH, UCLA

Smith is a really interesting prospect in this year’s draft class. He’s a 6-foot-9 wing that averaged 13.1 points and shot 34 percent from three and 84 percent from the line for the Bruins, who turned into one of the 25 best teams in college basketball by the end of the season.

UCLA brings back the majority of last year’s roster, but they already suffered one major blow this offseason when five-star point guard Daishen Nix opted to accept a contract from the G League instead of heading to Westwood. Losing Smith would be another significant blow to a program that was once considered a borderline top ten team heading into the 2020-21 season.

One thing that is worth noting here: Smith, a junior, is three months younger than Precious Achiuwa and Cassius Stanley, both one-and-done freshmen that are expected to be drafted this year.

7. YVES PONS, Tennessee

Pons is definitely not a guy that is going to make any preseason All-American lists if he opts to return to school, but he may just be the best defensive player in all of college basketball. At 6-foot-6 and the best athlete in the sport, Pons can quite literally guard anyone from a point guard to a center, and he can make a step-in three. His presence will allow the Vols to play all kinds of small-ball lineups, which is exactly what they need to do with the number of talented guards on next year’s roster.

He is a borderline first round pick in my mind, although I would expect him to go in the second round if he decides to keep his name in the draft. With Pons back, Tennessee is my pick to win the SEC next season.

8. AYO DOSUNMU, Illinois

Dosunmu had a really, really good sophomore season for the Illini, averaging 16.6 points and 3.3 assists. The problem, however, is that while he hit a number of big shots over the course of the season, he didn’t really do much to prove to NBA teams that he can actually be a consistent perimeter shooter. He’s not expected to be a first round pick and there’s a chance he could drop out of the top 45. Sometimes guys that are great college players don’t project well to the NBA. Dosunmu is that guy.

That said, the safe bet seems to be that Dosunmu will keep his name in the draft, and with some backcourt talent coming into the program, Brad Underwood should be able to survive the hit. But if he does come back, Illinois will have an outside shot at winning the Big Ten title.

WHAT ABOUT KOFI COCKBURN?

Despite a terrific freshman season, Cockburn is not expected to be drafted if he keeps his name in the draft. He’s a slow-footed, 280-pound center that is more likely to tear a rim off the backboard than he is to make a three. If this was 1990 and not 2020, he’d be a top ten pick. But as it stands, he has one of the easier 2020 NBA Draft stay-or-go decisions.

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9. REMY MARTIN, Arizona State

In addition to having the best name in college basketball, Remy Martin is coming off of a season where he averaged 19.1 points and 4.1 assists for a team that would have made the NCAA tournament had it been held. He’s a potential preseason All-American on a team that will add five-star freshman Josh Christopher and likely will return Alonzo Verge. With Martin in the fold, Arizona State will be in the same conversation as UCLA, Stanford and Oregon when it comes to predicting the Pac-12 champion. They may even be the favorite.

10. JAY HUFF, Virginia

I think that Jay Huff has quite a bit of potential as an NBA player. He’s 7-foot-1 with three-point range and the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim, and he’s also a rim protector that has spent four years playing for Tony Bennett. To me, he makes perfect sense as an off-the-bench big in the league.

That said, his production has not quite lived up to his potential. Even playing in a system that stifles scoring numbers, Huff’s 8.5 points and 6.2 boards as a junior was a disappointment. So I think he should come back to school, where he would anchor a lineup that should be much improved for the Wahoos.

11. TRENDON WATFORD, LSU

The Tigers are already losing Skylar Mays to graduation and Emmitt Williams to the professional ranks. But with five-star Cam Thomas headlining a solid crop of newcomers, Will Wade should have a pretty solid roster. Watford, who averaged 13.6 points and 7.2 boards last season, is a bucket-getting combo-forward that should be their best player if he opts to return to school.

WHAT ABOUT JAVONTE SMART?

Smart is coming off of a season where he averaged 12.5 points and 4.2 assists as a sophomore, and with Mays gone, the Tigers are going to need someone to anchor their backcourt. Neither Watford nor Smart are projected as first round picks, and if they follow Williams out the door, the Tigers would be one of the biggest losers of the early entry period.

12. ISAIAH JOE, Arkansas

Arkansas already lost Mason Jones, who was last year’s leading scorer, to the draft. Joe entered the season with some NBA Draft hype due to the fact that he is a 6-foot-7 wing that shot a lot of threes as a freshman and made quite a few of them. His sophomore season was not quite as efficient, and also featured a knee injury in the middle of the year that slowed things down.

The Hogs have some talented transfers in the fold and four four-star prospects enrolling this summer. They remade their roster is typical Eric Musselman fashion. Keeping a veteran scorer around could be the difference between fighting for a spot in the NCAA tournament and seeing themselves ranked in the top 25.

13. MCKINLEY WRIGHT, Colorado

Colorado is already losing Tyler Bey, so the Buffaloes are taking a hit with early entries in this year’s draft. Wright matters, however, because he could be a preseason All-American. He’s coming off of a season where he averaged 14.4 points, 5.7 boards and 5.0 assists. He’s the kind of player that can put together a senior season where he throws a team on his back and carries them to a postseason run. Colorado is relevant with Wright in the fold. They are not without him.

14. ISAIAH LIVERS, Michigan

The Wolverines not only lost Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske to graduation, David DeJulius to transfer and Isaiah Todd to the G League, but they are also missed out on Josh Christopher, who committed to Arizona State instead. If Livers’ decision is to leave for the 2020 NBA Draft, that means Michigan will be losing their three best players from last season and their highest-rated recruit. If he’s back, Livers is an all-Big Ten player that puts Michigan in the mix for the top 25 and a top four finish in the league.

15. SANDRO MAMUKELASHVILI, Seton Hall

Mamu is coming off of a season where he averaged 11.9 points and 6.0 boards as one of the more underrated big men in college basketball. Someone on the Pirate roster is going to have to fill the void left by Myles Powell, Quincy McKnight and Romaro Gill, and Mamu would be that guys if he opts to return to school.

16. MARCUS CARR, Minnesota

The Golden Gophers have quite a bit left up in the air at the moment — their two most impactful transfers are both awaiting word on whether or not they will be sitting out for the upcoming season — but Carr may be their most important decision. I’m not sure that he has an NBA future, but he may have an all-Big Ten future if he returns to school. Carr averaged 15.4 points, 6.7 assists and 5.3 boards last season.

The nine most influential transfer waivers we are waiting on

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With the 2020 NBA Draft bearing down on us, the biggest question marks heading into the 2020-21 season are the players that have yet to decide if they are going to pull their name out of the NBA draft.

But there are also a number of transfers that are still considering applying for, or are already waiting on, immediately eligibility waivers.

These are the biggest names.

For the most impactful stay-or-go decisions, click here.

Preseason Top 25 | Mock Draft 3.0 | Early Entry Tracker

1. OLIVIER SARR, Kentucky

Sarr is easily the most impactful transfer currently waiting on a waiver. As we have come to expect out of Lexington, Kentucky is turning their roster over completely, with a brand new crop of freshmen ready to carry the torch.

Brandon Boston is expected to be the best of the bunch. Terrence Clarke isn’t all that far behind. Devin Askew, as well as Creighton grad transfer Davion Mintz, should be able to handle point guard duties well enough. Throw in Keion Brooks, who is back for his sophomore season, as well as Cam’Ron Fletcher, that’s a pretty good place for Kentucky to start.

The problem is up front. E.J. Montgomery went pro despite having almost no chance of playing in the NBA in the near future. Isaiah Jackson and Lance Ware are both highly-regarded, four-star big men heading to Kentucky, but neither of them are the kind of impact player that John Calipari needs at the five to be able to thrive. Sarr, however, is. He was a third-team all-ACC player a season ago, averaging 13.7 points and 9.0 boards. He put up 30 points and 17 boards on Notre Dame. He had 25 points against Duke. He went for 21 points and 13 boards against Arizona. He’s really good.

But he also has said publicly that he left Wake Forest because of a coaching change that occurred this offseason as well as the chance to improve his basketball life. Historically, the NCAA has not given out waivers to players that are transferring because of a coaching change. There have been players that transferred after a coaching change and got a waiver, but there was a reason beyond just a different staff that allowed them to get the waiver.

We’ll see what Kentucky cooks up.

Because with Sarr, they are a top ten team. Without him, the Wildcats are more of a back-end top 25 team.

2. LANDERS NOLLEY and DEANDRE WILLIAMS, Memphis

There were three dominoes that the Memphis basketball program has been waiting on.

The first fell last night, as Moussa Cisse committed to play his college ball for Penny Hardaway. Waivers for Nolley and Williams are the other two.

For my money, Cisse was the most important piece here. I detailed why in this column. Nolley, however, is almost as important. A 6-foot-7, 230 pound forward, Nolley averaged 15.5 points for Virginia Tech this past season as a redshirt freshman. He’s a really good shooter that was one of the best players in the conference before tailing off down the stretch of the season. Given the current roster makeup of Memphis, he’s also a perfect fit for a program that has a defensive anchor, a ton of guards and not all that much in between that can bring it all together. With Nolley and D.J. Jeffries on the wings, Cisse in the middle and the likes of Boogie Ellis, Lester Quinones, Alex Lomax and Damian Baugh handling backcourt duties, the Tigers would be a top 20 team that could compete with Houston for an AAC title.

Williams, who averaged 15.2 points and 6.9 boards in 18 games for Evansville last year, is more of a big than he is a perimeter weapon, but he can still contribute in that role. Williams will be 24 years old by the time the season rolls around.

3. L.J. FIGUEROA, Oregon

Finding impact scorers on the transfer market has become something of a specialty for Dana Altman’s program, and Figueroa is no different. He averaged 14.5 points last season for the Johnnies, and he should be a really good fit in Altman’s offense. With a roster that already includes the likes of Will Richardson, Chris Duarte, Amauri Hardy, Eugene Omoruyi and Eric Williams, it may be tough for Figueroa to crack into the starting lineup, but getting a player like this eligible immediately is only going to help.

Figueroa appears to have a shot at getting the waiver due to the coronavirus pandemic. When Figueroa left, New York City was still the hardest hit place in the country.

4. MAC MCCLUNG, Texas Tech

McClung is a YouTube sensation known for his highlight reel dunks and ability to put up points in a hurry. He broke Allen Iverson’s record for points scored in Virginia high school basketball history. If there’s one thing that he can do on a basketball court, it’s get buckets.

McClung cannot, however, guard. Anyone. He’s a really, really, really bad defender. If there’s one thing that Chris Beard will not stand for at Texas Tech, it’s someone not playing defense. And if there is one thing that this Tech program desperately needed last season, it’s someone that could get a bucket.

Now, this all assumes that McClung is going to buy in defensively, Beard is going to put in the effort to develop him defensively and that the combination of those two things will allow McClung to beat out some of the more talented pieces on this roster — Kyler Edwards, Nimari Burnett, Kevin McCullar, Terrence Shannon — for playing time. But he is unquestionable a useful piece that Beard should be able to get the most out of, and I’m not sure there is a better place for McClung to be if he wants to fix the flaws in his game.

McClung may have a real shot at getting a waiver as well. Georgetown’s program went through quite a bit of drama in the last eight months, including a nagging foot injury that McClung just couldn’t seem to shake.

5. CHAUNDEE BROWN, Michigan

Brown is a powerful, athletic wing that averaged 12.1 points this past season at Wake Forest. He left the program after his junior season, entering the NBA draft and the NCAA’s transfer portal on the same day. That was more than two weeks before head coach Danny Manning was fired by Wake Forest. If Brown does receive a waiver, he would be a nice compliment to Isaiah Livers, who is still weighing whether or not to remain in the NBA draft.

6. BOTH GACH and LIAM ROBBINS, Minnesota

The Golden Gophers have quite a bit left up in the air at the moment — they are also waiting on Marcus Carr to decide whether or not he is going to pull his name out of the draft — but Gach and Robbins have a big impact as well. Robbins is a 7-foot center that averaged 14.1 points and 7.1 boards as a sophomore at Drake last season, while Both Gach is a talented wing that transferred back to Minnesota, where he played his high school ball, after averaging 10.7 points as a sophomore.

7. JAVON FREEMAN-LIBERTY, DePaul

I know it’s hard to get too excited about anyone that is going to be playing for DePaul, but Freeman-Liberty has a chance to be really good. He’s coming off of a sophomore season where he averaged 19 points for Valparaiso, and at 6-foot-4, is the kind of explosive guard that will draw the attention of NBA scouts.

Top prospect Jonathan Kuminga will enter G League program over NCAA

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Jonathan Kuminga announced on Wednesday night that, after graduating from The Patrick School last month, he will be reclassifying into the Class of 2020 and, instead of going to college, enrolling in the G League Pathway Program.

This decision will allow Kuminga, originally a member of the Class of 2021, to enter the 2021 NBA Draft, where he is considered a potential top five pick in what should be a loaded draft class.

As detailed in this story, the G League Pathway Program is an initiative that the NBA has developed for elite prospects competes with overseas deals — specifically the NBL’s Next Stars program — to provide a one-and-done year alternative to college basketball. Kuminga will join Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd, Daishen Nix and Kai Sotto as the inaugural class in the program. His deal is reportedly worth $500,000, which is similar to what Green was offered.

Preseason Top 25 | Mock Draft | Early Entry Tracker

Kuminga picked the G League over Duke, Kentucky, Auburn and Texas Tech. Tech was considered the frontrunner because his brother, Joel Ntambwe, is a member of their roster, but his decision to head to the G League caught no one by surprise.

As a player, Kuminga is an explosive athlete at 6-foot-8. He has long arms, the ability to play multiple positions and versatility on the defensive end of the floor. Prior to the pandemic, Kuminga was known as an elite athlete with upside through the roof, but he is going to have to develop offensively, particularly his shooting, if he’s going to reach that upside.

Moussa Cisse’s commitment makes Memphis a top 25 team

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Moussa Cisse committed to Memphis on Wednesday, which is huge for the Tigers. Any time you add a 6-foot-11 center that is a top ten prospect and a potential one-and-done player that could end up being the very best rim protector in all of college basketball this upcoming season, it’s a good thing.

A really good thing.

That’s precisely the player that Cisse is. He’s a terrific athlete that plays with a motor, loves to get on the glass and will be an impact defensive presence from the first day that he is allowed to play for the Tigers. More importantly, he won’t be put in a position where he is going to be asked to do much more than that for this Memphis team.

I spent much last summer trying to downplay the hype that surrounded Memphis as they brought in a recruiting class that ranked No. 1 in the country and featured a pair of one-and-done five-stars in James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa. The reason for that was simple: Not all No. 1 recruiting classes are built the same, and once you got past a pair of bigs that needed to be near the basket to be effective, the Tigers had a roster full of guys that had all the makings of being 2-3 year guys.

Preseason Top 25 | Mock Draft | Early Entry Tracker

D.J. Jeffries, Damian Baugh, Boogie Ellis, Lester Quinones. Those guys all had solid freshman seasons. More importantly, they all returned to school for their sophomore seasons, and as the saying goes, the best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores. Throw in the return of Alex Lomax, and Penny Hardaway has a pretty good core of perimeter players at his disposal even before you consider the potential that Landers Nolley and Deandre Williams get waivers.

The true value of the Memphis recruiting class wasn’t just Wiseman and Achiuwa, it was the fact that Penny had himself a solid foundation for his program moving forward. Unless you are Duke or Kentucky, the teams that get the most out of their one-and-done freshmen are the programs that can plug these guys in and ask them to do a job. The healthiest programs in the sport — Virginia, Villanova, Gonzaga, Kansas, Baylor — are the teams that can land elite talent while maintaining roster continuity.

And that’s precisely what Penny has set himself up with.

The hole in this Memphis team was in the middle.

There was not a player on the market better suited to filling that hole on Memphis than Moussa Cisse.

This addition gives Memphis a team that should enter the season in the preseason top 25 and will have a shot at contending with Houston for the American regular season title.

CBT Podcast: So are we going to have a college basketball season?

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Rob Dauster and Bobby Reagan are back to talk through … well, to talk about whether or not the Coronavirus pandemic is going to cause us to lose out on a college basketball season. Depressing, I know.