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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.

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.

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.

MARYLAND-EASTERN SHORE

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

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.

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.

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.

UCLA sophomore Kris Wilkes turning pro

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UCLA sophomore Kris Wilkes is turning pro and hiring an agent, he announced on Twitter on Wednesday.

The Bruins’ leading scorer this past season at 17.4 points per game, Wilkes is a potential first-round NBA draft pick after two solid seasons at UCLA. Although the Bruins missed the NCAA tournament and head coach Steve Alford was fired at mid-season, Wilkes still put up strong numbers as he also averaged 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.

“Ever since I was a little kid my dream has been to play in the NBA,” Wilkes said in the tweet. “To everyone at UCLA, especially to my teammates and coaches, I’m incredibly grateful for all your love and support these past two years. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me, and I will forever be a Bruin!”

Wilkes shot 43 percent from the floor and 35 percent from three-point range as a sophomore as the athletic 6-foot-8 wing will be an intriguing long-term prospect. The former McDonald’s All-American was expected to potentially leave UCLA regardless of who they hired as the next head coach as the school still searches for a replacement for Alford.

WATCH: UCLA loses at buzzer despite fouling while up three

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UCLA found a new and inventive way to blow one of the biggest leads of the season.

The Bruins led Utah at home by 17 points at the half. They led by as many as 22 points in the second half. They were up 17 points with 6:19 to play. With 2:50 left in the game, the Bruins were up 83-70.

And they still found a way to lose despite fouling when up three.

Here’s what happened: The Utes were able to chip away at the lead until a Both Gach three with eight seconds left cut the lead to 89-88. After two David Singleton free throws made the lead three, UCLA fouled Sedrick Barefield before he had a chance to get a shot off. After Barefield made both of his threes, Singleton was again fouled, but he only hit one of the two free throws.

That left the door open for this to happen:

This isn’t even the wildest finish to a game that UCLA has been a part of.

Last month, they trailed Oregon 72-59 with less than 2:30 on the clock and found a way to win. The end of that game was even crazier, as Oregon fouled UCLA up 80-77 with three seconds left, but UCLA hit the first free throws, missed the second and then got an and-one layup off of an offensive rebound with one second left. They missed the free throws, but ended up winning in overtime.

What a time to be alive.

Fouling up three goes wrong for Oregon in loss to UCLA

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Oregon has had a rough go of it this season. The Ducks opened the year a top-20 team, but already has losses to fringe-NCAA tournament teams like Iowa and Baylor. Then there was the home loss to rival Oregon State last week, and of course that loss to Texas Southern in November. Their star recruit, Bol Bol, has also been lost for the year with injury.

So, the Ducks could use a win.

It didn’t happen Thursday, and in particularly painful fashion.

Oregon blew a late lead against UCLA, culminating in a fouling-up-three-late gone wrong in regulation and then an overtime 87-84 loss to the Bruins, who aren’t yet a month removed from losses to Belmont and Liberty, in Eugene.

The Ducks led by as many as 17 points in the second half, but saw that cut to three with just over 3 seconds to play. That led to Dana Altman calling for his team to foul, preventing UCLA from getting a chance to put up a game-tying 3.

Jaylen Hands went to the line, made the first and intentionally missed the second. Well, instead of collecting the rebound and putting the game away, well, the Ducks let UCLA’s Chris Smith slide in to get the rebound, a bucket AND get fouled to get a chance to win the game with 0.7 seconds left.

There are only so many ways that fouling up three can backfire on you, and, well, this is among the worst-case scenarios.

Smith missed the free throw so Oregon had chance to pretend like none of this happened, but, nope, the Ducks got outscored 7-4 in the extra five minutes to lose for the third time in four games.

The horror that is the Pac-12 was on display for all of this, but the thing is, sometimes being bad can be so good – for the rest of us watching, at least.

Pac-12 Reset: League is embarrassingly bad

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College basketball’s non-conference season is finally coming to a close.

To help you shake off post-holiday haze and the hangover of losing in your fantasy football playoffs, we’ll be providing you with some midseason recaps to get you caught up on all the nation’s most important conferences.

Who has been the best player in the biggest leagues?

Who is on track to get an NCAA tournament bid?

What have we learned about the conference hierarchy?

What is still left for us to figure out?

We break it all down here.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Pac-12.

MIDSEASON PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tres Tinkle, Oregon State

The Pac-12 doesn’t have a ton of great teams and star power this season. But the 6-foot-8 Tinkle has been the league’s best and most consistent player to this point.

Averaging 19.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game, Tinkle rates in the top seven among Pac-12 players in all of those categories. While Tinkle is a noted scorer and double-double threat, his passing has improved over the course of his college career as he’s smart enough to find the open man when opposing defenses collapse.

Consistency has also been a huge part of Tinkle’s year. Only once has Tinkle played less than 33 minutes in a game this season while 12 points is his season low.

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

THE ALL PAC 12 FIRST TEAM

  • Tres Tinkle, Oregon State
  • Luguentz Dort, Arizona State: Surprising many with his play as a true freshman, Dort narrowly missed mid season Player of the Year honors. Dort is putting up 18.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, but he’s struggled over the past few weeks to find his offense.
  • Robert Franks, Washington State: The Pac-12’s leading scorer is putting together a solid senior season. Franks is averaging 22.1 points, 7.9 rebounds per game while shooting 52 percent from the floor. Clearly Washington State’s best player, the Cougars recently lost multiple games while Franks dealt with a hip issue.
  • Bol Bol, Oregon: Much like Dort, this freshman big man would in the thick of the league’s POY race if he was healthy. Bol is averaging 21.0 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game, but he’s been sidelined with a foot injury since mid-December.
  • Jaylen Nowell, Washington: The sophomore has blossomed into one of the league’s best all-around guards. Nowell is putting up solid numbers as he’s at 17.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for the season while shooting 52 percent from the floor and 38 percent from three.

POSTSEASON PREDICTIONS

  • NCAA: Arizona State, Oregon
  • NIT: Arizona, Washington, Colorado, Oregon State
  • OTHER/NO POSTSEASON: UCLA, USC, Stanford, Washington State, Utah, Cal

THREE THINGS WE’VE LEARNED

1. The Pac-12 is dreadful

It’s a new year, so I’ll try to be as nice as possible while describing the atrocity that is Pac-12 basketball. But this league is horrendous, so that is going to be tough.

At this point, the Pac-12 currently has no top-25 teams in the AP or Coaches Poll. There is no Pac-12 player even listed as honorable mention for Rob Dauster’s freshly-released Player of the Year Power Rankings. And the conference just finished a December that went down as the worst a major conference had in the last 20 years.

There are numerous other metrics that point to the Pac-12’s overall awfulness. The eye test is probably all you need. Every Pac-12 team has at least three losses, with a sizable chunk of those losses coming in buy games. They are, as a league, 4-31 in Quadrant 1 games. They are 7-10 against the WCC. Nine teams have beaten two Pac-12 teams already this season. Among them: San Francisco (Stanford, Cal), Santa Clara (USC, Washington State), San Diego (Colorado, Washington State), Seattle (Washington State, Cal) and Hawaii (Colorado, Utah).

No team in the Pac-12 currently has more than a two-game winning streak. While I don’t believe the Pac-12 will end up a one-bid league this season (more on that below), it’s definitely a conversation we might still be having in March.

2. Arizona State has a chance to be pretty good thanks to freshman Luguentz Dort’s breakout start

Arizona State freshman guard Luguentz Dort has been perhaps the Pac-12’s most positive surprise through the first part of the season. Although Dort was regarded as a consensus four-star prospect and top-50 type of talent, not many envisioned that Dort would immediately be this good.

Over the last several weeks, however, Dort has seen his blistering start slow down. The past four games, Dort is only shooting 9-for-45 from the field as his high point total is 13 over that span. Arizona State is still talented enough to knock off Kansas while Dort was in the midst of his funk. The Sun Devils were also bad enough to drop a home game to Princeton during Dort’s worst outing of the season.

So what happened to Dort these last few weeks and how will it impact Arizona State going forward? Was it merely a hot start? Are opposing defenses catching on to Dort’s tendencies and slowing him down? If Dort plays at the level he displayed to start the season, then the Sun Devils should have no issues making the NCAA tournament. But it remains to be seen how Dort will handle conference play and how he breaks out of this slump.

3. Younger players will determine the outcome of this league

College basketball has increasingly become an underclass game at the high-major level as the years have rolled along.

But this year’s Pac-12 is particularly young. Many of the league’s best players thus far have been freshmen and sophomores. And most of the teams hoping to make the NCAA tournament will have to rely on those same players to come through and take them to March.

Given the shaky start of the league this season, that’s not guaranteed to happen. Some talented young teams like UCLA have already fizzled out. Others like Oregon need to get healthy. Many of these teams are going to depend on freshmen for the rest of the season and it’s going to come with mixed results.

(David Becker/Getty Images)

THREE STORYLINES TO FOLLOW

1. Can the Pac-12 rebound and get multiple teams in the NCAA tournament?

So, we already know the Pac-12 is really bad. Can the league still rebound and salvage the season?

It will likely take a few of the top teams like Arizona State, Oregon, Arizona and Washington pooling together and beating up on the other teams in the conference to create a lead pack. As things currently stand, those are the only four programs rated in the top 75 on KenPom with any sort of chance at making an at-large bid.

As long as those four teams don’t suffer horrible losses to teams like Cal, while winning some games against each other, the Pac-12 will have plenty of chances to improve its at-large status before March.

2. Can Arizona get over the hump and make it back to the tournament?

This season was always going to be a difficult one for Sean Miller and Arizona. The FBI’s college basketball corruption scandal hit the Wildcats hard.

It led to many of Arizona’s top recruiting targets going elsewhere. Yet Arizona still finds itself at 9-4 and in good position to make at least some kind of postseason. Whether that’s the NCAA tournament or not remains to be seen.

Arizona finally had its seven-year non-conference home winning streak snapped this season. They haven’t defeated anyone of note besides for Iowa State and UConn. But there’s just something about this team that’s intriguing for some reason. The Wildcats usually defend at a high level. Miller is still one of the best coaches in the country. The three-point shooting has been dreadful at times, but Arizona has still managed. If the Wildcats can figure out some things on offense, then they could be a dangerous team in a down conference.

3. The health of Oregon

Oregon has a chance to figure things out and be pretty good. It all starts with getting healthy.

Freshman Bol Bol has been sidelined with a left foot injury since mid-December as he’s missed the past four games for the Ducks. Head coach Dana Altman has been pretty vague about Bol’s injury, so there’s some uncertainty as to when he might return to the team.

Big man Kenny Wooten will also be sidelined four-to-six months after suffering a broken jaw. And another highly-touted freshman, Louis King, is still working himself back into proper game shape after missing the first several weeks of the season.

If Oregon is able to get fully healthy, they have the weapons to be the best team in the Pac-12. But for right now, that’s a major question mark

(Elsa/Getty Images)

THREE PREDICTIONS

1. The Pac-12 goes winless in the NCAA tournament after getting two teams in

The Pac-12 went 0-3 in the 2018 NCAA tournament. And two of those teams were featured in First Four games.

While I don’t think the Pac-12 is so bad that it’s only a one-bid league this season, things are certainly trending in a negative direction once again. Even if the Pac-12 gets multiple teams into the Field of 68, none of its teams are going to have a desirable enough profile to merit a great seed. The entire process is going to be an uphill battle.

And while Arizona State knocked off Kansas, there haven’t been a lot of marquee wins against quality competition for the Pac-12 this season. Even if the Pac-12 is fortunate enough to get multiple teams into the tournament, I don’t have confidence that they’ll win any games once they get there.

2. Arizona State wins the Pac-12

To this point in the season, Arizona State has defeated two top-25 teams. The rest of the Pac-12 combined has one top-25 win.

And while Arizona State has shown plenty of flaws in some recent losses — particularly some woeful stretches of poor shooting — they have the talent to compete with any team in the country. Dort has looked like a go-to player at times this season and he’s flanked by three more double-figure scorers in Remy Martin, Kimani Lawrence and Zylan Cheatham. The Sun Devils currently have a top-50 defense.

In a league that doesn’t have any truly good teams it says something when Arizona State knocks off a national title contender like the Jayhawks. Unless Oregon gets healthy and figures it all out, the Sun Devils look like the favorite in the league at this point.

3. The UCLA coaching search becomes more interesting than the on-court action

Let’s be honest, with the Pac-12 being as bad as it is on the court this year, the off-court movement of the UCLA coaching search is going to be more fun to watch (or hear about).

The Bruins likely won’t be able to start conducting serious interviews until the end of the season — since most of their presumed targets are currently coaching. But if UCLA decides to make some early moves on an out-of-work coach like Fred Hoiberg or Earl Watson then things could get really interesting.

To be clear, UCLA is not making a change for this current season. But the framework will be put in place for the coaching search, as we’ll start to hear names trickle out of the Westwood over the next several months. The UCLA job isn’t what it used to be. It’s still an elite program with an unmatched history conducting a coaching search with big names being thrown around in the middle of the season. That sort of thing rarely, if ever, happens in college hoops.

College basketball’s biggest storylines heading into 2019

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2018 has been a wild year in college basketball.

We saw what might have been the best team in college basketball history win a title as Villanova landed their second ring in the last three years. We saw the sport get turned on its head as an FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball led to trials, convictions and some of the secrets as to how the sausage is made in recruiting. That investigation also led to the NCAA changing a number of rules that don’t really make all that much sense. 

With 2019 now just around the corner, here are the biggest storylines to follow for the rest of the season and the upcoming year.

DUKE’S FRESHMEN

This is the biggest, most exciting story in college basketball this season. Zion Williamson is an absolute sensation, and rightfully so. We have never seen anything like him before in college hoops — there’s a reason that we are looking at him as the clear-cut favorite to be the No. 1 pick in June — and he is far from alone on this Duke roster. R.J. Barrett could be the No. 2 pick. Cam Reddish could be the No. 3 pick. Tre Jones could be a lottery pick. We’ve never seen anything like that.

But there is certainly some question as to whether or not this is a team that can win a national title. For starters, the other six teams that are currently sitting at the top of the college hoops hierarchy are loaded with veterans; there’s a reason that only two teams built around freshmen have won the title in the one-and-done era. It’s hard to do, and that’s before you consider some of the issues that Duke has had. For example: Reddish has struggled to figure out what, exactly, his role is and how, exactly, he fits as a guy wired to play on the ball while being asked to play off it. Another example: Can Barrett figure out how to be a playmaker while defenses get tailored to his tendency to barrel into defenders in the paint?

This is the most entertaining team in the country and loaded with talent. Seeing whether or not they can finish it off with a ring is the biggest story in the sport.

IS THE PAC-12 A ONE-BID LEAGUE?

If the season ended today, it probably would be. Outside of Arizona State, no one in the conference has done anything that would earn them consideration as an at-large bid. UCLA is such a dumpster fire that Steve Alford has already lost his job — more on that in a second. USC isn’t much better, as the Trojans have a matching 7-6 record while their star player, Kevin Porter Jr., may have disappeared. Oregon is losing buy games to Texas Southern. Washington is 8-4 on the season. No one in the league has less than three losses. As a league, they are just 7-9 against the WCC, and if you look at the conference ratings on KenPom, the conference belongs in the same tier as the American and the WCC, not the Big East or the SEC or the rest of the big boys.

This reminds me of the 2011-12 season, the year that Washington went 7-6 in league play, won the Pac-12 regular season title and missed the NCAA tournament as Colorado — a No. 11 seed — and Cal — a No. 12 seed — were the only two programs from the conference to get into the tournament.

That leads me into the next question …

HOW MUCH COACHING TURNOVER WILL THERE BE IF IT IS?

We already have an answer on one program in the Pac-12 — UCLA will be hiring in March, and who fills that job could be the kind of thing that launches the coaching carousel. For example, what if it is Notre Dame’s Mike Brey that gets the job? Or TCU’s Jamie Dixon? Or N.C. State’s Kevin Keatts?

(Also, what if it is Rick Pitino, although that is an entirely different — and much more interesting — can of worms.)

And that could end up being far from the only job that opens up in the league. Cal’s hire of Wyking Jones has been an abject disaster. Ernie Kent is in his fifth season at Washington State and has yet to win more than 13 games in a season. Andy Enfield has USC at 7-6 on the season after his program spent the last year in the FBI’s crosshairs. Wayne Tinkle is in year five at Oregon State and has as many NCAA tournaments to his name as he has five-win seasons. Even Washington is something to keep an eye on, as Mike Hopkins will be the obvious name to keep an eye on if this is finally the year that Jim Boeheim retires.

As one Pac-12 coach put it, the Pac-12 has only “two established, highly successful coaches.”

NEVADA’S UNDEFEATED RUN

I don’t know if the Wolf Pack is actually good enough to go undefeated heading into the NCAA tournament, but I do know they have the best chance of anyone in college basketball to get it done this season. The Mountain West is actually deeper than anyone initially thought — both Utah State and Fresno State should give Nevada a fight when they play, and both have a shot at getting an at-large bid should they upset Eric Musselman’s program — but Nevada is going to be the heavy favorite every night they take the court the rest of the season.

Personally, I want them to make a run at an undefeated record in the regular season. It would be great for the sport the same way that Wichita State, Kentucky and Gonzaga going on prolonged undefeated runs in the last five seasons was.

(Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

CAN VIRGINIA GET TO THE FINAL FOUR?

They are coming off what may be the most embarrassing loss in college basketball history, becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament. This season, they may actually be better than they were last year, as Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter both look like first round picks while the rest of that program is as solid as you would expect a Virginia team to be. Three years ago, we all thought Villanova were choke artists. You can’t win the big one until you win the big one.

TEXAS TECH TO MAKE ANOTHER RUN AT KANSAS?

The Red Raiders would have won the Big 12 last season if Keenan Evans hadn’t broken his toe. This year, with Jarrett Culver running the offense, can Chris Beard’s team make another run at knocking off Kansas? I’ll say this: Tech is the best team in the Big 12 that is not named Kansas, and while the Jayhawks have struggled through the start of the season, I do think their upside is immense. Udoka Azubuike is back and Quentin Grimes illl, eventually, get right. (Right?) Either way, I’m hoping that Texas Tech at least makes it interesting.

OFF-THE-COURT

There are still two more trials scheduled to happen stemming from the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball, although at least one of those defendants — former USC assistant coach Tony Bland — is on the verge of taking a plea. Will either of those trials take place? If they do, what kind of dirt is going to arise from the evidence that the FBI has collected? Will any of this impact coaches that are currently employed at powerhouse programs (looking at you, Bill Self)? When will the NCAA investigations begin in full, and what is the timetable for those investigations to be completed?

RULE CHANGES

The FBI investigation changed the way that a lot of things happen in college basketball. For starters, if high school kids are allowed to take $125,000 to go play in the G League, is this something that the elite of the elite are truly going to consider? If they don’t, will the extra scrutiny on recruiting as a result of this investigation change where some of these kids end up? No rule change the NCAA has implemented has been ripped more consistently than their changes to the recruiting calendar, which goes into effect in the coming months. Will the NCAA backtrack on those changes?

Oh, and what about the NET rankings? They looked like an abject failure a month ago, but not so much today. How will they turn out come March, and will it change the way that teams are determined for the NCAA tournament?