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College Basketball 2019-2020 Preseason Top 25

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There is so much that is going to happen between now and the time that next season starts that it almost seems foolish to publish a preseason top 25 today.

But we’re doing it anyway!

A couple of notes: Who is going to head to the NBA is very much in the air right now. There are still a number of freshmen that have yet to announce where they are playing their college ball. The transfer market has barely heated up. For decisions that are up in the air, you’ll see an asterisk next to their name. We’re making predictions on what certain players will do and ranking based off of them. 

So with all that said, here is the preseason top 25.

1. MICHIGAN STATE

  • WHO’S GONE: Matt McQuaid, Kenny Goins, Nick Ward
  • WHO’S BACK: Cassius Winston, Xavier Tillman, Joshua Langford, Aaron Henry, Kyle Ahrens, Gabe Brown, Foster Loyer, Marcus Bingham, Thomas Kithier
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Rocket Watts, Malik Hall, Julius Marble
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford, Kyle Ahrens, Aaron Henry, Xavier Tillman

2. KENTUCKY

  • WHO’S GONE: P.J. Washington, Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro, Reid Travis
  • WHO’S BACK: E.J. Montgomery*, Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickly, Nick Richards*
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Kahlil Whitney, Tyrese Maxey, Keion Brooks, Johnny Juzang, Dontaie Allen, Nate Sestina
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans, Kahlil Whitney, Keion Brooks, E.J. Montgomery

3. DUKE

  • WHO’S GONE: Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish
  • WHO’S BACK: Tre Jones, Marques Bolden*, Alex O’Connell, Jack White, Javin DeLaurier*, Jordan Goldwire, Joey Baker
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Vernon Carey, Wendell Moore, Matthew Hurt, Cassius Stanley
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Tre Jones, Alex O’Connell, Wendell Moore, Matthew Hurt, Vernon Carey

4. VILLANOVA

  • WHO’S GONE: Eric Paschall, Phil Booth, Jahvon Quinerly
  • WHO’S BACK: Jermaine Samuels, Cole Swider, Saddiq Bey, Collin Gillespie, Dhamir Cosby-Rountree, Brandon Slater
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Bryan Antoine, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Justin Moore, Eric Dixon
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Collin Gillespie, Bryan Antoine, Saddiq Bey, Jermaine Samuels, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

5. LOUISVILLE

  • WHO’S GONE: Christen Cunningham, Khwan Fore, Akoy Agau
  • WHO’S BACK: Jordan Nwora*, Dwayne Sutton, Ryan McMahon, Steve Enoch*, Malik Williams, Darius Perry
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Samuell Williamson, Jaelyn Withers, Josh Nickelberry, David Johnson, Aidan Igiehom, Quinn Slazinski
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Darius Perry, Samuell Williamson, Dwayne Sutton, Jordan Nwora, Malik Williams

6. MARYLAND

  • WHO’S GONE: Bruno Fernando
  • WHO’S BACK: Anthony Cowan*, Jalen Smith, Serrel Smith Jr., Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Chol Marial, Makhi Mitchell, Makhel Mitchell, Donta Scott
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Anthony Cowan, Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Jalen Smith

7. KANSAS

  • WHO’S GONE: Lagerald Vick, Silvio De Sousa*, Dedric Lawson, K.J. Lawson, Charlie Moore
  • WHO’S BACK: Devon Dotson*, Quentin Grimes*, Ochai Agbaji, Udoka Azubuike, Marcus Garrett, Mitch Lightfoot, David McCormack
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Isaac McBride, Christian Braun
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Devon Dotson, Quentin Grimes, Marcus Garrett, Ochai Agbaji, Udoka Azubuike

8. VIRGINIA

  • WHO’S GONE: De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, Jack Salt
  • WHO’S BACK: Braxton Key, Mamadi Diakite*, Jay Huff, Kihei Clark
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Casey Morsell, Tomas Woldetensae, Kadin Shedrick, Justin McKoy
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Kihei Clark, Casey Morsell, Braxton Key, Mamadi Diakite, Jay Huff

9. MEMPHIS

  • WHO’S GONE: Jeremiah Martin, Kyvon Davenport, Mike Parks Jr., Raynere Thornton, Kareem Brewton, Antwann Jones Jr.
  • WHO’S BACK: Tyler Harris, Alex Lomax, Isaiah Maurice
  • WHO’S COMING IN: James Wiseman, Rayjon Tucker, D.J. Jeffries, Malcolm Dandridge, Damian Baugh, Lance Thomas, Precious Achiuwa, Boogie Ellis
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Boogie Ellis, Rayjon Tucker, D.J. Jeffries, Precious Achiuwa, James Wiseman

10. TEXAS TECH

  • WHO’S GONE: Jarrett Culver, Matt Mooney, Tariq Owens, Brandone Francis, Norense Odiase, Khavon Moore
  • WHO’S BACK: Chris Beard, Davide Moretti, Kyler Edwards, Deshawn Corprew, Andrei Savrasov
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Jahmius Ramsey, Chris Clarke, T.J. Holyfield, Kevin McCullar, Khalid Thomas, Russel Tchewa, Terrence Shannon
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Jahmius Ramsey, Davide Moretti, Deshawn Corprew, T.J. Holyfield, Chris Clarke

11. GONZAGA

  • WHO’S GONE: Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke, Josh Perkins, Zach Norvell, Geno Crandall, Jeremy Jones
  • WHO’S BACK: Killian Tillie*
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Admon Gilder, Drew Timme, Oumar Ballo, Brock Ravet, Anton Watson, Martynas Arlauskas, Pavel Zahkarov
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Brock Ravet, Admon Gilder, Corey Kispert, Killian Tillie, Filip Petrusev

12. SETON HALL

  • WHO’S GONE: Michael Nzei
  • WHO’S BACK: Myles Powell*, Myles Cale, Quincy McKnight, Taurean Thompson, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Ikey Obiagu
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Tyrese Samuel, Dashawn Davis
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Quincy McKnight, Myles Powell, Myles Cale, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Ikey Obiagu

13. NORTH CAROLINA

  • WHO’S GONE: Coby White, Nassir Little, Luke Maye, Cam Johnson, Kenny Williams, Seventh Woods
  • WHO’S BACK: Leaky Black, Garrison Brooks, Brandon Robinson
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Cole Anthony, Armando Bacot, Jeremiah Francis, Anthony Harris, Christian Keeling, Justin Pierce
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Cole Anthony, Leaky Black, Brandon Robinson, Armando Bacot, Garrison Brooks

14. ARIZONA

  • WHO’S GONE: Justin Coleman, Ryan Luther
  • WHO’S BACK: Brandon Randolph*, Dylan Smith, Chase Jeter, Brandon Williams, Alex Barcello, Ira Lee, Devonaire Doutrive
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Nico Mannion, Josh Green, Max Hazzard, Terry Armstrong, Christian Koloko, Zeke Nnaji
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Nico Mannion, Josh Green, Brandon Randolph, Ira Lee, Chase Jeter

15. UTAH STATE

  • WHO’S GONE: Quinn Taylor
  • WHO’S BACK: Sam Merrill, Neemias Queta*, Diogo Brito, Brock Miller, Abel Porter
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Alphonso Anderson, Liam McChesney, Sean Bairstow
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Diogo Brito, Abel Porter, Sam Merrill, Brock Miller, Neemias Queta

16. SAINT MARY’S

  • WHO’S GONE: Jordan Hunter
  • WHO’S BACK: Jordan Ford, Malik Fitts, Tommy Kuhse, Tanner Krebs, Dan Fotu, Jock Perry
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Alex Ducas, Kyle Bowen
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Jordan Ford, Tommy Kuhse, Tanner Krebs, Malik Fitts, Jock Perry

17. XAVIER

  • WHO’S GONE: Ryan Welage, Zach Hankins, Kyle Castlin, Elias Harden
  • WHO’S BACK: Quentin Goodin*, Naji Marshall, Paul Scruggs*, Tyrique Jones*
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Kyky Tandy, Dahmir Bishop, Zach Freemantle, Jason Carter, Daniel Ramsey, Dieonte Miles
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Quentin Goodin, Paul Scruggs, Naji Marshall, Jason Carter, Tyrique Jones

18. CREIGHTON

  • WHO’S GONE: Sam Froling, Kaleb Joseph, Connor Cashaw
  • WHO’S BACK: Davion Mintz*, Ty-Shon Alexander, Mitchell Ballock, Martin Krampelj*, Jacob Epperson, Damien Jefferson, Marcus Zegarowski
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Shereef Mitchell
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Davion Mintz, Marcus Zegarowski, Ty-Shon Alexander, Mitchell Ballock, Martin Krampelj

19. COLORADO

  • WHO’S GONE: Namon Wright
  • WHO’S BACK: McKinley Wright IV, Tyler Bey, D’shawn Schwartz, Lucas Siewert, Evan Battey, Shane Gatling, Daylen Kountz
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Maddox Daniels
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: McKinley Wright IV, Tyler Bey, D’shawn Schwartz, Lucas Siewert, Shane Gatling

20. AUBURN

  • WHO’S GONE: Bryce Brown, Malik Dunbar, Horace Spencer, Chuma Okeke*
  • WHO’S BACK: Jared Harper*, Samir Doughty, J’Von McCormick, Danjel Purifoy, Anfernee McLemore, Austin Wiley
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Isaac Okoro, Tyrell Jones, Jaylin Williams, Babatunde Akingbola, Allen Flanigan, Jamal Johnson
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Jared Harper, J’Von McCormick, Samir Doughty, Danjel Purifoy, Anfernee McLemore

21. TENNESSEE

  • WHO’S GONE: Admiral Schofield, Kyle Alexander, Jordan Bone*, Grant Williams*
  • WHO’S BACK: Lamonte Turner, Jordan Bowden, Yves Pons, Derrick Walker Jr., John Fulkerson, D.J. Burns, Jalen Johnson
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Josiah James, Drew Pember, Davonte Gaines
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Lamonte Turner, Jordan Bowden, Josiah James, Yves Pons, John Fulkerson

22. HOUSTON

  • WHO’S GONE: Corey Davis, Breaon Brady, Galen Robinson
  • WHO’S BACK: Dejon Jerreau, Armoni Brooks*, Cedrick Alley, Brison Gresham, Fabian White, Chris Harris, Nate Hinton
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Caleb Mills, Justin Gorham
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Dejon Jerreau, Armoni Brooks, Nate Hinton, Fabian White, Brison Gresham

23. VCU

  • WHO’S GONE: Michael Gilmore
  • WHO’S BACK: Marcus Evans, Isaac Vann, Deriante Jenkins, Marcus Santos-Silva, Sean Mobley, Vince Williams, Mike’L Simms, P.J. Byrd, Malik Crawford
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Jarren McAlister
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Marcus Evans, Isaac Vann, Deriante Jenkins, Sean Mobley, Marcus Santos-Silva

24. OHIO STATE

  • WHO’S GONE: C.J. Jackson, Keyshawn Woods
  • WHO’S BACK: Kaleb Wesson*, Andre Wesson, Luther Muhammad, Duane Washington, Kyle Young, Justin Aherns, Musa Jallow, Jaedon LeDee
  • WHO’S COMING IN: D.J. Carton, Alonzo Gaffney, EJ Liddel, Ibrahima Diallo, CJ Walker
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: C.J. Walker, Duane Washington Jr., Luther Muhammad, Andre Wesson, Kaleb Wesson*

25. DAVIDSON

  • WHO’S GONE: Nathan Ekwu, Dusan Kovacevic
  • WHO’S BACK: Kellan Grady, Jon Axel Gudmundson, Luka Brajkovic, Luke Frampton, Kishawn Pritchett, Carter Collins, David Czerapowics, Bates Jones
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Hyunjung Lee, David Kristensen
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Kellan Grady, Jon Axel Gudmundson, Luke Frampton, Kishawn Pritchett, Luka Brajkovic

Recapping The Coaching Carousel: Who were the biggest winners and biggest losers?

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The 2019 college basketball coaching carousel has not quite finished spinning — of this writing, there are two jobs that are still open: Howard and Morgan State — but barring something unforeseen, all of the relevant coaching changes have been made.

That means it is time for us to sit back and figure out who won, who lost and who was left out of this year’s carousel.

And more than anything, the most interesting part of the coaching changes that were made this season had to do with who was not involved instead of the guys that got new gigs.

WINNER: COACHES IN THE FBI’S CROSSHAIRS

To date, the only head coach that has lost his job as a result of the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball has been Rick Pitino, and I think there is an argument to be made that Pitino would have kept his job had he not found himself in a second embarrassing scandal in the span of less than two years. Put another way, he was fired as much for having an assistant coach pay for hookers and strippers for players and recruits as he was for Brian Bowen getting paid.

It looks like the rest of the head coaches that were caught up in this mess are going to survive. Bruce Pearl got an extension last season, before he led Auburn to the 2019 Final Four. USC’s Andy Enfield has a ton of talent on his roster this season, and after missing the NCAA tournament last year, the Trojans look like they are in the mix to be a top 25 team again this season. Arizona’s Sean Miller had a rough 2018-19 season, but he’s bringing in one of the best recruiting classes in the country this year and looks like he’ll head into next season as a favorite to win the Pac-12 again. Like LSU’s Will Wade, Miller dodged a bullet as a judge ruled that he will not have to testify in the current trial happening in New York. Bill Self may have seen his Big 12 title streak come to an end as a result of this investigation, but if Kansas gets Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes back next season, they will enter 2019-20 as the favorites to start a new streak.

It’s not over yet, but at this point, it looks like all of those coaches are going to live to fight another day.

(Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

LOSER: DIVERSITY

To date, there are 53 Division I head coaching positions that have opened up this spring, and of those 53, 51 of those jobs have been filled. Of those 53 jobs that opened up, 17 of them had a black head coach leave, either after getting fired or jumping to a better job. Take away the four HBCU programs that opened, and just three of the 13 programs that previously had a black head coach replaced them with another black head coach — George Washington, Georgia State and Kennesaw State.

All five high-major programs that fired a black head coach — Arkansas, Alabama, Cal, UNLV and Washington State — replaced them with a white head coach.

Compare that with the white head coaches that left their jobs. There were 36 of them, and 30 of those 36 programs replaced the previous white head coach with another white head coach, including seven of the 11 high-majors. St. John’s, Tulane, Temple and Vanderbilt were the only high-majors that fired a white head coach and replaced him with a black head coach.

In total, just eight of the 65 head coaches in Power Five leagues (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) are black. Every head coach in the Big Ten and the Pac-12 is white. That’s just 12.3 percent, significantly behind football, where 12 of the 65 Power Five head coaches are black.

Both the Big East and the American have embraced diversity, as half of the schools in both leagues have black head coaches, but even then, just 21.8 percent of the head coaches in the seven leagues that we can call high-major are black.

I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I feel pretty comfortable saying that percentage is significantly lower than the number of current and former high-major players that are black.

And don’t, for a second, think that the people discussing those numbers aren’t also discussing how the four assistant coaches that were fired as a result of the FBI’s investigation into college hoops corruption are all black and the five head coaches that have remained employed with their seven-figure salaries are all white.

WINNER: COACHES ON THE HOT SEAT

Pat Chambers has been the head coach at Penn State since 2011. He has not yet made an NCAA tournament, but he wasn’t fired this offseason thanks to an impressive surge at the end of the season from the Nittany Lions. Dave Leitao finished tied for last in the Big East again this season, but since DePaul finished with a winning record, he was brought back for a fifth season. Jim Christian missed his fifth straight tournament with Boston College and will now be asked to win without Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson, because he will be back on Chestnut Hill for a sixth year. Chris Mooney survived at Richmond. So did Josh Pastner, who has struggled at Georgia Tech and currently is dealing with an NCAA investigation into his program.

But perhaps the biggest name here is Danny Manning. He’s made one NCAA tournament in five seasons at Wake Forest, and has yet to finish above .500 in ACC play in a single season. In four of the five years he’s been in Winston Salem, the Demon Deacons have won five or fewer league games. He’s had talent on his roster, too — John Collins, Bryan Crawford, Devin Thomas, Codi Miller-McIntyre, Jaylen Hoard, Chaundree Brown.

Some guys on the hot seat lost their job — Steve Alford, Ernie Kent, Tim Miles, Chris Mullin, etc. — but it wasn’t the bloodbath some expected it to be.

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

LOSER: HIRES THAT MAKE GEOGRAPHICAL SENSE

Nate Oats grew up in Watertown, Wisconsin. He played at a Division III program in Wisconsin, then spent the first 22 years of his coaching career in and around the great lakes. Six seasons at the Division III level in Wisconsin, 11 years at the high school level in Detroit, six years at the Division I level at Buffalo. He was just hired to takeover Alabama from Avery Johnson. That is a weird, weird fit. I have little doubt that Oats will be able to do well with the players currently on the Alabama roster, but I do not know how he is going to be able to recruit. One source connected to high school recruiting in the south told NBC Sports he can’t know how Oats will do at that level “because I don’t know him. I’ve never even shaken his hand.”

The same can be said for Mike Anderson at St. John’s. Anderson has spent the last 37 years coaching in Alabama, Arkansas and Missouri, and now he’s heading up New York City to rebuild the Johnnies? That, too, is a weird fit.

(That said, I’ve come around a bit on this hire after talking to a couple of smart people. He’s going to need to make a hire that can get him on the right side of the power brokers in NYC, but I think the ’40 Minutes Of Hell’ brand might be able to work for St. John’s in the Big East. New York doesn’t have the greats that it has had in the past, but there is talent to be found and, an abundance of toughness and athleticism everywhere you look. I don’t know if that is a style that can win the league or get to a Final Four, but I do think it could be good enough to make the Johnnies relevant on an annual basis, and that’s not something that we have said in a long time.)

Perhaps the biggest example of this is Mick Cronin. A Cincinnati native that has spent his career coaching in Ohio and Kentucky, Cronin is heading out west to take over California’s flagship program, UCLA. Not only is it a weird fit geographically, but stylistically, too. Cronin is a screamer, he’s intense and he built a consistent winner with the Bearcats based on defending and rebounding. He’s like Ben Howland, only smaller and angrier. Howland did make three Final Fours, but he angered enough people in SoCal to get himself fired after winning a Pac-12 regular season title.

We’ll see if it works out better from Cronin.

WINNER: THE STATE OF TEXAS

Let’s start with the obvious: The best hire of this year’s carousel was the one that was probably the longest in the making — Texas A&M bringing in former assistant Buzz Williams to take things over. Buzz is a Texas native that had built Marquette and Virginia Tech into top 10 teams before heading to College Station, and I fully expect him to find a way to do the same thing with the Aggies.

That said, the biggest winner in this year’s carousel was probably Houston, who held off Arkansas and kept Kelvin Sampson as their head coach. Sampson has led the Cougars to back-to-back NCAA tournaments, and they came within a possession of knocking off Kentucky and advancing to the Elite Eight this season despite the fact that they lost Rob Gray. He’s a terrific basketball coach, one that will keep Houston at or near the top of the AAC as long as he is on the sidelines. The same can be said for Chris Beard, who will be returning to Texas Tech, where he led the Red Raiders to the Big 12 regular season title and the Final Four, next season.

Also worth mentioning: Jamie Dixon and UCLA couldn’t work their way around his buyout, so he is still at TCU. And not that he was going anywhere, but Scott Drew is still at Baylor.

The level of coaching in the collegiate ranks in the state of Texas has never been higher …

LOSER: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

… and that’s not necessarily a good thing for Shaka Smart, who has yet to find the level of success at Texas that he had at VCU. That was weighing on the minds of many within the coaching industry this year, as there was plenty of speculation that Shaka would try and find a way out of Texas before Texas sent him packing. And the heat isn’t going to get turned down at all any time soon, not with the competition that he has in his own state these days.

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

SIX MORE WINNERS

NEBRASKA: Nebraska fired Tim Miles after what felt like half-a-decade on the hot seat, replacing him with Fred Hoiberg. Miles was a good coach that had some bad luck in his final two seasons, but I’m not sure there is a better fit for Nebraska that Hoiberg. The job isn’t all that different from Iowa State — same part of the country, same passionate fanbase, same homecourt advantage — which is where The Mayor had a ton of success before jumping to the NBA.

MIKE YOUNG: Young has been a basketball coach for 33 years of his life, and 30 of them were spent at Wofford. This past season, as the Terriers head coach, Young led his team to the best season in program history before replacing Buzz Williams at Virginia Tech. He’s the first coach since 2003 to go from the SoCon to a power five program, and it’s a job in the heart of Southern Virginia, where Young’s roots lie.

CINCINNATI: Losing Mick Cronin is a tough blow for the Bearcats. He led them to nine straight NCAA tournaments, and that is nothing to scoff at. He’s a really good basketball coach and was a perfect fit for that program. But Brannen is a solid replacement, a guy that led Northern Kentucky — a recent addition to Division I — to two NCAA tournaments in the last three years. He has roots in Kentucky and Ohio as well. He’ll do well there.

WASHINGTON STATE: Kyle Smith is the first coach since Jan Van Breda Kolff in 2001 to leave the WCC for a better job in a bigger league, as he left San Francisco for Washington State. Before that, he led Columbia to the best season they’ve had in the KenPom era. He’s won at tough jobs, and Wazzu might just be the toughest high major job in college basketball.

THE SEC: Buzz Williams taking over Texas A&M is the obvious big name here, but Rick Barnes remaining at Tennessee because UCLA wouldn’t pay his buyout is huge for the Vols. Eric Musselman replacing Mike Anderson is probably an upgrade, and while Nate Oats in Alabama is a weird fit, he should be able to, at the very least, get the job done with the group currently on the roster. LSU and Auburn look like they won’t have to fire Will Wade and Bruce Pearl, at least not yet, and while Jerry Stackhouse is an outside-the-box hire at Vanderbilt, he’s replacing a guy that didn’t win a league game last season.

GEORGE WASHINGTON: The Colonials went out and made a really nice hire to replace Maurice Joseph, hiring Jamion Christian away from Siena. Christian is one of the brighter young coaches in college hoops, having taken Mount St. Mary’s to two NCAA tournaments in five seasons before getting the job at Siena.

TWO LOW-KEY HEAD-SCRATCHING HIRES

SOUTHERN MISS: Doc Sadler spent five seasons at Southern Miss, winning 20 games this part year and just about erasing the memory of the NCAA sanctions that were left over from Donnie Tyndall’s tenure. Then Sadler left to become an assistant at Nebraska, a school that fired him, and instead of hiring Mark Adams — the man responsible for Texas Tech’s defense and a legend in the Texas JuCo ranks — Southern Miss hired Jay Ladner, a guy that went 17-16 at Southeastern Louisiana last year.

NEVADA: Nevada’s decision to replace Eric Mussleman with Steve Alford isn’t a terrible hire by any means. Alford had quite a bit of success as the head coach at New Mexico before taking over at UCLA. The head-scratching part is the fact that he got a 10-year deal from Nevada.

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.

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.

Louisville lands key grad transfer in guard Lamarr Kimble

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Louisville has landed a key graduate transfer for the 2019-20 season as St. Joseph’s guard Lamarr Kimble pledged to the Cardinals, according to a release.

After infusing Louisville with graduate transfers to lead them to a surprising 2018-19 season, head coach Chris Mack is continuing to remain aggressive pursuing talented transfers who can contribute right away. Kimble returned from a season-ending injury in 2017-18 to put up 15.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game as a redshirt junior last season.

A double-figure scorer during his last two healthy seasons, Kimble’s three-point shooting dipped to 29 percent in 2018-19 after starting his career as a promising 37 percent three-point shooter (with a smaller sample size) as a freshman.

Although Louisville has a loaded six-man high school recruiting class in the Class of 2019 coming in, which some say is the deepest of any group in the country, the addition of a veteran guard like Kimble is a big addition for the Cardinals. Kimble’s experience should be key for a young Louisville rotation, and if he can get his shooting numbers back up a bit, he’ll be a nice addition.

Monday Overreactions: Recapping first weekend; looking ahead to Final Four

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FIRST WEEKEND MVP: Payton Pritchard, Oregon

Oregon’s point guard was the best player on the floor for the Ducks in both of their games as the Pac-12 tournament champions became the only team seeded lower than fifth to get to the second weekend of the tournament. In wins over Wisconsin and UC Irvine, Pritchard averaged 18.5 points, 7.5 assists and 4.5 boards while also sparking late runs that turned close games into blowouts.

And frankly, Pritchard has been terrific for a month at this point. He’s averaging 19.0 points and 7.0 assists over his last five games and has looked like one of the best point guards in all of college basketball as Oregon has reeled off a ten game winning streak, eight of which have come on the road or on neutral courts.

ALL-FIRST WEEKEND TEAM

CARSEN EDWARDS, Purdue: After putting up 26 points for the Boilermakers in the first round of the tournament, Edwards followed that up with 42 point explosion against Villanova in the second round, the most points scored in an NCAA tournament game since 2004. In total, Purdue has scored 148 points in two games in this even, and Edwards and 68 of them.

NASSIR LITTLE, North Carolina: Little averaged 19.5 points in the first two games of his first (and only?) NCAA tournament. We wrote a column yesterday on why that is so important for the Tar Heels.

ZION WILLIAMSON, Duke: Williamson was, as you might expect, the best player for Duke over the course of the first weekend. He finished with 25 points and three boards in the opening round win over North Dakota State and followed that up with 32 points, 11 boards and four assists in the win over UCF.

BRANDON CLARKE, Gonzaga: Clarke didn’t do much in Gonzaga’s first round win over Fairleigh Dickinson because he didn’t need to do much. But in a second round date with a Baylor team that actually showed up and gave the Zags a fight, Clarke put together one of the best performances in the tournament this season: 36 points, eight boards, five blocks, three assists and two steals.

MFIONDU KABENGELE, Florida State: How many teams can say that their best player comes off of the bench? That’s the case for Florida State and Kabengele, who was simply terrific in two wins this weekend. He had 21 points and 10 boards against UVM and followed that up with 22 points, seven boards and three blocks in a blowout win over Ja Morant and Murray State.

MOST IMPRESSIVE TEAM: Texas Tech

Every one of the top two seeds got pushed at some point in the first weekend of the tournament. Virginia and North Carolina trailed at the half of their first round games. Duke came a couple of inches away from losing to UCF. Gonzaga was pushed by Baylor in the second round. Tennessee nearly blew not one, but two huge leads. Kentucky was in a dogfight with Wofford. Michigan State nearly lost to Bradley while Florida made it difficult for Michigan to get to the Sweet 16.

Texas Tech, however, didn’t really have those problems. Northern Kentucky kept it close for 15 minutes before Jarrett Culver went nuts and the Red Raiders ran away with it. Buffalo had one run late in the first half that seemed like it was going to make the most intriguing matchup of Sunday’s second round action worth watching, but that only last about five minutes.

This Texas Tech team has a real shot to make a run through Anaheim to get to Minneapolis. They are the nation’s best defensive team, but with the way they have been shooting the rock of late, they are also a threat to put up 90 points on any given opponent. On a weekend where every other title contender was pushed, Tech cruised, and that should tell you something.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: The Big East

So it turns out the Big East was pretty bad after all.

Their run in the NCAA tournament ended on Saturday evening, with Carsen Edwards dropping 42 points in a rout that saw Purdue lead 59-24 at one point. It was an embarrassment, really, but one that we all probably should have seen coming.

Villanova won the Big East regular season title, but it never felt like they actually were trying to win. They lost five of their last eight regular season games and only managed to take home the league title because Marquette, the only other team in the league that we thought was any good, lost their last four games. That same Marquette team was run out of the first round by Murray State, who looked every bit the part of a mid-major in their loss to Florida State on Saturday.

There’s more.

Villanova beat Seton Hall in the Big East tournament title game, and the Pirates got drubbed by 16 points by Wofford in the first round. The only other Big East team to get into the tournament was St. John’s, and they got smoked in a play-in game by an Arizona State team that proceeded to lose to Buffalo by 17.

The league should be better with the amount of talent that they have coming back.

And they’re going to need to be.

Because this was not the kind of season that the conference will want to be known for.

FIVE OVERREACTIONS MOVING FORWARD

1. A DISMAL FIRST WEEKEND SETS US UP FOR THE PERFECT FINISH TO THE TOURNAMENT

That first weekend sucked.

We got a thriller with Duke and UCF on Sunday, Maryland played a couple of barn-burners against Belmont and LSU and Tennessee’s inability to protect a lead made for a couple of interesting games, but there wasn’t a true buzzer-beater in the first 52 games of the NCAA tournament. All of the Cinderellas have seen their carriages turn into pumpkins unless, of course, you consider No. 12-seed Oregon — who was a top 15 team in the preseason, reached the 2017 Final Four and is currently in their third Sweet 16 in the last four years — a Cinderella.

What we have right now is a tournament that still features all four No. 1 seeds, all four No. 2 seeds and all four No. 3 seeds. One of the two No. 4 seeds that was knocked out get sent home by a No. 5 seed. This has only happened once before in the NCAA tournament, in 2009, and that was the year that Tyler Hansbrough and North Carolina cruised to the national title.

So yeah, the first weekend of the tournament sucked.

But what that means is that the final 15 games of this event are set up to be absolutely magical.

Think about it like this: The only two teams in the Sweet 16 that weren’t considered top 16 teams by the selection committee on Selection Sunday were both preseason top 15 teams. If you were going to build the perfect 16 team tournament from scratch, the only change that anyone would make is dropping Oregon for someone, but I’m not sure that the Ducks, given the way that they have been playing of late, aren’t actually a top 16 team in college basketball right now.

I’ve always said the ideal NCAA tournament has upsets early and chalk late. We didn’t have the upsets this year, but we do have the chalk.

So be ready. Every game from here on out is going to be a heavy-weight fight.

2. THE UCF PERFORMANCE SAID MORE ABOUT THE MATCHUP THEN IT DID DUKE

I tried to warn you guys on Sunday morning.

UCF was the perfect matchup for this Duke team. They are traditionally a really good defensive team that has big, athletic wings to guard Duke’s lottery picks and one of the world’s 40 largest humans to stand at the rim and make it difficult for R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson to finish. They also have a bunch of shot-makers on their perimeter, and all they needed to do to keep this thing close was for one of Aubrey Dawkins or B.J. Taylor to get into a rhythm while Tacko Fall stayed out of foul trouble.

Dawkins went off.

Fall stayed out of foul trouble for the most part.

And the end result was that Duke should have been knocked out of the NCAA tournament.

They are incredibly lucky to still be alive in this event, and I don’t think that they are going to face a team that will be able to challenge them the way that UCF did until the Final Four.

Look, we’ve known what the key to beating Duke is all season long. You need to pack in your defense, you need size at the rim and you need to be willing to let Tre Jones and Jordan Goldwire shoot as many threes as they want to shoot. There aren’t many team that actually have the players to execute that game-plan as well as UCF did.

Duke certainly isn’t unbeatable, but this was the bullet they needed to dodge.

And they did.

3. THE BEST SPOT TO BE NEXT WEEKEND IS …

  1. KANSAS CITY: The North Carolina-Auburn matchup has a chance to be one of the most entertaining games in the history of college basketball — if you like run-and-gun hoops, this is for you — while a Sunday evening matchup between UNC and Kentucky is very much in the cards.
  2. ANAHEIM: This is the most unpredictable region left in the field. Texas Tech and Michigan might be the two best defensive teams left in the tournament, and they will be battling it out for a spot in the Elite 8 in what might as well be a street fight. On the other side of the bracket, we get a rematch from last year’s Sweet 16, when Florida State upset Gonzaga. Is this the revenge game?
  3. WASHINGTON D.C.: I have a sneaking suspicion that Duke is going to have a pretty easy time making their way through this region, but remember: Virginia Tech has already beaten the Blue Devils this season, and they did it without Justin Robinson. On the other side of the bracket, LSU has somehow morphed into a team of destiny, and they will face off with Michigan State in a battle between two of the best point guards in the country in Cassius Winston and Tremont Waters.
  4. LOUISVILLE: Virginia-Oregon is a battle between two really good teams, but there’s a real chance that game goes under the total of 118.5. On the other side of the bracket is Purdue-Tennessee, and as good as both of those teams are, that matchup just doesn’t have the pop of some of the others. That said, should this turn into a Virginia-Tennessee Elite 8 matchup, there’s a chance that ends up being the weekend’s best game.

The fact that Louisville is fourth on this list should tell you all you need to know about just how good the games are this weekend.

4. AN ALL-ACC FINAL FOUR CAN STILL HAPPEN

We’ll dive into this more during the week, but the chance of getting a Final Four that features Duke (or Virginia Tech), Virginia, North Carolina and Florida State is a very real possibility. The biggest reason for that is that three of the No. 1 seeds are from the conference. They’re obviously, then, the favorites to get to the final weekend out of their region.

But the other part of this is that Florida State seems like a good bet to knock off Gonzaga in the Sweet 16.

I’ll have a full breakdown on why later in the week.

5. AND YOUR FINAL FOUR IS …

My Final Four is still alive! Duke vs. Texas Tech and Virginia vs. North Carolina.

Friday’s NCAA Tournament Recap: Irvine, Oregon, Liberty land upsets

AP Photo/Ben Margot
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PLAYER OF THE DAY: Caleb Homesley, Liberty

Homesley popped off for 30 points on Friday night, going 10-for-16 from the floor and 5-for-11 from three as he led the charge for the Flames in their upset of No. 5-seed Mississippi State. The most important sequence of the game, however, was when Homesly made the biggest impact. He scored 14 of his 30 points in a four-minute second half stretch that saw the Flames go on a 16-4 run and turn a 63-53 deficit into a 69-67 lead.

Not a bad way to get the first NCAA tournament win in the history of the program.

TEAM OF THE DAY: UC Irvine

The Anteaters were the one upset pick that we got right, so to reward them, we have named them the Team of the Day! Irvine got 19 points, six boards, four assists and four steals from Evan Leonard and 19 points from Max Hazzard as they held No. 4-seed Kansas State to 37.9 percent shooting and Barry Brown to one of his worst games of the season.

GAME OF THE DAY: Tennessee 77, Colgate 70

The weirdest game of the day happened in the South Region, as No. 15-seed Colgate lost their best player to pink eye, trailed by as many as 14 points and then made a furious push, banging home three after three after three, to take a 52-50 lead on Tennessee with 12 minutes left. Tennessee would eventually get three massive jumpers from an ice cold Admiral Scholfield to put the game away, but it was the roller coaster of all roller coasters.

ONIONS OF THE DAY: Lovell Cabbil, Liberty

The Flames hit a number of big shots in their upset of No. 5-seed Mississippi State on Friday night, but none was bigger than this shot that Cabbil hit with about a minute left. It put Liberty ahead, and the Flames would never relinquish the lead:

WTF OF THE DAY: Nahziah Carter, Washington

Nahziah Carter, Jay-Z’s nephew and a wing for the Washington Huskies, tried to throw down the best dunk in the history of dunks on Friday night. The shot-blocker here is Neemias Queta, a 6-foot-11 Portuguese monster with a shot of playing in the NBA:

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Iowa Hawkeyes

The Hawkeyes dug themselves a 13 point first half hole against Cincinnati after spending the final month of the season playing like they were tanking. This thing looked like it was going to get ugly, but it went the other way. The Hawkeyes caught fire in the second half and moved on to the second round where they will face off with No. 2-seed Tennessee.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Iowa State Cyclones

The Cyclones finally looked like a top 10 team when they ran through the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City. We thought it would last. Maybe we actually got on the bandwagon, just a little bit, and it all blew up in our face. The Cyclones lost to Ohio State in the first round on Friday night.

“But I wasn’t back on the bandwagon,” he said, sobbing, using his busted bracket as a tissue. “I wasn’t back on the bandwagon.”

THREE MORE THINGS TO KNOW

1. ALL THREE No. 1 SEEDS PLAYED BADLY

The ACC sent three No. 1 seeds to the NCAA tournament, and all three of them decided that they didn’t need to show up for the first half of their games on Friday. Virginia dug themselves a 14 point hole before beating Gardner-Webb by 15 points. Duke was trailing North Dakota State deep into the first half before winning by 23 points. North Carolina completed the trifecta, trailing 38-31 late in the first half before pulling away to win 88-73.

2. THE PAC-12 PICKED UP TWO IMPRESSIVE WINS

Arizona State got their tails kicked by Buffalo on Friday night, but the Pac-12 actually looked pretty good in the first round of the tournament. Washington absolutely smoked Utah State while Oregon, tied at the half with Wisconsin, ended up winning 72-54 and advancing to the second round of the tournament as a No. 12 seed.

3. JUSTIN ROBINSON IS BACK

The big news for Virginia Tech is that their star point guard Justin Robinson came back after missing 12 games, and while he wasn’t great, he did manage to score nine points and finish with a pair of assists, even if he turned the ball over four times. The Hokies won, 66-52.