Tag:Georgia State
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 5:39 pm

CAA Offseason Report

By Jeff Goodman

CAA Offseason Report

Delaware – Phil Martelli Jr. came from Niagara and took the spot opened when R.C. Kehoe left to become the head coach at Holy Family. Delaware will play at Villanova (11-18), at BU (11-30), vs. La Salle (12-19) and vs. Temple (12-30) in the non-conference. Malcolm Hawkins transferred out of the program while Carl Baptiste (St. Joe’s) came in and will sit out this year.

Drexel – The Dragons will play in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands from Nov. 18-21. Bruiser Flint’s team has a non-league schedule that includes games at Rider (11-15), at St. Joe’s (11-30), vs. Bradley (12-17) and vs. Princeton (12-10).

George Mason – New coach Paul Hewitt has put together the following staff: Roland Houston (GW), Mike Wells (NBA), Chris Kreider (Georgia Southern) and retained director of basketball operations Scott Lombardi. The Patriots will play in the Preseason NIT (the Virginia Tech pod) and open against Florida International. Hewitt’s team will also have non-league games at Virginia (12-6), vs. Duquesne (12-21) and at College of Charleston (12-30). Luke Hancock (Louisville) and Rashad Whack (Mount St. Mary’s) left while George Mason added Anali Okoloji (Seton Hall).

Georgia State – Ron Hunter came over from IUPUI and assembled the following staff: Darryl LaBarrie, Everick Sullivan, Claude Pardue and Tony Bollier as the director of basketball operations. The Panthers will play in the Basketball Travelers Invitational at Washington along with Portland and FAU. Georgia State will also play Rhode Island (12-10) in a non-conference contest. Two players transferred out – Javonte Maynor and Harold Doby – while Manny Atkins has come in from Virginia Tech and will sit out this season. Jordan DeMercy will be eligible this year after transferring from Florida State.

Hofstra – Pat Sellars, formerly at UConn, has replaced Allen Griffin (Dayton). The Pride will be in the Legends Classic and also play home non-league games against Long Island (11-13), and Iona. Paul Bilbo (Mercyhurst), Roland Brown and Yves Jules (Fairleigh Dickinson) all transferred out while Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (UConn) and Taran Buie (Penn State) both came in. Stevie Mejia (URI) is also eligible after sitting out last season.

James Madison – Bill Phillips replaced Kevin Hargrove as the director of basketball operations. The Dukes will play in the Hoop Group Classic (11-22/25) and will also be at Central Florida’s Holiday Tournament, along with Rhode Island and Stetson, from 12-29/30. JMU will also play against Kent State (12-6) and at George Washington (12-22) in the non-conference schedule. Chad Jackson transferred to Northern Kentucky while A.J. Davis is eligible this season after transferring from Wyoming a year ago.

Northeastern – Bill Coen’s team will play at St. John’s (11-26), at N.C. State (12-22) and at home against Southern Illinois (11-19) in the non-conference. Alex Harris transferred out while Kashif Edwards, who averaged 12.4 points last season at Niagara, came in as a grad student and is eligible for this season.

Old Dominion – The biggest news of the offseason for the Monarchs is the missing ‘stache. Actually, coach Blaine Taylor got ride of his famous mustache. Drew Williamson replaced Joel Hines as the director of basketball operations and ODU added video coordinator Chris Kovensky. Old Dominion will be in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off (11-19/20) and also have a non-conference slate that includes games vs. Iowa (11-12), vs. Missouri (12-30) in Norfolk, at Richmond (12-20) and at Central Florida (12-17). Donte Hill becomes eligible on Dec. 17 after transferring in from Clemson last year.

Towson – New coach Pat Skerry hired Kevin Clark (Rhode Island), Luke Murray (Wagner), Kenny Johnson and Duane Simpkins as his director of basketball operations. The Tigers will play in the Mainland portion of the Maui Invitational and also have non-league contests at Kansas (11-11), at Michigan (11-14), vs. Oregon State (11-26), at UMass (11-30) and at Virginia (12-30). Isaiah Philmore (Xavier), Braxton Dupree, Dre Conner and Cephas Oglesby all left while Jerrelle Benimon (G’Town) and Mike Burwell (South Fla.) both transferred in.

UNC-Wilmington – Buzz Peterson’s team is currently in the Bahamas. Matt McMahon (Murray State) and Kevin Norris (FGCU) both left; Brooks Lee was promoted to assistant coach, Andre Gray was hired and the director of basketball operations spot remains open. The Seahawks will play at Maryland (11-13), at Dayton (11-19), vs. Marshall (11-22), vs. Davidson (11-26) and at Wake Forest (12-21) in the non-league. Matthew Wallace transferred out of the program.

VCU – Mike Jones (Radford) and Kyle Getter were replaced by Jamion Christian (William & Mary) and new director of basketball operations Mike Morrell (Charleston Southern). The Rams will play in the Charleston Classic and also have a non-league slate that includes games at Alabama (11-27), at Western Kentucky (11-23), vs. South Florida (11-30), at Akron (12-29), vs. UAB (12-20), vs. Richmond (12-10) and against George Washington on Dec. 4 in the BT&T Classic in D.C. Toby Veal left the program.

William & Mary – Kotie Kimble replaced Jamion Christian, who left for VCU. The Tribe will play in the Coaches vs. Cancer event and also have non-conference contests vs. Richmond (11-30), at Missouri (12-18) and vs. Iona (12-21).

Offseason reports: Big 12 Pac-12 | Big Ten | ACC | Big East SEC | A-10
Posted on: May 14, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: May 14, 2011 3:15 pm

Lefty Driesell pulls no punches with Mark Turgeon

We imagine this was Turgeon's reaction when he heard who Lefty Driesell recommeded for the Maryland job.

Posted by Eric Angevine

For those of us who write about college basketball, one of the excellent side effects of the coaching change at Maryland has been the resurgence in interest in Lefty Driesell, the endlessly quotable former coach of the Terps.

Recently, CBS affiliate 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore had Lefty on to talk about his coaching run-ins with Turgeon, which happened when Turgeon was starting his head coaching career at Jacksonville State and Driesell was winding down at Georgia State. Turgeon had admitted in his introductory press conference that he had long felt that Lefty hated him, because he never got more than a scowl and a brief handshake when they coached against one another. Driesell admitted that he never was much for fraternizing with the "enemy" and then launched in to several amusing anecdotes that yielded a record for soundbites per minute.

On Turgeon's first coaching gig: "Have you ever been to.. um.. uh... I don't know where that city is where Jacksonville State is!* It's out in the country, man. I don't know how he could ever get anybody to go to school there."

Recalling Turgeon's tactical aptitude: "I know one game we were down there playin' them and we were up 20 at the half. He ran his pick-and-roll play in the second half and he killed us. I put that play in the next year for us."

His role in Turgeon's hiring: "To tell you the truth, I was calling (Kevin Anderson) up to recommend John Lucas. Then I found out he'd already made a decision, so I just told him he made a great choice."

Listen to the entire chat with Lefty Driesell at the CBS Baltimore home page.

That's Lefty for you: gruff to his opponents, bracingly honest even with his friends, and always, always entertaining. Taken all together, however, Lefty's comments have been very complimentary. That's a pretty good start for Turgeon in College Park.

*By the way, Jacksonville State is in Jacksonville, Alabama, population 8,404 as of the 2000 census. The Gamecocks play in the Ohio Valley Conference. They should not be (but often are) confused with the Jackson State Tigers of the SWAC.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: March 24, 2011 2:26 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2011 2:38 pm

Georgia State hits a quiet home run with Hunter

Ron Hunter was a brilliant hire for Georgia State

Posted by Eric Angevine

As we've seen this season, the Colonial Athletic Association is a growing destination for great coaches. Virginia Commonwealth, currently in the Sweet 16, is already in danger of losing Shaka Smart after just two seasons, but they're used to it. They sent Anthony Grant to Alabama and Jeff Capel to Oklahoma without ever breaking stride.

Other coaches, like ODU's Blaine Taylor and Jim Larranaga of George Mason, get frequent mentions for open slots at BCS schools, but neither has jumped yet. Hofstra's Tom Pecora left last season to work on turning around Fordham in the Atlantic 10.

That's great for the schools at the top of the league. What about the rest? Down near the bottom of the standings, year in and year out, are Georgia State and Towson. Both let their coaches go this month after disappointing play doomed their teams once again. Towson hasn't made a hire yet, but Georgia State made a bold move by hiring Ron Hunter away from IUPUI of the Summit League.

Why are these two a match made in heaven?

For Hunter, it's a no-brainer. As much as he might love IUPUI -- he's been there since 1994, when it was a D-II school -- he's only been to the NCAA tournament once since the school became eligible in D-I. That's because the Summit is stuck in one-bid purgatory. Even a great regular season doesn't mean much if a school doesn't win that final game in the league tournament.

The CAA, on the other hand, got three teams in this year for the first time. The last team in, the Rams, is the last one standing. The league's profile is bound to grow as VCU gets more of the spotlight. Nobody has forgotten that George Mason made a Final Four run in 2006, either. The league is sort of a shadow ACC, with teams in major media markets like Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Atlanta, where Hunter will coach. The GSU sports arena only holds 3,400, but that's a darn sight better than the 1,200 that fit in the Jungle in Indianapolis.

That's why Hunter wanted the job, but why did the Panthers want Hunter?

Ron Hunter is an obvious program-builder to those who pay attention. The year his Jaguars moved from D-I independent status to the Summit League, he came in sixth in the new conference. The next season, he was second, and won the auto-bid to play in the NCAA tournament in 2003. His teams have never come in any lower than fourth place since. Do that in the CAA, and you might just visit the Big Dance more often than not.

Hunter is also known as a humanitarian. Many coaches have gone barefoot to benefit the Samaritan's Feet charity, but Hunter was the first, back in January of 2008. It has given him more name recognition (or sole recognition) than any of his basketball exploits. When a program hires Ron Hunter, it broadcasts decency, humanity and security to recruits, parents, and fans. If there's ever a recruiting scandal at Georgia State under his banner, it will be the most shocking of events.

And the man can recruit. Don't doubt it. If you need proof, I'm going to give you one name: George Hill. The 6-foot-2 San Antonio Spurs guard is averaging 11.0 points per game in the NBA this season, despite his humble beginnings at IUPUI. Hill is an Indianapolis native who went to high school up around Butler's end of town, but he ended up with Hunter at the Jungle. Read his tweets @George_Hill3 and you'll get a sense of a man who absorbed that lesson of humility and compassion from Hunter and still displays it as a millionaire professional ballplayer.

Atlanta is undoubtedly richer in talent than Indianapolis. If Hunter can make a habit out of finding the George Hill-type player there, the Panthers will turn around very quickly. That might be easier now than at any other point in GSU's history, as powerhouse Georgia Tech is now behind them in searching for a new coach. Georgia State won't get that many of the great ones, but it only takes one, even one who takes some developing over four years, to make a difference. As a CAA-knowledgeable colleague, Jerry Beach, wrote recently: " Georgia State is also interesting b/c it just began playing football and seems to have designs on moving beyond I-AA as soon as possible (nothing concrete to back that up, just a hunch). That could eventually lift the program into a borderline BCS conference like Conference USA." Interesting, indeed.

All this by way of saying: keep an eye out for Ron Hunter and Georgia State. This could be the start of something big for a humble, shoeless man and an also-ran program.

Photo: US Presswire

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