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Cleveland State Offseason News Update

October 31, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Cleveland State Offseason News Update

by Nick Dettmann

Leading scorer dismissed from team

Cleveland State is going to have one of the toughest non-conference schedules out of the entire conference. The Vikings will host the Tar Heels of North Carolina on Saturday, Nov. 29 and then play at Penn State in their next game on Wednesday, Dec. 3.

The Vikings are going to need to find every possible way to score in order to win. That task just got worse as their top returning scorer, Modibo Niakate, was dismissed from the basketball team for violating team rules.

Niakate was selected to the Horizon League All-Newcomer team last season after scoring an average 12 points per game and led the conference in three-point field goal percentage with a .444 (48-108).

Former Spartans Assistant named head coach

After eight seasons under Rollie Massimino, former Michigan State assistant coach Mike Garland took over the reigns as Cleveland State head coach on April 17.

Under Massimino, the Vikings were 90-113 and were often criticized for their lack of recruiting from the greater metro area.

During his tenure as an assistant coach with the Spartans, Garland was apart of six NCAA tournament appearances, four Big Ten Championships, two Big Ten Tournament Championships, three Final Fours and one National title.

Garland is already familiar to the surroundings of the CSU Convocation Center as the Spartans played their first and second round games their en route to their 2000 national championship.

His duties included scouting, game analysis, off-campus recruiting and academics. In addition, Garland was responsible for self-scouting and individual improvement. Six players from the last three years went onto be selected in the NBA draft: Mateen Cleeves, Andre Hutson, Morris Peterson, Zach Randolph, Jason Richardson and Marcus Taylor.

Considered an excellent motivator by his peers and players, he was listed as “Most Ready to be a Head Coach”.

Garland, 48, earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and community recreation from Northern Michigan in 1977. While at NMU, he was the recipient of the Minority Student Academic-Athletic Achievement Award. He was also a teammate of his future boss at Michigan State, Tom Izzo, on the NMU basketball team.


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