Wilmington: Seahawks Stay In-State for Coach [4/21/06]

by - Published April 21, 2006 in Newswire



Seahawks Stay In-State for Coach: UNC – Wilmington’s coach search is over, and the flavor remains decidedly Carolinian. The Seahawks hired Charlotte assistant Benny Moss to his first head coaching position, bringing him across the state of North Carolina. Moss had been an assistant coach under Bobby Lutz for the past six seasons. The 49ers had a 114-69 record during that span. Moss hopes he can continue his Charlotte success in Wilmington where the Seahawks have become a perennial NCAA Tournament contender in the Colonial Athletic Association. The CAA placed more teams in the tournament than Charlotte’s conference, the Atlantic 10, did this past season. Check out Hoopville’s complete list of 2006 coaching changes, including the Seahawks’ recent hire of Moss to replace former coach Brad Brownell, who moved to Wright State. [4/21/06]

Prairie View: Rimm Takes Over Struggling Panther Program

by - Published April 21, 2006 in Newswire



Rimm Takes Over Struggling Panther Program: Assistant coach Byron Rimm received his first Division I head coaching job when Prairie View promoted him. He replaces interim head coach Darrell Hawkins, who led the Panthers to a 5-24 record last season. Hawkins had been interim coach since last May. Rimm has head coaching experience at Jarvis Christian in Hawkins, Texas. [4/21/06]

UCLA: Bruin Backcourt Duo Enters the Draft

by - Published April 21, 2006 in Newswire



Bruin Backcourt Duo Enters the Draft: UCLA sophomore guards Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo entered the NBA Draft Thursday, but neither player hired an agent. If they remain unsigned, they could return to the Bruins if they do not like their projected draft status. Both guards are considered to be late first-round or early second-round picks at this point. Of course, team workouts could change that outlook. Right now, the safe money is on at least one of them returning to school. Farmar averaged 13.5 points per game and Afflalo led the team with 15.8 points per game as the backcourt pair brought UCLA to the national championship game. [4/21/06]

Georgia Tech: Yellow Jacket Leaves the Hive

by - Published April 21, 2006 in Newswire



Yellow Jacket Leaves the Hive: Georgia Tech sophomore guard Zam Fredrick will transfer to another school with two remaining years of eligibility. Fredrick averaged 10.6 points and 3.9 assists per game in his second campaign. But he frequently struggled when running the point, which contributed to the Yellow Jackets’ disappointing finish near the bottom of the ACC. At 6-foot, Fredrick is undersized for a shooting guard. And with high school point guard Javaris Crittenton scheduled to arrive in Atlanta next fall, Fredrick figured — probably correctly — that his playing time would only decrease next season. [4/21/06]

Charlie Weber Easter Hoop Fest

by - Published April 21, 2006 in Columns



Charlie Weber Easter Hoop Fest Recap

by Phil Kasiecki

WASHINGTON – The 2006 Charlie Weber Easter Hoop Fest was among the tournaments in the first weekend sanctioned for Division I coaches to attend. Not surprisingly, there was a large contingent of east coast coaches present, along with some from the southeast. They all got to see some good basketball, as we all have come to expect from Charlie’s tournaments.

The championship game was a controversial one in the closing seconds, as a close foul was called that resulted in game-winning free throws as Mount Royal-Team Melo pulled out a 60-59 win over Team Jersey Elite. Malcolm Delaney (6’3″ Jr. SG, Towson (MD) Catholic HS) capped a nice weekend by leading Team Melo with 17 points, while talented sophomore Sean Mosley (6’5″ So. SG-SF, Baltimore (MD) St. France Academy) added 12 points and Syracuse-bound Donte Green (6’10″ Jr. PF, Towson (MD) Catholic HS) added 10 to cap a good weekend. Team Jersey Elite was led by 22 points from Idriss Hilliard (6’6″ Jr. SF, Princeton (NJ) Hun HS) and 12 from Paris Horne (6’2″ Jr. SG, Middletown (DE) High).

Three other playoff brackets were formed based on pool finishes. The finals of each went as follows:

  • New York-based Team Odom capped a weekend of good, balanced basketball with a 60-51 win over DC Assault. Robert Hampton led three Team Odom players in double figures with 14 points.
  • Virginia-based Triple Threat picked up a 72-71 win over New York-based Bingo’s All-Stars in a game with a wild finish. A botched inbounds pass led to a layup by Bingo’s guard Joshua Spivey to give Bingo’s a 71-70 lead in the closing seconds. But Adrian Bowie quickly took the ball the length of the floor for a layup, the final two of his 19 points, to give Triple Threat the win. Jeff Jones led Triple Threat with a game-high 24 points, while Spivey led Bingo’s with 20.
  • In another dramatic finish, the final game of the tournament saw a big surprise as South Jersey Select picked up a 59-56 win over the powerful Playaz in an in-state battle. After a dunk tied the game at 56, Anthony Raffa scored the biggest three of his 12 points with a one-handed shot from the wing as time expired to give South Jersey Select the win. Dante Bailey led South Jersey Select with a game-high 18 points.

Unsigned Seniors We Liked

Jeff Allen (6’7″ SF-PF, Washington (DC) Oak Hill Academy)
Marcus Ashton (6’2″ SG, Brandywine (MD) Gwynn Park HS)
Evann Baker (6’3″ SG, Washington (DC) Archbishop Carroll HS)
Cody Boone (6’9″ PF-C, Bald Eagle Area (PA) High)
Jon Boyer (6’1″ PG, Hollidaysburg (PA) High)
Trevor Charles (6’6″ SF-PF, Brooklyn (NY) Grady HS)
Andrew Cunningham (5’10″ PG, Toronto (Ont.) Eastern HS)
Cliff Dixon (6’9″ PF-C, Suitland (MD) High)
Wayne Dorsey (6’7″ PF, Baltimore (MD) Southwestern HS)
Jamel Ferguson (6’5″ SF, Syracuse (NY) Milford HS)
Curtis Fitch (6’6″ PF, Thompson (CT) Marianapolis Prep)
DuJuan Goodwin (6’3″ PG-SG, Baltimore (MD) Mt. St. Joseph’s HS)
Robert Hampton (6’4″ SG, Queens (NY) Christ The King HS)
Cortlin Lewis (6’5″ SF, Chesterfield (VA) Lloyd Bird HS)
Michael Luby (6’11″ C, Toronto (Ont.) West Hill HS)
Antonio Reese (6’1″ PG, Chesterfield (VA) Lloyd Bird HS)

Underclassmen

Jamar Abrams (6’6″ Jr. SF, Highland Springs (VA) High)   Lefty wing is very athletic and active. He tried to do too much a couple of times and looks noticeably slower going to his right, but showed a little touch shooting the ball in addition to getting out in transition.

Nasir Austin (6’6″ Jr. SF-PF, Capitol Heights (MD) Notre Dame Prep)   Athletic forward looks a little more like a power forward, as he has the body for it and didn’t distinguish himself on the perimeter.

Jonas Behre (5’11″ Jr. PG, Toronto (Ont.) Fr. Henry Carr HS)   He has a slight frame and isn’t jet-quick, but he penetrated well to create opportunities for his team. His size works against him some as well.

Malik Boothe (5’9″ Jr. PG, Queens (NY) Christ The King HS)   He’s a small but tough floor leader who doesn’t have the best physical tools, instead doing it by playing the game the way he does. He plays hard, he’s scrappy, and really showed a knack for creating for his teammates. Most importantly, his team won games this weekend and he had a lot to do with it. If he was 3-4 inches taller, we would be talking about a solid high-major recruit; instead, he looks like a high-major minus/mid-major plus prospect.

Adrian Bowie (6’3″ Jr. PG-SG, Rockville (MD) Montrose Christian Academy)   Lefty guard isn’t a jet, but has some quickness and can get to the basket. He played the point some this weekend on a team without a natural point guard, and went for double digits a couple of times along the way.

Chris Braswell (6’8″ So. PF, Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha Catholic HS)   Promising post player has a big body and can run the floor, but he’s as yet unpolished offensively and got few touches this weekend.

Zach Crimmins (7’0″ Jr. C, Arlington (VA) Archbishop O’Connell HS)   Skilled post player looks like he has a decent face-up game and can operate in the high post. He’ll certainly need to get stronger for the next level.

Roscoe Davis (6’9″ So. SF-PF, Washington (DC) St. Mary’s Rykien HS)   One of the best prospects on the DC Assault team, he’s long, athletic and bouncy. He got some baskets driving and also showed a touch from mid-range, and as his body matures the former aspect of his game should only get better.

Malcolm Delaney (6’3″ Jr. SG, Towson (MD) Catholic HS)   Athletic scorer had a very good weekend consistently hitting double figures in scoring. Although he seems to be more of a scorer than a shooter, he did knock down his share of three-pointers while preferring to drive and occasionally pull up for a short jumper.

Laron Dendy (6’9″ Jr. PF, Pickens (SC) Prince Avenue Prep)   He didn’t get a lot of touches on offense, but his potential was shown nonetheless. Possessing good size and some athleticism, he blocked a few shots and ran the floor well for his team.

Tim Downs (5’10″ Jr. PG, Greenville (SC) Berea HS)   Quick waterbug floor leader was very effective driving inside and making things happen. He showed the ability to shoot it out to three-point range, but he’s more content to set up teammates and make things happen.

Marrell Evans (6’4″ Jr. SG-SF, Richmond (VA) Varina HS)   We didn’t see him score much, but he’s an active wing athlete who impressed by playing bigger than his size. He has the physical tools and seems to have the right approach to the game with his aggressiveness.

Jio Fontan (5’11″ So. PG, Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony’s HS)   A small scoring point guard, he scored on quick drives and also hit some mid-range jumpers.

Alonzo George (6’8″ Jr. PF, Brooklyn (NY) Tilden HS)   Lefty post player is long and has a decent frame. He didn’t get many touches on offense, but was pretty active at both ends of the floor.

Gregory Grant (6’6″ Jr. PF, Richmond (VA) Huguenot HS)   He has a solid post body and isn’t afraid to use it, at times being like a bull inside. Though undersized, he can get away with playing the power forward spot at his size at the right mid-major/low-major school.

Jerai Grant (6’10″ Jr. PF-C, Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha Catholic HS)   The son of former NBA player Harvey Grant doesn’t just have the pedigree, as he’s a fine player in his own right. He’s active inside and shows good footwork, rebounded well this weekend and got a hand on a number of passes even out near the perimeter.

Donte Greene (6’8″ Jr. SF-PF, Towson (MD) Catholic HS)   Very athletic forward has good size for either forward spot and had a good weekend. He made a couple of three-pointers and scored some inside and out, while running the floor well. High-major prospect has committed to Syracuse.

Dino Gregory (6’7″ Jr. SF-PF, Baltimore (MD) Mt. St. Joseph’s HS)   Here’s one of the more interesting forward prospects we saw. He has a decent body right now with some more maturing to do, and for a while was really not a factor. The speed of the game seemed to be a bit much for him and he doesn’t seem to really know the game. But late in his team’s last game, he came alive with a few plays at both ends, including a key dunk off of an offensive rebound and hitting a mid-range jumper.

Patrick Jackson (6’5″ So. SG-SF, Brooklyn (NY) Xaverian HS)   Promising wing player really shot it well from long range in the game we saw. He already has a decent frame that will be better as his body matures, while also handling the ball some and slashing to the hoop as well to show a diverse offensive game.

Jeff Jones (6’4″ Jr. SG, Philadelphia (PA) Bonner Academy)   He handled the ball often this weekend, which at his size would seem to make him a tantalizing talent. He shows nice guard skills, including a few shots off the dribble, but there’s one problem – until the very end, we didn’t see him score, or even take many shots. He scored 24 in their final game.

Terrence Jones (6’2″ So. SG, Baltimore (MD) Lake Clifton HS)   He looks to have the tools to play both guard spots down the road. We saw his scoring capabilities with a good stroke from long range and the ability to drive to the hoop, which make him seem a little more suited to the shooting guard spot. He also seemed to play the point guard role for a spell.

Chris Lightner (6’6″ Jr. SF, Raleigh (NC) Word of God HS)   Very athletic wing got his share of dunks, especially in transition where he seemed to excel. He reached double figures several times over the weekend, with his best skill being his ability to finish near the basket.

Jarrett Mann (6’3″ So. SG, Middletown (DE) High)   Although he can hit the mid-range jumper, this athletic wing clearly prefers to drive to the basket. We saw him get several hoops on the go, showing some aggressiveness at the offensive end.

Sean Mosley (6’5″ So. SG-SF, Baltimore (MD) St. France Academy)   Primarily a role player on his team, he reached double figures in the championship game and scored within the flow of the offense. He’s an athletic wing who looked more like a scorer than a shooter, and one to keep an eye on in the next two years.

Zach Nagatzam (6’11″ Jr. C, London (Ont.) Southwood HS)   We liked what we saw from this thin post player. He’ll have to get stronger, but he looked active at both ends and didn’t slow his team down, and got a hand on a number of balls as a defensive presence.

Corey Raji (6’6″ Jr. SF-PF, Westwood (NJ) High)   He’s athletic and can score, but overall hasn’t stood out. The best way to describe him appears to be a complementary player, as he’s a high scorer on his high school team and gets in the teens most of the time with the Playaz. Not a big shooter, he can score inside and also knock down a mid-range jumper, and he really runs the floor well.

Jeremy Robinson (5’9″ Jr. PG, Baltimore (MD) Northwestern HS)   Watching his team play, he may not jump out at you right away, but he’s a tough floor leader who made plays for his team. He led his team to the championship with penetration, passing and overall floor leadership and getting the ball to any of several players who had good scoring weekends.

Chris Smith (6’2″ Jr. SG, Lakewood (NJ) St. Benedict’s)   He’s become a real scorer with an improving jump shot. Although he’s played the point some, he seems much more suited to shooting guard as he can drive to the basket and score in transition with his quickness and athleticism.

Lance Stephenson (6’5″ Fr. SG, Brooklyn (NY) Lincoln HS)   Very talented and much-hyped freshman forced his share of bad shots and looks to be a little streaky shooting the ball based on his spring performances thus far.

Aaron Struthers (6’7″ Jr. SF-PF, Wareham (MA) High)   Lanky forward can run the floor well and is active inside. He scored 13 points in his team’s final game, a game where he hurt his team with a technical foul.

Rondy Tucker (6’8″ So. PF, Piscataway (NJ) Rutgers Prep)   Well-built post player already has a solid frame and used it well at both ends of the floor. He wasn’t a big scorer, but we did see him hit a short corner jumper in addition to some baskets in close.

Mike Williams (7’0″ Jr. C, Alexandria (VA) Bishop Ireton HS)   Although he wasn’t quite the factor one would hope he would with his body, he’s one to keep an eye on. He has a good body inside and his mobility is good, and we saw him hit a couple of jump hooks on rare occasions he got touches inside.

Brock Young (5’11″ Jr. PG, Raleigh (NC) Broughton HS)   Quick floor leader penetrated seemingly at will at times and created well for teammates. He didn’t look like a big scorer, but he’s not a liability as he showed a little touch from long range along the way.

Others to keep an eye on

Derrick Archie (6’8″ Jr. PF, Newark (DE) Christiana HS)
Alwayne Bigby (6’4″ Fr. SF, Toronto (Ont.) Eastern HS)
Marvin Binney (6’0″ Fr. PG, Toronto (Ont.) Eastern HS)
Andre Branch (6’6″ Jr. SF-PF, Richmond (VA) Varina HS)
Anthony Breeze (6’5″ Jr. SF-PF, Greenville (SC) High)
Blair Carter (6’4″ Jr. SG-SF, Aston (PA) American Christian HS)
Ian Childs (6’10″ So. C, Cliffside Park (NJ) High)
Darnell Dodson (6’4″ Jr. SF, Greenbelt (MD) Eleanor Roosevelt HS)
Andy Garcia (6’7″ Jr. SF, Bronx (NY) Cardinal Hayes HS)
Antonio Gilchrist (6’9″ Jr. PF, Fort Washington (MD) Friendly HS)
Michael Glover (6’6″ Jr. SF-PF, Chicago (IL) Boys to Men Academy)
Sean Hawkins (6’6″ Jr. PF, Washington (DC) St. John’s HS)
Yorel Hawkins (6’6″ Jr. SF, Apex (NC) High)
Idriss Hilliard (6’6″ Jr. SF-PF, Princeton (NJ) Hun HS)
Paris Horne (6’2″ Jr. SG, Middletown (DE) High)
Darius Johnson (6’2″ Jr. SG, Raleigh (NC) Wakefield HS)
Marcus Kitts (6’8″ Jr. PF, Middle Creek (NC) High)
Chris McGrew (6’10″ Jr. PF, Bethesda (MD) Paint Branch HS)
Sean Monplaisir (5’10″ So. PG, Toronto (Ont.) West Hill HS)
Chris Samuels (6’9″ Jr. PF, Edison (NJ) Academy)
Jessie Simmons (6’5″ Jr. SF, Toronto (Ont.) Jean Vanier HS)
Henry Sims (6’10″ So. PF, Baltimore (MD) Mt. St. Joseph’s HS)
Dane Smith (6’3″ So. SG, Toronto (Ont.) West Hill HS)
Nem Stankovic (6’8″ Jr. PF, Toronto (Ont.) Vaughn Road HS)
Adrian Tucker (6’3″ Fr. SG, Toronto (Ont.) St. Mary’s HS)
Shane Walker (6’10″ Jr. PF-C, Alexandria (VA) Bishop Ireton HS)
Ennis Whatley (6’5″ Jr. SG-SF, Columbia (MD) Pallotti HS)
Travon Woodall (5’10″ So. PG, Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony’s HS)
Garvey Young (6’4″ So. SG, North Bethesda (MD) Georgetown Prep)

Coaching Presence

Among the head coaches we saw were new Northeastern head coach Bill Coen, new Temple leader Fran Dunphy and Hampton’s Kevin Nickelberry, who also had two assistants on hand.

Richmond head coach Chris Mooney watched the very talented Richmond Metro team.

Brothers James (Yale) and Joe Jones (Columbia) were watching a few games together on Saturday morning.

     

Off-Season News Update

by - Published April 20, 2006 in Columns



Off-Season News Update

by Phil Kasiecki

As the off-season continues, there’s plenty going on. Here’s a look at some of the stories that continue to develop.

Who is the Next NC State Head Coach?

The North Carolina State head coaching opening wasn’t talked about much this past weekend as the school was noticeably absent from the Charlie Weber Easter Hoop Fest. The school has struck out trying to lure a big name thus far. Iona head coach Jeff Ruland has expressed interest in the job, according to ESPN.com, but don’t count on that happening given the school’s role in the recent D1 Scheduling story reported by CBS Sportsline last month.

Bobby Lutz would seem a good candidate from just down the road at Charlotte, and the job would be a step up for him. Another name that has surfaced is Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, a former Duke assistant. But one name has surfaced that would be intriguing, and surprising.

West Virginia head coach John Beilein may be a player in this.

Beilein has been said to be immovable for some time now, especially as his name has surfaced for various job openings. He has a great job and his family is very comfortable in West Virginia. But this is one that might work, and it’s exactly because he has several of Herb Sendek’s good qualities: he runs a clean program (a major part of the attraction to Sendek when he was hired and also a reason Ruland is very unlikely to get the job), he runs a variant of the Princeton offense, and he wins wherever he goes no matter how tough it is to win there. He’s also no stranger to a coaching search like this one, as he got the West Virginia job after another coach had accepted the job offer and then returned to his old school just days later.

Against that backdrop, Beilein would seem like the perfect fit. But fans and media would have to be warned: he wins and does it cleanly, but he isn’t a quote machine and he’s not big on being in the spotlight.

At this point, it seems like a mystery as to who the school will go after next. Names continue to surface, with the substance an open question based on reports. But Beilein may be a player in it, and he might be just what the doctor ordered if he is.

Eagles To Replace Key Assistants

Within a week, Boston College saw top assistant coaches Bill Coen and Ed Cooley leave to take on head coaching jobs. Al Skinner promoted Pat Duquette to the top assistant spot and moved Bonzie Colson into an assistant role from Director of Basketball Operations. Colson was in Washington, D.C. this past weekend checking out the talent on hand.

According to a source, the Eagles will hire former Dayton assistant and Worcester Academy head coach Mo Cassara for the open assistant spot, and the director of basketball operations could be former Rhode Island guard Preston Murphy. Cassara coached former Eagles Craig Smith and Steve Hailey during his time at Worcester Academy. Murphy was one of the keys to the run Skinner’s Rams made to the Elite Eight in 1997.

Hawks Losing Young Players?

It’s not unusual for new head coaches to have to deal with holdovers transferring, and more of that has come up. New Hartford head coach Dan Leibovitz could lose two promising freshmen guards in Paris Carter and Chris Cole, as a source said both could transfer. Carter played very well in the latter half of the season as he got more regular minutes, while Cole settled the point guard spot after they didn’t get much production out of it last season.

Both guards played high school ball in Maryland, where departed head coach Larry Harrison recruited well. This past season, the Hawks’ roster featured five players from there, plus Cole, who is from Alexandria but played at National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, MD.

Neither player has been released from their scholarship as of yet. America East teams have already seen several players transfer this off-season, as Vermont released two shortly after their season ended, Boston University has had three transfer and New Hampshire has seen Chris Vetrano leave to join his younger brother at St. Anselm’s.

Other Notes

  • Holy Cross is looking for non-conference games for next season. Several teams in New England have dropped the Crusaders, making it more difficult to put a non-conference schedule together and especially since their league schedule dictates more non-conference games (only 14 Patriot League games). A highlight of their schedule thus far is a return date with George Mason that will be played across town from campus at the DCU Center – that might be a rarity as they are having trouble getting home games this time around. The Crusaders should also have a new assistant to replace the recently departed Darryl Hilliard (Hampton) by the end of this week.
  • UMass‘ non-conference schedule will have a slight ACC feel next season. Their non-conference schedule features a home game with Boston College, as well as a nationally televised date with Duke. The Minutemen could be among the contenders in the Atlantic 10 next season, as they return three starters and gain three transfers who sat out this past season. They should also gain point guard Tiki Mayben after sitting out this season due to academics, which will upgrade the point guard position regardless of who starts between him and Chris Lowe.
  • Yale‘s non-conference schedule for next season is almost complete. Highlighting it are trips to Boston College, Massachusetts, Dayton and Ohio. The Bulldogs will bring back most of this year’s team that showed a steady improvement and should be among the contenders in the Ivy League.

     

California: Powe Rides Momentum Into Draft

by - Published April 20, 2006 in Newswire



Powe Rides Momentum Into Draft: California sophomore forward Leon Powe will enter the NBA Draft, but he does not plan to hire an agent. That means he could return to the Bears if he does not like his projected status. Powe rebounded from an injury-plagued 2005 season with a dominant season. He averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game for California, leading the Bears back to the NCAA Tournament. The biggest red flag in Powe’s file is his health because of his surgically repaired knee. [4/20/06]

Chicago State: Mid-Con Down One

by - Published April 20, 2006 in Newswire



Mid-Con Down One: The Mid-Continent Conference will contract by one member this summer when Chicago State leaves the conference. The school will no longer participate in Mid-Continent athletics after its president decided Chicago State should belong to a conference that has more metropolitan affiliations. The move will be effective June 30 and will reduce the Mid-Con’s roster to eight programs. Chicago State will compete as Division I independent next season as it searches for a new home. [4/20/06]

Texas Pan American: Patience Is a Virtue

by - Published April 20, 2006 in Newswire



Patience Is a Virtue: Central Florida assistant coach Tom Schuberth has been in the collegiate coaching ranks for 23 years, and he’s never received a head coaching gig — until now. Texas Pan American has hired the Golden Knight assistant, giving him his first opportunity to lead a program after working as an assistant at Central Florida, Memphis, Alabama – Birmingham, Louisiana – Monroe and North Alabama. Schuberth takes over the Broncs, who are one of 10 Division I independent programs. The Broncs finished 7-24 last season, with only three wins against other D-I opponents. [4/19/06]

Northeastern Hires Bill Coen

by - Published April 19, 2006 in Columns



Northeastern Goes Across Town For Coen

by Phil Kasiecki

BOSTON – Northeastern’s new head coach didn’t have to go far for his new job. Bill Coen, who had been the associate coach at Boston College and a member of Al Skinner’s staff since 1989, is the new leader on Huntington Ave and was introduced on Friday morning.

At Boston College, Coen had a hand in the recent success of the Eagles, which included the winningest five-year stretch in the program’s history. The Eagles won a school-record 28 games this past season and advanced to the Sweet 16 before bowing out in a tough loss to Villanova in Minneapolis. Coen helped see them through a successful, if bumpy at times, transition from the Big East to the ACC, where they finished in third place and made it to the championship game in the ACC Tournament.

He now takes over a program that recently made the switch from the America East Conference, of which it was a charter member, to the Colonial Athletic Association, a conference that has gained a great deal of visibility in the last month. The Huskies had a successful first season in the CAA, going 12-6 in conference play and 19-11 overall. They did not make postseason play, as they were one of the most notable snubs from the NIT.

Athletic director Dave O’Brien said that everyone he spoke to about Coen held him in the highest regard. Not only did he get an unsolicited phone call from a vice president at Boston College about the type of man Coen is, but he even had another candidate recommend him. The candidate wasted no time endorsing Coen, telling O’Brien, “you need to be talking to Bill Coen, because he’s the right person for this job.”

“To have a contender for the job, unsolicited, make that kind of recommendation, I thought spoke volumes for the respect that other coaches in the business have for Bill Coen,” O’Brien said of the candidate’s recommendation.

One thing that has stood out about Coen is his ability to evaluate talent. Boston College’s recent success hasn’t come with the aid of one McDonald’s All-American after another; instead, it has come with players that were not household names nationally in high school. Players like Troy Bell, Craig Smith, Louis Hinnant, Sean Williams and Tyrese Rice weren’t top 25 recruits coming out of high school, but all have had hands in the recent success. Bell and Smith are the program’s top two all-time scorers, while Hinnant joins Smith in the winningest class in the school’s history. Rice was a late signee last year who was a key reserve and has a bright future at Chestnut Hill.

“The number one thing that sold me on him, from a qualification standpoint, is that everyone I talked to said he’s the best talent evaluator out there,” said O’Brien, who interviewed four candidates for the job. “When you look at the Boston College teams of the last few years, you really can see the product of Bill’s, (Al) Skinner’s and (Ed) Cooley’s work, with Bill being a prime mover in that.”

Coen’s first challenge with recruiting will take place in-house. Sophomore Shawn James, the nation’s leader in blocked shots this season and a two-time conference Defensive Player of the Year, is considering following the former coaching staff to Duquesne. Should he stay, James would be a cornerstone of next season’s team as one of three returning starters. Freshman guard Chris Brickley has already transferred to UMass after playing limited minutes as a freshman this season. The Huskies will return three starters next season if James remains on Huntington Ave, although they will lose one of college basketball’s most dynamic players in floor leader and CAA Player of the Year Jose Juan Barea.

Another challenge he will face is far from a new one – getting students involved to support the team. The Huskies did not draw well this season, as Matthews Arena was routinely empty despite the presence of Barea and James, who led the nation in blocked shots. College basketball is not the first choice of Boston sports fans, and that’s true at Boston College as well as Northeastern. Indeed, at times the fan base can be said to be downright comatose, and considering the personnel the Huskies had and the conference they played in, that’s a shame.

“We’re going to try to get them excited about Northeastern basketball. We’re going to reach out to them in many different ways,” Coen said of the student body. “In order for us to have a homecourt advantage, we’re going to need their support each and every night, and I’m hopeful that they’ll enjoy their time and be supportive.”

Coen has seen this at Boston College and knows the lay of the land. The Eagles haven’t always had ACC-type crowds, and Conte Forum’s atmosphere is rarely anything like that of the Comcast Center (Maryland) on a nightly basis. From that, he has a positive mindset going in about this aspect of the job.

“I think once the students realize what a fun time it can be and what type of effect they can have on the game, I think they’ll enjoy coming to the games,” Coen said.

In Coen, the Huskies have a winner and a perfect fit. He will face many of the challenges he faced at Boston College in terms of the types of players to recruit, as he will again have to find the good players who fly under the radar nationally. Coen knows the game well, knows how to evaluate talent and has had a great deal of success in his career to this point. There’s a reason he is well-respected in the coaching community, and his success should continue in his first Division I head coaching job.

     

Avery Bradley Skills Academy

August 11-13, 2014 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.

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Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

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March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Conference Coverage

2013-14 Big Ten Post-Mortem

July 8, 2014 by

bigten

The Big Ten had some teams slip as the season went on, but plenty of others picked up the slack in another good year for the conference.

2013-14 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

July 7, 2014 by

sunbelt

Membership changes have been happening at quite a pace of late in the Sun Belt, and it was a new member that stole the show for much of this past season and seems poised to lead the way in the future.

2013-14 Big Sky Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

bigsky

The teams that have led the way in the Big Sky of late were right there again this season. One of them won both the regular season and conference tournament, and also had a nice time with the post-season awards as well.

2013-14 MEAC Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

meac

The 2013-14 season was N.C. Central’s year in the MEAC, as the Eagles completed their four-year ascent to the top of conference.

2013-14 Big 12 Post-Mortem

June 30, 2014 by

big12

When it comes to overall depth, the Big 12 this season may have been one of the strongest leagues in a long time. The conference sent seven of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, the first time in 21 years and just the fifth time ever that a league sent 70% or more of its teams to the tourney.

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