The 71-year-old Brown, who reportedly will receive $1.75 million a year for five years, was on the top of his game, cracking jokes with one of his pupils, invited guest Bill Self, and former SMU coach and fellow North Carolina graduate Matt Doherty, in attendance.
…Brown, who met with SMU’s current players before the news conference with Doherty, quipped that among the changes in college athletics that he must adjust to is text messaging.
“I’m just learning how to text,” Brown said. “I think I’m going to have to get really proficient in that.”
Brown said that he filled in the current SMU players on his background, though they were blank when he mentioned he played for Frank McGuire and mentioned Henry Iba. He joked that he didn’t dare mention James Naismith, the inventor of the game.
Later, they did appear to get the longtime NBA coach’s reference to his famous spat with start Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson.
“I love practice,” Brown said then mimicked Iverson’s notorious press conference. “Practice. I’m talking about practice.”
Big 12/College News
The discussion came after a second assistant coach in two weeks, and sixth in four years, announced he was leaving Greenberg's staff, this time to take an assistant's job at ACC rival Clemson. Associate head coach James Johnson, a five-year member of Greenberg's staff, was offered a salary matching the one he was to receive at Clemson, but still declined.
"Coach Johnson came to my office Friday morning and told me that it had nothing to do with money," Weaver said.
Last week, Rob Ehsan left to become an assistant at Alabama-Birmingham, and was accompanied by director of basketball operations Jeff Wulbrun, who got an assistant's position at UAB, leaving only John Richardson and Greenberg on the Tech staff.
Within three hours of Tech's announcement about Greenberg, Old Dominion announced it had hired Richardson, who spent five years on Blaine Taylor's staff before going to Blacksburg.
Kansas University is recruiting former Xavier University basketball combo guard Mark Lyons, according to Lyons’ former prep school coach, Jason Smith.
Lyons, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior out of Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., and originally from Schenectady, N.Y., was released from his scholarship agreement at Xavier on Monday.
…Lyons was recruited to Xavier by current Arizona head coach Sean Miller.
Arizona recently lost a point guard in sophomore-to-be Josiah Turner, who has announced plans to transfer to a yet-to-be-determined school. KU returns starting combo guard Elijah Johnson and reserve point Naadir Tharpe, who played sparingly as a freshman.
…James Young, a 6-5 junior from Troy, Mich., is considering KU, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan State and others, Rivals.com reports. Young is rated No. 9 in the Class of 2013. He averaged 25 points a game (hitting 12 of 27 threes) during a weekend AAU tournament in Minnesota, which KU coach Bill Self attended.
James Young’s offensive explosion was impressive, especially considering that he led The Family to a 3-1 record on the weekend. Young is regarded as a top-15 prospect in the class of 2013 in most circles because of his rare combination of athleticism, size and skill. Grades have been and continue to be an issue in his recruitment but Michigan State has long been considered the favorite for his services.
At the end of Monday’s 57-minute commitment ceremony, Parker briefly toyed around with baseball caps from Georgia and Ohio State before revealing a t-shirt with the UCLA logo on it.
“I just wanted to go to a place with a winning tradition,” Parker said.
At UCLA, Parker will also be going to place with a familiar face. Last June, the Bruins hired Korey McCray, the former CEO of the Atlantic Celtics AAU team. While Parker has played primarily for the Georgia Stars AAU team over the years, he appeared in several tournaments with the Celtics. He has a tight friendship with McCray, who has trained Parker since he was 12 years old.
“Yes sir, I did want to play for Korey,” Parker said. “We’re extremely close. He’s like an older brother to me, and he has been looking out for me for a long time … I really thought if I went to UCLA, Korey could really develop me. He pushes me hard.”
At UCLA, Parker will also be reunited with his AAU teammate, small forward Jordan Adams, the former Central Gwinnett standout who transferred to Virginia’s Oak Hill prep school this season. Adams signed with UCLA last November.
Said Norman Parker: “I’m sure that connection helped. [McCray] was a pipeline directly to the [Tony Parker] family – that’s my guess … They didn’t hire [McCray] for his looks.”
"I just thought UCLA was the perfect place for me to get better, be successful," Parker said at the end of an hour-long ceremony at which he announced his decision. "With the prestigious open run that they have in the summertime, I just thought UCLA would be a great place. I have three great guys recruiting me in Kyle Anderson, Shabazz (Muhammad) and Jordan (Adams)."
How will Parker and Josh Smith share the floor? Both are big, both are strong and both are powerful low-post presences. In other words, they are the same player. What happened with UConn this season should give you concern about two unproven centers sharing the floor. Along those same lines, will Josh Smith’s aversion to exercise rub off on Parker, who is checking in at 270 lb himself?
- Will Howland have enough front court minutes to go around? In addition to Smith and Parker, both of the Wear twins and Anthony Stover will need minutes. Anderson, Muhammad and Adams can all be considered small forwards as well, meaning that you can legitimately say UCLA’s roster has eight front court players and two back court players. How will that work?
- Most importantly, however, is the question of whether or not Howland will be able to get all of that talent to be able to play together. He’s had talented recruiting classes before (see: 2009), and we all saw how that played out. The SI article from February should make you even more concerned about his ability to manage talent.
UCLA will be one of the most talented teams in the country heading into 2012-2013 and will likely be found somewhere near the top of most preseason top 25 lists. They probably deserve that consideration, but there is still plenty for this team to prove before you give them a free-pass to the Final Four.
Olympic High basketball star Allerik Freeman got a scholarship offer from Duke Monday night, Trojans coach Ty Baumgardner said.
Freeman, a 6-foot-3 junior guard, averaged 17.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals for Olympic last season, helping the Trojans to a 28-2 record and a second straight N.C. 4A Western Regional appearance. Freeman was the District 9 player of the year, the ME-GA 7 conference player of the year, an Associated Press N.C. All-American and the N.C. Preps' N.C. 4A state player of the year.
Freeman is ranked No. 13 nationally by ESPN. He had previously narrowed his college choices to Kansas and Villanova, but his list may be changing now. He also has offers from UCLA and Ohio State.
Smith said that at some date in May or June, he will sit down with Jabari and his parents to narrow the list of schools. After the youngster makes some more unofficial campus visits this summer, Smith predicts that the nation's top-rated player will make a decision in the fall prior to his senior season.
…Choosing a college might be more difficult for Parker than winning a fourth state title in a row and repeating as Illinois' Mr. Basketball. He is said to adore Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. But his mother is overly impressed with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. And his father admires North Carolina coach Roy Williams.
But what about the Kentucky/Nike/John Calipari influence? How can you ignore their recent track record of success? And what if, as one veteran observer of the recruiting wars speculates, Nike offers Sonny Parker a prestigious position in the giant shoe company's hierarchy?
Spring/Summer Event Schedule
4/27-29 Jayhawk Invitational
4/27-29 Real Deal in the Rock
4/27 Boo Williams Nike Invitational
adidas Grassroots schedule
Nike EYBL Schedule
Check here for the NCAA Recruiting Calendar (updated to reflect April Eval period changes)
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