NCAA Rumors

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John Calipari: For the 100th time, I have the best basketball coaching position in the world. I am not looking for any other coaching position. Since he bought the team, @Vivek and I have talked on and off about @boogiecousins. .@Vivek has asked me what I thought about @boogiecousins and I told him he would be an all-star, and I was right. In the last two weeks, we’ve also talked a bunch about the draft and on draft day, obviously because of @ThewillieCS15.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 5 more rumors
Amir got the call after his mom and while excited, spent the next two months in a state of worry. He graduated with a 4.4 GPA and had always put academics first, but he still wondered if he was good enough academically for Rice. On Wednesday, Amir got his official acceptance letter from the admissions office. On Saturday, Bowie and Amir will make the drive once again up 59 towards the Medical Center. This time, though, Bowie won’t be going to a hospital. She won’t be dealing with grief or illness. She will be taking Amir to his dorm room at Rice, where he starts summer classes on June 22.
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Smith has the genes for basketball. His dad is Joe Smith, who was the No. 1 NBA draft pick in 1995. Father and son are building their relationship now, but Amir grew up watching basketball clips of his dad on Google and YouTube. While Joe did financially support him, Amir has memories of being with his father in person just a handful of times. Bowie and Joe were in a relationship during his rookie season with Golden State. After their relationship ended shortly after Amir was born, Bowie stayed close with Joe’s family, particularly his mother, who passed away from cancer in 2007. But Joe and Amir were never together. “It was hard to know I had a dad who accomplished all these great things in the sport I love,” Amir said. “But to not be able to just go outside and actually be able to play with him and learn from him. That was tough.”
As Ollie, 42, prepares for his fourth season as the Huskies’ head coach, two of his peers in college basketball have embarked on the road some have predicted for him — coaching in the NBA. Billy Donovan left Florida to take over the Oklahoma City Thunder, a job for which Ollie was mentioned as a candidate as he reaffirmed his intention to stay in Storrs. And Fred Hoiberg left Iowa State to coach the Chicago Bulls. “They’re going to be wonderful [NBA] coaches,” Ollie said as fans approached for pictures under a large tree. “They’ve come into two great situations, great organizations. I know the Oklahoma City Thunder organization very well and I know the Chicago Bulls organization very well because I played for both of them. They’ve got great ties, great backing and they’re outstanding coaches. They’re going to relate to their players on a different level, bring something great, bring some energy.”
Ollie, who played 13 years in the NBA before returning to his alma mater as assistant coach in 2010 and replacing Jim Calhoun in 2012, has four years remaining on the five-year, $16 million contract he signed after leading the Huskies to the national championship in 2014 — an NCAA run in which he eliminated both Hoiberg’s Cyclones and Donovan’s Gators. There were several NBA openings a year ago, but Ollie declined a chance to talk to the Cavaliers and signed a new deal with UConn. Having finished his playing career with the Thunder as a veteran mentor to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Ollie was thought to be a prime candidate for that job, but there were never formal talks. Ollie’s contract called for a $5 million buyout fee if he had left for an NBA job this spring; that figure decreases as the contract goes on.
CycloneFanatic.com reported Wednesday that Jeff Hornacek, through his agent, declined to meet with Iowa State about its coaching vacancy. However, Steve Kauffman, who represents Hornacek, called the story “simply inaccurate” on an attached message board. A source confirmed to CBSports.com that Kauffman is the actual poster. Subsequent to his initial post, Kauffman posted this: “[Iowa State officials] knew they had to request permission in a certain manner from the Phoenix Suns. I do not wish to allocate the blame as to the parties at fault here. But it’s a shame.”
The team he rejected has a shot at the NBA title. The team he stuck with put together one of the most iconic seasons in recent college history, yet, in the end, there are pizza guys offering hugs of condolence. When has anyone in basketball gone through that? “No regrets,” Calipari promised. “I’ll be watching. But regrets? No. None. …I’m a guy that’s usually looking through the front window.”
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Cal, of course, said no to Cleveland. LeBron said yes. The Cavs open the NBA Finals on Thursday at Golden State. So any regrets? Any pangs of wistfulness? After all, wishing you could do two things at once, run in dual tracts, doesn’t denigrate the path chosen. Every coach would like to win an NBA title. “No,” Calipari said. “No, nope. Because what happened, and the reason I did what I did, was based on having guys come back who wanted to be coached. I didn’t feel comfortable not being at Kentucky.”
When asked, Hornacek said his plan is to be in Phoenix for a long time. “I hope so,” he said. “When Ryan (McDonough) and I came in here we wanted to get this team from 25 wins and a lot of stuff that was going on to back to the level that the Suns are used to. “We had a good start the first year, had some things not go as well last year, but even with that we’re still about what we were the year before that.”
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If Hoiberg takes the job, chances are Hornacek’s phone will ring. Will he answer it? I can’t comment on that,” Hornacek told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday. “I’m the coach of the Suns. It’s an interesting coaching carousel that goes on around the league and even down to the college level. So, if those things ever come about and the timing was right, yes, but as far as I know I’m the coach of the Suns.”
League sources said the Pelicans are willing to pay around $4 million to $5 million per season for Monty Williams’ successor. Williams was fired last week after five seasons at the helm. But Calipari makes about $8 million annually and recently agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2022, which he hasn’t yet signed. The $3 million gap in annual compensation is a major sticking point for Calipari, who would also want input on the Pelicans’ roster, according to the source.
Since Gordon announced he’d be transferring in late March, he said he encountered what he saw as homophobia during his inquiries with other schools. He would not name any programs when asked by USA TODAY Sports. “During the recruiting process, a number of schools didn’t want me because I’m gay,” Gordon said. “To me, that’s blatant homophobia. At the end of the day, no coaches will ever admit that they don’t want me because I’m gay and there’s baggage that comes with the attention. Honestly, it caught me off-guard. It really hurt. It had me stressing, crying. I was starting to lose hope. I felt like I was being treated like an outsider, like I didn’t belong in the NCAA. I couldn’t believe it because I’m a good player and they were looking at the opposite — something that doesn’t mean anything with my (sexuality). … Nah, not the gay guy.”
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As for Holberg, he has long been linked to his former team and is tight with Bulls GM Gar Forman. Sources told SNY.tv the Bulls have already talked to Holberg this season. “He has always said from day one that his lifelong goal has been to coach in the NBA,” Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said of Holberg, according to the Ames Tribune’s Travis Hines. “It’s for him to decide when that part of his life he wants to activate. Now it’s just strictly a decision for him and their family personally, not what he wants to do because he’s made that clear. [The NBA is] what he wants to do. It’s a matter of when he wants to do it.”
Chris Mullin and Ed Pinckney are close friends dating back to their Big East playing days, and sources told SNY.tv he’s the favorite to fill the third spot, which has remained open since Mullin took the job April 1. “There’s a lot of different candidates,” Mullin said last month. If Pinckney joined the staff, St. John’s would have a loaded set of recruiters going forward. Pinckney is a former NCAA champion and Villanova assistant who knows the recruiting ropes as well as anyone.
Avery Johnson is the new head men’s basketball coach at Alabama. At a job that requires not only coaching, but selling recruits and their families, Johnson is resorting back to his old days as Mavericks coach. “I learned so much working with Mark Cuban and working with our staff there and Keith Grant and Donnie Nelson and all those guys, so whether it was in terms of the type of athlete you should try to recruit for your system, hiring the right coaching staff, you know, a lot of the entertainment that the Mavericks provide for the fans at the games,” Johnson told the Tuscaloosa News. “We’re trying to adopt and incorporate a lot of what they do at our games.”
Mike Krzyzewski has added his third recruit of the 2015 class. He’s not another 5-star talent like Chase Jeter or Luke Kennard, but he is the son of one of the best to ever play the game. According to 247Sports’ Adam Rowe, Justin Robinson—the son of former San Antonio Spurs great David Robinson—will join the Duke basketball team next season as a walk-on:
“I am honored and humbled to be named the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder. I knew that it would take a unique opportunity to leave the University of Florida and that is clearly how I look at this situation,” said Billy Donovan, Thunder Head Coach. “The Thunder represents so many of the values that I embrace as a head coach; the commitment to the team above oneself, the dedicated pursuit of excellence, the commitment to organizational culture, the identity they have established and the fact that the Thunder and the community are so intricately woven into the fabric of one another. To have the ability to work with such a talented and high character group of players is also rare, and I am excited to forge ahead creating those relationships. It is of course bittersweet as the University of Florida will always hold a very special place in my heart and in my family’s. I’ve had the good fortune of working with the best athletic director in the country in Jeremy Foley over the last 19 years, and I’ll be forever grateful and thankful for the opportunity and his friendship. Countless players, students, and other people in the administration were responsible for our success and for the meaningful connection we had with the Gainesville community. I have a deep appreciation for what the University of Florida will always mean to me and I’ll forever be a Gator.”
“I want to thank Jeremy Foley, the players, coaches and staff I’ve had the chance to work with during my time at Florida. The administrative support and stability has been unbelievable here, and it is an incredibly difficult decision to leave that. I knew that it would take a unique opportunity to leave the University of Florida and that is clearly how I look at this situation,” Donovan said.
The Oklahoma City Thunder named Billy Donovan the team’s new head coach, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Donovan becomes the third head coach in Thunder history after spending the past 19 years at the University of Florida where he led the Gators to two National Championships and four trips to the Final Four while amassing a record of 467-186 (.715).
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Billy Donovan has stepped down as head coach of the Florida men’s basketball team to take the same position with the Oklahoma City Thunder, director of athletics Jeremy Foley announced on Thursday. Donovan leaves Florida after 19 seasons leading the men’s basketball program to unprecedented levels of success, winning two national championships, reaching four Final Fours and claiming six SEC titles, posting a 467-186 (.715) record with the Gators.
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“We are thrilled to welcome Billy and his family to the Oklahoma City Thunder organization. When we began the process of identifying the next head coach of the Thunder, we started with a vision and the identifiable qualities that we felt were necessary for our organization as well as the ever evolving role of the head coach in today’s NBA. We wanted to identify a person with the traits associated with high achieving leaders in their respective fields; a continuous learning mentality, the ability to adapt, evolve and innovate, intrinsically motivated, humility, and great tactical competence,” Presti said. “While we created a comprehensive analysis regarding the qualities we were looking for, it became quite evident that Billy was the ideal fit for the Thunder as we look to transition our team into the future. Billy has achieved an incredible level of success and experience within his 21 years as a head coach and has shown the unique ability to not only create but sustain an elite program. His emotional intelligence, commitment to the concept of team, and relentless approach to incremental improvement have allowed him to bring his players together and establish lasting relationships through competitive success. Billy’s core values and alignment with our culture and community, as well as his proven tactical abilities, make him an ideal addition to the Thunder organization.” ‎
Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant has reached out to multiple former University of Florida players in the NBA to gain insight into Donovan, league sources told Yahoo Sports, and has become generally positive about the potential hiring. Donovan has had an interest in trying to speak to the Thunder’s key players, including Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, before accepting the job, but it was unclear if that would be facilitated for Donovan, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Throughout the Donovan process, Presti hasn’t conferred with his top players, nor their agents.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder and Florida’s Billy Donovan have started discussing the framework of a contract to bring the two-time national championship coach to the NBA, league sources told Yahoo Sports. There’s confidence on both sides that a deal can be reached, but none is yet in place, sources told Yahoo Sports. Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti and Donovan met on Tuesday in Gainesville, Fla., and conversations – including contract talks – are continuing on Wednesday, sources said.