James L. Edwards III: You’re a junior at MSU when Magic steps on the scene. He’s a local guy, so there’s obviously excitement around the program. That was a time well before social media and camera phones, but what was life like for you guys during his first year? Did you feel like Hollywood superstars in East Lansing? Greg Kelser: One of the great things when he came, Magic brought all the attention with him, he brought all of the curiosity with him. I tell people all the time, I was considered a really, really good player. I got honorable mention All-American accolades, All-Big Ten, all that stuff as a sophomore, but because we were just an average team, (we were) people nobody really knew beyond the Big Ten. But when Earvin came, we began to garner national curiosity, and then we started winning. He and I, as a pair, hit it off immediately.
Former University of North Carolina and NBA first-round draft choice J.R. Reid has been hired as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Monmouth University, Hawks’ head coach King Rice announced Tuesday.
After a 10-year hiatus that ended in 2013, Webber has maintained his distance from UM, which had to remove the Final Four banners from appearances in the Final Four in 1992 and ’93. Webber is expected to be an honorary captain for Michigan’s football showdown against Penn State on Nov. 3 at Michigan Stadium. That could be a significant bridge to Webber reconnecting with U-M and building a better relationship between the sides.
Rose has been the main catalyst among the players, trying to get some resolution to the issues from both sides. He sees Webber’s return to UM as a move in the right direction. “Nov. 3 is a huge date as an icebreaker once he goes to campus and he’s celebrated by the fans and he gets a chance to be welcomed by Jim Harbaugh,” Rose said Monday at a fundraiser at the Detroit Golf Club for his Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. “That’s going to be a catalyst for what could happen going forward.”
After Kentucky’s 4-0 trip to the Bahamas, Kentucky coach John Calipari said NBA scouts came away impressed with 6-foot-11 sophomore big man Nick Richards, the native of Jamaica who played his high school ball at The Patrick School (N.J.).
“The scouts are amazed with Nick,” Calipari said. “They’re looking at Nick, saying wait a minute, and he’s way better than he was. And he’s 7-foot. If you look at the tape he’s flying up and down the court.” One NBA scout concurrred, saying, “For sure.”
Jeff Goodman: Multiple NBA execs told me that Villanova’s Eric Paschall was the most impressive college player out at the Nike Skills Academy this past week. With Brunson, Bridges, DiVincenzo and Spellman gone, look for Paschall to be Wildcats top player this year and also NBA prospect.