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NCAA Coaching Changes
NCAA Coaching Changes
By WagerWeb.com and Ecobika sports betting
With the usual flurry of head coaching changes following the end of the 2005-06 college basketball season, the odds are that you probably missed a few of them. Here are the coaches who I think will have the biggest impact on the upcoming college hoops season.
Bob Huggins, Kansas State: Huggy Bear has already achieved his first goal -- his arrival in Manhattan has made K-State basketball relevant again. Season ticket sales are up more than 3,000 from last year, and the Wildcats are scheduled to make at least four national television appearances this season, more than during the past three years combined. The rumors also persist that prep star O. J. Mayo will spend his one year of college ball playing for Huggins. As for this season, Huggins does have some talent to work with. All five starters return from a team that went 15-13 and won at Kansas if suspended forward Carter Martin (18.0 ppg last year) is restored to the roster. Bet on that happening and keep an eye on freshman Jason Bennett, a 7-foot-3, 265-pound mountain who should help the Wildcats reach new heights, both literally and figuratively.
Mike Anderson, Missouri: As if Hugginsí arrival wasnít going to shake up the Big 12 enough, Anderson rolls in from UAB bringing his version of former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardsonís ď40 Minutes of Hell.Ē The Tigers stumbled to a 12-16 record last season and have missed the NCAA Tournament three years running. Anderson is being counted on to clean up the mess Quinn Snyder left behind, and the frantic style of play he coaches should do the trick. No player is more excited about picking up the pace than point guard Jason Horton, who should be more comfortable playing on the run than he was walking through Snyderís half-court offense. With no returning double-digit scorer or stud incoming recruit, the Tigers will need to generate much of their offense with their defense. They might not win a lot of games this season, but opponents wonít enjoy playing them.
Mike Davis, UAB: Itís not often that a mid-major school loses an up-and-coming coach and replaces him with a higher-profile candidate, but thatís exactly what happened when UAB replaced Anderson with Davis, the former Indiana coach. Davis was never embraced by Hoosier fans (and was more than happy to whine about it), but the welcome mat has been rolled out for him as he returns to his home state. He wonít be the only unfamiliar face on the Blazers' sideline this year, however. Seven seniors from last yearís squad are gone, but Davis has already lined up some talented replacements. Heíll lean on guard Andre White, an incoming junior college star who knocked down 44.8% of his three-point shots last season, and a freshman class with three in-state players. UAB wonít come close to matching its 24-7 record from last year, but unlike the fans in Bloomington, the ones in Birmingham will patiently await better days to come. They likely wonít have to wait too long for them. Davisí recruiting acumen will have the Blazers climbing quickly up the ladder in the watered-down Conference USA.
Kelvin Sampson, Indiana: Despite a lukewarm reception from the Hoosier faithful and recruiting restrictions carried over from penalties incurred at Oklahoma, Sampson should get off to a good start at Indiana. The Hoosiers lost their top three scorers but bring back experience, depth, and a potential star if forward D. J. White (2004-05 Big Ten Freshman of the Year) can stay healthy. Sampson, as he did so often with the Sooners, dipped into the junior college ranks to add forwards Lance Stemler (a JuCo All-American last year) and Mike White. This should give Indiana a strong frontcourt, and the Hoosiers have a promising point guard in junior Earl Calloway, who finished last year strong. Sampson has won at least 20 games the last nine seasons and has a good chance of stretching that streak to 10.
Bobby Cremins, College of Charleston: Youíve got to love the irony of Cremins ending his retirement from coaching to step into the breech here following Gregg Marshallís return to Winthrop University after only one day as the Cougarsí coach. Cremins did the same thing himself back in 1993 when he spurned his alma mater of South Carolina and returned to his job at Georgia Tech. Cremins, who hasnít coached since stepping down from Tech in 2000, has already brought life back into the C of C program. The school expects to sell out its season tickets for the first time this decade. Heíll look to senior guard Dontaye Draper (18.5 ppg last year) and 2005-06 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year Jermaine Johnson to be the anchors of a squad that could be the best team in the South Division of the conference. Cremins has a chance to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996.
Other coaching moves of interest: Matt Doherty to SMU, Jeff Capel to Oklahoma, Sidney Lowe to NC State, Fran Dunphy to Temple, Mick Cronin to Cincinnati, and Bobby Gonzalez to Seton Hall.
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