Duquesne’s Everhart, McConnell Earn National Accolades
McConnell was the only freshman in Division I to total over 300 points (344), 100 assists (140) and 75 steals (91) this year.
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Duquesne’s Ron Everhart has been selected District 4 Coach of the Year by his peers in the National Association of Basketball Coaches, while T.J. McConnell was one of 21 players named to the CollegeInsider.com Freshman All-America team.
Everhart, who guided the Dukes to a 19-13 record and tied for fourth place finish in the Atlantic 10 in his fifth season as head coach, is the first Dukes coach to be honored by the NABC since Red Manning was named District 3 coach of the year in 1972.
District 4 consists of the 14 schools that make up the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Duquesne, picked to finish eighth in the A-10 in a preseason poll of league coaches and media, jumped out to an 8-0 start on the way to finishing with a 10-6 conference record. The Dukes, who started an all-freshman backcourt, were one of four teams to earn a bye in the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship. Although final NCAA stats will not be published until after the Final Four, DU is a lock to lead the nation in assists (17.8 apg.), steals (9.9 spg.) and turnover margin (+6.7).
Everhart, who took over a Duquesne program that was coming off a 3-24 record with an RPI of 308 in 2005-06, has led the Dukes to three consecutive post-season appearances (NIT, CBI & CBI) for the first time since 1968-71. His DU teams, which are averaging 16.6 wins per season, have put together four straight non-losing seasons for the first time since 1970-73.
Damian Saunders Named to Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America Team
CollegeInsider.com All-America team highlights nation’s top defenders
PITTSBURGH – Duquesne senior Damian Saunders (Waterbury, Conn./Notre Dame Prep) was one of 21 players named to the CollegeInsider.com 2011 Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America team announced today.
Saunders, the only player in NCAA history with over 250 assists (281), blocks (300) and steals (277), is a two-time Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year (2010 & 2011).
The 6-7 Waterbury, Conn. native finished his career as Duquesne’s all-time leader in blocks, steals, games played (127), games started (116) and dunks (166). His 1,511 points ranked 11th and his 1,019 rebounds were third-best on DU’s all-time lists.
Saunders joined UMass’ Stephane Lasme (2006 & 2007), Richmond’s Tony Dobbins (2003 & 2004) and Temple’s Pepe Sanchez (1998 & 2000) as the only two-time Atlantic 10 Defensive Players of the Year when he won the award for a second time this season. Saunders became the first player in Duquesne history to earn conference Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2010. Saunders ranks in the top 10 on A-10 lists for career blocks (8th), steals (9th) and rebounds (9th).
Mooney Signs 10-Year Contract At Richmond
This is the third-straight year that Mooney has signed a contract at Richmond with his deal going through the 2020-21 season.
RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond head men’s basketball coach Chris Mooney has agreed to a 10-year contract with the University of Richmond, the school announced Sunday night. The agreement now runs through the 2020-21 season.
Mooney signed the contract Sunday evening and a press conference streamed live on RichmondSpiders.com will be held on Monday at 11 a.m. Financial terms will not be released.
“Chris Mooney has demonstrated that he is the right fit for the University of Richmond. He has attracted quality student-athletes and guided them to success both on the court and in the classroom,” Richmond athletics director Jim Miller said. “This agreement clearly demonstrates Coach Mooney’s and the University’s commitment to the long-term success of Spider basketball.”
Mooney led the Spiders to a 29-8 record in 2010-11, including a first-ever Atlantic 10 championship in the school’s 10th year in the conference, and the programs’ second-ever NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance. This is just the second time the Spiders have appeared in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. Richmond’s 29 wins is a school record, eclipsing the 26 victories last season that tied a school record and vaulted the Spiders to a No. 24 final national ranking in the AP Poll.
“Jim Miller, President Ayers and the entire University community have made this a place where we can build a national program,” said Mooney. “We are excited about the commitment that the University has made to the basketball program and are looking forward to the future.”
Baron Honored at Cox Sports/Rhode Island Basketball Media Luncheon
KINGSTON, R.I. — Head coach Jim Baron received the Joe Mullaney Award for top Division I coach at the Cox Sports/Rhode Island Basketball Media Luncheon.
Baron led Rhode Island to a 20-14 overall record – the fourth consecutive season in which the program won 20 or more games. It also capped off the winningest four-year stretch in program history.
Xavier Junior Guard Tu Holloway Named AP Third Team All-American
Extensive List Of Postseason Honors Continues To Grow
CINCINNATI — Xavier University junior guard Tu Holloway has been named Third Team All-American by the Associated Press, adding to his extensive resumé of postseason accolades. Holloway also joined an exclusive club of XU players after earning this prestigious honor.
Holloway is the third Xavier player to earn AP first, second or third team honors and only the second to do it as an underclassman. David West earned AP Second Team honors as a junior in the 2001-02 season before earning AP National Player of the Year honors as a senior in the 2002-03 season. Byron Larkin earned AP Third team honors as a senior in the 1987-88 season.
Dayton Men’s Basketball Will Begin A New Era
Flyers Begin National Search For Next Head Coach
DAYTON, Ohio -The University of Dayton was notified by Brian Gregory that he will be leaving his position as head men’s basketball coach.
“I would like to thank Brian Gregory for his work here at the University of Dayton,” said Tim Wabler, UD Vice President and Director of Athletics. “Brian did a tremendous job here of bringing national recognition to the program, serving in the community, graduating our student-athletes and representing the University in a first-class manner.”
Gregory accepted the head coaching position at Georgia Tech. UD has already begun a national search for the next Flyer head men’s basketball coach.
From the Dayton Daily News:
Aaric Murray To Transfer From La Salle Men’s Basketball Program
Sophomore played two seasons at La Salle
PHILADELPHIA – Sophomore Aaric Murray will be leaving the La Salle men’s basketball team with the intent to transfer at the end of the spring semester.
“This was a very difficult decision for me, and I wish Aaric the very best for his future,” head coach Dr. John Giannini said. “I know Aaric always tried to do his best for La Salle, and we did all that we could to help him as a person and as a basketball player. We will continue to support Aaric in this process of finding another university.”