The biggest news in Comings & Goings in the last 24 hours was the announcement from Wake Forest forward Al-Farouq Aminu that he will be leaving the school for the pros this season. He will hire an agent, which means his Demon Deacon career is over. Aminu is a versatile 6’8 player who averaged a double-double (16/11) and can play both on the perimeter and in the post. He is expected to be chosen in the top half of the lottery this year. Aminu and fellow big men Tony Woods and Ty Walker were part of the highly-rated recruiting class that pressured Wake Forest brass to hire Dino Gaudio three years ago after the sudden death of coach Skip Prosser. Only Aminu has developed as expected, though.
The University of Houston yesterday announced that they were hiring James Dickey for their vacant head coaching position. Dickey is best known for his development of the Texas Tech basketball program from a backwater to a 30-2 Sweet Sixteen season in 1996. Most recently, he was an assistant coach at Oklahoma State until 2008, but he has been out of coaching since then. UH is taking a bit of a chance with this hire, as Dickey’s Texas Tech program was put on probation in the mid-90s although Dickey himself was never implicated in those violations.
In other head coaching news, maybe the rumors involving Tubby Smith leaving Minnesota for Oregon, Auburn, or just about anywhere will die down as he said on Thursday the school is working on an extension for him. Of course, that means virtually nothing even after the ink dries, but if true, it’s at least a signal to potential suitors that Minnesota is willing to pay for Smith’s services. Kent State’s Geno Ford received a two-year extension yesterday as well. In just his second year at the school, he led the Golden Flashes to the NIT and won the MAC Coach of the Year award.