Posted by AMurawa on June 8th, 2012
- A former Pac-12 great is back home, as 2000 Stanford graduate Mark Madsen is returning back to the Farm to become an assistant coach. Madsen was a member of the 1998 Cardinal team that made the Final Four (the first Stanford team to advance that far since the NCAA championship team of 1942), before going on to play nine seasons in the NBA. He’ll take over the spot vacated by Dick Davey, who retired in March. Madsen will work with post players and give current head coach Johnny Dawkins’ staff a tie to the most successful stretch of basketball in the modern history of the program. We’re just guessing that Madsen isn’t going to moonlight as a dance teacher at Stanford.
- Oregon fans got bad news yesterday when it was confirmed that sophomore guard Brett Kingma, a sharpshooter who saw limited minutes and limited success as a freshman, would be transferring out of the program. In the wake of the Ducks losing both starting backcourt players from last year, Kingma appeared set for a bump in minutes, but instead he’ll choose to sit out a year and likely take a step down in competition for the remainder of his college career. While it is certainly well within Kingma’s right to find a place more suited to him, this once again appears to be a case of a youngster making a rash decision early in his career as a result of limited playing time. With Kingma’s decision, now three out of four members of Dana Altman’s 2011 recruiting class have left the school before their sophomore seasons.
- Arizona’s 2012-13 schedule is rapidly rounding into shape, as they announced an agreement with UTEP this week for a home-and-home series that will begin on November 15 at the McKale Center. The second half of this series won’t take place until 2014-15 in El Paso. With this announcement, the Wildcats have just one remaining open spot on their 2012-13 schedule, which is expected to be another home-and-home series, this one with a power conference school that will begin on the road. With games at home against Long Beach State, Southern Miss, Florida and Oral Roberts already on the schedule, along with a trip to Clemson and visit to the Diamond Head Classic over Christmas weekend, the ‘Cats certainly shouldn’t be hurting for chances to pad their non-conference resume.
- Sticking around in Tucson a bit longer, Wildcat head coach Sean Miller won the “Shots From the Heart” championship, a free-throw-shooting contest between NCAA Division I head basketball coaches in support of the American Heart Association and the Skip Prosser Foundation. Miller won the final round of the competition by knocking down 24 of 25 attempts in the final round, defeating Detroit head coach Ray McCallum who made just 21 of his 25 attempts. Over the six rounds of the tournament, Miller made 145 of his 150 attempts, good for 96.7%, an absurd number. If you want to congratulate him, or see if he can drop some free throw shooting tips on you, hit him up on his new Twitter account which he just began a few weeks back.
- Lastly, this week ESPN unveiled its list of the most attractive coaching jobs in college basketball, broken down by conference. In the Pac-12, there certainly weren’t a ton of surprises, with UCLA, Arizona and Washington taking the top three spots, but there are definitely some areas to quibble with their rankings. First and foremost, the idea that Utah is the third-worst position in the conference is absurd. For a school in a basketball-crazy state with a sparkling reputation at lower levels, you have to think the Utes should be near the top half of the conference, certainly ahead of a USC job where, although there are plenty of recruits to choose from in the local area, the Trojan basketball team will always play second fiddle to the crosstown UCLA program, not to mention the Trojans’ storied football program.