Thursday, April 5, 2007

April 5th News and Notes

According to the Indianapolis Star, Butler has hired long-time assistant coach Brad Stevens to replace the departed Todd Lickliter, who left for the coaching job at Iowa. Stevens has been an assistant for the Bulldogs since 2001. Athletic director Barry Collier said, “He's a familiar face to the program . . . and he embraces the Butler Way. We have the utmost confidence that we will continue to see great success in Butler basketball.” Several players, including A.J. Graves and Pete Campbell, said earlier Wednesday that they were hoping someone from inside the program would be hired.

According to a variety of sources, including Jeff Goodman of
FOX Sports and Pat Forde of ESPN, Iona will hire Louisville associate coach Kevin Willard to fill their coaching vacancy left by Jeff Ruland. Willard has worked under Rick Pitino for ten years for both Louisville and in the NBA with the Boston Celtics. He was headed to Delaware after last season, but the job offer was taken away after concerns regarding Willard’s DUI conviction in 2004. Willard, 31, will be formally introduced next week.

Bud Withers and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times give their Preseason Top 25 for the 2007-2008 season. They have UCLA in the top spot, does not include Florida in the rankings, nor in the five other teams listed.

Bud Withers of the Seattle Times discusses how the Pac-10 will be the best conference in the country next season, and will—finally—get the respect it deserves. According to him, “No other league will have the chops at the top or the depth down below.”

FOX Sports’ Jeff Goodman gives his early
Preseason Top 25 for next season. At the top spot is Georgetown, and the two-time defending champs are at #22.’s Bryan Graham goes further than any other analyst when looking towards next season—he includes his entire projected
Field of 65 for 2007-2008. He ranks the teams in order of what round he feels they will reach. He has UCLA at #1, and Florida reaching the Sweet Sixteen at #14.

Kyle Veltrop of The Sporting News looks ahead to next season. He discusses several teams who could potentially be #1; key draft decisions by players who will affect their respective teams; and some of the top storylines to look forward to in 2007-2008.

Ryan Fagan of The Sporting News provides his early look at the 2007-2008 season. He discusses teams and players on the rise, as well as three teams he thinks are destined to drop next year.’s Ken Davis gives his
preseason Top Five for the 2007-2008 season. He has Georgetown #1, and interestingly includes USC at #5 over teams like UCLA and Memphis.

Wally Hall of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette thinks that Dana Altman did the right thing by backing out of the Arkansas coaching position—and not revealing the problems going on within the Razorbacks. Hall writes about various rumors surrounding the program, including potential improper payments to players, positive drug tests, and ineligible players. Interesting read, to say the least.

two Razorback basketball players have tested positive for drug use, and a third was suspended from team activities for academics.

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