Monday, April 9, 2007

News and Notes, Weekend Wrap-Up

According to the Houston Chronicle and other media outlets, Texas A&M’s search for a replacement for Billy Gillispie has ended. Sources with knowledge of the deal say that the Aggies will hire Wichita State coach Mark Turgeon has their next head coach. He was offered the deal on Saturday and accepted, although an official announcement is not expected until Tuesday. Turgeon went 128-90 in his seven seasons at Wichita State, including a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2006. He was also a head coach at Jacksonville State, and an assistant at Kansas, Oregon, and in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers. He is replacing Gillispie, who left for Kentucky last week after three seasons with A&M.

According to
CBS, Arkansas’ search for a new coach has finally come to an end. They are reportedly going to hire South Alabama coach John Pelphrey to replace the fired Stan Heath. A press conference is scheduled for Monday afternoon. Pelphrey led USA to an NCAA Tournament bid two seasons ago and a Sun Belt regular-season title last year. He was an assistant under Billy Donovan at Marshall and Florida before going to the Jaguars. This likely concludes a chaotic Razorbacks coaching search, which included the hiring of Creighton’s Dana Altman, only to have him back out a day later.

According to the
Lawrence Journal-World, Kansas sophomore forward Julian Wright is likely to announce that he is entering the NBA Draft. Coach Bill Self said that Wright will be making an announcement regarding his future on Monday, and sources told the Journal-World that Wright made up his mind to leave the Jayhawks. “I want to say Julian's intent is to make a formal announcement Monday afternoon concerning the future status of his career," Self said. “[Wright] will strongly consider his options regarding the draft.” Wright has repeatedly said that he is going to stay at Kansas, and promised his mother that he would get his degree; he is set to graduate in three years. He is a consensus top-ten pick if he decides to make the jump.

Kansas State didn’t take long to find a replacement for the departed Bob Huggins.
The Wildcats promoted assistant coach Frank Martin to the head coaching position only one day after Huggins left for West Virginia. “I’m elated,” Martin said. "I've worked 22 years with the dream of one day earning this type of opportunity.” This past season was Martin’s first at Kansas State, but he was an assistant at Cincinnati for two years and at Northeastern for four years prior to going to Manhattan.

According to a story on, high school phenom Michael Beasley is not sure if he's still going to Kansas State. His mother said on Friday that Beasley would honor his commitment and enroll in Manhattan. However, Beasley didn't seem to echo those remarks. This was before Frank Martin was promoted to head coach, as Beasley said "I'm waiting to see who gets the job first." Furthermore, Beasley said that several schools have been trying to contact him, and he made a list of schools he might want to go if he doesn't enroll at KSU. "I'm really thinking about Memphis right now. NC State and Florida State, too," he said.

Long Beach State hired former Minnesota and Gonzaga coach Dan Monson as the new head coach of the 49ers, replacing Larry Reynolds. Monson was fired seven games into last season from the Golden Gophers’ top spot. “I really can't use the word 'excited' enough," he said. "But I'm very excited about being a part of what you have here.” Athletic director Vic Cegles said, “We’ve hired a good coach and a good guy.” Monson led Minnesota to one NCAA Tournament appearance, and helped establish Gonzaga as a national power.

Not only did Florida lose their top six players, they now lost an assistant coach.
Marshall has hired Gators associated head coach Donnie Jones to replace the fired Ron Jirsa. Jones went to graduate school at Marshall and is from West Virginia originally. "It's exciting to go back because it is home, but I'm excited about the school there," Jones said. "I think it's a great situation, a great program.” Florida coach Billy Donovan was very excited for Jones about the move to Marshall. He said, “I'm so happy for him and for his family because he's getting an opportunity to go back home where his roots are. Marshall made a great decision.” Jones was an assistant at Marshall before following Donovan to Florida.

According to FOX Sports, Louisiana Tech has found a replacement for the fired Keith Richard less than one week after they let Richard go. The Bulldogs have hired UAB assistant Kerry Rupp to fill their top spot. He was an assistant for Mike Davis at Indiana before going to UAB, and was also an assistant at Utah for four seasons. Additionally, he was the interim coach for the Utes who replaced Rick Majerus and led them to a conference title in 2004.

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