Tuesday, June 5, 2007

June 5 News and Notes

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, former Florida head coach Billy Donovan is likely headed back to the Gators and it is now in the hands of the lawyers to void Donovan’s 5-year, $27.5 million contract with the Orlando Magic. "It's up to the lawyers," said a person who has spoken directly to Donovan. They are also reporting that the Magic are likely to offer their head coaching position to former Miami Heat head coach Stan Van Gundy, who was the only other candidate interviewed other than Donovan.

According to Andy Katz of
ESPN.com, current Orlando Magic head coach and former Florida head coach Billy Donovan is waiting to hear from Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos to find out what Orlando is going to do with him. “The choices are simple,” Katz reports. “Either the two parties will agree to rescind his deal or the Magic could pressure him into honoring the contract and/or seek damages.” Sources told ESPN’s Kelly Naqi that Donovan called high-ranking officials in the Magic organization several times, apologizing for the situation. "I'm so sorry this happened,” he reportedly said. I meant no harm. My heart is in Florida."

According to the
Orlando Sentinel, if Orlando Magic head coach Billy Donovan wants to return to Florida, he is going to have to void the deal himself. The report says that the Magic want Donovan to take the first step in legally breaking the contract. "Yes, we want him to live up to our end of the contract," said a source close to the situation. Donovan signed a 5-year, $27.5 million contract with the Magic on Friday before having second thoughts over the weekend.

According to Andy Katz of
ESPN.com, the NBA might have a say in the matter of terminating Orlando Magic head coach Billy Donovan’s contract with the team. Sources told ESPN.com that Donovan is being asked to refrain from coaching in the NBA for five years as one of the terms of his release from the deal with Orlando.

According to ESPN.com’s Andy Katz,
Georgia Tech freshman Thaddeus Young is leaning towards staying in the NBA Draft. "Right now, I want to play in the NBA,” Young said. Young also told ESPN.com that he was mentally and physically ready to play in the NBA, but he wants some sort of guarantee that he will be selected. Young, who averaged 14.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game last season, is projected as a late lottery to mid-first round pick.

Katz also says that Georgetown's Jeff Green, Washington's Spencer Hawes, Colorado State's Jason Smith, Nevada's Ramon Sessions and Marcelus Kemp, Clemson's James Mays, Marquette's Dominic James and Virginia's Sean Singletary are all leaning towards staying in the Draft as well.

According to the
Oakland Tribune, California junior center Devon Hardin is likely to return to the Golden Bears for his senior season, rather than keep his name in the NBA Draft. "Unless I'm that No.1 (overall) pick, Cal is going to be a top option for me," Hardin said. “That's what my mind-set is right now. I'm working out right now and looking forward to coming back to Cal. That's the only certain answer you can get from me." He is excited about the chance to lead Cal to the Big Dance. “I want to take my team deep into the (NCAA) tournament, maybe to the Final Four, be a lottery pick,” Hardin said. “I expect great things from this (2007-08) team.” Hardin is projected by most mock drafts to be drafted in the latter part of the first round. He averaged 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last season over the first twelve games, before missing the last 22 contests with a stress fracture in his left foot.

Rivals.com lists its
Top 25 assistant coaches in the country; the 10 assistants ready to move up; and the Top 25 recruiters of 2006. Included in the Top 25 assistants list are Duke’s Johnny Dawkins, Steve Henson of UNLV, Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, Kevin O’Neill of Arizona, two coaches from Louisville, and Melvin Watkins of Missouri, among others.

Ohio State’s John Groce leads the way in the
“assistants ready to move up” category, with Washington’s Cameron Dollar, Gib Arnold of USC, Kansas’ Joe Dooley, and Tony Jones of Tennessee rounding out the top five.

Not surprisingly, John Groce of Ohio State wins the Recruiter of the Year award, for reeling in one of the top classes in the country, led by Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. " Groce doesn't come across as a salesman,” said Mike Conley Sr. “He has a certain way about him that comes off as a very honest individual and that was very important to me." Daequan Cook’s assistant coach in high school, Albert Powell, agreed. “He came off as a really caring person and someone that could relate to the issues and problems of inner-city kids. That surprised me," he said. Also included in the
Top 25 recruiters rankings are Memphis’ Derek Kellogg, Donnie Jones of Florida, Steve Robinson of North Carolina, UConn’s Andre LaFleur, and Josh Pastner of Arizona.

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