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‘College Basketball’ Articles

Wichita State leaves Missouri Valley for American Athletic Conference

 

Shockers will join Conference at start of 2017-18 academic year

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – Commissioner Mike Aresco announced today the addition of Wichita State to the American Athletic Conference in men’s and women’s basketball and Olympic sports beginning on July 1, 2017. The American’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to accept Wichita State as its newest member.

 

“We are pleased and proud to welcome Wichita State to The American,” Aresco said. “This is a University with a strong athletic and academic heritage which shares our Conference’s commitment to excellence, and we look forward to having them as a member. The University has an exceptionally strong tradition of success in men’s basketball and baseball. The addition of Wichita State in basketball and Olympic sports extends our Conference’s national footprint, enhances our national profile, and strengthens our position as a leader in intercollegiate athletics.”

“This is an event of great importance in defining the future of Wichita State,” John Bardo, President of Wichita State University said. “Two years ago, we set out on a fact-finding process to determine the best way athletics could help position the University for enrollment growth and enhance WSU’s reputation as an academic and research institution. It became clear to us that The American offered the best combination of universities who share our academic and cultural values and research focus.”

 

“On behalf of all the presidents of the American Athletic Conference, I am very happy to welcome Wichita State to our league,” said Susan Herbst, President of the University of Connecticut and Chair of The American Board of Directors. “Wichita State brings a strong academic and athletic tradition to The American, and their fans and alumni are passionate about the school and their teams. The addition of Wichita State to The American will further enhance the league and its national reputation.”

 

Founded in 1895, Wichita State University is a public university and the third-largest research university governed by the Kansas Board of Regents. The University is a growing leader in innovation, creativity and collaborative learning and enrolls 14,500 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Wichita State offers 200 areas of study in seven academic undergraduate colleges, 42 master’s degrees, 12 doctoral degrees and 26 certificate programs.

 

Wichita State sponsors 15 sports – baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf, softball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s indoor track & field, women’s indoor track & field, men’s outdoor track & field, women’s outdoor track & field and volleyball – all of which will compete in The American. The Shockers have been a member of the Missouri Valley Conference since 1945.

 

Wichita State’s men’s basketball program has a storied history, winning more than 1,500 contests in its 111-year history. The school has won 11 MVC regular-season championships, including four straight, and four tournament crowns, its most recent in 2017. Under current head coach Gregg Marshall, the Shockers have won more than 260 games for a nearly .750 winning percentage.

 

Marshall’s teams have captured five MVC regular-season titles and two tournament crowns. He led Wichita State to the school’s second-ever NCAA Final Four appearance in 2013 and was named National Coach of the Year in 2014. Marshall also guided the Shockers to the National Invitation Championship in 2011 and his teams have won 25-plus contests in eight consecutive seasons.

 

One of five schools to win an NCAA Tournament game in each of the last five years, Wichita State has registered 10 NCAA Tournament wins since 2013, tied for fifth-most in college basketball. Over the last four seasons, the Shockers are 59-1 in home games at Charles Koch Arena (10,506 capacity), the second most wins and second-best winning percentage behind Arizona’s 66-1 record at the McKale Center. Charles Koch Arena is home to the men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball programs.

 

Wichita State’s women’s basketball team won three consecutive MVC regular-season and tournament titles from 2013-15 and has appeared in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament on four occasions. The Shocker volleyball team won the MVC Tournament title for the fourth time in school history in 2016 and has earned a berth in the NCAA Championship nine of the last 10 seasons, including an appearance in the round of 16 in 2012.

 

On the baseball diamond, Wichita State has won more than 2,100 games and captured the 1989 College World Series crown. The team plays in 8,153-seat Eck Stadium and boasts 37 Major League Baseball players all-time.

 

The Wichita State men’s and women’s tennis programs also have experienced great success. The men’s team has captured 25 MVC tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Championship on 11 occasions, while the women’s program has won 18 conference crowns and earned 10 NCAA Championship berths.

 

Beginning July 1, 2017, the Conference will consist of the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Connecticut, East Carolina University, the University of Houston, the University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, the University of South Florida, Temple University, Tulane University, the U.S. Naval Academy and Wichita State University. Navy is a football-only member and Wichita State will be a basketball and Olympic sports-only member.

 

 

About the American Athletic Conference

The American Athletic Conference (The American), a member of the National Collegiate Association (NCAA) was formed in 2013. With the conference office in Providence, Rhode Island, The American is currently comprised of 12 member institutions. Under the leadership of Commissioner Mike Aresco, The American sponsors 21 championships – 10 for men and 11 for women; is a member of the College Football Playoff; began new television partnerships with ESPN and CBS Sports in 2014; and has a marketing partnership with IMG College. For more information, please visit www.TheAmerican.org.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Chuck Sullivan & Bernadette Cafarelli; COURTESY AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE COMMUNICATIONS

 

Purdue highlights basketball career of Ashley Morrissette

Becoming Morrissette

 

She had an amazing journey as a Boilermaker and showed us all what it means to grow as a person

 

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – It’s hard to encapsulate the kind of player and the kind of person Ashley Morrissette

Ashley Morrissette

has become over the last four years with the Purdue women’s basketball team. Words like growth, maturity and development all come to mind, but hardly do her transformation justice. She arrived a naïve freshman, unsure of what she expected from herself and what she wanted to accomplish, but left as one of the most impressive players and individuals in Boilermaker history. This is how she became Ashley Morrissette.

 

Read more on her career with the Boilermakers here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/lx6WKLpw1GYBg/

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Tanner Lipsett; COURTESY PURDUE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

 

Akron hires John Groce as men’s basketball coach

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PHOTO GALLERYPRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO

MEET & GREET PHOTO GALLERY

 

AKRON, Ohio– University of Akron President Matthew J. Wilson and Director of Athletics Larry Williams introduced John Groce as the Zips’ next men’s basketball head coach on Thursday at the Student Union.

Groce’s appointment is effective immediately, pending approval by the University’s Board of Trustees.

Leading his teams to 19 postseason appearances, including two Mid-American Conference championships and an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, Groce becomes the 22nd head coach of Akron men’s basketball. He takes over a Zips’ team that posted a school record 27 wins in 2016-17 and made its 13th postseason appearance in Akron’s Division I era.

John Groce

“From the enviable position of much sustained success in our men’s basketball program, we concentrated our search on finding a Division I coach with a proven track record of excellence, winning, and post-season appearances, combined with a focus on academics and discipline. Coach Groce has that combination.” Williams said. “We’re extraordinarily pleased that he will be bringing his impressive experience and background to our Zips basketball program.”

“Coach Groce has the commitment to excellence that has been instilled in our program, and I am confident that he will continue to build on that core and achieve even greater successes in the years ahead,” President Wilson stated. “He is passionate about winning the right way, and I know our student-athletes and UA fans and supporters will be excited to see his energy, enthusiasm, and coaching skill on our side of the court.”

Prior to joining the Zips, Groce was head men’s basketball coach at the University of Illinois for five seasons. He led the Illini to an average of 19 wins per season during his tenure along with postseason appearances in three of his first four years in Champaign, owning a record of 95-75.

Groce pursued building a championship program in all phases. There were signature wins on the court, player development improvements, recruiting success, and achievement in the classroom as well. Illinois carried a team GPA over 3.0 for five consecutive semesters, highlighted by a 3.27 in fall 2015 – tied for the highest among all UI men’s teams – and a 3.07 in spring 2016. A team-record six players earned 2015-16 Academic All-Big Ten accolades, and the program’s most recent NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) multiyear score of 990 ranked third in the Big Ten.

He arrived at Illinois after four seasons as head coach at Ohio University, where he led the Bobcats to an 85-56 overall record as well as Mid-American Conference Tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2012.

Ohio was the story of the 2012 Tournament, advancing to the Sweet 16 as a No. 13 seed with victories over No. 4 seed Michigan followed by No. 12 seed South Florida. The Bobcats made a strong push for the Elite Eight before falling to No. 1 seed North Carolina in overtime in the regional semifinal. It marked just the second time in Ohio’s school history and first since 1964 that the Bobcats won multiple games in the NCAA Tournament. Ohio finished the 2012 season with a school-record 29 wins and was known for its pressure defense, ranking second nationally in turnover percentage and third in steals percentage.

Ohio also made noise in the 2010 postseason. Playing in the school’s first NCAA Tournament game in five seasons, the Bobcats received a No. 14 seed and defeated No. 3 seed Georgetown. With the 2010 and 2012 NCAA performances, Ohio became just the sixth school ever to win Tournament games as both a 13 and 14 seed.

Groce has a total of 24 years in the coaching profession and has been part of teams that have made 19 postseason appearances. His record in 15 years as an assistant was an impressive 349-156, giving him a combined record of 511-273.

Groce earned his first head-coaching job at Ohio following four seasons on Thad Matta’s staff at Ohio State from 2005-08, the first two as assistant coach and last two as associate head coach. During Groce’s time in Columbus the Buckeyes amassed a record of 105-35, advanced to the NCAA Championship game in 2007 and second round in 2006, claimed back-to-back outright Big Ten Championships in 2006 and 2007 and won the NIT in 2008. Groce played a key role in recruiting many of the top players at Ohio State and was named Rivals’ 2006 National Recruiter of the Year.

In all, Groce spent eight years as an assistant under Matta. Prior to his time at Ohio State, Groce served three years on Matta’s staff at Xavier from 2002-04 and one season at Butler in 2001. The Musketeers went 78-23 and made three straight NCAA appearances, advancing to the second round in 2002 and 2003 and the Elite Eight in 2004. Xavier also won consecutive Atlantic 10 titles in 2002 and 2003. Butler, meanwhile, went 24-8 and won a conference crown in 2001 while also advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Groce entered the Division I coaching ranks as a member of Herb Sendek’s staff at North Carolina State from 1997-2000. The Wolfpack went 73-58 overall and advanced to the NIT in each of the four seasons Groce was in Raleigh, including a trip to the semifinals in 2000.

Groce got his start in coaching as an assistant at his alma mater, Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. Groce spent three years on Paul Patterson’s staff from 1994-96, helping lead the Trojans to a 69-32 record and pair of trips to the NAIA national tournament. Groce played for Patterson for three years from 1991-93 before making the transition to a student assistant role as a senior. Taylor compiled a 90-16 record and made three trips to the NAIA Tournament during Groce’s playing career, including a 1991 Final Four appearance during his freshman season.

Groce, 45, earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Taylor in 1994. He and his wife, Allison, have two sons, Conner and Camden, and a daughter, Cate.

The C.P. and Cornelia S. Chima Athletics Ticket Office at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field is accepting non-refundable deposits for 2017-18 basketball season tickets at $50 per seat. Limited lower level chair back seats are available, starting at $410 per seat. Renewal invoices for existing season ticket holders will be sent out in mid-summer. To place a deposit, or for further information, call 1-888-99-AKRON (25766) or visit from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Mondays through Fridays. Ticket office is located at 375 E. Exchange Street, near Gate 1 at the southwest corner of the venue, at the corner of E. Exchange and S. Union streets.

 

The John Groce File

YEAR-BY-YEAR COACHING RECORD

Season School
Overall Conference
Standing
Postseason
2008-09 Ohio 15-17 7-9 6th East
2009-10 Ohio 22-15 7-9 5th East NCAA Second Round
2010-11 Ohio 19-16 9-7 3rd East CIT Quarterfinals
2011-12 Ohio 29-8 11-5 3rd East NCAA Sweet 16
4 seasons 85-56 (.603) 34-30 (.531)
2012-13 Illinois 23-13 8-10 T7th NCAA Third Round
2013-14 Illinois 20-15 7-11 T8th NIT Second Round
2014-15 Illinois 19-14 9-9 T7th NIT First Round
2015-16 Illinois 15-19 5-13 12th
2016-17 Illinois 18-14 8-10 9th
5 seasons 95-75 (.559) 37-53 (.411)
CAREER TOTAL 9 yrs. 180-131 (.579)

COACHING EXPERIENCE
2017-present Akron, Head Coach
2013-17 Illinois , Head Coach
2009-12 Ohio, Head Coach
2007-08 Ohio State, Associate Head Coach
2005-06 Ohio State, Assistant Coach
2002-04 Xavier, Assistant Coach
2001 Butler, Assistant Coach
1997-00 N.C. State, Assistant Coach
1994-96 Taylor, Assistant Coach
BIRTHDATE
Sept. 7, 1971
HOMETOWN
Danville, Ind.
EDUCATION
Taylor University, B.S. in mathematics, 1994
COLLEGIATE PLAYING CAREER
1991-93 Basketball (Taylor)
FAMILY
Wife- Allison
Children- Conner (11), Camden (7), and Cate (2)

 

What They’re Saying About John Groce …

“I am so happy for John and his family. John and I have spent a lot of time together, and I have the utmost respect for him and the job he does as a coach and a mentor of young men. This is a great opportunity for him and a fantastic hire by the University of Akron.”
– Thad Matta, Ohio State Head Coach

 

“John is a terrific basketball coach, a tireless worker, and a proven recruiter. He’s a great hire to build on Akron’s tradition and recent success. And nobody will attack the job with more vigor and enthusiasm than John.”
– Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics Head Coach


“John Groce is an excellent basketball coach. His successful background as the head coach at Ohio U., coupled with the tremendous job he did at Illinois – in spite of the unprecedented rash of injuries that he experienced – prepares him for this opportunity at Akron. There isn’t a more determined or prepared coach in college basketball right now than John Groce. Akron will continue its great tradition under John’s leadership.”
– Sean Miller, Arizona Head Coach

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Cathy Bongiovi; COURTESY AKRON ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS

 

Akron AD thanks Keith Dambrot for putting men’s basketball back in national spotlight; long-time coach is headed to Duquesne

Keith Dambrot

From Larry Williams, Director of Athletics:

We are very grateful for the enormous contributions that Coach Keith Dambrot has made to our excellent men’s basketball program. His hard work with our student-athletes, combined with their dedication to going the extra mile, have brought great success to The University of Akron – including the winningest season in UA history – and we value his role in making that happen. He and the Dambrot family will always be a part of The University of Akron family, and we wish him well as he moves along.

We will immediately launch a national search for our new basketball coach, and we reaffirm our commitment to building our basketball program and all of Akron Athletics into a nationally recognized program across the board. In addition to finding a new coach, we are working to be in a position to upgrade the James A. Rhodes Arena and we will need to rely on support from the community to achieve that goal.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Cathy Bongiovi; COURTESY AKRON ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS

 

Michigan women’s basketball edges Villanova; advances to Saturday’s title game in WNIT vs. Georgia Tech

What You Need to Know

» U-M closed the third quarter on a 16-4 run after Villanova tied the game at 32-32 with 7:51 remaining. All 16 of Michigan’s points came in the paint during the run, with Hallie Thome scoring 10 of the points.
» Thome led the way for the Wolverines with 22 points, with Katelynn Flaherty chipping in 18 and Siera Thompson going for 12.
» Michigan will face Georgia Tech in the WNIT championship game on Saturday (April 1) at Detroit’s Callihan Hall.

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Event: WNIT (Semifinals)
Score: Michigan 65, Villanova 61
Records: U-M (27-9), Villanova (20-15)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, April 1 — vs. Georgia Tech (Detroit, Mich.), 3 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan women’s basketball team used a 16-4 run to close the third quarter before hanging on for a 65-61 win over Villanova in the semifinals of the WNIT on Wednesday (March 29) inside Crisler Center. With the win, U-M advanced to the first postseason tournament championship game in school history.

Michigan will square off against Georgia Tech in the WNIT final on Saturday (April 1) at Callihan Hall on the University of Detroit campus. Tip is set for 3 p.m., and the game will be televised by CBS Sports Network. Fans can call the Detroit Ticket Office for tickets at 313-993-1700.

Sophomore Hallie Thome led the way for the Maize and Blue against Villanova, turning in a game-high 22 points to go with seven rebounds and three blocks in 34 minutes of action. Junior Katelynn Flaherty went for 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, while senior Siera Thompson chipped in 12 points and five assists in all 40 minutes. Junior Jillian Dunston just missed a double-double, recording eight points and 10 boards as U-M won the battle on the glass, 40-33.

Villanova tied the score at 32 in the early moments of the third quarter, but Michigan responded with six straight points courtesy of Flaherty, Thome and Dunston to take a 38-32 lead with 6:29 left in the period.

Neither team scored for several minutes, but Thome broke that spell with a layup for a 40-32 lead with 4:02 left. Michigan forced a turnover on the ensuing Villanova possession, with sophomore Nicole Munger cashing in for a 42-32 lead. Michigan once again found Thome for a layup, pushing its lead back to 10, 44-34, which resulted in a Villanova timeout with 2:07 left in the period.

Flaherty found Thome for a layup right before the third quarter ended as U-M closed the period on a 16-4 run to enter the fourth quarter with a 48-36 lead.

The Wolverines got layups from Thome and Dunston to begin the fourth quarter, grabbing a 52-36 lead with 8:58 to go.

Villanova answered with a 13-2 run, forcing Michigan to take a timeout at the 5:06 mark with its lead down to five, 54-49.

Thome converted a three-point play on Michigan’s possession out of the timeout, but Villanova once again answered with a triple of its own.

Flaherty hit a three from the top of the key and Thompson beat the shot clock with a long two to push Michigan’s lead back to 10, 62-52, with 2:45 left.

The Wildcats answered again with five quick points to cut the lead in half, 62-57, but Michigan made the stops it needed down the stretch and got three points from Flaherty and Thompson at the line to secure the win.

Michigan led by as many as six points in the first quarter but hit the break with a 29-26 lead as Villanova outscored the Wolverines, 15-11, in the second quarter.

 

GAME RECAP WRITTEN BY Sarah VanMetre; COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

 

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