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‘College Basketball’ Articles

Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant announces 2017-18 coaching staff

Staff Brings Experience In Game Management, Recruiting, Player Development & Analytics

Anthony Grant with Alabama in 2009 By Rtr10, Own work, CC BY 3.0, https

DAYTON –New University of Dayton men’s basketball coach Anthony Grant has announced that he has assembled his coaching staff for his first season as Flyer head coach.  They are Associate Head Coach Anthony Solomon, assistant coach James Kane, assistant coach Ricardo Greer and Assistant to the Head Coach Darren Hertz.

“I’m very happy to announce our full staff,” Grant said.  “I think we are a staff whose strengths will complement each other, but there are two critical areas where there is a lot of common ground.  They are all high-character men, and each one is very good at creating and establishing relationships, whether it is relationships with our current players and our recruits, their families or people in the Dayton community.”
This will be second stint at the University of Dayton for Solomon, who spent the 2007-08 season as a Flyer while a member of Brian Gregory’s staff.  One of the most-respected assistant coaches in the game, Solomon’s 29-year college coaching career also includes stops at Virginia (his alma mater), Notre Dame (twice), Clemson and Georgetown.
After earning four letters at Virginia from 1983-87, Solomon moved to the sidelines as a graduate assistant at Delaware for the 1988-89 season.  He then coached at Bowling Green (1989-92), Manhattan (1992-93), Richmond (1993-94) and Virginia (1994-98).  He then took an administrative position at Clemson as Assistant Athletic Director for Basketball Operations for two seasons before returning to the court as an assistant at Notre Dame (2000-03).
Solomon then went to St. Bonaventure, where he was head coach from 2003 to 2007, stabilizing a scandal-plagued program.  After SBU, he had his first stint at Dayton (2007-08) before returning to Notre Dame (2008-16).  While at Notre Dame, Solomon worked primarily with the Irish guards and coordinated the program’s national recruiting efforts. He helped lead Notre Dame to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship in 2014-15 and to Elite Eight appearances in 2015 and 2016.
Last year, Solomon was on the staff at Georgetown.
The teams that Solomon played on at Virginia made three NCAA Championship appearances, earned one NIT berth and won 78 games during his tenure. Solomon was a member of the ‘84 team that advanced to the NCAA Final Four in Seattle, Washington. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication studies.

Anthony and his wife Tracy have two daughters — Maya and Kamra, and one son, AJ (Anthony).
“Anthony is well-thought of in college basketball circles for his knowledge of the game and the type of person he is.  He is a known quantity nationally, and especially well-connected in the Midwest.  He has coached at some of the most-respected programs in the country, and he understands what Dayton basketball means to the community after being here for one season and being a visiting coach at the Arena.”
James Kane is reunited with Grant at Dayton.  He previously worked as a graduate assistant (2006-07) and video coordinator (2007-09) at VCU, and then video coordinator at Alabama (2009-11) under Grant.
Kane then moved to coaching on the court at Murray State where he has been for the last six seasons.  He was a part of MSU’s 31-2 campaign in his first season at the school (2011-12) in which the Racers were ranked for 13 weeks and were in the top-10 for the first time in school history. In 2014-15, the Racers won 25 straight games and became the first in school history and only the second all-time to go undefeated in the Ohio Valley Conference at 16-0. MSU won the OVC regular season title and a pair of games in the National Invitational Tournament and finished 29-6.
Kane has a reputation of being excellent in the technology area and directed the video efforts of the MSU basketball program. Along with the video efforts, he also was heavily involved in the player development, recruiting, and game planning. He is known for his outstanding job of building relationships with players and being an excellent recruiter and evaluator of talent.
Known as a tireless recruiter, Kane also served as an intern for the Charlotte Bobcats in basketball operations and scouting analysis during the 2005-06 season.
Kane graduated from the University of Florida in 2005 with a degree in sport management and a minor in business administration. Kane went on to receive his master’s in sport management from VCU’s Center for Sport Leadership.
“I’m excited to bring James to our staff at Dayton.  He is an extremely hard worker who was a very valuable member of our staffs at VCU and Alabama, and he has grown into the role of a top-flight assistant coach in his time at Murray State.  Every place he has been, he has been a part of a winning basketball program.”
Ricardo Greer comes from the University of Central Florida staff where he served as the Knights’ Director of Player Development for the past two seasons. Greer brings a great deal of basketball experience to the staff, primarily coming from his playing days.
Greer played collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh from 1997-2001, for the Dominican Republic national team from 1999-2009, and professionally in Europe for 14 seasons. At Pittsburgh, Greer led the Panthers in both scoring and rebounding during his junior and senior seasons and was the only player in the Big East to rank in the top 15 in scoring, rebounds, assists, and steals. His play earned him All-Big East honors during both of those seasons.
His leadership ability on the court is unquestioned as he was team captain at Pittsburgh and for the Dominican Republic national team.
In Europe, Greer had an extremely successful career playing for various top-level teams in France, Ukraine, Croatia and Great Britain. Greer was named First Team All-League in the French Pro-A league three times, was a five-time French Pro-League All-Star and won the Pro A League MVP in 2010. He also led his teams to championships in 2005 and 2008, earning Finals MVP honors for the first title.

Greer earned his bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Pittsburgh. He and his wife Misty have two children; Ricardo Jr. (RJ) and Maddison.
“Our players will benefit greatly from having Ricardo on our staff.  His experiences around the world on the court will help our players relate to him, and his presence as a leader will help make him an excellent coach.  He did a fine job at Central Florida and I look forward to working with him here on our staff.”
Darren Hertz brings 21 years of experience to Anthony Grant’s staff, most recently working as a special assistant to head coach John Groce at Illinois over the past two seasons.
Hertz spent 19 seasons (1996-2015) at the University of Florida working under former Gator’s head coach Billy Donovan. He was on the same staff that Grant worked on from 1996-2006.
While at Florida, Hertz started out as a student assistant in 1996 and worked his way up to Video Coordinator in 2001. During his time as video coordinator he was responsible for running various editing systems, breaking down film for opponent scouting, making individual and team edits from practices and games, producing motivational videos and coordinating film exchange.
He served as the video coordinator until 2005, when he became Assistant to the Head Coach, a position he held for the next seven seasons. In 2013, Hertz was promoted to Director of Basketball Operations, where he led the daily operations of the Gator program including scheduling, organizing recruiting, planning team travel, and directing the Billy Donovan summer camps for his final three seasons at the school.
During Hertz’s association with Florida basketball, the Gators totaled 467 wins, two national championships, four Final Fours, 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, six Southeastern Conference regular season championships and four SEC tournament titles.
Hertz graduated from Florida in 1997, earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He later obtained a master’s degree in sport management from UF in 2001.

Hertz and his wife Julie have a son, Brandon, and daughter, Alexa.
“I’m very happy to have Darren on our staff.  He knows inside-and-out what we want to implement as we install system and style of play.  He will be involved in analyzing every aspect of our program and will be directly in charge of our analytics.  He will not only analyze our opponents, but also analyze our own efficiency and constantly look for ways for us to become a better basketball team.”



Miami names former star Damon Frierson assistant basketball coach


Miami Hall-of-Famer will focus on alumni relations and mentoring players

OXFORD, Ohio – Miami University head men’s basketball coach completed his staff on Tuesday with the hiring of Miami Hall-of-Famer Damon Frierson to the position of Assistant to the Head Coach.


“It feels great and exciting to be back in Oxford once again and be a part of the Miami coaching staff,” said Frierson. “I am looking forward to working with my longtime friend Jack Owens, the great staff he’s assembled and the current and future RedHawks. Love and Honor!”

Damon Frierson


Frierson will handle several tasks for the men’s basketball team. He will be responsible for budget, scheduling and team academics. He will be responsible for the program’s managers and student assistants. Frierson will also be the point person for an increased effort in alumni engagement.


A two-time All-MAC selection and the fifth all-time leading scorer for Miami men’s basketball, Frierson propelled the RedHawks to MAC regular-season titles in 1997 and 1999 and a MAC Tournament crown in 1997. Leading Miami to three postseason appearances during his career from 1996-99, he was a key component on one of the greatest NCAA Tournament runs in program history as the 1999 RedHawks reached the Sweet 16. He owns the single-season record for minutes played (1,201) and ranks among MU statistical leaders in seven single-season categories and 12 career lists. Frierson is part of Miami’s top scoring duo with Wally Szczerbiak, finishing his career with 1,644 points.


For all of his success with the Red and White, Frierson was inducted into the Miami Hall of Fame as part of the 2015-16 class.


“Damon is a longtime friend of mine who will serve as mentor for the guys; he’ll be around on a daily basis,” said Owens. “He’ll be a guy that players can come to with for advice since he’s been in their shoes here.


“Also our hope is we can bridge the gap with the alums in some capacity. We would love to bring guys back and Damon is already beginning to work on that. Obviously he was a great player here at Miami and we are thrilled to have him back and ready to engage with our alumni!”



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




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:




Akron hires John Groce as men’s basketball coach

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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


Season School
Overall Conference
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)

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
Sept. 7, 1971
Danville, Ind.
Taylor University, B.S. in mathematics, 1994
1991-93 Basketball (Taylor)
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




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