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‘College Basketball’ Articles

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

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

 

Dayton hires former Flyer star Anthony Grant as new men’s basketball coach

Grant Brings 3 NCAA Appearances & 6 Postseason Berths In 9 Seasons As A Head Coach

DAYTON, Ohio – University of Dayton Vice President/Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan has announced that Anthony Grant will be the next head Flyer men’s basketball coach.
“Anthony Grant is a proven winner with the highest integrity,” Sullivan said. “He has successful experience in coaching, recruiting and playing basketball at an elite level. I welcome Anthony to our staff and look forward to partnering with him as we continue to aggressively pursue graduating student-athletes, winning conference championships and advancing in the NCAA Tournament. He is absolutely the right coach.”

“I am honored and humbled to be the head coach at the University of Dayton,” Grant said.  “It’s a great responsibility to take over at an institution that is so well-respected.  Anyone you talk to in college basketball would say our program is a successful one, but the potential is here for so much more.”

Anthony Grant (courtesy Alabama)

 

Grant was most recently on the coaching staff of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, working with athletes such as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. He spent the last two seasons on Billy Donovan’s staff after nine seasons as head coach at Alabama and VCU and 13 seasons as a Division I assistant coach.
In nine seasons as a head coach, Grant took his teams to three NCAA tournament appearances and six postseason tournament berths. He has a career record of 193-110 (.637).
Grant is also a 1987 graduate of the University of Dayton, where he was a four-year basketball letterwinner and three-year starter. He played in 105 games at Dayton, averaging 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game over his career. He was the Flyers’ co-captain and the White-Allen Most Valuable Player as a senior. His teams played in two NCAA tournaments and one NIT.
“I join Neil and the entire Flyer Nation in offering a warm welcome to Coach Grant, his wife Christina and their family,” UD President Eric F. Spina said. “In our time together, Anthony clearly demonstrated his ability, his desire to be here and is a clear fit with the University’s values and priorities, which include integrity, the development of character, and winning.”
In six years at Alabama, Grant amassed a record of 117-85 (.579) while guiding the Crimson Tide to the 2012 NCAA Tournament, their first tournament berth since 2006.  He also took Alabama to the NIT on three occasions.
Prior to Alabama, the Miami, Fla. native spent three seasons as the head coach of VCU where he led the Rams to a 76-25 (.752) record and three consecutive Colonial Athletic Association Championships. VCU went to the NCAA tournament twice under Grant and was 45-9 (.833) in CAA games.
Prior to becoming a head coach, Grant spent 13 years as a respected Division I assistant coach. The last 10 years were at the University of Florida (1996-2006) where he served under Donovan. Grant helped lead the Gators to their first national title in 2006, and Florida won the national title again in 2007 with players he recruited and developed.
The 19th coach in Dayton’s history, Grant is just the seventh Flyer coach in the last 70 years. In the modern era of UD basketball, Grant is just the second Dayton grad to coach the Flyers. The first was his former coach, College Basketball Hall of Famer Don Donoher (1964-89).
He and his wife Christina have four children.
UD is one of only 19 schools to play in the last four NCAA tournaments. Dayton returns seven letterwinners from last year’s Atlantic 10 Conference championship team.
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Doug Hauschild &  Krystal Warren; COURTESY DAYTON MEDIA RELATIONS

Miami Redhawks hire Purdue assistant Jack Owens as head men’s basketball coach

 

Owens comes to Miami from Purdue where he was Associate Head Coach


OXFORD, Ohio – Miami University has tabbed Jack Owens to take over the reins of its men’s basketball program, announced by Athletics Director David Sayler on Thursday, March 30. Owens becomes the 27th coach in Miami basketball history.

 

“I’m extremely excited about becoming the head men’s basketball coach at Miami University,” said Owens. “I would like to thank President Greg Crawford and Athletic Director David Sayler for this opportunity and I look forward to not only rebuilding this championship program, but also making this program one that all Miami alumni can be proud of.”

Jack Owens (courtesy Purdue)

 

In Owens, Miami acquires a coach that has advanced to postseason play in 13 of the past 17 seasons and went on to the NCAA Tournament in 11 of the past 13 years, including four trips to the Sweet 16. He has also helped secure several top recruiting classes, produced NBA talent and developed some of the nation’s top players.

 

Owens spent the past nine seasons on staff at Purdue University, three as an assistant coach and the last six years as its associate head coach. Since his arrival, the Boilermakers have recorded 209 wins (23.2/year), including 27 during the 2016-17 season, helping Purdue win a Big Ten Regular Season Championship.

 

In Owens’ nine seasons with Purdue, the Boilermakers have made the NCAA Tournament on seven occasions, advancing to the Sweet 16 three different times.

 

Owens has helped produce five NBA draft picks, including AJ Hammons and Robbie Hummel and multiple professional basketball players. This past season, he helped guide Caleb Swanigan to national attention, recently being named one of five finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, given to the nation’s top player.

 

“On behalf of President Crawford, I am pleased to announce Jack Owens as our men’s basketball coach,” said Sayler. “Character, work ethic, recruiting success, player development and a winning pedigree were all traits that made Jack stand out. When you combine all those factors with the understanding of how to win at an institution similar to Miami, in Purdue, it is easy to see why we are excited to have him as our head coach.”

 

With all of Purdue’s accolades on the court, Owens’ biggest impact for Miami may come on the recruiting trail, especially in the Midwest. A tireless worker, Owens played a significant role in landing Purdue’s first Indiana Mr. Basketball since 1991 in Swanigan for the 2015-16 season. His efforts helped Purdue secure four classes ranked in the Rivals.com top 30 in each of the last four seasons, including the 15th-ranked class in 2013.

Owens came to Purdue after a five-season stint as an assistant at Southern Illinois. In 2003-04, Owens was part of a Southern Illinois team that went 25-5 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. In the next four seasons at SIU, Owens helped guide the Salukis to three more NCAA Tournament berths, a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16, a Missouri Valley Conference title and an appearance in the National Invitation Tournament.

Prior to joining SIU, Owens served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Eastern Illinois, during the 2002-03 season, and spent the 2001-02 campaign as an assistant at Barton County Community College, which reached as high as No. 2 in the national polls during the season. Owens began his coaching career as an assistant at Howard Community College during the 2000-01 season, serving as the team’s interim head coach for a portion of the year.

The Indianapolis native began his collegiate playing career at Murray State, and played a season at Howard Community College before playing two seasons at Eastern Illinois. While at EIU, Owens averaged 11.7 points and 6.5 assists per game as a senior, earning honorable mention All-Ohio Valley Conference honors. He also served as team captain during his final campaign, and garnered team MVP and Outstanding Defensive Player honors. During the 1999-00 season, Owens remained a part of the Eastern Illinois program as a student assistant coach.

Owens and his wife, Kamilah, have three daughters, Alanah, Aniyah and Anyah.

 

Owens will formally be introduced at an 11 a.m. press conference on the court at Millett Hall on Thursday (March 30). The public is invited to this free event.

 

Owen’s Coaching Timeline

Purdue

Associate Head Coach (2011-17)

Assistant Coach (2008-10)

 

Southern Illinois

Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator (2003-08)

 

Eastern Illinois

Assistant Coach (2002-03)

 

Barton Community College

Assistant Coach (2001-02)

 

Howard Community College

Assistant Coach (2000-01)

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Michael Roth; COURTESY MIAMI ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

 

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