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Posts Tagged ‘Green Bay.’

Red Auerbach Award Finalists include Akron’s Keith Dambrot

Courtesy of Akron Athletic Communications

University of Akron head men’s basketball coach Keith Dambrot is among the five finalists for the Red Auerbach College Coach of the Year Award, the Jewish Coaches Association announced on Monday.

Dambrot is joined on the list by Brad Greenberg of Radford University, Seth Greenberg of Virginia Tech, Josh Pastner of Memphis and Bruce Pearl of Tennessee.

Keith Dambrot Akron (UA)

In 2009-10, Dambrot’s sixth at Akron, he led the Zips to a 24-10 record and their third straight appearance in a postseason tournament.  Akron also advanced itself to the MAC Tournament championship game for the fourth-consecutive year and posted its fifth-straight 20-win campaign. The Zips ended the regular season on March 17, with a 70-66 loss to Green Bay in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational.

Dambrot was the runner-up for the Mid-American Conference Coach-of-the-Year Award, which went to Kent State’s Geno Ford.

The Red Auerbach Award is given annually to the nation’s top Jewish college coach, as voted on by the members of the Jewish Coaches Association. The winner will be honored at the Final Four in Indianapolis in April.

In 2010, the Jewish Coaches Association named its college coach of the year award after Red Auerbach, the basketball legend who won 938 games ( a record at the time of his retirement) and nine NBA championships as a coach. As a general manager and team president of the Boston Celtics, he won and additional seven NBA titles, for a total of 16 in a span of 29 years, making him one of the most successful coaches and front office officials in the history of professional sports.

Bridgett Williams nine-year run at Wright State ends

Courtesy of  Wright State Athletics

Wright State Director of Athletics Bob Grant had a tough decision to make earlier in the week. To retain women’s head basketball coach Bridgett Williams or not retain her. He chose the latter in not renewing her contract. It was difficult for Grant not to retain Williams. From my standpoint as a member of the media, Coach Williams was always kind and accomodating to the media, always upbeat, confident in herself, players and the program. She was also popular with the fans as well.

But in nine seasons as a head coach, her record was 109-155. The overall record the program has had over the years, but no WNIT of NCAA bids to show. One trademark her team’s always possessed was a strong show every year in the Horizon League women’s tournament.

Williams’ best season was 2004-2005 as the Raiders finished 19-11 and advanced to the championship game of the Horizon League Tournament, losing to Green Bay. The Raiders made it back to the League Finals three years later but lost to Cleveland State in 2007-08 when she was named Co-Coach of the year in the Horizon League.

Bridgett Williams always an upbeat coach (wsu)

Prior to joining the Raiders before the 2001-02 campaign, Williams was the head coach at Chicago State where she was named the Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year in 2001 when she led the Cougars to 10 wins after zero wins in her first year.

Her assistant coaching experience includes stops at UIC, Kansas State, Wisconsin, and her alma mater, Southern Illinois.

Coach Williams was a Kodak All-American selection as a senior at Southern Illinois and those accolades have allowed her to become a member of that school’s Hall of Fame as well as the Missouri Valley Conference All-Centennial Team.

Says Bob Grant, “We would like to thank Bridgett for nine years of service to Wright State. She is a consummate professional, a great person and has been a tremendous ambassador for Wright State. However, at this time, the best interests of Wright State are served by a change in coaching leadership”.

Wright State Raiders use 3-point shooting to beat Detroit; advance to Speedway Horizon League Title game

Todd Brown scored 10 for the Raiders (wsu file photo)

Indianapolis, IN.-  When conference tournament time comes around, most coaches want their team to have a bye. That’s the reason why winning in the regular season is so important as far as seeding goes. It became quite clear early in the season that the nationally ranked Butler Bulldogs were going to be the number 1 seed in the Horizon League tournament. All of the other teams were having a dogfight for second place.

The Wright State Raiders are without a doubt, the league’s next best team after Butler. But they had to prove it and they did. During the month of February, the Raiders won 5 of their last 8 games to wrap up the #2 seed which means a first round bye.

Ronnie Thomas' hot shooting lifted the Raiders (wsu)

Byes can be a blessing. It allows a team to rest injuries, give the players softer practices and to go over areas they need to improve upon. A bye can also be a curse. Because a team might have too much rest and then the team comes out flat and they can get blown out of their first tournament game.

Well, for the Wright State Raiders, it was a blessing. The extra time allowed players like Ronnie Thomas to work on his 3-point shooting. He had been 1 for his last 8. The Raiders beat Detroit for the third time this season, 69-50

Saturday afternoon in the Horizon League semifinal game against the Detroit Titans, it became the Troy Tabler and Ronnie Thomas show as they were draining three after three after three.

Detroit started out going up 7-3 early by getting the ball inside which is their forte’. However, the Raiders are a finesse team and they’ll spread the court in their motion offense and shoot 3′s. The strategy was to have Ronnie Thomas pull Eli Holman, the Titans 6’10, 255-pound center who is shot-blocking, rebounding, physical machine, away from the basket. The Raiders behind Thomas and Tabler scored 15 points all 3-point baskets as the Wright State led, 15-9 at the first media timeout, with 14:09 to go in the first half.

From there, the Raiders would never give up the lead the rest of the game. They were able to get good looks and Detroit was so rattled by Ronnie Thomas’ scoring binge that they went five minutes without a point and saw WSU go up 23-13 at the 7:30 mark as Detroit head coach Ray McCallum had to call a timeout.

The scoring onslaught continued with Thomas and Tabler continuing to shoot 3′s but then the best players on the team, Todd Brown and Vaughn Duggins started to get in on the act and they helped push the lead out to 39-18 at the half.

The stat sheet at halftime had some gaudy numbers for Wright State: 16-2 on points off turnovers, 12-6 in bench points, 15 for 27 from the floor for 55.6%, 9 of 14 from 3-point land for 64.3%, Ronnie Thomas led the way with 14 points followed by Troy Tabler adding 12.

Detroit could’nt get untracked at all. At the half, the Titans were led in scoring by Thomas Kennedy with 9 points, they committed 13 turnovers, shot 38.1 % from the floor, only 1 of 6 from 3-point land and looked more like the team that went 7-23 in Ray McCallum’s first season, than the team that won 20 games this year.

In the 2nd half, Detroit played better but couldn’t cut the deficit any closer than 14 points, 41-27. The hot-shooting Raiders just kept stretching the lead out: 51-29 (21 points), 54-29 (25 points).

The Raiders with the win became the fifth Horizon League team to notch their 2oth victory. They join Butler, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Detroit. Also, the 20 wins mean that it’s four years in a row that head coach Brad Brownell has led the Raiders to 20 or more victories.

The 20-11 Raiders had a nice distribution of scoring: Ronnie Thomas led the way with 18, Troy Tabler scored 16, Vaughn Duggins had 12 and Todd Brown scored 10. They outrebounded Detroit, 30-27, shot 12 of 23 from 3-point land for 52.2% and only committed 9 turnovers.

Center Eli Holman got untracked in the 2nd half to led his team with 12 points but just wasn’t enough as Detroit fell to 20-14.

The Raiders advance to Tuesday’s championship game against host Butler, the number 1 seed at Hinkle Fieldhouse at 9:00 p.m.

SOUNDS FROM THE POST GAME PRESS CONFERENCE (To listen to the audio file, click on the number)

44 438 Brad Brownell On how well Troy Tabler gets open very well to get his shot….44 446 Brad Brownell With Detroit’s size inside did the 3-point shot become the alternative….44 448 Ronnie Thomas He’s from Indiana did he ever play in Hinkle in high school….44 450 Brad Brownell On Wright State having another 20 win season his fourth in a row….44 451 Brad Brownell In a title game in a mid-major league NCAA is next….44 452 Brad Brownell No doubt his Raiders came to play from the opening tip….44 455 Ray McCallum Detroit Coach Was it an advantage for WSU having a bye….44 456 Ray McCallum Did WSU Center Ronnie Thomas surprise him with his 18 points….44 458 Ray McCallum Will 20 wins get them into a postseason tournament….44 459 Ray McCallum In his 2nd year as coach is UDM ahead of schedule win wise

Game Notes

* During the recently completed regular season, Wright State had three, 4 game winning streaks.

*WSU head coach Brad Brownell has average 12.5 wins in the Horizon League in his four years at Wright State.

* Furthermore on Wright State’s 20-wins for a fourth straight year under coach Brad Brownell. Priot to his arrival in 2006, WSU only had two 20-win seasons since moving to Division  I in 187-88, and none since 1992-93.

* The Raiders won its only Horizon League championship in 2007, defeating Butler 60-55 in the Ervin J. Nutter Center. The Raiders and Bulldogs shared the regular- season title that year. WSU also reached the final in 1995, losing 73-59 to Green Bay–also on the Raiders home floor.

* The Raiders are 20-19 against Detroit all-time but is 3-4 in conference tournament games. Wright State has won 10 in a row and 11 of the last 12 games.

* The star players on the Wright State team, Vaughn Duggins and Todd Brown are 1,000-point scorers.

* With this 20-win season, the Raiders now have 15 in 40 years of basketball.

* The Titans have their first winning season in six years (18-13) in 2003-04. And have 20-wins for the first time since going 25-12 in 200-01.

* Detroit has won two Horizon League titles (1994, 1999), which is tied for third among current conference members.

* Coming into Saturday’s contest, the Titans had won 5 in a row against conference opponents, all on the road.

* Head coach Ray McCallum seems to have the recipe for improving teams in his second season. In his other two head coaching  jobs at Ball State and Houston, his second-year teams increased their win totals and advanced to post-season play. At Ball State, he took his alma mater from a 16-12 mark to a 19-11 finish, advancing to the NCAA Tournament. While at Houston, he led Cougars to a nine-win increase (9-20 to 18-15) and a trip to the NIT.

* Woody Payne and Eulis Stephens have played in over 100 games in a Detroit uniform. Payne, 115 and Stephens with 111.

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