College Basketball Notebook
Published 12:00 am Monday, April 7, 2008
The college notebook …
INDIANAPOLIS ó Indiana freshman Eric Gordon is entering the NBA draft.
While he has not yet signed with an agent, his father, Eric Gordon Sr., said he intended to sign with one, which would officially end his college eligibility.
The move was expected long before Gordon made the announcement Monday. When he joined the Hoosiers, many people predicted the 6-foot-4 guard with the nifty moves and NBA 3-point range would go straight to the league after one college season. He’s projected as a top-10 pick in the June draft.
“I’m doing this to compete at the highest level, not for the fame or the money,” Gordon said during a news conference. “I just had a couple of weeks to really think about this after the season, and now is the right time to do it.”
Gordon, a third-team All-American, is the second member of the heralded 2008 freshman class to declare for the draft, joining Arizona’s Jerryd Bayless. Those who have not yet announced whether they will turn pro include centers Michael Beasley of Kansas State and Kevin Love of UCLA, both first-team All-Americans; Memphis guard Derrick Rose, a third-team All-American; and guard O.J. Mayo of Southern Cal, who was an honorable mention choice on the All-American list.
Gordon led the Big Ten in scoring (20.9 points), set school and Big Ten freshman scoring records with 669 points, and made the third most free throws by a Hoosier in a single season (231). He also tied Mike Woodson’s school record for most 30-point games by a freshman (three) and won the conference’s freshman player of the year award.
Gordon’s decision comes after a tumultuous season at Indiana in which the Hoosiers’ 25-8 record was overshadowed by Kelvin Sampson’s midseason resignation, the promotion of Dan Dakich to interim coach, three player suspensions and a first-round loss to Arkansas in the NCAA tournament.
MIAMICORAL GABLES, Fla. ó Miami Hurricanes basketball coach Frank Haith signed a five-year contract through the 2012-13 season, a reward for leading the school to 23 wins and its first berth in the NCAA tournament since 2002.
In Haith’s fourth season, the Hurricanes went 23-11 and earned only the fourth NCAA tournament victory in school history before losing in the second round to Texas.
CORVALLIS, Ore. ó Craig Robinson, who coached the past two seasons at Brown and gained attention as Barack Obama’s brother-in-law, was selected Monday as the new men’s basketball coach at Oregon State.
The Beavers went 6-25 this season, becoming the first team to go winless in the Pac-10’s regular season since the league expanded from eight teams in 1978.
Robinson was 30-28 in two seasons at Brown. The Bears went 19-10 this season and finished second to Cornell in the Ivy League.
Robinson was an assistant at Northwestern for six seasons under Bill Carmody before taking over at Brown. He is the brother of Michelle Obama, wife of the Democratic presidential contender.
Robinson played at Princeton from 1980-83, twice helping the Tigers to an NCAA tournament berth.
CINCINNATI ó Xavier point guard Drew Lavender was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana.
Police said they arrested the 23-year-old Lavender early Sunday morning.
Police said they searched Lavender and found marijuana on him. He was released after posting $2,000 bond.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. ó Ken McDonald spent most of his final season as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky in 2002-03 working inside a cramped trailer outside E.A. Diddle Arena while the university gave the aging facility a makeover.
By the time the remodeled arena reopened, McDonald was following coach Dennis Felton to Georgia.
Still, McDonald kept his eye on the Hilltoppers, secretly hoping one day he’d get a chance to return, make himself at home in the new digs and cement Western Kentucky’s place as one of the nation’s top mid-major programs.
That happened Sunday, when the Texas assistant was hired to replace Darrin Horn, who left the Hilltoppers for South Carolina last week.
“I think when I left here, there was some unfinished business,” McDonald said. “I think we need to have the attitude that we’ll take on anybody, anywhere at any time.”
NEW JERSEY TECH
NEWARK, N.J. ó Jim Engles, an assistant basketball coach at Columbia, Rider and Wagner the last 18 years, will take over the winless New Jersey Institute of Technology program.
Engles is taking over the biggest rebuilding job in Division I college basketball.
NJIT set an NCAA record for futility this past season, losing all 29 games. The previous low was 0-28, set by Prairie View of Texas in 1992 and matched by Savannah State in 2005.
NJIT is on a 33-game losing streak, dating to Feb. 19, 2007. The school has a 5-53 mark since moving to Division I two seasons ago.