Cuonzo Martin is the new men's basketball head coach at Missouri, the university announced Wednesday. Martin, a native of East St. Louis, has been a head coach at three Division I programs, spending the last three seasons at the University of California-Berkeley. Official terms of his contract were not released, though it's expected to be a seven-year deal worth a reported $21 million, which would make him the highest-paid basketball coach in team history. Martin will be officially introduced as Missouri's 19th men's basketball coach at a press conference at 4 p.m. Monday at Mizzou Arena. Martin, whose first name is pronounced KAHN-zo, had a 62-39 record at Cal. The Bears were 21-13 this season, ending with Tuesday's first-round loss in the NIT to Cal-Bakersfield. Cal announced Martin's resignation earlier Wednesday. 'We are thrilled that Cuonzo is returning to the Midwest and that his family will now call Columbia home,' Mizzou athletics director Jim Sterk said. 'From the outset of our search, our goal was to find a coach who had demonstrated success, academically and on the court, while also sharing our values and who can help to reignite interest in Mizzou Men's Basketball among our fan base. I believe we found all of that and more with Cuonzo and I look forward to watching him compete for championships and postseason appearances for many years to come.' Martin, 45, has been high on Sterk's list since the start of the search process, multiple sources said, and had the backing of several prominent donors. Once Illinois fired Jon Groce, Martin's Big Ten ties and Illinois roots led some within the coaching industry to believe Illinois was the more natural fit for Martin. SEC Network's Paul Finebaum tweeted Wednesday that Martin turned down an $18-million offer from Illinois before accepting the Missouri job. Sterk was in California on Sunday visiting with Martin, a source confirmed. Sterk flew from Jefferson City to Oakland to conduct the meeting. Martin's hiring could pay off immediately in recruiting. Washington will fire longtime coach Lorenzo Romar, ESPN reported Thursday, which means prized recruit Michael Porter Jr. will be allowed to ask out of his national letter of intent. Michael Porter Sr., the player's father, is an assistant coach at Washington. A source close to the situation said Martin will consider hiring Porter Sr. as an assistant coach at Mizzou and Porter Jr. could follow him to Columbia. The Porters lived in Columbia from 2010-2016 when Porter Sr. worked on the Mizzou women's basketball staff under coach Robin Pingeton, his sister-in-law. Mizzou was among Porter Jr.'s final five college choices when he committed to Washington last year, along with Indiana, Virginia and Oklahoma. Former Mizzou men's coach Kim Anderson offered Porter Sr. a job on his staff last summer but he instead moved to Seattle to join Washington's staff. The Porters' younger son, Jontay Porter, a four-star recruit for the 2018 class, is committed to Washington. The Porters' sisters, Cierra and Bri play on the Mizzou women's team. Martin's best season at Cal came last year when the Bears finished third in the Pac-12 and earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest NCAA seed in team history. At Cal, he's recruited two four-star prospects and two five-stars, including Jaylen Brown, the No. 3 pick in last year's NBA draft to the Boston Celtics, and current standout Ivan Rabb. Martin was under contract through 2018-19 and owes Cal a reported buyout of at least $1.1 million. "Cuonzo Martin informed me this morning that he is resigning to accept a position at another school," Cal athletics director Mike Williams said. "We put forth our best effort to retain him, but he told me it wasn't about Cal, rather a strong desire to move closer to home. We appreciate all that Cuonzo has done with our men's basketball program over the past three seasons, creating excitement inside Haas Pavilion, guiding our team to a pair of postseason appearances and improving the academic performance of our student-athletes." Before coming to Cal, Martin, was 63-41 in three seasons at Tennessee, highlighted by a run to the Sweet 16 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Martin left Knoxville for Cal after more than 36,000 fans signed a petition to replace Martin with former Vols coach Bruce Pearl, who was fired for committing NCAA violations. Mizzou would have pursued Martin three years ago, sources said at the time, but he accepted the Cal job just two days before Mizzou coach Frank Haith left for the head-coaching job at Tulsa. Martin's first college head-coaching job was at Missouri State, where he was 61-41 from 2008-11, including a Missouri Valley Conference championship in 2011. Martin played for Gene Keady at Purdue and later spent eight seasons at Purdue as an assistant coach. Known as a defensive-minded coach who learned under his college coach Gene Keady, Martin has produced three teams that ranked in the top 20 for adjusted defensive efficiency by kenpom.com, including each of his last two teams at Cal. In recent weeks Missouri has also explored Indiana coach Tom Crean as a candidate, though it's unclear how serious Sterk was about the Hoosiers coach. Butler's Chris Holtmann and Baylor's Scott Drew, both coaching in the NCAA Tournament, have also been on Sterk's radar since Kim Anderson was fired last month, sources said. Martin replaces Anderson, who was 27-68 in three seasons on the job. Martin comes to Missouri with more Division I head-coaching wins than any previous new hire at the school for the position, edging Frank Haith (129), Norm Stewart (97) and Mike Anderson (89). Former coaches Quin Snyder and Kim Anderson had never been Division I head coaches before landing the job at Mizzou. Courtesy of: stltoday.com
Player of the Year:Michael Mallory(6'1''-G) of S.Connecticut Rookie of the Year: Marshall Lange (6'2''-G) of Newberry Coach of the Year: Patrick Beilein of Le Moyne Honorable Mention Gerrel Irvin (6'8''-F) of Dominican, NY Hunter Leveau (6'5''-F) of King Michael Mallory (6'1''-G) of S.Connecticut Matthew Dogan (6'7''-G) of Gannon [read more]
Oregon Advances After Surviving Michigan's Buzzer-Beater Attempt - 8 hours ago
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The scoreboard had Oregon up by 2 points at the half, but it felt as though Michigan, the underdog, was about to overwhelm the Ducks. Michigan's point guard, Derrick Walton (6'1''-G-95) Jr., a senior, had deftly amassed seven assists, looking for all the world like a quarterback finding receivers like Duncan Robinson (6'8''-G/F-94) and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman through thickets of defenders. D. J. Wilson, a junior with a tall haircut and short shorts, had hit two 3-pointers and contribut... [read more]
The scoreboard had Oregon up by 2 points at the half, but it felt as though Michigan, the underdog, was about to overwhelm the Ducks. Michigan's point guard, Derrick Walton (6'1''-G-95) Jr., a senior, had deftly amassed seven assists, looking for all the world like a quarterback finding receivers like Duncan Robinson (6'8''-G/F-94) and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman through thickets of defenders. D. J. Wilson, a junior with a tall haircut and short shorts, had hit two 3-pointers and contributed a block and a steal in just seven minutes of play, his time limited by foul trouble. But Michigan's seemingly impending surge never materialized, as third-seeded Oregon, playing one of the country's most 3-point-happy teams, began to take more aim from deep and hit 3-pointers. And hit them and hit them and hit them. Five from sophomore Tyler Dorsey (6'4''-SG-96), two from junior Dillon Brooks (6'6''-F-96) - all in the second half. The Ducks, which entered making fewer than one-third of their shots from deep, made 47.1 percent (8-for-17) for the game. But Dorsey's most crucial shot came not from beyond the 3-point line, but on an acrobatic drive to the basket that put the Ducks ahead by a point with 1 minute 9 seconds remaining. Those proved to be the final points in a 69-68 victory for Oregon (32-5) over seventh-seeded Michigan (26-12), sending the Ducks to the round of eight on Saturday to play the winner of the later game Thursday night, between No. 1 Kansas and No. 4 Purdue. The Ducks were led by Dorsey and the junior Jordan Bell (6'9''-F-95). Dorsey had 20 points; Bell had a double-double, with 16 points and 13 rebounds - including, on the possession before Dorsey's lay-in, a crucial board on a missed Oregon free throw that he put back to cut Michigan's lead to 1 point. Michigan's Walton finished with 20 points and 8 assists, and his fellow senior guard Zak Irvin (6'6''-G/F-94) had 19 points and 8 rebounds. Moritz Wagner, a 6-foot-10 sophomore from Berlin, who goes by Moe, was Michigan's leading scorer in the last game, an upset of second-seeded Louisville, but on Thursday he appeared physically overwhelmed in the low post and hapless elsewhere, at one point botching a clear layup after Oregon gave him the lane. He finished with 7 points on 10 shots and barely saw the court in the second half. When Brooks hit a 3 with a little more than 13 minutes left in the game, Oregon led by 50-44 and looked in control. But the Ducks let the Wolverines back in it, missing their next five field goals and going scoreless for more than three minutes. Wilson played terrific defense on Bell, forcing him into a miss one-on-one in the post and then grabbing the rebound. Michigan took a 51-50 lead with Walton sitting for the first time in the game. Then Oregon fought back and built a 56-51 lead, with Tyler Ennis (6'2''-G-94, college: Syracuse) contributing a 3-point play. Wilson brilliantly faked his defender with the ball down low, only to miss the layup. Later, Wilson found Irvin underneath in a Walton-like assist to cut Oregon's lead to three. The game continued to seesaw between 3- and 5-point Oregon leads until Wilson hit a 3 to cut Oregon's lead to 60-58 with less than five minutes left. On Michigan's next possession, Walton dribbled at the top of the key, and Oregon's defense dropped back, giving him room to hit his own 3-pointer for a 61-60 lead for the Wolverines with 4:15 remaining. The lead was short-lived: Another Oregon 3-pointer was in store, from Dorsey. On the other end? A 3 from Irvin. With fewer than two minutes left and the shot clock dribbling, Walton took it upon himself again, creating a fadeaway shot that seemed to take an eternity to decide whether to go through the hoop or not. It finally decided in the affirmative, making the score 68-65 - Michigan's largest lead since the first half. Bell grabbed a missed Oregon free throw and put it in to make it a one-point Wolverines lead. This was followed by Dorsey's athletic drive to make it 69-68 Oregon with one minute remaining. Walton had one last chance to go ahead, but his attempt at a buzzer-beating 3-pointer was short. Though a major-conference champion with a famous football team, Michigan might have been the closest thing to a Cinderella story among the 16 teams that entered the N.C.A.A. men's basketball tournament's second weekend. Fledgling through the end of the season, its plane bound for the Big Ten tournament skidded off the runway, spooking the team and causing light injuries. The Wolverines proceeded to tear through that tournament, winning it all. Ranked as high as fourth overall in the Associated Press poll this season, Oregon lost its top shot-blocker, senior Chris Boucher, to a season-ending knee injury in the Pacific-12 tournament. The Ducks now look to make just their second Final Four in program history - and their first since 1939, the very first Final Four of them all. Courtesy of: nytimes.com
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