Newly-hired Ohio University men’s basketball coach Saul Phillips was introduced to a contingent of the media, student-athletes administrators and other guests Tuesday. His comments included eight topics and are listed below:

 On His Upbeat Personality
“Ask my wife. It’s funny because I think people have this perception of what I’m going to be like on the sidelines. I’d say it’s like a combination of the Tasmanian Devil and a tornado or something like that, but I’m going to teach, too. I just like what I do and I have an enthusiasm for what I do and I’m not going to hide that. But I’m not doing WWE on the sideline either. I’m not throwing chairs on the court. I’m fine with the refs, so it will be fine. Even after a win or loss or whatever, I’m happy to be doing what I’m doing.”

“When I started out in this profession, all I wanted to be was a head coach somewhere. Now look at me. I’m at a beautiful campus and making quite a bit more than my sister ever thought I’d make, I’ll tell you that much.”

(Click Read More at right to continue . . . )

Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Javon McCrea has been selected to participate in the 2014 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, which will be played from April 16-19.  The four-day, 12-game tournament played in Portsmouth, VA will be attended by representatives from every NBA team. McCrea, who is one of 64 seniors invited to play in the event, becomes the third UB player invited to Portsmouth following Turner Battle and Mitchell Watt.

McCrea was named the MAC Player of the Year and an All-MAC First Team selection for the third straight year.  McCrea averaged 18.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game this season. He was named the MAC East Player of the Week three times this year and he went over the 30-point mark three times, including a career-high 34 points in a senior day victory over Bowling Green.

McCrea became UB's all-time leading scorer earlier in the year and he finished his career with 2,004 points.  McCrea also finished with 988 rebounds.

Over 1,000 former and active NBA players have risen from the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.

ATHENS, Ohio- Ohio University Director of Athletics Jim Schaus has named former North Dakota State University head coach Saul Phillips as the Bobcats' next men's basketball head coach. With seven years of head coaching experience, Phillips becomes the 18th head coach in school history.

"I am extremely excited about the future of Ohio basketball and I am elated to have a chance to add to its rich tradition," Phillips said. "This is an outstanding university in a terrific community. I share the vision of the administration as to what the enormous potential is of this storied program. I simply cannot wait to start working with our players and helping them reach their potential. I want our fans and my players to know that I will pour maximum energy and enthusiasm into Bobcat basketball."

Phillips comes to Athens, following one of the most memorable seasons in NDSU history. During the 2013-14 campaign, Phillips guided the Bison to a 26-7 record, a Summit League Championship and a 80-75 overtime victory over Oklahoma in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

On one hand, I am pretty sure that Kain Colter will occupy a spot in sports history.  On the other hand, I’m not so sure about what kind of place that will be. Hero? Villain? 

Likely somewhere in between.  Let’s just say that he has already distinguished himself – positively or negatively – as a “mover and a shaker.” From what I’ve picked up on him, he would gladly embrace that. The problem is that Colter’s moves will likely be shaking a lot more than football .

Coulter, who last fall completed his career as a Northwestern University quarterback, has spearheaded a move to unionize NU football, and a National Labor Relations Board director recently ruled in favor of mandating a player  vote for unionization.  That secret ballot vote will likely take place sometime in the next few weeks, and Cain has every reason to believe the vast majority of active players – who have already supported this movement -- will vote in favor of forming a union.

Technically, the NLRB decision applies to Northwestern, which is a private school. Public universities would not be immediately affected since they are a state entity, and that involves different labor dynamics.

At the same time, few doubt the direction this is going. “This is a lot bigger than Northwestern, and it will branch out,” Colter recently stated.

Oh, how true!!!

(Click Read More at right to continue . . . )

PictureJim Christian (MRO file-M. Smith)
ATHENS, Ohio - Jim Christian has resigned as head coach of the men's basketball program at Ohio University to accept the same position at Boston College, the school announced today. A national search for a successor will begin immediately. 

"I want to thank Jim Christian for all he did for our program during his tenure," said Ohio Athletics Director Jim Schaus. "I wish he and his family the very best in the future. Moving forward, we will begin a national search immediately. Ohio University is a special place with a strong basketball tradition of success. I am extremely confident that we will attract a high level coach soon who will help us continue to build our program to the highest level of excellence." 

In two years at the helm of the Bobcat program, Christian compiled a 49-22 (.603) record with two postseason appearances. 

This past season, Christian guided Ohio to the Quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), which marked the squad's fifth-consecutive postseason appearance. Ohio's CIT bid occurred following a 25-12 season in which the team tied a school record with 10 road wins. 

In his first season at the helm in Athens, Christian earned NABC District 14 Coach of the Year honors after leading the Bobcats to a share of their first MAC regular season title since the 1993-94 campaign. The Bobcats earned a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) for the first time since 1995 and tied the Ohio program records with 14 league wins.


Buffalo Bulls senior Javon McCrea received honorable mention honors to the Associated Press All-America Team, announced by the AP this week.  McCrea becomes the third UB player since 2005 to garner All-American honors.

McCrea was named the MAC Player of the Year and an All-MAC First Team selection for the third straight year.  He averaged 18.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game this season. He was named the MAC East Player of the Week three times this year and he went over the 30-point mark three times, including a career-high 34 points in a senior day victory over Bowling Green.

McCrea became UB's all-time leading scorer earlier in the year, and he finished his career with 2,004 points.  McCrea also finished with 988 rebounds.
Previous honorable mentions All-Americans for UB were Turner Battle (2005) and Mitchell Watt (2012).

-- Kowalczyk contract extended
-- Hurley is finalist for Joe B. Hall Award
-- Three MAC players are Henson award finalists

(Click Read More for details . . . )


VMI 92, OHIO 90


Bobcats lose early lead, fall short with late push
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio Bobcats (25-12) saw their season come to an end in a hard-fought 92-90 loss to Virginia Military Institute in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Convocation Center.

Senior guard Nick Kellogg poured in a career-high 30 points in his final game as a Bobcat, matching his career-high in three-pointers by knocking down six.

Junior forward Maurice Ndour finished two points shy of matching his career high, totaling 26 points. Ndour knocked down a career-best 12-of-13 field goal attempts and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

Redshirt junior guard Javarez Willis tallied 13 points. He also dished out a game-high six assists to match his career high.
Ohio used a hot start from Ndour to jump out to a 17-point lead with just over seven minutes left in the first half. The junior post player totaled 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting while the `Cats' defense limited the Keydets to just 32.4% from the field to take a 46-39 advantage into the break.
(Click Read More at right to continue . . . )

It’s been a long road for Chris Jans, who has started a new chapter in his life by accepting the position as head men’s basketball coach at Bowling Green State University. Jans was officially introduced as the Falcons’ 16th head coach Tuesday afternoon.

“My responsibility is to win championships here. That’s all I’ve ever done,” Jans said during his press conference. “I can’t promise you when it’s going to happen, but it’s going to happen.
“I can’t wait for the day when we are celebrating wins, and singing Ay Ziggy Zoomba.’’

Jans received a six-year contact at $325,000 per year.

“The more research I did, the more excited I became about the opportunity here at Bowling Green State University,” Jans said. “This is the right place for me, it’s the right time for me, and I’m going to work my tail off to make everybody proud of this program.

(Click Read More at right to continue . . . )

UMass turns down option for full membership
Cleveland, Ohio – The Mid-American Conference (MAC) and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) jointly announced today that the 2015 football season will be the final year for UMass as a football-only member of the MAC.

“UMass has been a valued partner during its brief time within our Conference, however the 2014 and 2015 seasons will be the final two football seasons for UMass as a football-only member in the MAC,” said MAC Commissioner, Dr. Jon Steinbrecher. 

An agreement between the MAC and UMass contained a contractual clause that offered UMass a choice of becoming a full member for all sports or to remain a football-only member for two more years.  The MAC Council of Presidents exercised this clause on February 17, 2014, and UMass was offered full membership.  UMass elected to use the 2014 and 2015 seasons to conclude its football-only membership with the MAC.

“This is not the outcome we anticipated when UMass was admitted as a football-only member.  However, circumstances changed regarding our football membership and this is a result of those circumstances,” added Steinbrecher.  “I want to thank University of Massachusetts Chancellor, Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy, and Director of Athletics, John McCutcheon, for their professionalism and understanding in reaching this amicable decision.” 

(Click Read More at right to continue . . . )