Archive for March, 2011

Hunter hires former Tech assistant LaBarrie

Georgia State basketball coach Ron Hunter has made an important hire, securing the services of former Georgia Tech assistant Darryl LaBarrie to be his top assistant coach. LaBarrie, a former Tech player who earned a master’s degree in sports administration from Georgia State, served on then-coach Paul Hewitt’s staff for two years before Hewitt’s dismissal.

LaBarrie came on recommendation from Hewitt, a good friend of Hunter’s. With his recruiting connections in metro Atlanta, Hunter said half-jokingly that LaBarrie has saved him about eight months of work of building relationships and getting to know the area.

“I said (to LaBarrie), ‘Right now, I’m more in love with you than I am with my wife,’” Hunter said. “I didn’t tell my wife that. That guy right there is going to be a great hire for us.”

Hunter said Wednesday afternoon that he had eight interviews lined up within the next 48 hours to fill out his staff, including two more assistants and a director of basketball …

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Barnes hired at Cal. school

Former Georgia State basketball coach Rod Barnes was hired Wednesday by California State University-Bakersfield. He takes the job a little more than a month after being fired at Georgia State.

The school recently completed its transition from Division II to Division I, beginning full membership in Division I in the 2010-11 school year as an independent. It had played a Division I schedule for the past four years and fired coach Keith Brown after this past season, when the Roadrunners went 9-19.

Barnes was fired Feb. 27 at Georgia State after four seasons and a 44-79 record. He has been replaced by former IUPUI coach Ron Hunter.

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GSU spring practice notes

Greetings, all-

I’m on my way to Philadelphia and on a layover, so this will likely be on the brief side. A few things I wanted to get to that I couldn’t in the story that ran Tuesday.

1. Offensive coordinator John Bond is trying to look at having two quarterbacks in spring practice as a good thing, which, at least for Bo Schlechter and Kelton Hill, it is.

“I feel like not having to roll three and four guys in at a time, the added reps are going to do nothing but make them better,” he said. “Obviously, that’s kind of the goal.

2. The staff studied video of Oregon, Michigan and Auburn a good bit after the season looking for wrinkles to add.

“There were two or three things we think might could fit for us,” Bond said.

3. The staff is still recruiting for this year, both possible transfers and high school seniors. With the departures of Star Jackson and Justin Hughes and the dismissal of Olufemi Opanubi, some spots opened up. Two weekends ago, the staff brought in prospects to …

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GSU coach Ron Hunter tidbits

Greetings, all

Hope you’re all well. I attended spring practice Monday morning and then went to the Ron Hunter press conference in the afternoon. I have a few notes from the press conference that didn’t make it into the story and I’ll come back Wednesday with some football stuff.

1. Hunter is putting himself out there. He promised the team will win, talked about being in the finals of the CAA tournament next year and guaranteed that no one in the country will work harder than his team. (I’ve heard that before. How do you go about proving that? I guess maybe that’s why people make that guarantee.)

I suppose those are the things you say to get your fan base excited. I don’t doubt he doesn’t believe it, but, as I said, he’s put himself out there. Which isn’t a bad thing.

2. By NCAA rules, Hunter can practice the team until the Final Four, and he was going to work with players Tuesday and perhaps beyond to get a feel for what they can do. He said a few times that everyone is …

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Ron Hunter GSU’s new basketball coach

According to a Georgia State source with knowledge of the situation, IUPUI coach Ron Hunter will be Georgia State’s new men’s basketball coach. The school has called a Monday afternoon news conference to introduce Hunter. The story was first reported on the Wilmington (N.C.) StarNews website Sunday evening.

“Look at VCU, George Mason,” Hunter told the Indianapolis Star Sunday evening, naming other members of the Colonial Athletic Association. “In my opinion, it’s the best mid-major league in the country.”

Shortly after the firing of coach Rod Barnes Feb. 27, Georgia State athletic director Cheryl Levick said she wanted a coach who was a builder and could be a CEO of the program. Hunter has credentials as a builder. Hunter arrived at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis in 1994 when the school was competing in Division II.

His first season, he led the Jaguars to their first winning season in five years. In 1998, he led the school’s transition into Division I and …

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Calipari talks up GSU basketball

While he’s in town, Kentucky coach John Calipari may not be satisfied with leading the Wildcats to the SEC championship. He may also try to fill Georgia State’s basketball coaching vacancy. Not with himself, mind you.

“There’s a couple guys I’ll probably call them, say, ‘Hey, you need to consider this, that and the other,’” Calipari said, referring to the Panthers job, open since Rod Barnes was fired Feb. 27.

Calipari, who wouldn’t identify possible candidates, said he loved the potential of the job because of its location in Atlanta (”a great city”) and its membership in the Colonial Athletic Association. With teams such as George Mason, VCU and UNC-Wilmington, all of whom have won in the NCAA tournament in recent history, Calipari said the potential to do likewise exists at Georgia State.

“It’s kind of like when I went to UMass,” he said. “They said, ‘Why did you like the job? It’s the worst job in college basketball.’ We’re in a league …

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Little among five players disciplined, Jackson transferring

Four Georgia State players, including starting quarterback Drew Little, have been suspended for various lengths of time, a fifth dismissed and quarterback Star Jackson has left the team.

Little will miss spring practice and the first four games of the 2011 season, leaving the Panthers without arguably their most dependable player from the 2010 season for the season opener against Clark Atlanta as well as key matchups with Old Dominion, Jacksonville State and Houston.

“It’s a fundamental part of building a team,” coach Bill Curry said. “You build in discipline not by writing up a set of rules or by standing up and saying it to the players. You do it by enforcing the rules and making sure they apply to everybody.”

Curry also dismissed linebacker Olufemi Opanubi from the team. Other players suspended are safety Fred Barnes (spring practice, first two games) and wide receiver Danny Williams and linebacker Evan Bostic (both first week of spring practice).

All were for violations …

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