Mid-Major Morning Mashups: NBA Draft Early Entry Deadline Edition

Note: Mid-Major Madness will conclude its team scouting reports of the America East today and begin our breakdown of the Atlantic-10.

David Woods of the Indianapolis Star: "Another run to college basketball's national championship game. Another player leaving early for the NBA. That's worth the exchange for the Butler Bulldogs. That's worth a risk for Shelvin Mack. Mack, a junior guard, announced Sunday -- the deadline for getting in or out -- that he was leaving Butler and keeping his name in the NBA draft pool. He said he made the decision Saturday and slept on it overnight. "I think it's a good time for me personally to go after my dreams," Mack said in a phone interview from his home in Lexington, Ky., where he was with his mom on Mother's Day. Mack was the Horizon League's preseason Player of the Year but endured such an uneven season that he did not make the all-league first team. He averaged 16.0 points and shot 35.4 percent on 3-pointers. He averaged 20.3 in the NCAA Tournament, including games of 30 and 27. He was the outstanding player of the Southeast regional and made the Final Four all-tournament team."

Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer: "Although Tu Holloway called Saturday's NBA pre-draft workout in New Jersey a positive experience, the point guard said returning to Xavier for his senior season was the right decision. Holloway announced his intention to remove his name from the NBA draft pool via Twitter at midnight Saturday, thus preserving his college eligibility one day before the league's withdrawal deadline. In his first Tweet, the Associated Press Third Team All-American predicted a third Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season title and second first-round draft pick for Chris Mack in his first three years as XU's coach. Holloway's second Tweet said he would finish his XU career as a two-time A-10 player of the year and two-time All-American. His plans also included 2,000 career points, 500 assists and 500 rebounds - a feat achieved by only 10 players in NCAA history."

Via UCSB Sports Information: "Orlando Johnson, who has led UCSB to consecutive Big West Conference Tournament championships and NCAA Tournament berths for the first time in school history, has removed his name from consideration for the 2011 NBA Draft, he announced Sunday. "I want to finish what I started," said Johnson. "I want to get my degree. When I went to LMU (Loyola Marymount, where he played as a freshman) my goal was to graduate and I don't want to leave college without achieving that." Johnson, a two-time Big West Tournament MVP, two-time First Team All-Big West choice, and two-time league scoring champion, will return as one of the top players in the nation. As a junior, he ranked among the top-15 in scoring nationally at 21.0 points per game. "I want to return and take my game to a new level," he said. "I am excited because we have so much potential. We've gone to two NCAA Tournaments and I know that we have a chance to be so successful."

Matt Bonesteel of the Washington Post: "Navy men's basketball coach Billy Lange resigned on Monday after seven seasons. He is stepping down to become the associate head coach at Villanova, where he was an assistant coach from 2002 to 2004. "We all express our gratitude for the contributions Coach Lange has made to the Academy and the men's basketball program," Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk said in a statement. "The Midshipmen who played for him have been outstanding representatives of the Brigade of Midshipmen and role models in the community. Navy Basketball reflects dedication, determination, passion, responsibility and class in large part due to the leadership Billy brought to Annapolis." Lange compiled a 92-115 record at Navy, finishing with a winning record only twice (2007-08, when he was named Patriot League coach of the year, and 2008-09). Last season, the Midshipmen finished 11-20 and lost to Lehigh in the first round of the Patriot League tournament. "Being the head coach of Navy basketball has truly been and will always be one of the highest honors of my life," Lange said in the statement. "To be associated with such a prestigious institution and be a part of the tradition, legacy and family of Navy basketball was a privilege."

Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com: "It's supposed to be the good part, the fun part -- but there's always the unforeseen sour to the sweet. The goodbyes stay with coaches long after they've gone on to the bigger and better. It's the "this is how everyone's affected" part of the process, and it comes immediately for coaches. There is change and it is swift. Ed Cooley grew up in the heart of Providence. In that sense, the choice for him to leave Fairfield for the Friars was fairly easy. Leaving a team with promise to win the MAAC again? That wasn't easy. Neither was turning his back on recruits he clearly loves and could've coached to an NCAA tournament or two. But he couldn't deny what his heart wants. "It is the ultimate happy ending story when we turn this program around," Cooley said of his new job at Providence College. Cooley added his courtship was "odd and fast." What he hated most: the timing. Fairfield was on spring break. Only four players were around when his departure was finalized, so instead of meeting anyone face to face, he had to call each player and recruit on the phone and tell him he was leaving. "It was awful. I never had a formal group goodbye," Cooley said. "It was just awful."

Scout.com unveiled it's first look at the Top 100 in the Class of 2012. The majority of ranked players haven't yet made their final decisions, but Butler has already locked up one blue-chip prospect in shooting guard Kellen Dunham who is ranked 87th nationally. 

Kathy Orton of the Washington Post: "When George Washington President Steven Knapp introduced new men's basketball Coach Mike Lonergan at a news conference on Monday, he spoke about Lonergan's deep connection to the Washington region. "He really knows our community," Knapp said. And as Lonergan made clear during his speech, the 45-year-old Bowie native really knows Washington basketball and GW basketball in particular. Lonergan name-dropped a who's who of area and Colonials basketball greats: Jack Bruen, his former coach at Catholic; Gary Williams, his former boss at Maryland; Morgan Wootten, the former DeMatha coach; Derrick Lewis, his former teammate at Carroll High; GW graduate and NBA coaching legend Red Auerbach; former GW coaches Gerry Gimelstob and Mike Jarvis; and former GW players Mike Brey, Mike Brown, Shawnta Rogers, Vaughn Jones and Chris Monroe. Except for the past six years he spent as coach at the University of Vermont, Lonergan has spent his whole life in this area. The former Catholic University point guard and head coach replaces Karl Hobbs, who was let go on April 25."

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