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Mid-Major Minutes: Each state’s most challenging job and UTEP’s newest players

Oh and we talk about that really tall Gonzaga recruit some more.

Good morning! If you’re reading this, you’re clearly starting your day off right with an effort to better yourself by becoming more educated about the goings-on in the mid-major world.

In a landscape so dominated by the biggest schools and conferences, it’s quite hard to winnow down the information you want and need to hear about your favorite mid-major programs.

Thankfully, Mid-Major Madness is here to aggregate the news and links for you, providing you with a brand-new, daily post about the world of mid-major hoops.

#Content to Read

Lots of mid-major schools are the toughest jobs in their respective states (ESPN)

ESPN’s Myron Medcalf went through all 50 states and named the most challenging job in each of them. For some states, like Vermont and Maine (which only have one D-I school), the answer was pretty clear. For others, Medcalf makes some interesting observations, including picking many mid-major schools over their respective in-state Power 5 foes.

In all, I counted 30 states where Medcalf picked a mid-major school as the most challenging job (31 if we’re counting UConn and Connecticut). In many instances, I can’t help but agree. Still, I can’t stop laughing at the fact that Medcalf wrote only one sentence about New Hampshire’s most challenging program, Dartmouth:

In the past 13 seasons, the school has had four coaches and never finished above .500.

Getting the lowdown on Gonzaga recruit Matt Van Komen (Slipper Still Fits)

Regular readers of the Mid-Major Minutes can recall that, a few days ago, I included a link about Gonzaga opening up its recruitment of Matt Van Komen, a 7’3 center in the class of 2019. Well, our colleagues over at Slipper Still Fits reached out to a high school coach of his to find out more about the potential Zag.

In their interview with the coach, the site found out some critical information about the guy and the sheer potential a player of his stature possesses. While the whole thing is worth reading, a few sentences in particular stood out to me:

When Van Komen started working with the high school program, he hardly even jumped. He had been able to dunk since seventh grade, and could consistently dunk over everyone without having to jump.

Former NC A&T guard Sam Hunt is transferring to NC State (College Basketball Talk)

Kevin Keatts is about to begin his first year at the helm of NC State, and he has just added a solid scorer to the Wolfpack. Sam Hunt, a former guard for the NC A&T Aggies, will be coming in as a grad transfer, and Keatts seems pretty excited to have him, as Terrence Payne recounts:

“Sam is a great young man and will bring much needed depth to our backcourt,” N.C. State head coach Kevin Keatts said in a statement. “I want guys who are excited about being a part of our program and Sam really wants to be here.

“Sam is a combo guard that can space the floor with his ability to shoot the basketball. He is a good fit for the system and will bring a wealth of experience to our roster.”

Meeting a UTEP sophomore with excellent potential (Miner Rush)

If you haven’t been reading them, our friends over at Miner Rush, SB Nation’s UTEP site, have been doing a series introducing fans to all of the program’s incoming players. Yesterday’s player was sophomore Isiah Osbourne, a Canadian whose potential appetite for scoring led to him heading way down south to El Paso.

Alex Nicolas wrote about that incredible potential that Osbourne could unleash for Tim Floyd and the Miners.

At the time, Osbourne had just finished his freshman year at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Canada. He had averaged 15 points per game, and was the focal point and the budding face of the program after helping them to 20-plus wins as a true freshman.


So coming into what would be his sophomore year after an eligibility battle that forced him to sit out a year after transferring from Windsor, his shooting abilities will be on full display when the Miners travel to Costa Rica in August.

In addition to reading the post, be sure to check out the video interview that Miner Rush conducted. This is a quality series that you need to catch up on.

Zelmo Beaty to be inducted into Small College Basketball Hall of Fame (Prairie View Athletics)

Former Prairie View A&M Panther Zelmo Beaty, a center for the school from 1958-62, is going to be posthumously inducted into the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the institution’s second class of inductees.

Beaty, who passed away in 2013 due to cancer, is already a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, and he had a spectacular career in the ABA. This is another accolade in a long list of such honors for a true legend.

Tweets of Interest

Kermit’s Camp seems like it’s a lot of fun for these kids

Zach’s back at his old stomping ground

You can’t teach this. This is the kind of cool you have to be born with.

“Video of a floor refinishing” is actually much more interesting than it sounds

We’ve got a moiety of scheduling news!

It would be difficult to overstate how easily FGCU will run through the A-Sun in 2017

I’ll remember this next time, Matt.

New Mexico fans: Get excited.


Recruiting News