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Mid-Major Minutes: June 7

New hires and new trophy names.

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

Brandon Williams doesn’t pick Gonzaga (ESPN)

The 16th-best player in the class of 2018 made his college selection, and he settled on the Arizona Wildcats. Williams, a guard from California, had a top five that included Gonzaga, Arizona, UCLA, Kansas, and USC, but he ultimately decided to become the second 5-star recruit in the Wildcats’ 2018 class.

Mountain West honors Steve Fisher by naming a trophy after him (NCAA)

From now on, the best coach in the Mountain West Conference will be taking home the Steve Fisher Coach of the Year Award. During its league meetings, the conference approved the naming of the award after the recently retired national-title-winning coach.

Given Fisher’s track record at San Diego State, it’s easy to see why he’d be given this honor:

Fisher, who guided the Aztecs to a 386-209 record in 18 seasons, led SDSU to a Mountain West-record 10 conference titles, eight NCAA tournaments and 13 postseason appearances.

New Charlotte hire is all about recruiting (The Charlotte Observer)

Mark Price is having a better week than the NBA team he made his name with, as his 49ers just added former Hartford assistant Ivo Simovic to their coaching staff. Simovic is Serbian, and has spent a great deal of time coaching back home in Europe. As Price remarked in his statement on the hiring, “he will add a piece to our puzzle here at Charlotte and help us expand our recruiting base.”

Having someone on the staff with strong international ties is a great thing, and perhaps this shows that Price will have a newfound focus on recruiting European players.

Gonzaga’s the 2nd-best coaching job in the country (The Big Lead)

Tully Corcoran ranked the 16 best coaching jobs, and it doesn’t have Kentucky first, so it’s clearly moot. Regardless, he had Gonzaga at second in the rankings, noting that:

You’re not actually expected to win national championships at Gonzaga, but you nonetheless can roll up an astonishing win-loss record, make gobs of money, and probably have a statue made in your honor in a beautiful part of the country.

He’s not really wrong about that. In the entire list, Gonzaga was the only mid-major team included besides UConn.

Obviously this post was written by a Kentucky fan and edited by a UConn fan.

Brian Barone joins the SIUE staff (The Alton Telegraph)

The SIU Edwardsville coaching staff has found itself a new addition. Brian Barone, a former player for both Texas A&M and Marquette, has spent many years as an assistant coach at places like Green Bay and Illinois State.

However as a head coach, Barone saw his stint at the helm of Butler Community College in Kansas end in 2015 with his resignation. As the Wichita Eagle wrote at the time:

Barone had been on an indefinite leave of absence since being arrested on the suspicion of driving under the influence in Andover on Nov. 5.


Wisconsin court records obtained by The Eagle show that it was Barone’s second alcohol-related driving arrest in the last two years, following an arrest for operating a vehicle while under the influence in Appleton, Wis., on Aug. 22, 2014, while Barone was an assistant coach at Division I Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Tweets of Interest

Pictured: Travis Ford attempting to win 100 recruiting battles over Rick Stansbury

I’m 20, okay?!

Seth Davis is leaving Sports Illustrated

Except for reminding people that Oliver Purnell has never been fired from a head coaching job, Russ.

We don’t need this much food, people

Recruiting News

A former Dayton and Duquesne target is available once more

Scott Cross is a happy man tonight