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Archive for Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Collier re-starts coaching carousel

August 2, 2006

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Barry Collier's decision to leave Nebraska means the Big 12 Conference will have six new men's basketball coaches next season.

Collier's successor will join fellow newcomers Bob Huggins (Kansas State), Mike Anderson (Missouri), Greg McDermott (Iowa State), Jeff Capel (Oklahoma) and Sean Sutton (Oklahoma State).

"It's new, it's different, especially in the North," Kansas University coach Bill Self said of North schools KSU, MU, ISU and NU. "We won't know what to expect especially in the North. It will make it exciting," Self added.

He hates to see Collier leave Nebraska after six seasons to become athletic director at Butler University.

"I would say Barry is a very good coach, and I certainly enjoyed the last three years of our time together in the league," Self said. "I believe he is a stand-up guy and will be an excellent A.D., as he was as a coach."

Media reports have listed Kent State's Jim Christian, Nevada's Mark Fox, George Washington's Karl Hobbs and Rice's Willis Wilson as possible head coach candidates as well as TV analysts Rick Majerus and Steve Lavin. The only assistant coaches thus far mentioned by the Nebraska media have been KU's Tim Jankovich and Joe Dooley, UCLA's Kerry Keating and Wichita State's Scott Spinelli.

"I don't have any idea," Self said, asked about candidates for the NU job. "I will say if they were going to hire an assistant, I certainly feel we have ones who fit that job as well as any assistants in America. I have not heard one thing to lead me to believe they will go that route or in that direction."

Self has a policy that prohibits his assistants from discussing jobs with media members.

¢ More on 'Hawk': Former KU guard Jeff Hawkins, who will play professional basketball in Germany next season, said he would be based in the city of Bremen. Hawkins is not sure what league he'll be playing in.

"I heard there are three divisions there, and this is D-II," Hawkins said. "I heard there's usually a game a week."

Hawkins said getting paid to play basketball was something he couldn't turn down.

"I mean it's about money at the end of the day," the 5-foot-11 Kansas Citian said, not revealing his salary. "I'm going to make some money and I love the game. It's enough to keep me eating.

"My goals are to be a positive citizen and make a big impact on the team and German community."

Hawkins said it's "a crazy thing" that he received an offer to play overseas.

"A man in Germany who watched the Jayhawks in the past contacted our coaches and asked for my e-mail," Hawkins said. "The person contacted me and talked about how (well) I played in the Nebraska and Texas games. I sent some tapes, and coaches in the league liked what they saw, and I received the offer."

Now he heads to Germany in two weeks "nervous and happy, more happy," Hawkins said. "I'll bring my passport, clothes and shoes."

¢ Moody's title revisited: Former KU forward Christian Moody, who helped U.S. Athletes in Action win the recent Jones Cup Tournament in Taiwan, said one of the best parts about the trip was playing on the same team as his brother, Patrick, a 6-4 sophmore on the University of North Carolina's junior varsity team.

Christian averaged 6.7 points and six rebounds while logging 17.9 minutes per contest for the gold medalists. Patrick had five rebounds and three points in 25 minutes total.

"It was awesome just getting to be in the same gym as him, let alone be on the other side of the world with him," Christian Moody said. "It was the first time I'd seen him play in four years except for on film, so it was great getting to play with him and even start a few games with him. Plus to be able to experience this opportunity that God made possible with him made it an unforgettable trip."

Moody said spending a couple weeks overseas was "an awesome experience. We had so many highlights, you wouldn't believe it. We went to an orphanage and a school for handicapped kids, and they all just poured themselves into us. We got to visit with most of the teams from all the different countries that were represented."

As far as basketball ... "I really feel that there were many factors that led to this championship, the main one being our strength from God and our desire to be lights of His glory through our play," Moody said. "We played as a team that seemed like we'd been together for much longer than three days. And the only way that was possible was through our common faith."

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