Watch: Siena introduces new men's basketball coach Jamion Christian – Albany Times Union

Siena confirmed today the hiring of new men’s basketball coach Jamion Christian in a news release.

Christian, who spent the past six years at Mount St. Mary’s, was introduced today at a 4 p.m. news conference after which he planned to meet fans in the Times Union Center atrium.

Christian, the 17th head coach in Siena history, received a five-year contract, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. His salary wasn’t available.

Those sources said there was no buyout involved for Siena to get Christian, who was signed at Mount St. Mary’s through the 2026-27 season.

“I am so honored to be named the head coach at Siena College, and I would like to thank President Coughlin and John D’Argenio for this opportunity,” Christian said in the news release.

“I was immediately drawn to Siena by its rich history of basketball excellence and high levels of achievement. I am looking forward to bringing an exciting brand of basketball to the Capital Region, and building upon what is already a strong Siena Basketball tradition,” he said.

“I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work with our team. We have a lot to prove, and we’re going to have a lot of fun earning it each and every day. I love the passionate fan base, and I implore them to help amplify our style of play, which is going to be a real problem for all opponents who enter the Times Union Center.”

Christian, 36, had a 101-95 record at Mount St. Mary’s, including 67-39 in Northeast Conference play, and led the Mountaineers to two NCAA Tournament appearances.

Siena had discussions with three to five candidates for the opening, all of whom had Division I head coaching experience, according to a source. None of the candidates were brought to campus for reasons of confidentiality.

Siena hires Christian as men's basketball coach – Albany Times Union

Jamion Christian is the new Siena men’s basketball coach, according to a source close to the situation.

The Saints on Tuesday came to terms with Christian, Mount Saint Mary’s head coach for the past six seasons.

Christian has a 101-95 record at Mount Saint Mary’s, including a 67-39 record in Northeast Conference play. He guided the Mountaineers to NEC titles and the NCAA Tournament in 2014 and 2017.

Christian replaces Jimmy Patsos, who resigned on April 13 following a college investigation into alleged verbal and physical abuse of team members, in addition to questions about improper handling of player per diem money.

Christian, 36, is getting married on Saturday. He has a 5-year-old son, Jacoy, from a previous marriage.

The hiring of Christian gives Siena someone from a small Catholic school that emphasizes basketball. Mount St. Mary’s, located in Emmitsburg, Md., has an undergraduate enrollment of 1,729, even smaller than Siena’s 3,139.

Siena athletic director John D’Argenio said on April 13 the college was looking for someone who “has had an experience like Siena.” Christian also has Division I head coaching experience, which appeared to be a priority for the Saints.

Christian was signed with Mount St. Mary’s through the 2026-27 season.

Another rumored candidate was Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey, who has a $275,000 buyout, according to The Herald newspaper of Rock Hill, S.C, which covers Winthrop. Kelsey would say only “I’m not involved” repeatedly when asked about Siena in a phone interview.

Now it’s Christian’s task to try to lead the Saints back to the top of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. They haven’t won a MAAC title since 2010 and this season sunk to an 8-24 record, matching the most losses in program history.

Christian has been to the NCAA Tournament twice as a head coach in that time. In 2014, Mount St. Mary’s lost to the University at Albany 71-64 in the NCAA Tournament’s First Four in Dayton, Ohio. Last year, the Mountaineers beat New Orleans in the First Four for the second NCAA Tournament win in program history before losing to Villanova in the first round.

One AAU coach who has sent recruits to Christian described his coaching demeanor as “super positive,’’ which may have appealed to Siena officials after the Patsos allegations.

Christian, a former assistant at William & Mary and Virginia Commonwealth, is expected to bring his “Mount Mayhem” system to Loudonville.

He emphasizes defensive pressure with frequent 3-point shooting. The Mountaineers led the NEC this season with 853 3-point attempts and a 37.9 percentage.

He may have to talk some Siena players into staying. Freshman forward Prince Oduro and freshman point guard Roman Penn have both received releases to transfer. Oduro is visiting Mississippi State this week.

“How do you feel great about a situation when you don’t have a coach?” David Maravilla, Penn’s prep school coach, said this week. “I think he’s trying to be fair about it and wait.”

Christian will also be playing catch-up in recruiting. The regular signing period for this year’s seniors began on April 11 and the live evaluation period for 2019 prospects and beyond started two weekends ago.

Born and raised in Quinton, Va., Christian played at Mount St. Mary’s, where he served as a three-year captain before graduating in 2003. His first coaching job was as an assistant at Division III Emory & Henry from 2004 to 2006.

He served as Bucknell’s director of basketball operations from 2006 to 2008 before moving on to a three-year stint as a William & Mary assistant. After that, he spent one year on Virginia Commonwealth’s staff under Shaka Smart, another coach who preaches defensive pressure, before getting the Mount St. Mary’s job in 2012. ■ 518-454-5509 ■ @MarkSingelais

Romeo Langford decision: Mr. Basketball picks IU – Indianapolis Star


New Albany’s Romeo Langford chooses Indiana University.
Clark Wade/IndyStar

Romeo Langford is staying in his home state.

The New Albany basketball star made the much-anticipated announcement Monday night in his high school gym – the site of so many magical moments over four seasons – that he would attend Indiana next season. It is a major recruiting victory for second-year coach Archie Miller, even if the 6-5 Langford stays for only one season in Bloomington.

The making of Romeo Langford: A quietly-crafted superstar

Romeo Langford of New Albany earns IndyStar Indiana Mr. Basketball

Langford, named IndyStar Mr. Basketball on Sunday, is the biggest in-state recruiting victory for Indiana since then-coach Tom Crean corralled commitments from Washington’s Cody Zeller and Park Tudor’s Yogi Ferrell in a two-week period in the fall of 2010. Zeller and Ferrell were part of a core group that led IU to a 29-win season in 2012-13.


Insider Zach Osterman and columnist Gregg Doyel discuss Romeo Langford’s decision to play for Indiana University.
Clark Wade/IndyStar

Langford, ranked as the No. 6 player in the country in the 2018 class by 247sports, will immediately be an impact player for the Hoosiers. The New Albany star scored 3,002 career points at New Albany to rank No. 4 in state history. As a senior, Langford averaged 35.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game while shooting 56 percent from the field.


New Albany’s Romeo Langford is a highly-touted recruit being pursued by IU and others.
Dakota Crawford

He is the crown jewel of a class that is already heavy on in-state talent with McCutcheon point guard Robert Phinisee and South Bend Riley forward Damezi Anderson. The class, which was ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten Conference by 247sports before Langford’s commitment, also includes 6-7 Jerome Hunter of Pickerington, Ohio, and 6-8 Pennsylvania forward Jake Forrester. All four are ranked in the top-150 on the 247sports composite with Hunter the highest at No. 54.

This story will be updated.

Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6644.

More pressure: Fans have greater expectations for Archie Miller  

The scene: Reaction from the announcement


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KU basketball saves athletic department budget, allows leaders to dream of 'blue sky potential' – KUsports

Allen Fieldhouse is shown in this Journal-World file photo.

Allen Fieldhouse is shown in this Journal-World file photo.

Despite popular opinion, KU has a good football program. It just happens to play basketball.

No, you haven’t missed any gridiron victories. Rather, that’s just a way to note that KU’s nationally renowned basketball program performs financially like a good football program.

Knowing that fact is important to understanding how Kansas Athletics is able to remain financially competitive in the world of big-time college athletics. But perhaps more importantly, recognizing KU basketball’s financial prowess is key to understanding why KU leaders often think the sky is the limit for KU’s athletic department.

Numbers game

Men’s basketball ticket sales 2017

Kansas: $15.1 million

Kansas State: $3.01 million

Missouri: $3.03 million

Football ticket sales 2017

Kansas: $3.4 million

Kansas State: $11.8 million

Missouri: $11 million

All sports ticket sales 2017

Kansas: $18.9 million

Kansas State: $15.2 million

Missouri: $17.9 million

In 2017, the KU men’s basketball team generated $15.1 million in ticket sales, according to reports filed with the NCAA. That’s more than the $11.8 million that K-State’s football program generated in the same year. It also is more than the $11 million that Missouri’s football team produced in the vaunted SEC.

Thus far, KU’s woes on the football field haven’t put the athletic department at a financial disadvantage. KU football in 2017 generated only $3.4 million in ticket sales — or about $8.4 million less than K-State’s football program. But K-State’s basketball program only generated $3 million in ticket sales. Add it all up — including women’s programs and the school’s smaller programs — and KU had a total of $18.9 million in ticket sales. K-State had $15.2 million in total ticket sales. Mizzou also trailed KU in total ticket sales, with $17.9 million.

KU basketball can make up for a lot.

It also can cause athletic directors to dream of what could be. It is hard to build a basketball program that ever sells $15 million in tickets. But KU has one. If it can now build just a good football program, it could have a truly elite revenue-generating athletic department. Just a good, not elite, football program because, remember, K-State has only won two conference championships in 14 years, and you would need an abacus to calculate the last time Mizzou won a conference championship in football.

Related story

A look at the finances of Kansas Athletics: Rising revenues, soaring costs, big bets

Viewed that way, KU is one of the few athletic departments positioned to make a moonshot. Sure, it still may not rival the ranks of Texas and Ohio State, but KU definitely would be living in an upscale neighborhood. KU athletic department leaders do view the possibilities as great.

“We are in a unique position,” KU Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger said. “What you have just described is incredible blue sky potential. It is exciting to think about.”

But, to state the obvious, a total of three football wins in the last three seasons doesn’t send anything into the blue sky stratosphere — other than the blood pressure of fans. Zenger, though, thinks he has the right formula in place. While he vowed not to make win-loss projections, he said the program has the key ingredient in place for success.

“You have to have continued commitment,” Zenger said. “You can’t stop and start, stop and start. Probably the thing we have right now more than ever is we have a solid commitment from central administration, athletic administration, endowment association, alumni association, all with locked arms to support that program.

“Now you need coaches and student athletes to give their best every day, work hard, and take a blue-collar approach.”

There you go: Blue collar to blue sky.

Francis Okoro saw new side of Purdue basketball on official visit – Journal & Courier


The 6-9 power forward from Normal, Illinois, finished an official visit to the Boilermakers on Friday.
Nathan Baird/Journal & Courier

The big man from Normal, Illinois, has not decided whether he’ll remain in the 2019 class or reclassify and enroll somewhere in the fall.

WESTFIELD — Francis Okoro had already been on Purdue’s campus, twice, for unofficial visits.

Recently, Boilermakers coach Matt Painter made an in-home visit to the big man from Normal, Illinois.

So familiarity was not an issue when Okoro took an official visit to Purdue from Wednesday to Friday. When it ended, he headed to Westfield to play for Bradley Beal Elite in a Nike EYBL event loaded with Boilermaker recruiting targets.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the official visit didn’t give the 6-9 Okoro a new perspective with which to potentially make a decision. He had a chance to play with the returning Boilermakers and said he left impressed with their IQ and ability to share the ball.

“The official visit is really important because it showed me how important the school is to me,” Okoro said after Bradley Beal Elite’s opening game Friday night. “They show me the athletic director, show me the inner people inside the schools.

“They talk to you about what they see about you in terms of not just basketball. They kind of talk to you about what they see in you as a person.”

Okoro, for now, is No. 40 in the 24/7 Sports national composite for the 2019 class. He remained non-committal on the possibility he could reclassify to the 2018 class. The Illinois High School Association’s age limit may force Okoro to either enroll this fall or spend a year at prep school.

Okoro said he recently scored a 32 on the ACT, which would help address any immediate college-qualifying issues. But it also may give him the flexibility to choose his destination and worry about classification later.

“I was more worried about class, but now I’m picking a school.” Okoro said.

Purdue has scholarships available immediately, and coach Matt Painter and assistant Brandon Brantley both watched Bradley Beal on Friday and Saturday.

The athletic native of Nigeria recently took an official visit to Oregon. Ducks coach Dana Altman was courtside Friday as well. So was Illinois coach Brad Underwood, and Okoro said he had talked to the Illini about setting up a visit for next week.

After that, he said a commitment could be imminent.

Okoro ostensibly plays center, and Purdue has plenty of bodies there in the short term thanks to Matt Haarms (7-3), Emmanuel Dowuona (6-11) and, depending on development, Trevion Williams (6-9).

However, Okoro said the Boilermaker coaches see him playing power forward. One sequence Friday showed why he may have the necessary skills. Okoro pounced on an attempted post entry pass on defense, hesitated a bit while bringing the ball up court as if looking for a ballhandler, then attacked the rim himself before dumping off to E.J. Liddell for an and-one.

“I’m improving,” Okoro said. “I just have to have confidence and show the coaches I can really do that.”

Bradley Beal coach Robert Kennedy said the program is trying to develop Okoro’s all-around game this summer. He does, however, see a role as a stretch 4 or similar usage at the next level.

“He could fit because he’s very versatile,” Kennedy said. “Once he masters how to make shots he’ll be fine. His footwork is great and he has a good IQ for the game. He’s a student of the game, but he’s got to continue to work and work and work to get better as a player.”

Purdue can make a strong case in terms of playing style, pointing to Caleb “Biggie” Swanigan’s recent success as an undersized center (per conventional wisdom) who excelled in the system.

However, Oregon is making its own style-based pitch, trying to sell Okoro on running the floor and throwing down lobs. Okoro also took note of Nike’s support for the program on his visit to Eugene.

Adding Okoro for 2018 would add additional versatility to an increasingly kaleidoscopic roster. With redshirt freshman Aaron Wheeler, incoming graduate transfer Evan Boudreaux and the aforementioned post depth, Purdue is assembling an interesting mix of interchangeable length.

“They made a point in terms of how they need me and showed me a lot of love,” Okoro said. “It was a really good visit.”

EYBL notes

Isaiah Thompson, Purdue’s first commit in the 2019 class, attended the event to support his Spiece Indy Heat teammates. The Zionsville rising senior will be out until at least the end of May with an avulsion fracture in his left foot. He had only been off crutches for two days as of Friday and wore a walking boot. … Two of Thompson’s teammates, Center Grove’s Trayce Jackson-Davis and Fort Wayne North’s Keion Brooks, spoke of their continued connection with Purdue.

Valparaiso’s Brandon Newman, playing with Meanstreets, said DePaul, Xavier, Loyola and Milwaukee have recently offered. He doesn’t have a Purdue offer yet but they remain in contact. For the summer he’s a teammate of Cathedrals’s Armaan Franklin, who already holds a Boilermaker offer. … Mokan forward Malik Hall hit a 3-pointer with a hand in his face to help his team to an eventual overtime victory Friday night. The product of the same Sunrise Christian Academy program as Haarms is blossoming into a major prospect. Defending national champion Villanova and others offered in the past week. … Drive Nation center Drew Timme is among the players intrigued by Purdue’s history of developing big men.

Former Louisville basketball pledge Courtney Ramey picks Texas – The Courier-Journal


Mack talks about Luke Murray, Mike Pegues and Dino Guadio joining the Louisville basketball coaching staff.
Matt Stone, Courier Journal

An April recruiting push for Class of 2018 guard Courtney Ramey turned out to be a little too late for the new Louisville basketball staff.

Ramey, a 6-foot-3 high school senior from St. Louis, pledged to sign with Texas on Friday, picking the Longhorns over Louisville, Missouri and Oklahoma State. 

Ramey’s announcement ends a twisting-and-turning recruiting saga that included a commitment and de-commitment from Louisville last year, then Louisville’s new staff saying it wasn’t recruiting Ramey two weeks ago only to jump back in the race a day later.

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It also leaves Louisville in a tough spot. Chris Mack and his staff sought guards to add to next season’s roster but missed on five prospects they have pursued this month. Four of those players were graduate transfers, while Ramey was the lone high schooler.

UNC-Asheville transfer MaCio Teague visited Louisville last weekend and is still uncommitted, but he would have to sit out next season per NCAA transfer rules. Baylor is considered Louisville’s primary competition for the 6-3 guard from Cincinnati.

Considered a four-star prospect, Ramey is ranked as high as 31st nationally, by rates the Webster Groves High senior 40th in his class, and ESPN lists him 56th.

Ramey led Webster Groves to its second consecutive state championship after returning from a broken wrist that kept him out for a portion of the season. He averaged 21 points, seven assists and seven rebounds per game as a senior and was named the All-Metro co-player of the year by the St. Louis Dispatch.

Missouri’s Mr. Basketball originally committed to Louisville in February 2017 but backed off his pledge after the FBI’s investigation into college basketball recruiting ensnared the program.

Interim coach David Padgett and his staff continued recruiting Ramey after Rick Pitino’s dismissal in September, and Ramey’s father, Terrell, said his son was still interested in playing for the Cardinals.

After the elder Ramey didn’t respond to text messages from Mack in early April, Mack made the rare public acknowledgment that Louisville wasn’t recruiting the two players previously committed to play for Rick Pitino and the Cards. He mentioned Ramey and Anfernee Simons by name.

A day later, through a mutual contact, Louisville’s coaching staff reconnected with Ramey’s father. The conversation picked up from there, leading to the Cardinals’ staff planning an in-home presentation with the Rameys last week.

That meeting was canceled after a scheduling snafu with the Iverson Classic high school all-star game’s organizers.

Ramey instead visited Louisville’s campus on Tuesday with his uncle.

The father-son duo planned to discuss schools over dinner Thursday evening, and the announcement Friday closed the book on a complex recruitment.

Jeff Greer: 502-582-4044;; Twitter: @jeffgreer_cj. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: