Oakland University unveils new blacktop-esque floor--The Dagger
Detroit Western PG Brailen Neely commits to Oakland U--The Detroit Free Press
Prep guard Dominique Matthews commits to UIC--The Catch and Shoot
Men’s basketball adds No. 3-ranked center--UIC News
Hirings and firings: 2015 college basketball coaching changes--Eye On College Basketball
Green BayWith 4 open scholarships, what's next?--Phear The Phoenix
Out: Brian Wardle. Wardle left to take the job at Bradley, a school that is more near to his stomping grounds of Chicago (where he had been an excellent recruiter for the Phoenix). He led the Phoenix to back-to-back 24-win seasons in 2014 and 2015, bowing out in the first round of the NIT each time. At 35, he's one of the younger coaches in America, but he's got a good track record of success to this point and will likely continue to succeed in his new position. Green Bay might look to former IUPUI coach and current Michigan State assistant Dane Fife, as he'd be a pretty strong hire there. Also, longtime Wisconsin assistant Greg Gard was a finalist for the job when Wardle got it in 2010, and could similarly be in the same position this time.
In: Linc Darner. Darner's Florida Southern won the Division II national championship this season with a 36-1 record. He was with the Mocassins since 2006, where he accumulated a 218-73 record and transformed the program into a power on that level by reaching eight straight D-II NCAA Tournaments. He played at Purdue under Gene Keady, and will try to lead the Phoenix back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996. A hire that still has some questions, but ultimately could really work out.
Charles Cooper commits to Green Bay--Phear The Phoenix
Basketball Says Thanks to Steve and Evan--UWM Post
Horizon League should seek all challengers--PantherU
Panthers Read To Elementary School Children--uwmpanthers.com
Former VU basketball player assists in Nepal cleanup--The NWI Times
Neel joins WSU--The Guardian
Donlon Signs Cincinnati Native Neel--wsuraiders.com
Best of Wright State athletics--The Guardian
Honorable mention, MVP: Tay’ler Mingo (Women’s basketball)
Tay'ler Mingo, The Guardian's Female Athlete of the Year
Female Athlete of the Year: Tay’ler Mingo (Women’s basketball)
Senior guard Tay’ler Mingo from Akron, Ohio won the Horizon League Player of the year last season and led the conference in points, assists and steals per game.
She ranked sixth in the NCAA with an average of 22.8 points per game and ranked 12th in the NCAA with 3.15 steals per game. Her point per game average ranked third in WSU history. Due to her high level of play, she set WSU single season records for assists (196), senior scoring (774), free throws made (240) and attempted in a season (320) and game (31).
“A lot of the credit goes to my teammates for getting me open and being in the right spot,” said Mingo. “I’m really grateful for the recognition but without my teammates I probably wouldn’t get that recognition. They make me better.”
With 774 points, she ranked second in the WSU record books for points in a single season; 10 behind the top rank. She scored over 20 points in 23 games on the season and scored over 30 points in six games. She had five double-digit assist games and recorded five double-doubles. On Dec. 5 she recorded a career-high with 34 points at Butler.
In the first round of the Horizon League Tournament, she recorded a career high and WSU single-game record in assists with 12 against Oakland. In the tournament, she averaged 25.7 points and 9.3 assists per game with two double-doubles. After two seasons at WSU she became the 20th member of the WSU 1,000 point club with 1,303 points in 69 career games.
“She put our program on the map,” said head coach of WSU’s women’s basketball team Mike Bradbury. “She kept us in it in tough times and she gave us a chance to win. We needed her to be the best player and that’s what she does.”
Most Improved Athlete of the Year: Richelle van der Keijl (Women’s basketball)
After being redshirted for the 2013-14 season, Richelle van der Keijl made her college debut this year for the Raiders. In the first 17 games of the season, the six-foot-five center from The Netherlands averaged 7.2 minutes and 3.3 points per game.
Her effectiveness while playing in zone defense was embraced by the coaching staff and became a big part of their game plan for the season. In the final 14 games, she averaged 10.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game on 18.3 minutes. With zero starts last season, she finished with an overall average of 6.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game and 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game during conference play.
“She’s got a really good attitude,” said head coach of the women’s basketball team Mike Bradbury. “She continues to improve and has continued to work and get better.”
She recorded a career high with 19 points on Jan. 24 against Cleveland State on 9 of 12 shooting. On Feb. 21, she recorded her first career double-double against Oakland with 18 points, five blocks and a career-high 12 rebounds.
“It was hard in the beginning,” said van der Keijl. “Hard work and practicing against good players helps a lot.”
Van der Keijl’s most impressive stat line was her .607 field goal percentage (82/135), ranked first in WSU single season history. Her average would have ranked fourth in the NCAA if she had met the minimum requirement for field goal attempts. She recorded a perfect field goal percentage in five games on the season including 14 consecutive field goals spread between the span of five straight games (March 4 – March 15).
She ranked fifth in the Horizon League with 37 blocks and tied for 11th with 68 offensive rebounds. In conference play, she ranked first with a .595 field goal percentage, third with 1.5 blocks per game and seventh with 2.5 offensive rebounds per game.