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Minnesota hires Richard Pitino as basketball coach

Son of Kentucky Coach Rick Pitino replaces the fired Tubby Smith.

April 03, 2013|Staff and wire reports
  • Richard Pitino addresses the media in Miami last year when he was coach at Florida International.
Richard Pitino addresses the media in Miami last year when he was coach at… (J Pat Carter / Associated…)

Richard Pitino was regarded as one of the nation's up-and-coming young coaches at Florida International and comes with a last name that draws immediate respect in all corners of college basketball.

That combination was too good for Minnesota to pass up.

Pitino has agreed to take over for the fired Tubby Smith, the university announced Wednesday evening. Athletic Director Norwood Teague said the final terms of the contract would be worked out as the week goes on and Pitino was expected to be introduced by Friday.

In his lone season at Florida International, the son of Louisville Coach Rick Pitino led the Panthers to an 18-14 record, the school's first winning season in 13 years. He turns 31 in September.

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Pac-12 player of the year and leading scorer Allen Crabbe will forgo his senior season at California and make himself available for this summer's NBA draft.

Crabbe, the conference freshman of the year in 2011, ranks 10th on the school's career scoring list with 1,537 points in 98 games.

The 6-foot-6 Crabbe is projected to be a first-round pick in this summer's draft after leading Cal to a surprising second-place finish in the Pac-12 and an NCAA tournament berth.

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Reggie Theus is returning to college basketball to coach at Cal State Northridge.

Athletic Director Brandon Martin announced the hiring of the former NBA player. Theus succeeds Bobby Braswell, who was fired March 17 after 17 years that included three 20-win seasons, two NCAA tournament appearances and a 251-258 record.

Theus signed a multiyear contract that takes effect April 15. He has been coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA's D-League since October 2011.

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Ed Schilling, who spent the last four years as the basketball coach at Indianapolis Park Tudor High, has been hired as an UCLA assistant.

Schilling joins Bruins Coach Steve Alford, a longtime friend.

Schilling was the coach at Wright State from 1997-2003. He was an assistant on Kentucky Coach John Calipari's staffs at Massachusetts, Memphis and the New Jersey Nets.

Park Tudor won the Indiana 2-A state title the last two season behind the play of forward Trevon Bluiett, a top recruit. Bluiett, who will be a senior in the fall, has received scholarship offers from top programs, including Indiana, Louisville, Michigan and Florida. UCLA has not made a scholarship offer as of yet.

Chris Foster

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Pepperdine women's basketball Coach Julie Rousseau has resigned after nine seasons in charge of the Waves' program. Rousseau had a record of 123-144 (.461) at Pepperdine and her teams made three postseason appearances.

ETC.

USC's Farmer to miss season after injury

USC receiver George Farmer suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee and will sit out the 2013 season.

Farmer, a junior, was injured Tuesday while catching a pass in a noncontact practice drill. He had an MRI exam Wednesday and will undergo surgery in a few weeks.

Gary Klein

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The current Big East will be called the American Athletic Conference starting next season.

The Big East football schools were in need of a new name after they agreed to let seven basketball schools break away from the conference to start a new league this summer to be called the Big East. In return, the football schools received about $100 million of a $110-million pot the league had accumulated in recent years from exit and entry fees and NCAA basketball tournament revenue.

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An early exit at the Sony Open and a postponed humanitarian trip to Haiti left Caroline Wozniacki with a big hole in her schedule — something she was glad to fill with a trip to the Family Circle Cup.

The 2011 Family Circle champion won her sixth straight match in the Charleston, S.C., tournament with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Silvia Soler-Espinosa.

Venus Williams, who won the tournament in 2004, began play with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 victory over 19-year-old Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.

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