Lots of changes at Marist...and some other Northeast news

April 16th, 2008

Well, today marks the beginning of the Spring Signing Period, and many fans are awaiting the decision of guard Tyreke Evans. The explosive prerimeter player is said to be leaning in the direction of Memphis, and that's who I'd expect him to sign with due to the departure of Derrick Rose. But the school with the most going on in recent days has to be Marist, who will any day be gaining a head coach, but they've already lost two players.

- Memphis assistant Jose "Chucky" Martin to be named Marist head coach.

Many services have reported that the official announcement is coming any day now. Martin, a native of New York City, has many ties to the area due to both his playing at St. Raymond's in the Bronx and assistant stints at Manhattan and St. John's. That's the good news for fans of the Red Foxes, who head into this critical portion of the offseason with a head coach in place. As for the bad...

- Guard Jay Gavin is transferring to VCU.

According to Phil Strum of the Poughkeepsie Journal, star freshman guard Jay Gavin will be leaving Marist at the end of the semester to attend Virginia Commonwealth. He'll have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules, but with the coaching change the people most instrumental in getting him to Marist are now gone (the entire coaching staff went with Matt Brady to James Madison). And speaking of James Madison, former Marist verbal commitment Andrey Semenov will follow Brady and his staff to JMU. Coach Martin will have a lot of work to do in regards to filling out his roster for the upcoming season.

- G Doug Wiggins has asked to be released from his scholarship in order to transfer.

A couple of weeks ago head coach Jim Calhoun talked about some imminent changes that would be coming this offseason for his program. One domino has fallen apparently, that being East Hartford native Doug Wiggins. Some moves were expected in regards to playing time/off-court issues, and Wiggins certainly had to deal with the latter during his two years in Storrs. But the main thing for Wiggins is to find a place in which he'll see a lot of playing time over his final two seasons.

- "Christmas in April" for Rutgers? Maybe.

Reported on Monday by Stacey Davis of NYCHoops.net, there is the possibility of St. Benedict's Prep forward and Rutgers commit Greg Echinique accelerating his coursework in order to graduate in time to join the Scarlet Knights this fall. A member of the Class of 2009, sources have told Davis that Echinique has entered an accelerated program with hopes of getting this done. If it can happen, look out for RU next season.

- Sources say that Travis Ford could be the new head coach at Oklahoma State any day now.

According to ESPN.com, UMass head coach Travis Ford is expected to take the same position at Oklahoma State any day now, just about a week after turning down Providence and agreeing to a new deal to stay at UMass. He replaces Sean Sutton, who was let go after two seasons in Stillwater.