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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 All-Americans Announced - 2011 Coaching Carousel - Geno Ford Takes Over at Bradley -

Geno Ford Takes Over at Bradley

Geno Ford, the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year the last two seasons at Kent State University, will become the 13th head coach in Bradley Basketball history when he is formally introduced to the public during a noon press conference Monday in the Renaissance Coliseum arena.

"I am ecstatic to work at such a great institution with such a rich basketball history," said Ford. "The passionate Bradley fan base, academic excellence and exceptional facilities will give us an opportunity to compete at the highest levels of the Missouri Valley Conference.

"I would like to thank President (Joanne) Glasser and Dr. (Michael) Cross for affording me the opportunity to lead the Braves. I am excited about the support for our program and the resources we have to achieve at the highest levels. The investments made in our program will give us a chance to achieve our maximum potential."

In his third season at the helm of the Kent State program, Ford, 36, became the first men's basketball coach to lead his team to consecutive, outright MAC regular-season titles in 48 years. After winning the 2009-10 title with a 13-3 league record, Ford welcomed back only three returning players for the title defense, but successfully navigated the season with 10 newcomers to earn the repeat MAC championship in 2010-11 with a 12-4 conference mark. Denied a trip to the NCAA Tournament after losing in the MAC Tournament championship game, Kent State won NIT contests on both coasts - at Saint Mary's (Calif.) and Fairfield -- before dropping an 81-74 decision at No. 1 seed Colorado in the quarterfinals to finish the season with a 25-12 overall record.

Ford produced a 68-37 (.648) record in his three seasons at Kent State, including a 35-13 (.729) ledger in the Mid-American Conference. In addition to his two MAC Coach-of-the-Year Awards, Ford was the 2009 NABC District 14 Coach of the Year. Including previous head coaching stints at NAIA Shawnee State (22-10 in 2001-02) and NCAA Division III Muskingum (29-22 from 2005-07), Ford comes to Bradley with a six-year career record of 119-69 (.633).

"Geno Ford met every quality that I was seeking in the head coach of Bradley Basketball," said Director of Athletics Dr. Michael Cross. "He has tremendous values, high basketball IQ, is a gifted and charismatic communicator, appreciates the educational quality of Bradley and has demonstrated he is a proven winner time and time again.

"Coach Ford is a perfect fit for Bradley and I have every confidence that our program will thrive under his leadership. I look forward to working with Geno on a daily basis and welcoming his family to the Peoria community."

Ford earned his bachelor's degree in organizational communication from Ohio University in 1997 and his master's degree in athletic administration from Ohio in 1999. He was a high-scoring guard for the Bobcats from 1993-97, finishing his career as the fifth-leading scorer in school history with 1,752 points and earning second-team All-MAC honors in 1995-96 and first-team honors in 1996-97.

Ford immediately began his coaching career upon graduation, averaging 17.8 points per game for the British Basketball League Leicester Riders in 1997-98, while serving as head coach for the Riders' junior team.

He returned to his alma mater in 1998 as a graduate assistant coach under Ohio head coach Larry Hunter and was promoted to assistant coach on the Bobcats staff in 1999. In his first year as full-time Bobcats assistant, Ford was on the bench for Ohio's 63-52 win against Bradley in the third round of the 1999 Rainbow Classic.

Ford quickly earned his first head coaching position in 2001 when he took over the NAIA program at Shawnee State, and he was named the American Mideast Conference Coach of the Year in his lone season after guiding the Bears to a 22-10 record and 10-win improvement compared to the previous season.

He returned to the MAC the next season, however, with a three-year stint as an assistant coach at Kent State. From 2002-05 as an assistant for the Golden Flashes, Ford helped Kent State to a 62-31 (.667) record, a pair of MAC East Division titles and a trio of NIT appearances.

Ford began his second stint as a head coach in 2005 at Muskingum and immediately produced the program's best record in 15 years by guiding the Muskies to a 17-9 record in 2005-06. He followed with a 12-13 mark in 2006-07, before returning to Kent State as an assistant in 2007-08.

Leading the recruiting effort that landed 2008 MAC Player of the Year Al Fisher, Ford helped Kent State to a 28-7 record in 2007-08, which culminated in a sweep of the MAC regular-season and tournament titles and a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the best tourney seed in KSU history. In seven seasons as an assistant coach at Ohio and Kent State, Ford helped the two MAC schools to a combined 149-72 (.674) record, meaning his teams boast a 268-141 (.655) record in his overall, 13-year college coaching career.

Ford's teams also have excelled beyond the hardwood. In his first year as Kent State head coach, his players combined for the program's best semester grade point average during the 2008 Fall semester and five of his student-athletes have been honored at the Judith K. Devine Athletic Academic Honors Dinner each of the last two years.

One of the most prolific scorers in Ohio High School history, Ford was tabbed "Mr. Basketball" in 1993 by the Ohio Associated Press following his senior season at Cambridge High School in which he averaged 35.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Playing for his father, Gene, the 5-foot-8 guard poured in 2,680 career points, ranking him third all-time in the state, 34 points better than current NBA superstar LeBron James (2,646).

Geno Ford was inducted into the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2004. After 24 years as the head coach at Cambridge, the elder Ford took over at Muskingum - his alma mater - in 2007-08.

Ford and his wife, Traci, are the parents of two sons: Darin (15) and David (7).

Ford will take over a Bradley program that finished 12-20 overall in 2010-11 and tied for ninth in the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season standings with a 4-14 league record. The Braves are expected to return nine lettermen and five of the top seven scorers for the 2011-12 season.

2011 Coaching Carousel
School Out Years Record In
Alcorn State Larry Smith 3 12-78
Arkansas John Pelphrey 4 69-59 Mike Anderson
Bradley Jim Les 9 154-140 Geno Ford
Cal State Bakersfield Keith Brown 6 68-105
Colgate Emmett Davis 13 165-212
Dayton Brian Gregory 8 172-94
Eastern Washington Kirk Earlywine 4 42-78
Fairfield Ed Cooley 5 92-69
Florida A&M Eugene Harris 4 46-80
Florida Gulf Coast Dave Balza 9 153-121
Fresno State Steve Cleveland 6 92-98
Georgia State Rod Barnes 4 44-79 Ron Hunter
Georgia Tech Paul Hewitt 11 190-162 Brian Gregory
IUPUI Ron Hunter 17 254-219
Kennesaw State Tony Ingle 11 248-215
Kent State Geno Ford 3 68-37
Lamar Steve Roccaforte 5 76-78
Louisiana Tech Kerry Rupp 4 57-69
Loyola (IL) Jim Whitesell 7 109-107
Manhattan Barry Rohrssen 5 58-95
Missouri Mike Anderson 5 111-57
Missouri State Cuonzo Martin 3 61-41
Monmouth Dave Calloway 14 178-227
North Carolina State Sidney Lowe 5 86-78
Northern Illinois Ricardo Patton 4 35-83 Mark Montgomery
Oklahoma Jeff Capel 5 96-69
Pepperdine Tom Asbury 3* 28-68 Marty Wilson
Providence Keno Davis 3 46-50 Ed Cooley
Stetson Derek Waugh 10+ 120-192
Tennessee Bruce Pearl 6 145-61 Cuonzo Martin
Tennessee Tech Mike Sutton 9 149-129 Steve Payne
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Perry Clark 4 54-71 Willis Wilson
Texas Tech Pat Knight 3+ 50-60 Billy Gillispie
Towson Pat Kennedy 7 71-144
Utah Jim Boylen 4 69-60
Wyoming Heath Schroyer 3+ 49-68
*This was Tom Asbury's second stint as Pepperdine's coach.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/basketball/ncaa/03/07/coaching.changes/index.html#ixzz1HzXJV97K

2011 All-Americans Announced

Seniors dominated The Associated Press All-America team for the first time in five years.
Jimmer Fredette of BYU, Nolan Smith of Duke and JaJuan Johnson, all seniors, were joined on the team Monday by junior Kemba Walker of Connecticut and freshman Jared Sullinger of Ohio State.
It's the most seniors since four made the 2006 team.
Fredette led the nation in scoring at 28.5 points per game while shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range, a number more impressive because of the shots he lets fly from well behind the line.
He received all but one vote from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. The voting was done before the NCAA tournament.
Fredette became one of the most popular players in recent memory as teams that lost to BYU were "jimmered."
"I think that it's a great accomplishment. Unbelievable," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "It shows how good his work ethic is. He's a player who has worked his way into an All-American. What he's meant to our program over the last four years -- it's really kind of immeasurable."
He is BYU's first All-American since Danny Ainge in 1981.
"If you go out and play your game and have confidence in yourself, you can accomplish great things," Fredette said. "That's what I've always said in my head, and it's worked out."
Smith, who received 61 votes, averaged 21.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists in leading the Blue Devils to the top of the polls for 10 weeks this season. He assumed most of the ball-handling for Duke after star freshman Kyrie Irving went down early in the season with a toe injury and was responsible for defending the other team's top perimeter player.
"It's been a long process for me, just getting better each year and improving," Smith said. "That's something I hope to share with younger kids coming up. If you put the time in and get better and better and then by the time your senior year hits, you'll start to accomplish some of those individual goals, and that's something that I've done."
Smith is the fifth Duke player to be an All-American since 2000; two of them -- Jason Williams and J.J. Redick -- were selected twice.
Sullinger burst onto to the national scene by averaging 17.2 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting 53.6 percent. The 6-foot-9 Sullinger, the seventh freshman All-American over the last five years, received 58 votes.
"I felt he was going to have a great impact not just on our program but on college basketball. The productivity he's had throughout the course of the season has really been incredible," Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said. "He so much fun to coach. As I've said, if I was starting a team, I'd select him to be our first player."
Walker had a strong start to the season and then capped it with an incredible performance in leading the Huskies to five wins in as many days to win the Big East tournament. He averaged 23.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists and was the leader of one of the youngest teams in the country.
"It feels good, especially because I wasn't a preseason All-American," said Walker, who received 51 votes. "I just wanted to come into the season and try to win as many games as we could. From winning, it really helped me be a better player and just get more recognition."
Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said the 6-1 Walker, Connecticut's first All-American since Emeka Okafor in 2004, was "without a doubt the most important player to his team this season. I can't imagine where we would be without him."
The 6-10 Johnson was Purdue's inside presence, averaging 20.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. He was the first Boilermaker chosen to the first team since Glenn Robinson in 1994. Johnson returned to Purdue after considering leaving for the NBA.
"Your senior year, you don't want to leave anything out there, and I definitely have no regrets. It worked out," he said. "The only thing I wanted to do that we didn't get done was go to the Final Four. Other than that, we got it all done."
Marcus Morris of Kansas led the second team and was joined by Derrick Williams of Arizona, Ben Hansbrough of Notre Dame, Jordan Taylor of Wisconsin and Kawhi Leonard of San Diego State.
Fredette and Johnson were both on the preseason All-America team, along with Kyle Singler of Duke, Jacob Pullen of Kansas State and Harrison Barnes of North Carolina.

The AP All-America first team

• Jimmer Fredette
6-2, senior
28.5 ppg, 4.2 apg
64 votes

• Nolan Smith
6-2, senior
21.3 ppg, 5.2 apg
61 votes

• Jared Sullinger
Ohio State
6-9, freshman
17.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg
58 votes

• Kemba Walker
6-1, junior
23.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg
51 votes

• JaJuan Johnson
6-10, senior
20.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg
44 votes

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