PHILADELPHIA — Jay Wright, who won two national championships at Villanova and guided the Wildcats to four Final Four appearances is retiring from coaching, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the situation.
Wright, 60, held a team meeting at 8 pm Wednesday, according to one source, to inform his players of the decision. The source added that Wright’s decision had been several weeks in the making. The Athletic was the first to report that Wright was likely to retire.
Over his 21 seasons at Villanova, Wright compiled a 520-197 record, winning eight Big East regular-season championships and five conference tournament championships. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last September.
His decision shocked the college basketball community and came just 18 days after his team’s 81-65 loss to Kansas at the Superdome in New Orleans in the semifinals of this year’s NCAA tournament. That Final Four berth was Villanova’s first since 2018, when the Wildcats won the second of their two national titles during Wright’s tenure. The first was in 2016.
KENTUCKY: Forward Oscar Tshiebwe says he will return for his senior season with the Wildcats after a breakout season in which he swept national player of the year awards.
IOWA STATE: Temple point guard Jeremiah Williams is transferring to Iowa State.
Cyclones Coach TJ Otzelberger announced the move one day after Big 12 freshman of the year Tyrese Hunter said he would enter the transfer portal.
Williams started 21 of 22 games last season and averaged 9.5 points, and his 4.3 assists per game ranked fifth in the American Athletic Conference. I have started 37 of 38 games over two seasons with the Owls. He will have three seasons of eligibility.
UCLA: Johnny Juzang, one of the stars of the 2021 NCAA tournament during the Bruins’ run to the Final Four, is entering the NBA draft.
Juzang averaged 15.6 points and 4.7 rebounds last season, when the Bruins lost to North Carolina in the Sweet 16.
In 2020-21, he helped the Bruins to a 22-10 record and their first Final Four appearance since 2008. He averaged 22.8 points in six tournament games and was named to the All-Tournament team. His 137 total points were the second most by a UCLA player in tournament history.
DUKE: Paolo Banchero is leaping to the NBA after one season as a candidate to be the No. 1 overall draft pick.
The 6-foot-10, 250-pound freshman announced his decision in a social media video, with the school saying he planned to hire an agent.
SOUTHERN MAINE 25, SALEM STATE 12: Nick James had eight goals and five assists and Schuyler Wetmore put up seven goals and three assists as the Huskies (3-7, 1-4 LEC) pulled away and defeated the Vikings (6-7, 0-5) in Salem, Massachusetts .
Tucker Nussinow added three goals and three assists for USM. Benjamin Hines, Andrew James and Aidan Mitchell each scored twice. Braeden Logue made seven saves.
Salem State was led by Sam Cioffi’s four goals and one assist. Patrick Guinee had three goals and an assist. Zach Royal made 18 saves.
RIVER 11, ST. JOSEPH’S 10: Colby Mercier scored with 1:52 remaining in the second overtime to give the Raiders (12-3, 7-2 GNAC) a win over the Monks (4-12, 2-7) in Standish.
Michael Ference, Chris Heitmiller and Nicholas Tavares led Rivier with three goals a piece. Ference added two assists. Sawyer Gagnon made 16 saves.
Timothy Goodfellow and Max Lacy each scored three goals for St. Joseph’s, with Goodfellow adding three assists. Calvin Heline had two goals. Brannon Gilbert made seven saves.
BOWDOIN 28, CLARK 7: Donal Mullane’s eight goals and three assists tied the program record for points in a game as the Polar Bears (13-0) cruised past the Cougars (3-10) in Brunswick.
Will Byrne had four goals and two assists for Bowdoin. Zach Chandler put up two goals and three assists. Zach Goorno and Jason Lach each had two goals and one assist.
Tommy McCarthy led Clark with two goals and an assist. Ryan Mickelson made nine saves.
ENDICOTT 7, SOUTHERN MAINE 2: Jake Nardone’s three-run blast lifted the Gulls (22-5) over the Huskies (12-15) in Gorham.
Robbie Wladkowsk pitched a solo homer for Endicott. Matthew McKinley added a two-run double. Chris Jenkins struck out seven across the final six innings to get the win.
Jason Komulaine and Cam Seymour each had one RBI for USM. Clay Robbins took the loss.
ST. JOSEPH’S, ONE SPLIT: Abby Miner had six RBI as the Nor’easters (13-17) and Monks (12-14) split a doubleheader in Standish.
Miner had a three-run blast, an RBI double and sacrifice fly in UNE’s 11-1 victory in the opener. Lindsay Joyal added a two-run double and Jordan Strum struck out five in five innings for the win.
Paige Connery led St. Joseph’s to a 13-7 win in the second game with three RBI. Lydia Goodnough drove in a pair of runs and Meredith Pence picked up the win, pitching four innings. Miner had an RBI fielder’s choice and RBI single
TOWSON: Towson has hired Coppin State’s Laura Harper as its new women’s basketball coach.
Harper coached Coppin State for two years. The Eagles went 15-13 last season for their first winning season since 2013-14.
Harper replaces Diane Richardson, who led Towson to a school-record 24 wins last season before taking over the program at Temple.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism
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