Serbia is best place for Nikolic, for now
Is Aleska Nikolic as "abSerbly" talented as his YouTube video suggests?
We're not going to find out for a while longer.
Yes, the 6-foot-5 point guard from Pancevo, Serbia, has committed to Marshall.
And, yes, the other 14 members of the basketball program are participating in summer workouts at the Henderson Center.
But Nikolic isn't scheduled to arrive in Huntington for at least another six weeks.
"He's going to come in August," said Danny D'Antoni, Marshall's first-year head coach.
"There's no point in bringing him over now because we're only allowed to work with our players for eight hours a week under NCAA rules.
"In Serbia, he's at an institute where he has five different coaches. And he can work out every day. So, he's a lot better off staying over there right now.
"He can get a lot more work in over there than he can here."
The time constraints are something D'Antoni hasn't dealt with before.
Under NCAA rules, coaches are limited to eight hours per week for summer workouts.
And only two of those hours can be "skill instruction" with basketballs on a court.
Under those circumstances, leaving Nikolic in Serbia is a wise decision by D'Antoni.
Speaking of Serbia, D'Antoni is planning a visit to the country next month.
"I'm going to go over there sometime in July," he said.
Besides visiting Nikolic, D'Antoni just might have another motive for traveling to Serbia.
According to sources, there is a 6-9, 250-pound post player there who is available. And, remember, Marshall's basketball program has one scholarship open.
Maybe Nikolic will have a Serb countryman for a roommate at Marshall.
BEILEIN AT MARIST: Patrick Beilein reportedly has been interviewed for Marist's head coaching vacancy, after spending the last two seasons at the helm of West Virginia Wesleyan in Buckhannon, W.Va.
Beilien, 31, coached the Bobcats to a 20-12 record in 2013-14.
Marist is an NCAA Division I program, while West Virginia Wesleyan is D-II.
PITTMAN UPDATE: Some people actually think former Marshall basketball star Elijah Pittman will be selected in the 2014 NBA Draft in 10 days.
Pittman, who was dismissed from the Herd's basketball program after only nine games of the 2013-14 season despite leading the team with a 21.4-point scoring average, was the subject of a recent story in SB Nation's Mid-Major Madness.
According to the story, the 6-9 Pittman resurrected his basketball career by averaging 10 points and 3.6 rebounds for the Delaware 87ers in the NBA Developmental League last season and was rehabilitated personally by performing charity work.
"I've spent a lot of time handing out food for the homeless," Pittman was quoted. "I also helped administer used clothes to the homeless with Kroger grocery stores.
"But other than that, I eat, sleep and drink basketball. I want coaches to know that I'm as hard-working and humble as anyone else. I want an opportunity in the NBA more than anything and to prove people wrong and that I am cut out for this."
The article's conclusion?
"Look for Pittman to continue to claw back on a (NBA) Summer League roster," it read, "and don't be surprised if you hear his name called in the second round of this year's draft."
Most of us would be surprised.
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at email@example.com.
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