Marshall basketball on move
HUNTINGTON -- These are changing times for Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball.
Dan D'Antoni, the new Marshall head coach, is putting things together after taking the job last week. The agenda for his first week included conducting interviews for openings on his staff, meeting with players and keeping Big Green Scholarship Foundation appointments.
His Thursday also likely included fielding telephone calls from people wanting to know more about his brother Mike D'Antoni resigning Wednesday as NBA head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan D'Antoni worked for nine years as one of his brother's assistant coaches with the Lakers, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns.
The Big Green Coaches Tour revved up Thursday with a dinner stop at Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant in Charlotte, N.C., and continues Friday with a dinner at Magnolia Greens Country Club near Wilmington, N.C.
Before going out to meet Marshall fans, D'Antoni was talking to people about joining him as assistant coaches.
One of his targets, National Basketball Association veteran Chris Duhon, is reportedly set to join the staff.
Jeff Battle, a former Marshall point guard, is also in the running to become one of D'Antoni's assistants, sources said.
On the team personnel front, some scholarships might become available with the loss of two players who were expected to be on the 2014-15 roster.
Point guard Jaylen Brantley from Springfield, Mass., who sat out last season as an academic non-qualifier, is headed to Odessa College in Texas, a Twitter blurb by Alex Kline on The Recruit Scoop said. Junior college center Henry Uwadiae from Benin City, Nigeria, who signed with Marshall out of Kirkwood Community College in Iowa, was granted a release, according to a Twitter post by Brad Winton of JucoRecruiting.com.
Duhon, 31, is a former Duke University point guard and was an NBA Draft second round pick (38th overall) by the Chicago Bulls in 2004.
The Slidell, La., native played nine NBA seasons with the Bulls, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers. He was with the D'Antoni brothers in the 2012-13 season with the Lakers and in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons with the Knicks.
"It's pretty much (official)," Duhon said about his hiring in a WSAZ-TV interview.
It will be Duhon's first coaching assignment. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said it was a great opportunity, Duhon said in the interview.
Battle, 52, played for Marshall from 1981-86 and was part of NCAA tournament teams in 1984 and 1985. His first coaching duties were as a graduate assistant on the late Rick Huckabay's staff at Marshall in the 1985-86 season.
The Philadelphia, Pa., native was at Wake Forest University for the past 13 seasons as the associate head coach on staffs of the late Skip Prosser, Dino Gaudio and Jeff Bzdelik. He wasn't retained after last season when Bzeldik resigned and was replaced by Danny Manning.
FoxSports.com identified Battle as one of the top high-major assistant coaches in the nation in 2008. BasketballScoop.com named him as a semifinalist for its Rising Star Coach of the Year Award in 2009.
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