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#pounditWednesday, April 14, 2021

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Aaron Donald facing assault charge after allegedly attacking man

Aaron Donald has been accused of attacking a man and badly injuring him, and the Los Angeles Rams star is facing criminal charges for the alleged incident. A man named De Vincent Spriggs says he was struck in the face by Donald in the early hours of April 11, according to KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. Attorney… Read More

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Cincinnati hires Wes Miller from UNCG to replace John Brannen

Wes Miller

Cincinnati has found its replacement for John Brannen and is hiring Wes Miller.

News emerged on Wednesday that the Bearcats are hiring Miller, who had been at UNC Greensoboro since 2011.

Miller, 38, played college ball at James Madison and then transferred to North Carolina. He was believed to be in consideration for the Tar Heels job, which went to Hubert Davis.

Instead, Miller gets the Cincinnati job and will be tasked with rebuilding the program after issues Brannen had this year.

UNC Greensboro was a losing program when Miller took over. By his fifth season, he had taken the team to the postseason, albeit the CBI. The following year they tied for first in their conference and made the NIT. The year after that, Miller’s seventh, they won the Southern Conference and reached the NCAA Tournament.

Miller has had five straight winning seasons and taken his team to the NCAA Tournament twice. He will have to rebuild Cincinnati, as six players have entered the transfer portal.

Ben Simmons disses Rudy Gobert over Defensive Player of the Year case

Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons once beefed with Donovan Mitchell over the Rookie of the Year Award. Now he is beefing with one of Mitchell’s teammates over another award.

The Philadelphia 76ers star appeared this week on ESPN’s “The Jump.” In the appearance, Simmons hyped himself up for Defensive Player of the Year while slighting Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, another top candidate.

“I’m one of those guys who can guard 1 through 5,” he said. “Obviously, there’s a lot of respect for Rudy. I know what he’s capable of. I know he’s great down there in the paint. But he’s not guarding everybody, and that’s just what it is.

“He guarded me in Utah,” Simmons added about Gobert. “I had 42 [points], and apparently I’m not a scorer, so it is what is. But I have a lot of respect for him. But at the same time, I think it’s mine this year.”

Gobert, a two-time DPOY winner, is an elite rim protector. That is arguably the single most important defensive asset for a team to have. But in today’s era of switching screens and hunting mismatches, more versatile defenders such as Simmons who are just as effective out on the perimeter may be the preference for some.

This is actually not the first time Simmons has gone after Gobert. He has expressed skepticism about Gobert’s defensive ability before.

Daughter of ex-All Pro WR Al Toon dies in murder-suicide

Molly Toon Lillard

Molly Toon Lillard, the daughter of former NFL wide receiver Al Toon, died on Sunday in Scottsdale, Ariz. as the victim in what police believe was a murder-suicide.

Scottsdale police responded on Sunday to reports of a shooting and went to the home of Molly and Royce Lillard. They found Molly in front of the home after being shot. She was rushed to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead. She was 28.

Molly’s 36-year-old husband Royce barricaded himself in the house. Police tried to establish communication with Royce but were unable to. They later entered the home and found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The couple’s 8-month old child was found inside the home uninjured.

Molly was a standout volleyball player at Michigan during her college years.

Molly’s father Al played in the NFL from 1985-1992. He made three Pro Bowls with the Jets and was an All-Pro in 1986.

A friend of Molly set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the family’s child.

Details of Eric Musselman’s contract extension with Arkansas revealed

Eric Musselman

Eric Musselman turned down the Arizona Wildcats job and is getting a nice contract extension to return to Arkansas.

The Razorbacks on Wednesday shared details of Musselman’s contract. The 56-year-old coach will make $4 million per year through 2026. His contract includes one-year options for 2027 and 2028 based on Arkansas making the NCAA Tournament.

He also will received bonuses based on team performance. Here is the structure of the bonuses.

– $100,000 for winning the SEC tournament or regular season
– $50,000 for reaching the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32
– $250,000 for reaching the Sweet 16
– $350,000 for reaching the Final Four
– $500,000 for winning the national championship

Musselman would owe money in a buyout.

– $7.5 million buyout if he leaves before end of 2021-2022 season
– $2 million buyout if he leaves before end of 2022-2023 season
– $1 million buyout if he leaves after 2023-2024 season
– He would receive a $1.5 million retention bonus if he is still the head coach in 2026

The interest Musselman received helped make him one of the highest-paid coaches in college basketball.

Musselman has coached the Warriors and Kings in the NBA. He had a successful four-year tenure at Nevada before taking the Arkansas job. The Razorbacks went 20-12 in his first season and 25-7 under him last season, reaching the Elite Eight. The Elite Eight finish was the best Arkansas has enjoyed since 1995.

Did Justin Fields emulate Matt Ryan at pro day for Kyle Shanahan?

Justin Fields

We knew that Justin Fields’ Wednesday showcase was largely for coach Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers, but Fields certainly appeared to do some extra things to catch Shanahan’s eye.

On Monday, it was reported that Fields was working on specific drills that Shanahan preferred in order to perform them at Wednesday’s pro day. It does not appear to have stopped there, however. The Falcoholic’s William McFadden spotted something in Fields’ foot positioning that didn’t seem entirely coincidental.

It may or may not mean anything, and it might not have to do with Shanahan at all. That said, given Shanahan’s history with Matt Ryan and the fact that we knew Fields was aiming to impress Shanahan, it’s worth noting.

Last we heard, the 49ers might be leaning toward a different quarterback with the No. 3 pick. Both Fields and Trey Lance will be trying to work their way into the conversation, perhaps even by doing things as subtle as this.

Arizona to hire Tommy Lloyd as new head coach

Tommy Lloyd

Arizona has found its next men’s basketball coach.

The Wildcats are hiring Tommy Lloyd as their next coach. This is not too surprising, as Lloyd was identified last week as a leading candidate for the job.

Lloyd, 46, has been an assistant at Gonzaga since 2001. He is viewed as the best international recruiter in college basketball, according to Jeff Borzello.

Arizona was also considering some former players for the job. Damon Stoudamire, Miles Simon and Josh Pastner were among names mentioned for the job, but the Wildcats are going with Lloyd.

This will be Lloyd’s first head coaching job. Arizona is replacing Sean Miller, who had strong regular season success, but got into trouble with the NCAA.

Lloyd had been the coach-in-waiting at Gonzaga.

Former Notre Dame WR shares great Julian Edelman story

Julian Edelman

We’ve heard a lot about Julian Edelman’s on-field accomplishments since his retirement from the NFL, but we’re also hearing some stories about what a quality guy he is.

Former Notre Dame wide receiver Chris Finke on Wednesday shared a great Edelman story on social media. Finke said he sent Edelman a direct message on Twitter in 2018 asking for advice when his role was expanding at Notre Dame. Finke didn’t seem to expect a response from Edelman, but he got one the next morning.

Edelman certainly could have easily ignored the message. The fact that he took the time to respond and give solid advice tells you a lot about the guy.

If that’s not proof enough, you only need to see what Bill Belichick thought of his longtime wide receiver.

Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia via CC-by-SA 3.0

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