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Monday, August 19, 2019

College Basketball

Auburn announcer Rod Bramblett, wife killed in car accident

Auburn Tigers logo

The Auburn community lost one of its most beloved figures over the weekend, as football and baseball play-by-play man Rod Bramblett and his wife, Paula, were killed in a car accident.

Troy Turner of the Opelika-Auburn News reports that Bramblett and his wife were involved in a serious car wreck on Saturday night that involved their SUV and another SUV that was driven by a 16-year-old. Both Rod, 53, and Paula, 52, were rushed to the hospital and later died from injuries they sustained in the crash. The other driver was said to be in serious condition, but his name was not released as police continue to investigate the accident.

Witnesses said one of the vehicles rear-ended the other as it was waiting to turn. The police report said alcohol was not a factor and that a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by the 16-year-old struck the rear of the Brambletts’ 2017 Highlander.

The loss of Rod Bramblett is a tragedy for Auburn, as he had been the program’s lead radio announcer for football and basketball games since 2003. He was named the National Broadcaster of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2013, which was the same year he brought us an incredible call of the Tigers’ win over Georgia on a Hail Mary and another amazing one in Auburn’s famous “Kick-Six” win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl.

Chris Webber sends cool note about Juwan Howard hiring

Chris Webber Michian

The most famous member of the “Fab Five” has weighed in on one of his comrades being named as the head coach at Michigan.

Juwan Howard was hired this week by the Wolverines to serve as their next head coach, replacing John Beilein, who left for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The hiring is a huge deal as it brings Michigan’s basketball program back to one of the best-known times in their history.

Howard, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson comprised Michigan’s 1991 recruiting class, which is probably the most notable recruiting class in college sports history. Dubbed the “Fab Five,” they included four top-10 recruits/McDonald’s All-Americans, which was the most McDonald’s All-Americans in a single recruiting class to that point. The players brought style, swag and success to the court and did huge ratings.

Michigan touching back to that time with the Howard hiring is significant for the school, and everyone has wondered what Webber thinks of it considering he has been disassociated with the school due to his role in the Ed Martin scandal. Webber finally answered the questions on Friday through a note posted on Twitter:

Webber is “pumped” about the hiring, as he should be.

It wasn’t that long ago that the subject of the Fab Five still brought up tension between the members. Rose has said that the Howard hiring will finally reunite the whole crew. Webber being happy about things signifies he could be ready to mend all relationships as well.

Now it’s on Howard to deliver results to the program that they’re seeking.

Jalen Rose says Michigan hiring Juwan Howard will finally reunite the Fab Five

Jalen Rose

Michigan has decided to hire a member of the Fab Five as its next men’s head basketball coach, and Jalen Rose is confident that will finally allow him and his former teammates to put aside their differences.

Rose, who has openly feuded with Chris Webber for several years now, said on ESPN’s “Get Up” Thursday morning that Juwan Howard being hired as the head coach at Michigan will lead to the Fab Five reuniting.

The Fab Five reached the NCAA championship game in each of their first two seasons together in 1992 and 1993. They were forced to vacate their Final Four appearances and wins after it was discovered that some of their players accepted money from booster Ed Martin, who died in 2003. Webber took over $200,000 from Martin and was the highest-profile player called to testify before a grand jury. Webber initially lied to the grand jury and was later convicted of perjury.

Rose said in the past that Webber should apologize to Michigan so everyone can move forward and acknowledge what the team was able to accomplish. Webber appeared to begin easing his way back into the Wolverines community last year when he accepted an invite from Jim Harbaugh to serve as an honorary football, and Rose speculated that Webber may be open to reconciling because he is looking to get into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

There may still be some bad blood between Webber and Rose because of the way Rose has criticized his former teammate, but perhaps Howard’s new prominent role at Michigan will help settle those differences. Rose believes that will be the case.

Report: Juwan Howard gets five-year deal from Michigan

Juwan Howard

The Michigan Wolverines have their new basketball coach, and they’re giving him a significant vote of confidence in the contract they’ve agreed on.

According to Jeff Goodman of Stadium, Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard will get a five-year deal to take over at Michigan after John Beilein’s departure for the NBA.

Howard’s impending hiring had been reported Tuesday. The hiring of a member of the Fab Five will certainly bring back memories of glory days from Michigan, but the program’s sustained success under Beilein may have been even more consistent than that. Howard will be tasked with keeping that going, and Michigan handing him a five-year deal is evidence that they’re big believers in his ability to do that.

Juwan Howard to reportedly be named head coach at Michigan

Juwan Howard

The University of Michigan has reportedly found its John Beilein replacement.

According to Five Reasons Sports, Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard has agreed to multi-year deal to become Michigan’s head coach.

The report coincides with an announcement earlier on Tuesday that Providence has signed Ed Cooley to a multi-year extension. Cooley was also in consideration for the Michigan job and reportedly had emerged as a serious candidate this week.

Howard, 46, is a two-time NBA champion, former NBA All-Star, and has worked as a Heat assistant coach since 2013. He played at Michigan from 1991-1994 and was part of the famous “Fab Five” team, along with Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. The Fab Five is arguably the most well-known recruiting class in college sports history and generated success and notoriety for the program. They were also associated with infamy due to the Ed Martin scandal.

Howard will have big shoes to fill at Michigan, as the program reached the national championship game twice under Beilein and finished ranked in the top 10 nationally four times. Beilein has left the Wolverines to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Report: Ed Cooley emerging as serious candidate for Michigan job

Ed Cooley

After eight seasons leading Providence College, Ed Cooley could be making the leap to a Power Five conference.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported on Monday that Cooley is emerging as a serious candidate for Michigan’s head coaching vacancy. Goodman also lists Miami Heat assistant (and former Wolverines star) Juwan Howard as well as Michigan assistant Luke Yaklich as the other serious options. Additionally, he notes that Michigan’s search is being led by Gene DeFilippo, who was the athletic director at Boston College while Cooley was an assistant there.

Cooley, 49, has served as Friars head coach since 2011, going 254-179 (.587) with five NCAA Tournament appearances in eight years. Providence struggled to an 18-16 record last season however and could only muster an NIT berth.

While Cooley doesn’t quite have the familiarity with Michigan’s program that the other named candidates do, he brings decades worth of coaching experience on top of his unassailable sense of fashion.

Dennis Rodman’s son DJ commits to Washington State

Washington State Cougars logo

The legend of the Rodman family is about to live on, as DJ Rodman decided over the weekend where he will play college basketball.

DJ, who is the son of Chicago Bulls legend Dennis Rodman, reportedly committed to Washington State.

As Dan Lyons of College Spun notes, DJ Rodman averaged 24.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in his junior season at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., this yearn. The rebound numbers are reminiscent of his father, but DJ seems to be a better scorer than Dennis was.

Washington State appears to be the most high-profile program to over DJ a scholarship, as the 6-foot-6, 190-pound junior has received other offers from Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside and Sacramento State.

Dennis Rodman has remained in the news over the past year or so due to his continued struggles with alcohol addiction.