he University of Massachusetts men's basketball team might lose another coach to the head coaching ranks. Assistant coach Mike Connors is a finalist for the opening at Cornell.
"He interviewed out there," said UMass coach Bruiser Flint Monday. "I think they're going to bring him in for another interview."
Connors, who is on vacation and unavailable for comment, was an assistant for the Big Red from 1984-86.
Connors' coaching resume has been an interesting one. He's been an assistant at Colorado, the interim head coach and an assistant coach at Army, and the head coach for a professional team in Sweden.
His played for Ithaca College in western New York from 1980-83.
At UMass, Connors was an administrative assistant for five years (three under John Calipari, two under Flint) for two years before being elevated to the third (non-recruiting) assistant spot for the 1998-99 season.
If Connors gets the job, he will join four other former UMass assistant coaches in the 1990s who now work as head coaches. The list includes Flint, Bill Bayno (UNLV), John Robic (Youngstown State) and Ed Schilling (Wright State).
Four former UMass players - Tony Barbee and Derek Kellogg (Memphis), Tyrone Weeks (St. Bonaventure) and Ross Burns, who just got a graduate assistant coaching job at Wagner - are assistant coaches.
Flint thinks Connors would be a good fit at Cornell.
"Mike would be great," Flint said. "He's very organized. He's a lot like Robic."
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According to Flint, former UMass forward Chris Kirkland is playing in the professional league in Uruguay, while Mike Babul is exploring playing in Ireland.
ornell University hired Penn assistant coach Steve Donahue to fill its vacant head coach opening, so University of Massachusetts assistant Mike Connors will return to the Minutemen basketball team for another season.
Connors, a former Big Red assistant, was a finalist for the position, which was vacated when former coach Scott Thompson stepped down to battle colon cancer.
At UMass, Connors was an administrative assistant for five years (three under John Calipari, two under Bruiser Flint) before being elevated to the third (non-recruiting) assistant spot for the 1998-99 season.
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According to the Atlantic 10, UMass has set its basketball schedule, but when it will be released is up to the school. Mullins Center conflicts with hockey games and other events need to be checked before the schedule is released, which could happen as early as today.
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The Minutemen have one scholarship to offer recruits, and they appear to be focusing on power forwards.
UMass is still pursuing four players at the position, hoping to grab one of them in the early season.
Maurecio Branwell, a 6-foot-8 forward from Maryland, will play at Notre Dame Academy in Fitchburg. He previously has listed UMass as his lead choice, and could sign within the month.
Brandon Brigman, a 6-8 inside player from Philadelphia, is another possibility.
Ed Nelson, a 6-8 power forward from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, apparently has received less interest from Kentucky and Clemson in recent weeks.
And Kenny Adeleke, a 6-6 power forward from Brooklyn, N.Y., is still a possibility, but is small for his position. He has already visited UMass unofficially.