NCAA Basketball

Phil Martelli, Jr. joins dad on Saint Joseph's basketball staff

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Phil Martelli, Jr. joins dad on Saint Joseph's basketball staff

What's in a name? Well, when you're a basketball coach named Martelli, you've definitely got something good going for you.

Saint Joseph's announced Thursday afternoon that Phil Martelli, Jr., the eldest son of longtime Hawks head coach Phil Martelli, will return to City Line Avenue as the director of basketball operations for his dad's team starting this season. Martelli Jr. was a four-year player for St. Joe's from 1999 to 2003 when the Hawks made a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and won a trio of Atlantic 10 regular-season crowns.

Most recently, the younger Martelli was an assistant last season for the Sixers' G-League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. 

Before that, he started as a 22-year-old full-time assistant at Central Connecticut State in 2002 (making him the youngest coach in Division I basketball). Martelli, Jr. then made stops at Manhattan, Niagara and Delaware — the Blue Hens recorded their best season in recent memory just four seasons ago in 2013-14, when they won the Colonial Athletic Association's regular-season and conference titles before appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 15 years.

The Hawks' A-10 pairings are already set for the 2017-18 season, but St. Joe's has yet to announce its full nonconference slate for the year.

Brother of top Texas recruit Mo Bamba says he took improper gifts

Brother of top Texas recruit Mo Bamba says he took improper gifts

AUSTIN, Texas -- The older brother of Texas basketball recruit Mo Bamba says Bamba took improper gifts and money from a Detroit financial adviser that would make him ineligible to play in college.

Ibrahim Johnson posted a rambling, profanity-laced, 20-minute Facebook video Wednesday, accusing adviser Greer Love of giving Bamba money and gifts. Love previously worked in New York and was involved in youth sports in Harlem, where he got to know Bamba's family.

Love told 247Sports Bamba asked him to help manage his recruitment. Love says he consulted with schools to ensure he wasn't breaking rules and wouldn't jeopardize Bamba's eligibility.

Texas officials said Bamba's amateur status had previously been reviewed by the NCAA and that he's been cleared to play, but the school did not release a statement from Bamba or address any specifics in the brother's video. Bamba is one of the top incoming players in the country next season.

"We're aware of the recent social media post regarding our men's basketball student-athlete Mohamed Bamba," the Longhorns said. "As is usual practice by the NCAA, Mo's amateur status was previously reviewed and final certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. The NCAA has not informed us of any pending issues or eligibility concerns at this time regarding Mo. If there are further questions, we certainly will cooperate with the NCAA to the fullest."

Love did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press. NCAA spokesman Chris Radford said the NCAA is "aware of the situation and we are working with the school," but declined further comment.

A 6-foot-11 forward, Bamba is considered the gem of coach Shaka Smart's incoming class and a player who could make a huge impact on a program that went 11-22 last season. He fills a critical need for the Longhorns after center Jarrett Allen was drafted by the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. Bamba picked Texas over Kentucky, Michigan and Duke.

The allegations leveled by Johnson do not directly involve the Longhorns, but focus on Bamba's relationship with Love. Johnson said Love gave his brother $200 a week, paid credit card bills and paid for a trip to California.

Johnson, a former Division II player at the University of Montevallo in Alabama, also complained of a falling out with his brother and said Bamba wouldn't help him get into graduate school at Texas.

Johnson said he reported his allegations of improper payments and benefits to the NCAA and was scheduled to meet with NCAA officials soon.

"He's not going to play" in college, Johnson said of his brother.

Love's response reported by 247Sports didn't address the specific allegations raised by Johnson.

"Doing things the right way has been our top priority since day one," Love said. "Mo's got way too much to lose to take any chances on anything even remotely impermissible. With my nine-year, pre-existing relationship on the line with Mo personally, let alone his college eligibility, I took several additional measures to ensure that Mo was fully compliant every step of the way."

Villanova adds a top 2018 recruit in 6-foot-8 Cole Swider

Villanova adds a top 2018 recruit in 6-foot-8 Cole Swider

Villanova on Friday added another top recruit in 6-foot-8 Cole Swider, who will be a senior this upcoming school year at St. Andrew's in Barrington, Rhode Island.

Swider chose Villanova over Duke, Syracuse and Xavier.

ESPN ranks Swider, who is viewed as an elite shooter, as its No. 48 recruit in the 2018 class.

Swider joins a 2018 Villanova recruiting class that also includes Brandon Slater, a shooting guard from Paul VI in Fairfax, Virginia. Slater was ESPN's No. 42 recruit in the 2018 class.

The Wildcats lost a pair of key players this season in Kris Jenkins and Josh Hart, but help isn't too far away. Omari Spellman, who was ruled academically ineligible last season, will play for the Wildcats this season, and then next year they'll welcome Swider and Slater.