NCAA

Jameer Nelson highlights 2017 Big 5 Hall of Fame class

Jameer Nelson highlights 2017 Big 5 Hall of Fame class

Former Saint Joseph’s star Jameer Nelson and six others were announced as the newest class to be inducted into the Big 5 Hall of Fame on Thursday. Nelson, who played from 2000-2004, is the Hawks' all-time leader in points (2,094, averaging 20.6 per game his senior year) and assists (713). The Chester, Pennsylvania native led the Hawks to a 30-2 record (best in school history) and an Elite Eight appearance in 2004.

Joining Nelson as the 2017 inductees are players Randy Foye (Villanova), Lynn Greer (Temple), Carlene Hightower (La Salle), Ibrahim Jaaber (Penn), George Raveling (Villanova), and sportswriter Bill Lyon.

"This is a fabulous group of inductees,” Big 5 executive director Steve Bilsky said in a release. “I, like all fans of college basketball in Philadelphia, look forward to welcoming our 2017 inductees on the floor of the Palestra on April 17."

Foye, who played for the Wildcats from 2002 to 2006, was named Big 5 and Big East Player of the Year his senior season, leading the Wildcats to the Elite Eight.

Greer, a Philadelphia native who played for the Owls from 1997 through 2002, earned all-conference and all-district honors, while also being named Big 5 MVP his senior year.

Hightower improved every season for the Explorers, as she increased her points per game output each year. As a senior, she was named the 2008 Big 5 Player of the Year after averaging 17.9 ppg.

Jaaber, the 2007 Big 5 Player of the Year, is considered one of the greatest guards in Penn history. He is on Penn’s all-time lists in scoring (sixth), assists (seventh) and steals (first).

Raveling is 12th in Villanova history in rebounding (835) and is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's class of 2015 for his basketball contributions as a coach and executive.

Lyon has been a sportswriter for over 30 years and was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. 

Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

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Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

Fresh off a second national championship in three years, this was bound to happen. Jay Wright is a hot name. 

And according to the New York Daily News, the Knicks plan on reaching out to Wright about their vacant head coaching job. 

Just don’t expect Wright to be interested. 

The 56-year-old coach has been determined to build Villanova into a powerhouse since he took the head coaching gig way back in 2001 and he’s finally done that. On the surface, maybe some think that would be enough to make him want to take his coaching to the top league in the world. Not so fast. 

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Wright said pretty flatly that he’s staying at Villanova because he loves it there. 

“The NBA does intrigue me,” Wright said. “That challenge is appealing but it’s not worth giving up working with these guys. The whole thing is, to take a new challenge you have to give up what you have. I don’t want to give up what I have. Would I like to coach in the NBA? Yes. But I have to give this up in order to do that, and I don’t see that happening.”

In that interview, Wright talked about his time at Hofstra and quoted Jim Valvano, who once said, ‘Don’t mess with happy.’ That was true at Hofstra until the Villanova job came around, so maybe there’s a chance the Knicks could blow him away. It just doesn’t seem likely. 

The Knicks just fired head coach Jeff Hornacek after a 29-53 record in 2017. The Knicks haven’t had a winning record since 2012-13. 

The New York Daily News cites a source, who said the Knicks believe Wright would be a “perfect candidate for a rebuilding club.” The Knicks might be right, but don’t bet on them getting Wright. 

Jalen Brunson hires agent, declares for NBA draft

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Jalen Brunson hires agent, declares for NBA draft

Villanova is losing its second star player in two days. 

Guard Jalen Brunson has decided to hire an agent and enter the 2018 NBA Draft, he wrote in a letter to Nova Nation on ESPN. He will forego his senior season at Villanova after an incredible college career. 

This news comes a day after his teammate Mikal Bridges announced he will also head to the NBA draft.

“It is with great honor and privilege that I have called Villanova University my home for the past three years,” Brunson wrote in ESPN. “When I decided to commit to Coach Jay Wright and the basketball program, I was driven by three goals: getting my education, competing at the highest level and winning a national championship. While I pride myself on remaining disciplined and focused to achieve these goals, I have grown as a man and have established lifelong relationships with my teammates, classmates, members of the basketball staff, fellow student-athletes and the wonderful educators and administrators of this prestigious university.”

Brunson leaves Villanova as one of the greatest players in Wildcats history, helping lead Villanova to its second national championship in three years. 

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 18.9 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game this season. Brunson was named the Big East Player of the Year and was the Wooden Award and Naismith Award winner this season.