NCAA Basketball News and Notes: Roy Williams Retires, Garza Wins Wooden Award, and Moser Leaves Loyola Chicago
And then there was one. After a grueling NCAA tournament that started with 68 teams, the Baylor Bears were left as the last team standing after an outstanding 86-70 victory over Gonzaga Monday night.
The Bears dominated the game from the tipoff and were led by guards Jared Butler (22 points, seven assists), MaCio Teague (19 points), and Davion Mitchell (15 points, six rebounds, five assists). In the loss, Jalen Suggs had 22 points.
While the entire nation decompresses after an exhilarating tournament, there is still plenty of news circulating the world of college hoops. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories from the last week.
Roy Williams Retires, Hubert Davis Takes Over UNC
One of the icons of college hoops is calling it a career as North Carolina’s Roy Williams announced his retirement this week. Speaking candidly at his press conference, he no longer felt that he was the “right man for the job.”
Still, Williams has made a career of being one of the best to ever do the job. In fact, after 33 years of coaching, including 15 at Kansas and 18 at North Carolina, Williams finishes with 903 wins and three national championships.
With Williams’ surprising retirement, one of the premier jobs in all of the college basketball became open; however, it didn’t stay open for long. UNC announced this week that Hubert Davis, a former UNC player and an assistant in the program for the last nine years, will be taking over for Williams.
While the program has struggled in recent years, it is still one of the elite programs in the nation, and Davis will have a tall task in front of him to get it back to the level that Tar Heel fans are accustomed to.
Garza Wins Wooden Award
Even though the Iowa Hawkeyes came up short in their bid for a national championship, center Luka Garza will still be bringing home some hardware. The big man won the John R. Wooden Award as the National Player of the Year.
This is just one of a litany of awards that the senior is bringing home after an outstanding season. Overall, Garza averaged 24.1 points on 55.3% shooting this season. He also averaged 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game.
For Iowa, they finished the season 22-9 and 3rd in the Big Ten.
Unfortunately, they were bounced from the NCAA tournament by Oregon, 95-80.
With Garza finishing his senior year this season, the Hawkeyes will have some big shoes to fill in the interior. For Garza, he will now look to find the same success at the professional level that he did at the collegiate.
Moser Leaves Loyola Chicago For Oklahoma
Porter Moser became the talk of the NCAA tournament after his No. 8 seeded Loyola Chicago Ramblers were able to take down the No. 1 seeded Illinois Fighting Illini to advance to the Sweet 16. Unfortunately for Moser, the Cinderella Story ended there.
That wasn’t the first time that Moser and the Ramblers had success in the NCAA Tournament, though. Back in 2018, as an 11 seed, Loyola made it all the way to the Final Four.
Now, it appears that his success with Loyola has catapulted him to bigger and better things. Moser will be taking his coaching success to Oklahoma as the heir to Lon Kruger, who is retiring from coaching.
Moving to a loaded Big 12 is a big step for Moser, but after going 188-141 in 10 seasons at Loyola, it was time for a new challenge for the successful coach.
For Oklahoma, they finished season 16-11 this year and were bounced from the NCAA tournament by Gonzaga in the second round.
Next season, Oklahoma will have some big shoes to fill as both Austin Reaves and Brady Manek will be gone, but Moser and Oklahoma will try to build around De’Vion Harmon and a solid recruiting class that includes CJ Noland, a four-star guard coming in as a freshman.
Also making news is Loyola themselves as they have hired Moser’s replacement in Drew Valentine. It is especially noteworthy since Valentine is only 29, making him NCAA Division I’s youngest head coach.
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