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By Collegehoopsnet.com

June 17th, 2005

 

 

 

College Basketball Roundup: Friday

 

TUCSON, Ariz. – University of Arizona men’s basketball coach Lute Olson today announced the hiring of Reggie Geary as an assistant coach.

Geary, 31, joins the Wildcat staff after working last season as the assistant varsity boy’s basketball coach at Tucson’s Flowing Wells High School.  While at FWHS, he was primarily responsible for individual workouts for both guards and post players, scouting, and game-day preparation.  Geary helped the Caballeros to a 17-10 record in 2004-05 and an appearance in the 5A state playoffs.

“Obviously, this is a dream job for me to be able to come back to my alma mater and work with Coach Olson,” said Geary.  “My family and I are excited
about the opportunity and I am really looking forward to getting started, working hard and continuing the great tradition that is Arizona basketball.”

His foray into coaching came after a highly successful eight-year professional playing career that took him around the world.  A second-round pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1996 NBA Draft, Geary played two seasons in the NBA and averaged 2.1 points, 1.1 assists and 9.2 minutes per game in 101 career games played with the Cavaliers (1996-97) and the San Antonio Spurs (1997-98).

Geary also spent two seasons in the Continental Basketball Association (1998-2000) before playing professionally in Israel, Portugal, France and the Ukraine.  His closed his playing career in 2003-04 with B.C. Kiev in the Ukraine.  Additionally, Geary served as an NBA/NBDL Ambassador in Argentina and Brazil in 2001.

A 6-foot-2 guard from Santa Ana, Calif., Geary was a four-year letterwinner for the Wildcats from 1992-96 and earned all-Pac-10 Conference and NABC all-District 15 honors as a senior.  In 127 career appearances (101 starts), Geary averaged 7.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

During his UA career, Geary led the Wildcats to a 104-23 (.819) record, two Pac-10 championships (1992, 1994) and a berth in the 1994 Final Four.  He closed his career as Arizona’s all-time steals leader (208) and ranked third in assists (560).  He still ranks third and fifth in those categories, respectively.  As a senior in 1995-96, Geary became just the third player in Arizona history to pass out 200 or more assists in a single season (231).

One of the finest defenders in Arizona basketball history, Geary was the first of only two players to earn Best-Defensive-Player honors for four consecutive seasons by a vote of his teammates.

"We are pleased to have Reggie Geary return to the U of A Basketball program,” said Olson.  “He is a great competitor and a knowledgeable basketball player.  I am confident that he will have the same effect on our
program as a coach as he did as a player."

Geary earned his B.A. degree in political science from Arizona in May 2005.

Geary fills the vacancy left by former assistant Rodney Tention, who was named head coach at Loyola Marymount University on April 5.
 

***

 

Juan Mendez Invited to Pre-Draft Camp

 

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Former Niagara University standout Juan Mendez (Montreal, Que.) will continue his quest to play professionally when he participates in the National Basketball Association’s 2005 Pre-Draft Camp June 7-10 in Chicago at Moody Bible Institute.

 

Mendez is one of over 50 players attending the draft camp in which all 30 NBA teams will scout. The 6-foot-8 forward will be among all draft eligible players who were invited to the game. The players will be running drills and playing games at the camp.

 

Moody Bible Institute has hosted the camp for 14 years at Moody’s Solheim Center.

 

Mendez finished his career as the program’s second leading scorer with 2,210 points and third in career rebounds (1,053).

 

***

 

Jacksonville Adds Andrew Zimbo

 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University basketball coach Cliff Warren has added a third signee to his inaugural recruiting class by inking 6-foot-5 wing Andrew Zimbro (Lecanto, Fla.) to a national letter of intent. He joins 6-foot-7 forward Marcus Allen (Hollywood, Fla.) and 6-foot-5 wing Justin Jack (Fort Washington, Md.), who signed with the Dolphins in May.

 

Zimbro averaged 17.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game as a senior for Lecanto High, which went 16-10 and won the district championship for the third straight season. He also blocked 2.6 shots per contest en route to Citrus County Athletic Conference Player-of-the-Year honors. Zimbro was a first-team all-area selection and set a Pasco Citrus County All-Star Game record by scoring 36 points.

 

“Andrew is an excellent shooter who can hit from any range,” said Warren. “Perhaps even more impressive is his desire to improve. Andrew is a gym rat, a tireless worker.”

 

As a junior, Zimbro averaged 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game to lead the Panthers to a 21-8 record. He was a first-team all-district and all-county selection, as well as a Dodge Shoot-Out All-Star. Zimbro also led the team in scoring as a sophomore with 15.0 points per contest, including nine three-pointers in his first varsity game.

 

Zimbro is the second player from the state of Florida the Dolphins have signed since Warren took over on April 20.

 

“We are concentrating on keeping the best players in the state of Florida at home,” said Warren. “There is a lot of basketball talent in Florida and it is always going to be a point of emphasis for us in recruiting.”

 

JU returns four starters from last year’s 16-13 squad, which advanced to the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Championship.

 

***

 

Bonnies Add Sixth New Player For 05-06

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — Continuing its rebuilding efforts, St. Bonaventure’s men’s basketball program has added another member to its incoming class of 2005-06.

Andre Smith, a 6-foot-8, 220-lb. forward from St. Paul, Minn., has accepted an athletics grant-in-aid from St. Bonaventure University, head coach Anthony Solomon announced today.  Smith is the sixth student-athlete to join the Bonnies’ program since November.

In addition, guard Kern Carter will not return to the team due to a chronic groin injury that was deemed career-ending.  Carter, who will be a junior in the fall, will remain a student at St. Bonaventure.

Smith spent the last two years at North Dakota State College of Science.  He will be a junior with two seasons of eligibility.

Last season at NDSCS, Smith averaged 13.6 points, a team-high 9.7 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 1.3 steals per game.  He helped the Wildcats to a 28-7 record and the consolation finals of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Tournament.  NDSCS, which is coached by Craig Irwin, was ranked seventh in the year-end NJCAA Div. I poll.

In addition to Smith, the Wildcats also featured two other players who earned NCAA Division I scholarships – forward Jamil Lott (Marquette) and swingman Mark Kruse (Illinois State).  Smith and Lott also were teammates at Como Park High School in St. Paul, Minn.

“Andre is a superb addition to our team,” Solomon said.  “He has made great strides over the past two years.  He improves our athleticism on the front line and also our scoring potential. (Assistant) Coach (John) Brannen deserves much credit … he kept in constant communication with Andre throughout this extended process.”

The addition gives the Bonnies eight new players for the 2005-06 season: Smith, 6-10 junior forwards Ivan Kovacevic and David Fox, freshman swingman Tyler Benson, freshman guard A.J. Hawkins and junior point guard Terron Diggs.  The Bonnies will also welcome sophomore guard Tyler Relph and junior forward Paul Williams, who both sat out last season per NCAA transfer rules.

“We are extremely pleased with our recruiting class. We all knew that recruiting would be crucial to the turnaround of the program, and it has taken a sincere commitment from many people,” said Solomon, who is entering his third season at St. Bonaventure.  “Our needs have been met from the standpoints of character, athleticism, size, speed and quality depth.”

The eight newcomers will join the Bonnies’ five returning players -- All-Conference senior guard Ahmad Smith, senior forward Patrick Lottin, senior guard Wade Dunston, sophomore forward Michael Lee and sophomore guard Isiah Carson.

“Basketball is the ultimate team game and while I am thankful for the commitment and trust from our newcomers, our returning players are just as important if not more so,” Solomon said.  “They have experienced a great deal and now need to show their maturity on and off the court as we continue to grow as a program.”

***

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