3/5/18: Reno, Day One
Both men’s and women’s teams are in Reno for the Big Sky Tournament, having gotten settled about 12 hours apart. The men arrived after one Sunday, having bused over from Sacramento, while the women were delayed getting out of Denver by the wind. They checked in to the El Dorado at midnight.
Before I dig into my main topic for this update, a couple of highlights for you to check out:
Savannah Smith is named Big Sky women’s MVP, Kianna Williams is the Defensive Player of the Year.
Andre Spight is tabbed conference Newcomer of the Year on the men’s side.
A two-prong rumor that is wrong on both counts began to spin over the course of the past week, involving UNC, one of its MBB letter-of-intent signees for next year and MBB HC Jeff Linder. Someone has taken advantage of the recent CSU upheaval to claim the following:
A) Jeff Linder is headed to CSU as their new head coach and that this is a done deal, plus
B) Sterling standout Bodie Hume is “decommiting” from UNC because Linder is assured of the CSU job…
Both of these items has no basis in reality.
Linder addressed the CSU speculation that arose last week with the team on Tuesday, announcing to his players that no contact has been made by Colorado State officials. That includes no contact by CSU to ask for permission to talk to Linder from UNC AD Darren Dunn and no contact with Linder’s agent by CSU.
Secondarily, Hume and Rock Canyon’s Sam Masten are both beyond just committing to UNC. They are signed to National Letters of Intent and signed them in November, as UNC has announced. IF either wanted to back out, they would have to seek a release from their LOI through the school. Once signed to an LOI, a student-athlete is bound, unless the school elects to let him move on and release him from what amounts to a scholarship contract.
As an aside: commitment by a student-athlete is a recruiting term which is a precursor to that S-A signing a Letter of Intent. The term “signee” means a LOI has been signed by the S-A and accepted by the school. The terms are not interchangeable.
Back to tournament thoughts: both teams will hold practices this afternoon, off-site as the first game of the women’s tournament starts at 1 MT at the Reno Events Center. The winner of the Montana/Sacramento State contest will be UNC’s foe Wednesday at 1 MT.