The Bishop Has Arrived, ACU Gets a Big and More WAC Hoops News

Leonard Bishop has been a big part of the SFA women’s basketball success over the past eight seasons. Bishop has been the Associate Head Coach over the past eight years during a run that featured two trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Last week, Bishop’s former boss, Mark Kellogg, took the head coaching job at West Virginia. It left an opening, one that many believed Leonard Bishop would step into immediately. It took about a week. But, SFA athletic director Ryan Ivey made it official on Tuesday afternoon at The Sawmill.

Leonard Bishop enters his ninth season at SFA as the women’s basketball head coach.

“This is a great and historic day for our storied and rich Ladyjack basketball program, and all of SFA Athletics,” Director of Athletics, Ryan Ivey, shared. “Our program is a national brand in women’s college basketball.  As such, it demanded that we initiate a thorough and exhaustive national search.  As that search evolved over the last 10 days, it landed right back where we started, in Nacogdoches, and I couldn’t be more excited and proud.”

Bishop has some work to do. The Ladyjacks lost WAC Freshman of the Year Jordan Harrison who followed Kellogg to West Virginia. 2022 WAC Tournament MVP Zya Nugent also followed Kellogg to Morgantown.

Bishop’s hiring may make it possible that Avery Brittingham and Angel Scott stay in Nacogdoches.

From Purple to Purple for New ACU Commit

Former GCU forward Aidan Igiehon won’t have to change much in his wardrobe. About the only thing changing is the name on the front of his purple and white apparel. On Monday, Igiehon posted on his Instagram that he was heading to ACU for the 2023-24 season.

The 6-10, 250-pound junior from Dublin should see a significant uptick in playing time in West Texas. ACU has not had a big with the size Igiehon provides since Kolton Kohl in 2020-21. Igiehon played in 56 games at GCU, averaging just 9.3 minutes, 2.6 points and 3.0 rebounds.

KT Turner Rounds Out His Staff

UT Arlington head coach KT Turner has finalized his staff. Turner announced that Keith Pickens would be his third assistant coach. Pickens has spent the last five seasons in the same position at Southeast Missouri, helping the Redhawks to the NCAA Tournament in 2023.

“Keith is an extremely hard worker, and an eager, determined coach who has built great relationships throughout the Midwest,” said Turner of the St. Louis native who played at Missouri State. “He was a great player in his own right, and those skills will translate over to helping our guys on the floor in their skill development.”

A week ago, Turner announced that longtime SMU staff member Sean Stout would be one the new assistants. Stout was previously an operations assistant for the San Antonio Spurs in 2022-23.

“Sean has a vast recruiting network across the country, and his reach stretches internationally as well which will be a tremendous asset for our program,” said Turner of his first announced staff member. “He possesses a wealth of knowledge and is a tireless worker. Sean is already a great coach, but he’s only going to get better and improve our program in the process.”

Portland assistant Jeremy Pope also joined Turner’s staff on April 14. Pope has a long network that includes stops at prep schools, the AAU circuit and The Basketball Tournament.

“Jeremy is an up-and-coming coach who has already started to – and will continue to – make a name for himself and our program in the process,” stated head coach Turner. “He’s a grinder who possesses a never-quit attitude who will build terrific relationships with our players both on and off the court. Jeremy also has an expansive rolodex of contacts across the country which will be extremely beneficial to our program’s growth.”

A big key for Turner and his staff will trying to keep players at UT Arlington. WAC Freshman of the Year Chendall Weaver has reportedly said he is staying in a Maverick uniform. Keep an eye on the Mavericks heading into the 2023-24 season.

GCU Hoops Gets Some Commits

The reigning WAC Tournament champs got a commit three days ago. Former No. 1 overall players in JUCO Tyon Grant-Foster committed to GCU. Grant-Foster also played at Kansas and one game at DePaul. With Kobe Knox and Chance McMillian on their way out, Bryce Drew needed a guard.

GCU women’s basketball head coach Molly Miller got some welcome news on Monday. Twin sisters Sydney and Laura Erikstrup signed with the Lopes. The Erikstrup sisters will have two years of eligibility remaining. Sydney played at Arizona State where she appeared in 26 games last season, averaging 3.0 points and 2.4 rebounds. Laura appeared in 82 of 84 games at San Diego where she averaged 4.8 points and 3.8 rebounds during her junior year.

“We are so excited to welcome Laura and Sydney to GCU,” Miller said. “The dynamic duo both bring a unique dynamic to the floor in addition to their height and length. Laura is a tough and mobile post player that provides depth for us in the paint. Sydney can stretch the floor and provide some perimeter length that will fit well in the system. The twins are high-character individuals who we know will fit the GCU mold and culture of our program.”

More Scheduling News

Per Rocco Miller, Utah Tech has some scheduling news. The Trailblazers will open at Santa Clara on Nov. 8. Utah Tech will also head to Boulder to take on Colorado but no date was specified for that contest. Seattle U will also host Washington at Climate Pledge Arena on Dec. 17 as part of a 4-game series between the Redhawks and Huskies. Seattle U has never beat Washington in the men’s basketball series. The Huskies hold a 15-0 record against the Redhawks. Washington beat Seattle U, 77-66, in the lone meeting last season.




About the author

Kyle McDonald

Love everything about WAC Hoops so decided I wanted to write more about it and cover this amazing conference that just keeps getting better. Follow us on Twitter @wachoopsdigest for information, game analysis and much more.

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