Five days ago, a tweet was put out about the SUU men’s basketball head coaching position.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that a deal was being finalized to hire Western Illinois head coach Rob Jeter to the same post at SUU.
Sources: Southern Utah is finalizing a deal to make Western Illinois coach Rob Jeter the school's next head basketball coach. He's been a head coach at Western Illinois and Milwaukee for 14 seasons and is a Bo Ryan disciple.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) April 7, 2023
Three days after that, initially a press release was put out on the SUU Athletics website announcing Jeter’s hiring. However, that release was taken down on April 10 as the deal was not yet finalized.
Southern Utah announced the hiring of Western Illinois men's basketball head coach Rob Jeter to the same position with the Thunderbirds early today. But when you click on the link on its website, you get a 404 error.
Per athletic dept. spokesperson: "That was posted by mistake." pic.twitter.com/umS9EKTvtN
— Sean Walker (@ActuallyDSW) April 11, 2023
Then, it came out on Tuesday that there were some issues with the buyout between the two schools.
There’s issues with his buyout. SUU doesn’t want to pay his buyout from Western Illinois and they want him to pay it which is causing some issues. We’re more careful with money than we should be tbh
— Keller Sherman (@KellerSherman12) April 11, 2023
However, that was officially resolved late Tuesday night as SUU made Jeter’s hiring official.
Welcome to Southern Utah Coach Jeter! ✍️⚡️
🗞️:https://t.co/nbes3YPxRL#TBirdNation x #RaiseTheHammer pic.twitter.com/sLzeDg2Jvy
— SUU Men's Basketball (@SUUBasketball) April 12, 2023
Jeter comes over after three years at Western Illinois. The Leathernecks won seven games in Jeter’s first year. And then in the final two years, Jeter led Western Illinois to back-to-back 16-win seasons.
“My family and I are so excited to join the SUU family and community, we are truly blessed to have this opportunity and to continue the successes that Todd Simon has had,” Jeter said. “I want to thank Doug and President Benson for this opportunity. Let’s go Thunderbirds!”
Jeter inherits a team that will have a pretty empty cupboard. The top seven players from a 22-win squad are gone. Two players that could possibly return, Drake Allen and Jason Spurgin, are in the transfer portal. So, there are some big shoes and expectations to fill after three 20-plus win seasons under Todd Simon.
Redhawks Get Another Hometown Commit
On Wednesday, Seattle U head coach Chris Victor made it official that the Redhawks were getting another hometown commit. This time, the Redhawks added Seattle native John Christofilis to the roster. The 6-3 guard spent the last two seasons at Creighton, appearing in 13 games as a Blue Jay. A foot injury during his freshman season kept him off the floor for the final two months. In 2022-23, Christofilis redshirted so he will have three years of eligibility.
“John’s decision to come back home and play for Seattle University is a testament to his love for this city and his belief in our basketball program,” said Victor. “John is a tough, competitive wing who has a special ability to score the basketball. We are thrilled to have a player of his caliber, experience and character join our team and we look forward to seeing him make a significant impact on and off the court.”
206…I’m coming HOME! thankful! pic.twitter.com/ZVTKYV2ZcN
— John Christofilis (@jchristofilis15) April 11, 2023
SFA Guard Commits Quickly
It took about 24 hours but it comes as no surprise that former SFA women’s basketball head coach Mark Kellogg already has a commit to West Virginia. That commitment comes in the form of 2022 WAC Tournament MVP Zya Nugent.
After announcing she was entering the transfer portal on Tuesday, Nugent committed to Kellogg and the Mountaineers on Wednesday. Nugent is coming off a devastating knee injury that forced her to miss the entire 2022-23 season. However, Nugent was a player-coach for Kellogg and the Ladyjacks so this move makes sense.
Let’s get to work! @CoachKellogg12 @WVUWBB #GoMountaineers pic.twitter.com/ACm2GVj9Nh
— ZyZy 🤘🏽 (@ZyaNugent22) April 12, 2023
Another Lope in the Portal
It is kind of strange but another GCU women’s basketball player is in the transfer portal. Starting point guard Aaliyah Collins entered the portal on Wednesday. Collins is the sixth Lope to enter the portal in 2022-23. This comes after the Lopes ended their season with a loss in the WAC semifinals after a 21-10 season.
Some @WACHoopsDigest portal news from the women's side this Wednesday afternoon…according to the https://t.co/D0eVX7VpI9 site run by @raoul Aalyiah Collins has entered the portal after a year at Grand Canyon. She averaged 8.7 PPG, 2.8 steals & 2.8 assists per game a year ago.
— Derryl Trujillo (@derryl_golfer) April 12, 2023
It looks like it might be a rebuild year at GCU. However, Molly Miller has put together back-to-back 20-plus win seasons despite the turnover. So, it shouldn’t be a huge cause for concern for Lopes Nation.
SFA Holding Interviews
SFA athletic director Ryan Ivey is holding interviews this week for the SFA women’s basketball head coaching position. Associate head coach Leonard Bishop should be at the top of the list. But, with the facilities SFA has and the sustained success, this is a highly-coveted job so there should be plenty of candidates. The Jacks, per sources, are hoping to have a decision made by early next week.