Courtesy Western Athletic Conference

SUU Makes It Official, Seattle Gets a Hometown Kid, and More

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.

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.

Then, it came out on Tuesday that there were some issues with the buyout between the two schools.

However, that was officially resolved late Tuesday night as SUU made Jeter’s hiring official.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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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