In a break from the ongoing train wreck that is the Minnesota Timberwolves’ state of affais, the latest news around SU basketball is the return of Gerry McNamara to the team, as a graduate assistant coach for next season. I can’t say I’m too surprised; after bouncing around the NBDL and Europe, it became abundantly clear that McNamara’s future in basketball would be in a coaching role.
With McNamara being one of the most beloved figures in Orange basketball history, it seemed like his entrance into the SU coaching pipeline was a matter of when, not if. McNamara joins Boeheim, Bernie Fine, Mike Hopkins and Lazarus Sims as SU alums on the sidelines, which can only help on the recruiting front as the Orange continues its pursuit of guards Brandon Knight and Trevor Cooney.
So what does McNamara bring to the table? Presumably working with the guards, he’ll get to know Brandon Triche and 2010 commit Dion Waiters and help ease them into Boeheim’s system, which he is slightly familiar with, given his career average of 35.5 minutes per game in his four seasons. And if free throw shooting can be taught to Arinze Onuaku, GMac may be the one to crack the code, but it’s probably best not to get our hopes up in that department.
A quick aside – How weird is it, now that GMac is part of the staff, that he and AO were teammates in 2005-06? Or is it just me?
Sticking with the coaching theme, Jim Boeheim will be back with USA Basketball as part of Coach Alphabet’s staff. The squad will look to build on its success in Beijing in the FIBA World Championships next year in Turkey through the 2012 Olympics in London, alongside coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan. Is it too early to dream about Jonny Flynn and Carmelo Anthony teaming up to roll through international competition?