- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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Each week I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:
• Who says you can't go home again? New UNLV coach Dave Rice hired former Runnin' Rebels star Stacey Augmon to his coaching staff. I loved watching him as a defensive dynamo on the vintage UNLV teams coached by Jerry Tarkanian and led by Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony and Augmon. I am sure the fans in Las Vegas will be excited by that move! UNLV also made a wise decision by hiring former Portland State and Wyoming head coach Heath Schroyer as an assistant. He has a world of experience and should make a difference there.
• A couple of coaches recently received contract extensions after their teams went to the big dance. Clemson coach Brad Brownell got a contract extension that will add a year to his previous deal and lift his compensation package by 33 percent to over $1.2 million per year. His contract now runs through the 2016-17 season. Clemson finished Brownell's first year with a 22-12 record, including a 9-7 ledger in the ACC. Wisconsin's Bo Ryan received an extension on his contract that now runs through the 2015-16 season. Ryan, who finished his 10th season with the Badgers, reached the Sweet 16 before losing to Butler and finishing the season at 25-9. Ryan's teams have made the NCAA tournament every year he's been at Wisconsin and he is 625-194 in his 27-year coaching career, including a 242-91 mark with the Badgers.
• Wow, somebody had a lot of cash out there. The original center court jump circle from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion has netted $325,085 at a recent auction. I guess they wanted a piece of history, baby!
• Larry Shyatt has been hard at work since taking over as head coach at Wyoming. His effort has paid dividends, including the signing of a familiar name. Larry Nance, Jr., a 6-7 forward from Richfield, Ohio, comes to Wyoming after a standout prep career at Revere High School. Nance averaged 18.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and three blocks per game during his senior season.
• Rick Pitino filled a void on his staff by hiring longtime Hargrave Military Academy coach Kevin Keatts as an assistant. Keatts went 262-17 in 10 seasons at Hargrave, winning two national prep championships. Hargrave turned out over 100 players who signed Division I scholarships during Keatts' tenure.
• Do you think coach Chris Mack was happy with this bit of news. Xavier University announced a slate of 16 regular season home games for the 2011-12 men's basketball season. Now for the bad news ... Xavier's non-conference home schedule includes Purdue, Gonzaga, Georgia, and the Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout against foe Cincinnati. The school also hosts local rival Miami-Ohio, IPFW, Morgan State and Oral Roberts.
Each week Dick Vitale writes about the sport he loves, college basketball.