Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Rice to Meet With Seton Hall Wednesday; Kadeem Jack to Visit Miami (UPDATED)
Robert Morris coach Mike Rice will meet Wednesday with Seton Hall officials.
The news was first reported by Jeff Goodman on Twitter and I confirmed it with a source with direct knowledge.
Rice, 41, led Robert Morris to the NCAA tournament for the second straight season, nearly toppling No. 2 Villanova before falling 73-70 in OT last Thursday in Providence.
Rice declined comment when reached.
“I think Mike Rice would be a good candidate for any job,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “He’s got great passion. He’s an excellent leader. He’s a very good recruiter. And I would recommend him for any job.”
Rice also seemed to have the blessing of legendary St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley,who is advising Seton Hall officials on the hire.
“Mike Rice, very simply, is on the way up. He’s a very intense guy,” Hurley told me Saturday.
Rice, who previously was an assistant at Pitt and St. Joe’s, has proven he can recruit in the New York/New Jersey/Philly corridor. He landed freshman guard Karon Abraham out of the mighty Playaz Basketball Club and has several other New Jersey and Philly guards on his roster.
Asked last week if that made him a more attractive candidate, Rice said: “I would think so. North Jersey, Philly and New York City is a hot bed of recruiting. It was when I was hired away from St. Joe’s to Pitt. They wanted somebody that did North Jersey to Philadelphia. Besides my experience at the Hoop Group, I had my St. Joe’s ties and Philly ties.”
It has also been rumored that Richmond coach Chris Mooney and Siena coach Fran McCaffery are coming in for interviews, but I haven’t confirmed that.
A Richmond spokesman declined to comment on whether Seton Hall had officially requested permission to speak with Mooney.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Monday on its Website that Seton Hall “has interest” in Mooney, who led the Spiders to a 26-9 record and an at-large bid to the Big Dance.
Mooney, a Philadelphia native, later told the Times-Dispatch he would not discuss “any other coaching positions except Richmond,” and added that he is “anxious to get to work on sustaining our success.”
Kansas assistant Joe Dooley has not been contacted by Seton Hall, a source close to the situation said.
***Kadeem Jack, a 6-9 senior forward from Manhattan Rice, met with Miami coach Frank Haith and assistant Jorge Fernandez and Arizona coaches Sean Miller and Book Richardson last week at his school. He plans to take his second official to Miami “around April 9.”
Jack previously visited Arizona.
(PHoto courtesy Robert Morris Athletics)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.