Men's College Basketball

College notebook: McKendree sends legendary coach Statham packing

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 10, 2018 10:00 pm

The longest-tenured coach with any Great Lakes Valley Conference men's basketball program is no longer coaching.

And after 52 years at the helm, McKendree legend Harry Statham said it wasn't his choice to end things.

McKendree athletic director Chuck Brueggeman announced via a press release that Statham will "conclude his service" as the Bearcats coach when his current contract expires at the end of May. Statham began coaching the Bearcats in 1966 and became the winningest coach of a four-year school at any level with 1,122 career victories.

The university's gym is named the Harry M. Statham Sports Center, while officials with the city of Lebanon, Ill., renamed a roadway on the McKendree campus as Harry Statham Way in 2006.

However, the Bearcats went 12-16 this winter and 3-15 in the GLVC, finishing last in the league's Central Division.

"I did not resign as the head coach at McKendree University. I was told that they were going to go in a different direction with the men's basketball program," Statham told the Belleville News-Democrat. "Of course, I'm disappointed."

McKendree became an NCAA Division II school following the 2010-11 season, and Statham's teams hadn't enjoyed the level of success they had as an NAIA program.

After going 18-12 in the 2011-12 season, the Bearcats endured six consecutive losing seasons.

The Bearcats joined the GLVC in 2012 and went 2-6 against Quincy University, losing five straight. That included the regular-season finale this year as the Hawks rallied for a 127-120 overtime victory at Pepsi Arena in what turned out to be Statham's last game.

JWCC's Fadika receives national honor

John Wood Community College sophomore forward Aziz Fadika was named the NJCAA Division II men's basketball player of the week after dominant performances in victories against Illinois Central and Lincoln in the final week of the regular season.

The 6-foot-8 Fadika had 16 points, 12 rebounds and a blocked shot in a 76-68 victory over the Cougars in the Katy, Texas, product's final home game. He capped the regular-season schedule with a 24-point, 25-rebound performance in the 81-76 victory over the Lynx. He also went 9 of 14 from the field against Lincoln.

Fadika recently received a scholarship offer from Quincy University.

Carper steps down?at Aurora

Former Quincy University women's basketball coach Brittany Carper has resigned after five seasons as the head coach at Aurora University in Aurora, Ill.

Carper had a 57-74 overall record and a 50-50 mark in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. This winter, she led the Spartans to a 14-12 overall record and a 12-8 mark in the NACC.

The Spartans reached the NACC Tournament finals in 2016 and she was named the league's Coach of the Year in 2014.

Carper served as the top assistant for JD Gravina at Quincy from 2008-11.

Southeastern grad?on Oshkosh bench

Matt Lewis, a Southeastern product, is on the bench this weekend as the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh men's basketball team vies for an NCAA Division III sectional championship in Rock Island, Ill.

The Titans, who are making their third straight postseason appearance, are 22-7. They won the Springfield (Ohio) Regional, upsetting third-ranked Wittenberg.

Lewis is in his sixth season coaching at UW-Oshkosh after spending one season as the director of basketball operations at Tulane.

A 2005 Southeastern graduate, Lewis played at Cornell (Iowa) College from 2005-2010. He was a first-team Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection in 2010 when he averaged 13.5 points and 6.7 rebounds. He finished his career with 659 points in 93 games (52 starts).

Kooi named Pointers'?interim coach

Quincy University graduate Lyndsay Kooi was named the interim head coach of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point women's basketball program this week.

Kooi replaces Abbey Sutherland, who left Stevens Point to become the head coach at NCAA Division I Wisconsin-Green Bay. Kooi served as an assistant to Sutherland from 2015-16. The Pointers were 54-16 during those two seasons.

Kooi spent last season as an assistant coach at Millikin, an NCAA Division III school in Decatur, Ill. The Big Blue were ranked as high as 12th in the national poll, went 8-0 to win the conference championship and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

A 2013 graduate of QU, Kooi was a four-year starter at setter and a two-time team captain for the Hawks. She finished her career ranked fourth all-time in assists with 3,191 assists. She was a four-time Great Lakes Valley Conference Academic All-Conference honoree and was the recipient of the All-Sports GLVC Sportsmanship Award in 2012.

Niemann finding his groove with Eagles

Heading into the Morehead State baseball team's first Ohio Valley Conference weekend series, senior utilityman Tyler Niemann is settling in offensively.

The Canton, Mo., product went 3 for 3 with a double, a walk and three runs scored in Tuesday's game at No. 8 Louisville. The Eagles lost 16-10, but it was Niemann's first multi-hit game of the season.

He has played in 11 of Morehead State's 12 games with six starts and is hitting .273. The Eagles are 6-6 overall, but have allowed 10 or more runs in three of their last four games.