University at Buffalo assistant basketball coach Donyell Marshall officially was named head coach at Central Connecticut State Wednesday.
It's a good job for Marshall because there's nowhere to go but up, and the conference CCSU belongs to is very winnable. Marshall will have the Blue Devils in contention for an NCAA Tournament bid in three years, it says here.
Central Connecticut went 4-25 this year and 5-26 two years ago. The Northeast Conference is ranked 30th out of 32 Division I conferences in the country. It's not a conference of powerhouses. It has been won by five teams in the last seven years and eight in the last 12. Retiring coach Howie Dickenman took CCSU to the NCAAs three times, in 1999-00, 2001-02 and 2006-07.
Marshall the former UConn and NBA star, yearned for a head-coaching gig. He gets to build a program up from the bottom. His departure is a loss for UB, but it was inevitable and coach Nate Oats still has a strong staff, with veteran Jim Whitesell and young recruiter Bryan Hodgson.
"I am really happy for Donyell and I believe he deserves this opportunity that he has been given," said head coach Nate Oats. "He is extremely ready to be a head coach and he was very instrumental in the success that we had this past year in all areas of our men's basketball program. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him during the year that we were together. He has a great work ethic, and a great understanding of the game of basketball and I know that he will do great things at Central Connecticut State. I wish him nothing but the best in the future."