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March 28, 2006
FREE: Hill's out, how does it affect Charlotte
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Initially when I heard about Charlotte assistant Dalonte Hill heading to Kansas State to join former Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins' staff, I thought back to when former Charlotte assistant Rob Moxley was rumored to be leaving for Maryland.
Being pretty tight with coach Mox, I called him up. I knew he was gone when I heard that his voicemail had changed from his actual voice to a generic one. Same situation with coach Hill.
He's gone. A done deal to K-State, but, though unofficial, that's nearly common knowledge now.
Hill said Huggins contacted Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz about talking with Hill concerning the open assistant job. Lutz agreed and the rest is a historic mess for Charlotte.
Why? Hill was the lone reason that Michael Beasley - rated the No. 3 player in the class of 2007 and more recently named to the Parade All America second team - gave Charlotte a verbal commitment. Beasley has told me more times than I can remember that the best thing about Charlotte was Hill. Beasley always says that he trusts Hill and knows that he has Beasley's best interest in mind.
Hill coached Beasley on the DC Assault AAU team before taking the Charlotte job.
"I've had three good years at Charlotte," Hill said. "I just felt like it was a good career move."
Great career move for Hill. Even the most avid Niner fan would have to agree that the job is more than attractive. But that means bad news for Charlotte.
Simply put, Beasley is not coming to Charlotte. Write it down, mark it in stone, copy and paste this sentence on every message board from here to Manhattan, Kansas.
NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from commenting on unsigned recruits, so obviously Hill couldn't confirm this, but a reliable source confirms Beasley's no longer the Niner savior.
He's heading to K - State with Hill. What's the draw? It's Beasley being part of what would be the greatest class ever signed. Ohio phenom O.J. Mayo, No. 1 rated player in the class of 2007, and his teammate Bill Walker, No. 2 rated player in 2007, are said to be shoe-ins to K - State now that Huggins is there. The addition of Beasley would give K - State the greatest recruiting class ever. Not to mention the Cats are in serious contention for a few other top 30 prospects.
This class would make the Fab Five look like the Little Giants.
What better way to erase Huggins' negative past than to haul in that type of load?
So Beasley's either going to be a Cat or he's headed to prep school, but either way he won't wear Niner green.
It's a similar situation Charlotte was in with Martin Iti in 2003. Former assistant Kevin Nickelberry, now at Clemson, brought in Iti, a highly rated center from Durham Mount Zion. But before Iti played a game at Charlotte Nickelberry left.
Difference here is Iti was signed, which would be more of a headache if he wanted to follow Nickelberry than just retracting a verbal commitment.
There's no word yet on Hill's replacement, but the void will be felt until the Niners land another All American caliber player.
Granted All American isn't the same as No. 3 in the respective class (No. 1 depending on who you ask), but it would be a step in moving on.
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