NCAA Basketball News and Notes: April 19, 2019

Just because the college basketball season is over doesn’t mean the news stops. One of the Big 12’s top players is officially entering the draft, Southern Mississippi has found their new coach, and St. John’s may have finally found their replacement for Chris Mullin. Here are the latest college basketball news and notes.

Culver declares for draft

Ten days after the national championship game, Texas Tech’s star guard Jarrett Culver has declared for the NBA draft. Culver announced his decision on Thursday via Twitter.

The sophomore Culver was the Big 12 Player of the Year, leading Texas Tech to its first ever national championship appearance. The year before, the Red Raiders reaches their first Elite Eight, making Culver the main catalyst behind the two deepest tournament runs in school history.

This season, Culver led the team with 18.5 points, along with 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He is considered a top-level NBA prospect, and will very likely be drafted within the top-10 of June’s draft.

Southern Miss hires Ladner

Southern Mississippi has found their next coach, and it’s someone who is very familiar with his new home. Former Southern Miss star Jay Ladner was officially announced as the head coach on Thursday, replacing Doc Sadler.

Ladner has been the coach at Southeastern Louisiana for the past five years, leading them to a Southland Conference regular season title in 2018. With Ladner at the helm, the Lions improved for four straight years before finishing 17-16 this last season.

Ladner now returns to his old stomping grounds. He graduated from Southern Miss in 1988 and played on their NIT championship team in 1987. After his playing days, he became an accomplished high school coach in Mississippi before moving to the college ranks in 2012. Southern Miss finished last season at 20-13 under Sadler, including an 11-7 mark in Conference USA.

St. John’s, Anderson close to deal

It has been a disappointing coaching search for St. John’s ever since Chris Mullin stepped down, with several candidates passing on their job offer. But the search seems to be coming to an end, with former Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson currently in negotiations with the Red Storm.

Anderson, 59, emerged as the favorite late on Thursday night. He was fired last month after eight seasons with the Razorbacks, leading them to three NCAA tournament appearances. Before that, Anderson coached at Missouri and UAB, leading each of them to three NCAA tournament appearances.

Since Mullin’s departure, St. John’s has had several choices before landing on Anderson. Arizona State’s Bobby Hurley, Loyola Chicago’s Porter Moser, and Iona’s Tim Cluess were all interviewed, but each decided to stay at their current schools. Yale’s James Jones and former Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt were among other coaches in consideration.

With new coaching hires, expect a flurry of moves regarding assistant coaches in the next few weeks. And of course, more and more players declaring for the NBA draft.