Keatts up for multiple coach of the year awards; Seahawk women end season at CAA

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WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) — Just hours after being tabbed as one of 10 finalists for the 2015 Joe B. Hall National Coach-of-the-Year Award as the top first-year coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball, UNCW’s Kevin Keatts has been included among 16 finalists for the Ben Jobe Award as the nation’s top minority coach this season by CollegeInsider.com.

Keatts is joined on the list by Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Kevin Baggett (Rider), Bobby Collins (UMES), Ed Cooley (Providence), Mike Davis (Texas Southern), Frank Haith (Tulsa), Ron Hunter (Georgia State), James Jones (Yale), Robert Jones (Norfolk State), Marvin Menzies (New Mexico State), LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central), King Rice (Monmouth), John Thompson III (Georgetown), Gary Waters (Cleveland State) and Willis Wilson (Texas A&M Corpus Christi).

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Coach Jobe is a recognized icon in the history of basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is best known as the head coach of the Southern University, a position he held for 12 seasons. He has also head coach at Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Talladega, Tuskegee and South Carolina State.

Jobe’s record at Southern was 209-141 and included four NCAA Tournament appearances. He also coached the Jaguars to one NIT appearance, five SIAC championships, 11 SWAC titles and two NAIA Tournament Championships.

Jobe’s signature moment came in Southern’s 93-78 win over Georgia Tech in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament, still regarded as one of the great upsets in the history of the event.



Earlier in the day, Keatts was named a finalist for the 2015 Joe B. Hall National Coach-of-the-Year Award, presented each year to the top first-year coach in college basketball. Keatts was named 2015 CAA Coach-of-the-Year last week after piloting the Seahawks to the Colonial Athletic Association regular season championship and an 18-13 record after the program finished at just 9-23 one year ago.

The award is named in the honor of Joe B. Hall, who followed in the footsteps of legendary coach Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky. In his first season at UK, Hall finished 20-8, won the Southeastern Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals.

Both the Joe B. Hall and Ben Jobe award winners will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 3 in Indianapolis, site of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship.

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WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) -– Kevin Keatts, who steered UNCW to one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA Division I men’s basketball this season, has been selected one of 10 finalists for the 2015 Joe B. Hall National Coach-of-the-Year Award by CollegeInsider.com.

The award is presented each year to the top first-year coach in college basketball. Keatts was named 2015 CAA Coach-of-the-Year last week after piloting the Seahawks to the Colonial Athletic Association regular season championship and an 18-13 record after the program finished at just 9-23 one year ago.

In addition to Keatts, the finalists include Jon Coffman (IPFW), Dennis Cutts (UC Riverside), Travis DeCuire (Montana), James Fox (Appalachian State), Chris Jans (Bowling Green), Scott Padgett (Samford), David Richman (North Dakota State), Craig Smith (South Dakota) and Keith Walker (Delaware State)

The award is named in the honor of Joe B. Hall, who followed in the footsteps of legendary coach Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky. In his first season at UK, Hall finished 20-8, won the Southeastern Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals.

From 1972 to 1985 Hall won two-thirds of his games (297-100), received four SEC Coach-of-the-Year honors and captured a National Championship (1978). Along with the 1978 title, Hall also guided Kentucky to a runner-up finish to UCLA in the 1975 NCAA tournament, a Final Four appearance in the 1984 NCAA Tournament and an NIT championship in 1976. He won eight Southeastern Conference regular season championships and one Southeastern Conference tournament title (1984).

Hall is one of only three men – with Bobby Knight and Dean Smith – to win an NCAA championship as a player (1949-Kentucky) and head coach (1978-Kentucky).

Stephen F. Austin Head Coach Brad Underwood was the recipient of the 2014 Joe B. Hall Award last year in Dallas

The 2015 award honoree will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 3 in Indianapolis, site of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship.

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UPPER MARLBORO, MD (UNCW) — After battling Elon to a pair of high-scoring victories during the regular season, the fifth-seeded UNCW women’s basketball team found itself entangled with a low-scoring affair in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Championship on Friday afternoon.

Unfortunately, it was the fourth-seeded Phoenix who ended on the right side of the final score as Elon earned its first-ever CAA Tournament win with a 60-48 decision over the Seahawks at the Show Place Arena.

The Seahawks, who finished the regular season by winning six of their final seven games, end the year with a 14-16 record while Elon (19-11) advances to play against top-seeded James Madison in the semifinals on Saturday, Mar. 14 at 1:00 p.m.

The Seahawks overcame an early 9-4 deficit by scoring 10 consecutive points to claim a 14-9 advantage with 11:55 remaining on a lay-up by sophomore guard Naqaiyyah Teague (Malcolm X. Shabazz H.S./Newark, N.J.).

But, the Phoenix ended the first half by scoring 15 of the final 21 points to take a 24-21 lead into the intermission.

Elon continued to build its advantage in the first 10 minutes of the second half, outscoring the Seahawks by a 19-6 count for a commanding 43-27 lead with 9:54 left. The Seahawks narrowed the margin to five points with 5:51 remaining, but a strong effort at the foul line allowed the Phoenix to hold off UNCW.

Junior guard Josepha Mbouma (Watkins Mill H.S./Montgomery Village, Md.) led the Phoenix to the victory by scoring a game-high 15 points. Making her sixth start of the season, she converted four of six shots from the floor and all six of her free throw attempts. Freshman guard Shay Burnett (Southern Alamance H.S./Graham, N.C.), a CAA All-Rookie selection, added 10 points with seven rebounds.

Sophomore guard Brie Mobley (Winter Haven H.S./Winter Haven, Fla.), who earned second team All-CAA notice after a tremendous finish to the regular season, paced UNCW with a game-high 15 points with six rebounds while junior guard Shatia Cole (Myrtle Beach H.S./Myrtle Beach, S.C.) tallied 12 points with six rebounds.

Senior guard Kelva Atkins (Granville Central H.S./Stem, N.C.), who received first team All-CAA recognition by the league’s head coaches, was limited to eight points in her final appearance for the Seahawks. However, she ends her career as the fifth-leading scorer in school history with 1,329 points and also became the second player in school history to post back-to-back 500-point campaigns.

Atkins and senior forward Sarah Myatt (Southern Alamance H.S./Burlington, N.C.) played in their final games against Elon. A transfer from Queens University of Charlotte, Myatt appeared in 28 games for the Seahawks with seven starts.