College hoops carousel comes to a halt


It's been an interesting day in local college basketball. This morning, I attended the introduction of Kyle Smith as the next head coach at Columbia. And this afternoon, word just came down that Mo Cassara is the new head coach at Hofstra.

You never know, but barring any unforeseen developments (see: Tim Welsh's DWI arrest last week), all the local college hoops coaching vacancies have finally been filled.

(And there have been a lot of them!)

Here's my story on Smith. He's defiinitely got a challenge ahead of him. Columbia doesn't have much in terms of a winning basketball tradition. But Smith is a strong recruiter. And, former Cornell and current Boston College coach Steve Donahue showed that you can do big things in the Ivy League at schools other than Penn and Princeton.

Hofstra clearly wanted to act quickly after Welsh resigned on Monday following his DWI arrest. Cassara, 36, was an assistant coach at Boston College for four years under Al Skinner, until Skinner was let go on March 30. Cassara was going to be Welsh's assistant at Hofstra -- now, all of a sudden, he's sitting in the big boy's chair. And he's got a chance to be successful more quickly, considering he's inheriting a team that went 19-15 a year ago, and returns Charles Jenkins, the two-time winner of the Haggerty Award, given to the top college player in the metropolitan area.

The coaching merry-go-round has finally stopped spinning. Now we get to watch and see which moves work out.