2 more assistants and a big-time holiday tournament

Coach Todd Starkey has chosen two more assistants – both women who were assistants at Southern college teams.

One is Fran Recchia, who had been an assistant for three years at Radford University, a Division I member of the Big South Conference in southwest Virginia. Recchia was the team’s recruiting coordinator and worked primarily with wing players. Two guards she coached were all-Big South over the last two seasons, one leading the conference in three-point baskets per game.

Radford was 18-13 last season, its most victories since 2007-08. The team led its conference in three-point shooting percentage and was in the top 15 in Division I in field goal and scoring defense.

Recchia also was an assistant at Radford from 2010 to 2012. In between her two times there she spent a year as top assistant at Division II Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee. She also was a high school head coach in Virginia.

Recchia graduated in 2004 from Virginia Tech, where she played guard. Here’s her bio from the Redford website.

Alison Seberger is Starkey’s new director of operations, which is sort of a junior assistant coaching job.

Seberger had been an assistant coach at Lenoir-Ryne University, the Division II school in North Carolina where Starkey had been head coach before he left to be an assistant at Indiana two years ago.

Starkey hired Seberger at Lenoir-Ryne after she graduated from Illinois State, where she played forward. There she started 19 games her senior year and was named the team’s “best teammate — non-starter” her first three years. During Seberger’s senior year, she was a teammate of current Kent State player Zenobia Bess, then a freshman. Bess transferred to Kent State a year later and sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules.

Earlier Starkey had hired assistant Pat Mashuda, who had been head coach at Division II Chowan University in Murfreesboro, North Carolina.

Kent State still has one assistant job open.

None of the new coaches so far has an Ohio college background, though both Indiana and Radford had two Ohio players on their rosters last season.

Thanksgiving in Florida

Both the women’s and men’s team will play at the Gulf Coast Showcase, a November tournament hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University outside Fort Myers.

It’s a brutal field for the women. All teams in the tournament except Kent State won at least 26 games a season ago. KSU will play Baylor in the opening game of the tournament  on Friday, Nov. 25. Other teams are Florida Gulf Coast, DePaul, George Washington, Ohio State, Syracuse and Western Kentucky.

Syracuse was runner-up to Connecticut in last year’s NCAA tournament. Baylor has won the NCAA championship twice in the last 15 years.

KSU has never played in a tournament with that kind of competition, even at the height of its glory years under coach Bob Lindsay.

KSU didn’t play a team in the top 25 last season. Northwestern was ranked the previous year and Bowling Green was ranked several years ago.

KSU was 6-23 last season.

The previous weekend KSU will play in the men’s tournament. Competition in that one includes Vermont, Wofford, Hofstra, Bradley, South Dakota, Houston and George Mason.

Here’s the story on the KSU website.

The roster is intact

The 2016-17 roster posted on Kent State’s website includes all of the players who were on the team at the end of last season, plus incoming freshman Ali Poole. Last year’s team had no seniors.

This year’s team has four seniors, four juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen (two of them redshirts who missed last season because of injury). All player should be on campus for summer school and summer practice, which starts this week.

A head coaching job for a former assistant

Kylene Spiegel, an assistant for former KSU coach Danny O’Banion for two years, has been named head coach at Lawrence Technological University outside Detroit.

O’Banion is now associate head coach at the University of Memphis, the same job she had when Kent State hired her four years ago. Geoff Lanier, her top assistant, has been hired as an assistant at Cincinnati. Krista Beechy, O’Banion’s director of basketball operations, has become an assistant at Furman.

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