Nutt works on Redhawks' basketball schedule, staff

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's been somewhat of a frustrating start to the summer for Southeast Missouri State men's basketball coach Dickey Nutt, who is not having the easiest of times putting together his 2012-13 schedule or his coaching staff.

Nutt is disappointed that several regional schools Southeast has played in the past and sought to play this season did not want to hook up with the Redhawks, including SIU Carbondale and Arkansas State. Nutt said he believes there is a good chance SIU will be back on the schedule next year.

Nutt said he does like the way the schedule is shaping up and that it should be finalized before long.

Nutt said the Redhawks will open the season at Kansas. I previously had written that the Jayhawks almost certainly would represent one of Southeast's "money" games for 2012-13.

Nutt previously had mentioned that the Kansas contest might be on national TV, but that is still to be determined.

As for Nutt's coaching staff, he is looking to fill two of his three assistant positions after he did not retain Kyle Gerdeman and Jeremy Case in early April. Both had been with Nutt during his first three seasons at Southeast.

That task has been slowed because a highly regarded coach who had agreed to join the Redhawks changed his mind a few days later.

Nutt said he couldn't blame Jeff Strohm, who has been an assistant at Marquette, Utah and Western Kentucky among other programs. Nutt said Strohm was offered a position at Tulane of Conference USA for in the neighborhood of $120,000, which is about twice what Southeast could have paid him.

Nutt said he hopes to have both vacant assistant coaching positions filled soon. One could be announced this week.

Meanwhile, Gerdeman and Case both landed on their feet by finding assistant positions at other Division I programs.

Gerdeman was hired at Central Michigan by former Southeast assistant Keno Davis in early May, and Case was hired at Houston Baptist last week.

Zac Roman recently resigned as the men's basketball coach at Highland Community College after leading the junior college in Freeport, Ill., to a two-year record of 51-16. A press release said Roman wanted to pursue other coaching opportunities.

Roman served as Southeast's acting men's basketball coach during the 2008-09 season following the firing of Scott Edgar. Roman was an assistant under Edgar in 2007-08.

Another member of that Southeast staff is back in the Division I ranks and in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Rodney Hamilton, a Redhawks assistant during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 campaigns, recently was hired as an assistant at Tennessee State. Hamilton had been directing the NAIA program at Indiana Tech the past three years.

The OVC had a player selected for the second consecutive year in the NBA draft last week.

Former Tennessee Tech standout Kevin Murphy went to the Utah Jazz with the No. 47 overall selection in the second round. The 6-foot-6 guard led the OVC in scoring last season at more than 20 points per game.

The OVC had a first-round pick last year in Morehead State forward Kenneth Faried, who went on to earn a spot on the NBA's all-rookie team.

The draft also had something of a local connection with the selection of Weber State junior guard Damian Lillard at No. 6 overall. Lillard is the younger brother of former Southeast quarterback Houston Lillard, who played for the Redhawks in 2007 and 2008.

St. Louis had its second-highest selection ever when Florida freshman guard Bradley Beal went No. 3 overall. Beal played at Chaminade High School.

Cody Livesay, a 2011 Anna-Jonesboro (Ill.) High School graduate who played for the Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons American Legion baseball team last summer, is with the same Atlanta Braves' minor league affiliate as Southeast product and Scott City High School graduate Shae Simmons.

Livesay, an outfielder who was the Braves' 42nd-round draft choice in 2011, is playing for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Braves. He signed late last year and is in his first professional season.

I was saddened to learn about the death of former area radio broadcaster Lyn Sheplee, who was killed June 14 in a one-vehicle motorcycle accident in Minnesota.

Sheplee was the voice of Southeast Missouri State athletics from 1975 through 1988.

I met "Shep" shortly after I started working at the Missourian in 1984 and got to know him well.

Shep, who was 64, had been working in radio in his native Minnesota for more than 20 years. He was a really good guy and will be missed.

Marty Mishow is a sports writer for the Southeast Missourian.

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