Wheeling Jesuit University has established itself as not only a solid NCAA Division II basketball program, but its McDonough Center plays host to some of the best high school – and coaching – talent in the country.
The Cancer Research Classic basketball event has brought in some of the nation’s top prep basketball players. On Sunday, some of the best-known college and high school coaches in the annals of the game will gather for the eighth annual Basketball Coaches Clinic.
Scheduled to appear are former coaches John Chaney of Temple University and Jerry Tarkanian of UNLV. Active coaches to be on hand are Jamie Dixon of Pittsburgh, Bob McKillop of Davidson, Mark Karcher of St. Frances Academy and Danny Sancomb of Wheeling Jesuit.
Below are capsules of the coaches to appear:
Chaney – In compiling 741 career victories, Chaney took Temple to the NCAA Tournament 17 times, and although the Owls never won a national championship, they were ranked No. 1 entering the 1988 NCAA Tournament. Chaney will speak at 8:45 a.m. about the 4 Rs.
Tarkanian – Perhaps best-known for being a towel-chewing basketball tactician, Tarkanian has 990 career victories. Among his biggest victories was a 103-73 win over Duke in the 1990 national championship game. His Runnin’ Rebels established a championship-game record for largest margin of victory. Tarkanian will speak about the amoeba defense at 11:50 a.m.
Dixon – WVU fans recognize this name as the coach of the Mountaineers’ arch-nemesis Pitt Panthers. He became head coach at Pitt in 2003 and has compiled 163 victories. Last season, the Panthers earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Dixon will speak on man-to-man defensive principles and philosophy at 10:15 a.m.
McKillop – A former New York state high school coach, McKillop also owns more victories than any coach in Davidson history, and his 144 Southern Conference victories are more than any other coach in the history of the league. McKillop will speak at 1:30 p.m. about team play, details and little things that pay big dividends.
Karcher – The 30-year-old Karcher’s coaching career is in its infancy. Karcher played for Chaney at Temple, and coaches St. Frances – his high school alma mater. Karcher will speak at 2:45 p.m. about the half-court attack offense.
Sancomb – The former Wheeling Jesuit star is sixth on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,454 points. In his third season as Wheeling Jesuit coach, the Cardinals finished 14-16, upsetting top-seeded West Virginia State in the second round of the West Virginia Conference Tournament. Sancomb will speak at 3:45 p.m. about transition offense.
Cancer Research Classic
The basketball clinic is part of the Cancer Research Classic, a 13-team, two-day event that benefits cancer research.
Two games will tip off the action on New Year’s Day, with Paterson Catholic (N.J.) facing Huntington Prep (W. Va.) at 7 p.m. with game two pitting intra-city rivals Wheeling Park and Wheeling Central at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday’s five-game card begins with Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) facing Christ the King (New York) at 12:30 p.m. Every other game will begin approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the previous one, with St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) battling St. Ignatius (Cleveland), Sewickley Academy (Pa.) battling Wheeling Central (W. Va.), Rice (New York) playing Gonzaga (D.C.) and St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) facing St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.).
Other basketball news
Logan High School has added another missing piece as it begins its second season back in Class AAA.
West Virginia University recruit Noah Cottrill, who spent his first two varsity seasons at Class AA Poca High School, will join his third school in four years beginning this season when he suits up for traditional power Logan.
After leaving Poca following his sophomore season, Cottrill played last year for Mountain State Academy. He averaged 25.8 points per game for Mountain State, a Beckley, W. Va.-based private school.
At Logan, Cottrill will join Paul Herbert Williamson – son of former Marshall University standout Andy Paul Williamson. The move will give Williamson the opportunity to play his more natural position at wing.
Rich Stevens, a sportswriter for the Charleston Daily Mail, covers West Virginia for MaxPreps.