With the first of three open evaluation periods less than a week away, this is not a good time for a college head coach to have just one assistant.
That’s what faced Southeast Missouri State head coach Dickey Nutt, who decided at the end of the season not to retain Jeremy Case and Kyle Gerdeman.
According to the Southeast Missourian, the number of assistant coaches will rise to two and the addition will be an experienced coach at that.
Jessie Evans, who has been an assistant at five schools (including Arizona, where he was part of the program’s lone national title in 1997) and a head coach at Louisiana and San Francisco, will reportedly join Nutt’s staff.
Evans has a head coaching record of 179-146 with the bulk of his success coming at Louisiana, where he led the Ragin’ Cajuns to two NCAA tournament appearances.
Evans joins Jamie Rosser on the SEMO staff, and it remains to be seen if Nutt has someone in mind for the vacant position and if they’ll be on board before July 11 (start of first open evaluation period of July).
Southeast Missouri State finished tied for fourth in the OVC with a 9-7 mark (15-16 overall), but the Redhawks failed to reach the .500 mark despite increasing their win total for the second straight season.
While the OVC will get tougher with the arrival of Belmont and defending champion Murray State isn’t going anywhere, the Redhawks’ top four scorers will return led by forward Tyler Stone (14.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and guard Marland Smith (12.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg).
Can the addition of Evans and his experience help SEMO take the next step towards truly contending in the OVC? Their fans can only hope that this will be the case.
Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.