Harvard’s Tommy Amaker Saturday removed himself from consideration for the men’s basketball coaching vacancy at Boston College.
“After thoughtful deliberation, I continue to realize my heart is at Harvard,’’ Amaker said in a statement released by the school. “To teach, lead, and serve at this amazing institution, and in this special community, is truly meaningful to me.’’
Considered by many to be the top candidate to succeed Steve Donahue at The Heights, Amaker recently completed his seventh season at Harvard, guiding the Crimson to a 27-5 record, a fourth consecutive Ivy League championship, and a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Harvard won a tournament game for the second straight year, beating Cincinnati.
“Tommy is a great leader, a great coach, and a great educator,’’ said Bob Scalise, Harvard’s director of athletics.
With Amaker out of the mix, BC focused its attention on Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins, who was in Boston Saturday for an interview, according to sources familiar with the search.
Hopkins, 44, was designated as Syracuse’s coach-in-waiting to Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim after serving on his bench 19 seasons. Hopkins played four seasons (1989-93) for Boeheim and went on to play professionally in the CBA and in Europe before returning to Syracuse in 1995 to join Boeheim’s staff as an assistant.
Hopkins gained a strong reputation as an effective recruiter, helping Syracuse mine talent in the Northeast corridor from Philadelphia to Boston.
It would be incumbent upon BC’s next coach to step in and launch a strong recruiting campaign to bolster a roster that has no 2014 signees to speak of and only one 2015 verbal commitment — four-star prospect Jeremy Miller, a 6-foot-9-inch power forward from Milton, who starred at New Hampton (N.H.) Prep .
Thursday, BC officials met with St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt, 51, a 1985 BC alum from North Attleboro.
Division 2 champs
Daylen Robinson scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half to help Central Missouri win the NCAA Division 2 championship, 84-77, over West Liberty at Evansville, Ind.
Dillon Deck added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Central Missouri (30-5). Shawn Dyer led West Liberty (31-4) with 19 points and Cedric Harris had 18 — 14 in the first half.
A year after his gruesome leg injury in the NCAA Tournament, Kevin Ware is transferring from Louisville. Ware became Louisville’s rallying point on the way to the national title after he broke his leg in a win over Duke in the finals of the Midwest Regional last season. He had a rod inserted in the leg and tried to come back this season. But he averaged 1.7 points over nine games and eventually took a medical redshirt . . . Ohio State confirmed that Temple big man Anthony Lee is transferring in and will play next season. The 6-9 Lee, set to graduate from Temple in May, has one year of eligibility remaining . . . North Carolina State says 5-11 sophomore guard Tyler Lewis, who had a team-best 135 assists, is transferring . . . Minnesota fired women’s basketball coach Pam Borton a day after a loss to South Dakota State in the NIT. Borton, a onetime BC assistant, is the winningest coach in program history (236-152). The Gophers went 22-13 this season, their most victories since 2004-05. She took the Gophers to their only Final Four in 2004.Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Michael Vega can be reached at email@example.com.