NORTH AUGUSTA — When 5 p.m. struck Wednesday, Wichita State men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall wanted a plan mapped out.
Over the next few days, the Greenwood, S.C., native and other coaches in town will hope to know where to be for the Nike Peach Jam and any surrounding tournaments. With three different basketball events going on in the area, there had to be a schedule to handle the pandemonium when the month’s first evaluation period commenced.
“We identify as many players as we can in the previous years and in the spring. My assistant coaches basically make my schedule and tell me where I need to be and who I need to see,” Marshall said Wednesday morning. “I had an assistant coach fly in here this morning. By 5 o’clock this afternoon, my schedule will be set for the next couple of days. And hopefully it’ll go like clockwork.”
As well as the Peach Jam, the area also has the Peach State Summer Showcase and the Elite Youth Invitational at local gyms and schools, meaning the coaches will stay busy.
When this year’s Peach Jam tipped off at 2 p.m. Tuesday, all the chairs meant for coaches were mostly empty. But that changed for the 6 p.m. Wednesday games, as coaches watched Sweet 16 Invitational Tournament games at North Augusta's Riverview Park Activities Center.
Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and Clemson coach Brad Brownell were two of the evening viewers.
Earlier in the day, Brownell, Marshall and other college coaches arrived at The River Golf Club in North Augusta for the Nations of Coaches’ Second Annual Celebrity Golf Classic. The organization tries to help coaches have a positive impact in their communities and in basketball.
Wednesday’s time on the golf course came before the hectic days ahead.
“In my opinion, it’s not just become one of the premier events – it’s probably the premier event,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said at golf outing.
“You like to see kids in a team situation, and they’re here with their teams. It’s a great competition. I like to see how they participate in a team situation: you’re down two with 1 minute to play. Are you going to do something smart, or are you going to do something not so smart? I love this event.”
Brownell’s Tigers went 13-18 in 2012-13, with Laney graduate Rod Hall starting 30 games. Hall led the team with 110 assists and averaged 5.7 points per game on 43.7 percent shooting.
“Guys on our team really like playing with him because he shares the ball; he’s a very good passer,” Brownell said. “I think he’s had a solid first two years, but we’re looking for him to make a big step this year.
“If he can become a more consistent outside shooter, I think that will open some things up for his strength, which is driving the ball. Really, now as a junior, it’s his time to begin to look to score more. We’re hoping he has a big year for us.”