Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ring-holder Padgett joins Manhattan

There's another "ring' in the MAAC with Manhattan's hiring of Scott Padgett as an assistant coach.

That's "ring" as in an NCAA national championship ring.

Padgett earned his as a key member of Kentucky's 1998 national championship team.

Your blogger believes the only other individual currently working within a conference program with a national championship ring is new Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro, who earned his as an assistant coach on the 1985-86 Villanova national title winner.

Two other former MAAC coaches, both assistants with Buonaguro on Rollie Massimino's Villanova Staff, also have national championship rings. That would be former Manhattan coach Steve Lappas and former Canisius coach Marty Marbach.

If readers can remember any other national championship ring holders either currently or formerly affiliated with a conference program, please leave that information in a "comment."

As for Padgett, he comes to Manhattan after spending last season as an assistant strength coach on the staff at Kentucky, his alma mater.

"I have always wanted to be a head coach in college, so this is a great first step for me to coach basketball in New York City and learn every aspect of running a program from recruiting, to coaching in practice and the day-to-day operations," explained Padgett, in a release issued by Manhattan. "I am very excited to start the next chapter of my basketball career."

Padgett was a 1st Round draft pick selected 28th overall by the Utah Jazz in 1999 and spent eight years in the league. Padgett recorded 1,142 points in four years with the Jazz, before spending the next two seasons with the Houston Rockets. The Louisville, Ky., native played the 2005-06 season with the New Jersey Nets. Padgett began the 2006-07 season with the Rockets before being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, where he finished out his career.

Padgett played at Kentucky from 1995-99. He helped lead the Wildcats to the 1998 NCAA National Championship, where he was named to the NCAA All-Final Four team, as well as the NCAA All-East Regional team and All-SEC during the regular season. In 1997, Padgett helped Kentucky to the NCAA championship game and was named to the All-Final Four team.

Padgett scored 1,252 points over his career, which ranks 32nd on Kentucky's all-time list.

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