2014–15 NCAA Division I men's basketball season
|2014–15 NCAA Division I men's basketball season|
|Preseason AP #1||Kentucky Wildcats|
|Regular season||November 14, 2014 – March 15, 2015|
|Tournament dates||March 17 – April 6, 2015|
|National Championship||Lucas Oil Stadium|
|Other champions||Stanford (NIT),|
|Player of the Year|
|Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin|
- 1 Season headlines
- 2 Conference membership changes
- 3 Season outlook
- 4 Regular season
- 5 Postseason tournaments
- 6 Award winners
- 7 Coaching changes
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- May 14 – The NCAA announces its Academic Progress Rate (APR) sanctions for the 2014–15 school year. A total of 36 programs in 11 sports are declared ineligible for postseason play due to failure to meet the required APR benchmark, including the following eight Division I men's basketball teams:
- Alabama State
- Appalachian State
- Central Arkansas
- Florida A&M
- Houston Baptist
- San Jose State
- In addition to the above teams, the entire athletic program at Southern University, including the men's basketball team, is ineligible for postseason play due to failure to supply usable academic data to the NCAA.
- May 16 – The ACC and the SEC will use a 30-second shot clock during exhibition games on an experimental basis for the upcoming season.
- June 10 – Georgetown and Syracuse announce that their men's basketball rivalry, on hold since 2013 due to the Big East realignment, will resume in 2015–16. The initial contract will run for four seasons.
- November 3 – The AP preseason All-American team is named. North Carolina junior guard Marcus Paige is the leading vote-getter with 57 of 65 possible votes. Joining him on the team were Louisville junior forward Montrezl Harrell (56 votes), Wisconsin senior center Frank Kaminsky, Wichita State junior guard Fred VanVleet and Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor. Okafor was also the preseason Player of the Year.
- November 13 – The NCAA announced five future Final Four sites which include Glendale, Arizona (2017), San Antonio (2018), Minneapolis (2019), Atlanta (2020), and Indianapolis (2021).
- December 6 – NJIT, the lone Independent in Division 1 basketball, upsets 17th-ranked Michigan.
- January 2 – Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin was placed in an advisory role to the team for the remainder of the season while dealing with a non-life-threatening vascular condition known as arterial dissection.
- February 3 – Turner Sports and CBS Sports announced that Bill Raftery and Grant Hill will replace Greg Anthony to call the 2015 NCAA tournament with the team of Jim Nantz and reporter Tracy Wolfson.
- February 4 – Syracuse announces that it has self-imposed a postseason ban in response to an ongoing NCAA investigation into infractions that occurred over much of the early 21st century.
- February 7 – Former North Carolina coach Dean Smith dies at his home in Chapel Hill at the age of 83.
- February 11 – Former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian died at the age of 84.
- March 6 – The NCAA announced the results of its investigation of the Syracuse men's basketball and football programs, levying the following penalties on the basketball program:
- A total of 108 wins in the 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2010–11, and 2011–12 seasons were ordered vacated. This was the most wins ever taken away from a Division I men's program, and dropped Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim from second on the all-time Division I wins list to sixth.
- Boeheim was initially suspended for the first nine games of the 2015–16 ACC season, which was later modified to the first 9 games immediately following the ruling of the NCAA Board of Appeals, beginning with the renewed rivalry game against The Georgetown University Hoyas 
- The program initially lost three scholarships for each of the following four seasons (through 2018–19), later reduced to two per season following an appeal by the University to the NCAA.
- Recruiting was restricted for two seasons, and the program was placed on probation for five years.
- March 18 – In the wake of the Syracuse sanctions, Boeheim announces that he will retire at the end of the 2017–18 season, with top assistant Mike Hopkins his planned successor. Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross announces his resignation, effective immediately.
Milestones and records
- January 25 – Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski became the first Division I men's coach with 1,000 career wins, following the Blue Devils' 77–68 win over St. John's at Madison Square Garden.
- February 7 – Kyle Collinsworth of BYU set a new single-season Division I record for triple-doubles. His 23 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists in the Cougars' 87–68 win at Loyola Marymount gave him five triple-doubles for the season, breaking a tie with four other players.
- February 25 – William & Mary guard Marcus Thornton surpassed Chet Giermak's school scoring record of 2,052. The mark had stood since 1950; the 65-year-old record had been the longest-standing school career scoring record in all of NCAA Division I basketball at the time it was broken.
- March 2 – Virginia became the first team not from Tobacco Road to win back-to-back outright Atlantic Coast Conference regular season championships.
- March 5 – Delaware State center Kendall Gray recorded 33 points and 30 rebounds against Coppin State, becoming the first NCAA Division I player to grab 30 rebounds in a game since December 14, 2005, and only the seventh overall in the past 40 seasons.
- March 9 – Collinsworth's 13 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists in BYU's 84–70 win over Portland in the West Coast Conference tournament semifinals gave him six triple-doubles for both this season and his career, tying him with Michael Anderson of Drexel and Shaquille O'Neal of LSU for the Division I career record.
- The following players surpassed 2,000 points in their career: BYU guard Tyler Haws, Auburn guard Antoine Mason, Stanford guard Chasson Randle, St. John's guard D'Angelo Harrison, Oregon guard Joseph Young, San Diego guard Johnny Dee, William & Mary guard Marcus Thornton, Marist forward Chauvaughn Lewis, Green Bay guard Keifer Sykes, Penn State guard D. J. Newbill and Providence forward LaDontae Henton.
Conference membership changes
The 2014–15 season saw the final wave of membership changes resulting from a major realignment of NCAA Division I conferences. The cycle began in 2010 with the Big Ten and the then-Pac-10 publicly announcing their intentions to expand. The fallout from these conferences' moves later affected a majority of D-I conferences.
This was also the final season for Texas–Pan American (UTPA) under that name. At the start of the 2015–16 school year, UTPA merged with the University of Texas at Brownsville to form the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). UTPA's athletic program and WAC membership were inherited by UTRGV.
It was also the final season for Northern Kentucky in the Atlantic Sun Conference (A-Sun) and the final season for NJIT as an independent. On May 11, 2015, it was announced that Northern Kentucky would join the Horizon League effective July 1. The A-Sun soon filled the place left by Northern Kentucky, announcing on June 12 that NJIT would become a member effective on July 1.
The top 25 from the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls.
*Although these tournaments include more teams, only the number listed play for the championship.
Conference winners and tournaments
Thirty-one athletic conferences each end their regular seasons with a single-elimination tournament. The teams in each conference that win their regular season title are given the number one seed in each tournament. The winners of these tournaments receive automatic invitations to the 2015 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. The Ivy League does not have a conference tournament, instead giving their automatic invitation to their regular season champion.
- Montana won a tiebreaker with Eastern Washington for the top seed in the conference tournament and hosting rights. The tournament was thus held at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Montana.
- As Valparaiso won the regular-season league title outright, it hosted the semifinals and finals at the Athletics–Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Indiana.
- Since Valparaiso won its conference tournament semifinal, it also hosted the final at the same venue.
|Tyler Harvey||Eastern Washington||23.1||Alan Williams||UC Santa Barbara||11.8||Jalan West||Northwestern State||7.7||Corey Walden||Eastern Kentucky||3.09|
|Zeek Woodley||Northwestern State||22.2||Kendall Gray||Delaware State||11.8||Kahlil Felder||Oakland||7.6||Gary Payton II||Oregon State||3.06|
|Tyler Haws||BYU||22.2||Jameel Warney||Stony Brook||11.7||Kris Dunn||Providence||7.5||Roderick Bobbitt||Hawaiʻi||2.86|
|Damion Lee||Drexel||21.4||Rico Gathers||Baylor||11.6||Tyler Strange||Gardner–Webb||7.4||Kevin Hardy||McNeese State||2.74|
|Saah Nimley||Charleston Southern||21.4||Shevon Thompson||George Mason||11.3||Speedy Smith||Louisiana Tech||7.4||Kris Dunn||Providence||2.73|
|Jordan Mickey||LSU||3.65||Evan Bradds||Belmont||68.8||Corey Hawkins||UC Davis||48.8||Riley Grabau||Wyoming||93.9|
|Amida Brimah||Connecticut||3.46||Jahlil Okafor||Duke||66.4||Quincy Taylor||Longwood||48.0||Joseph Young||Oregon||92.5|
|Austin Nichols||Memphis||3.44||Jordan Parks||North Carolina Central||66.0||Alex Anderson||UT Martin||48.0||Andrew Rowsey||UNC Asheville||92.1|
|Justin Tuoyo||Chattanooga||3.25||Rashid Gaston||Norfolk State||62.0||John Simons||Central Michigan||45.5||Johnny Dee||San Diego||91.9|
|Chris Obekpa||St. John's||3.13||Zach Auguste||Notre Dame||61.9||Daniel Dixon||William & Mary||45.1||Four McGlynn||Towson||91/7|
Final Four – Lucas Oil Stadium
|National Championship Game|
For this list, a "major upset" is defined as a win by a team seeded 7 or more spots below its defeated opponent.
|March 19||UAB (14)||60–59||Iowa State (3)||South||Round of 64|
|March 19||Georgia State (14)||57–56||Baylor (3)||West||Round of 64|
|March 21||NC State (8)||81–78||Villanova (1)||East||Round of 32|
National Invitation Tournament
After the NCAA Tournament field is announced, the NCAA invited 32 teams to participate in the National Invitation Tournament. The tournament began on March 17, 2015 with all games prior to the semifinals played on campus sites. The semifinals and final were held on March 31 and April 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
College Basketball Invitational
The sixth College Basketball Invitational (CBI) Tournament began on March 17, 2015 and ended with Loyola-Chicago's two-game sweep of Louisiana-Monroe. This tournament featured 16 teams who were left out of the NCAA Tournament and NIT.
March 31, April 1
(best of three)
CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament
The fifth CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament began on March 16 and ended with that championship game on April 2. The Evansville Purple Aces won their first postseason tournament, defeating Northern Arizona in the final. This tournament places an emphasis on selecting successful teams from "mid-major" conferences who were left out of the NCAA Tournament and NIT. 32 teams participated in this tournament.
Consensus All-American teams
The following players are recognized as the 2015 Consensus All-Americans:
|Jerian Grant||PG/SG||Senior||Notre Dame|
|D'Angelo Russell||PG/SG||Freshman||Ohio State|
|Seth Tuttle||PF||Senior||Northern Iowa|
Major player of the year awards
- Wooden Award: Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
- Naismith Award: Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
- Associated Press Player of the Year: Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
- NABC Player of the Year: Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
- Oscar Robertson Trophy (USBWA): Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
- Sporting News Player of the Year: Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
Major freshman of the year awards
Major coach of the year awards
- Associated Press Coach of the Year: John Calipari, Kentucky
- Henry Iba Award (USBWA): Tony Bennett, Virginia
- NABC Coach of the Year: John Calipari, Kentucky
- Naismith College Coach of the Year: John Calipari, Kentucky
- Sporting News Coach of the Year: John Calipari, Kentucky
Other major awards
- Bob Cousy Award (Best point guard): Delon Wright, Utah
- Jerry West Award (Best shooting guard): D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State
- Julius Erving Award (Best small forward): Stanley Johnson, Arizona
- Karl Malone Award (Best power forward): Montrezl Harrell, Louisville
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (Best center): Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
- Pete Newell Big Man Award (Best big man): Jahlil Okafor, Duke
- NABC Defensive Player of the Year: Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky
- Senior CLASS Award (top senior): Alex Barlow, Butler
- Robert V. Geasey Trophy (Top player in Philadelphia Big 5): Darrun Hilliard, Villanova
- Haggerty Award (Top player in NYC metro area): Sir'Dominic Pointer, St. John's
- Ben Jobe Award (Top minority coach): Bobby Collins, Maryland Eastern Shore
- Hugh Durham Award (Top mid-major coach): Brian Katz, Sacramento State
- Jim Phelan Award (Top head coach): Bob Huggins, West Virginia
- Lefty Driesell Award (Top defensive player): Darion Atkins, Virginia
- Lou Henson Award (Top mid-major player): Ty Greene, USC Upstate
- Lute Olson Award (Top non-freshman or transfer player): Cameron Payne, Murray State
- Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award (Coach with moral character): Keno Davis, Central Michigan
- Academic All-American of the Year (Top scholar-athlete): Matt Townsend, Yale
- Elite 89 Award (Top GPA among upperclass players at Final Four): Colby Wollenman, Michigan State
A number of teams changed coaches during and after the season.
|Alabama||Anthony Grant||John Brannen||Avery Johnson||After an 18–14 season, Grant, who led the Crimson Tide to just one NCAA Tournament appearance in six seasons, was fired.|
|Alcorn State||Luther Riley||Montez Robinson||With Riley's teams posting a record of 38-91 over four seasons, include winning just six games the past year, the university decided not to renew his contract. The former coach took a brief leave of absence of January to deal with personal matters. Under Riley's watch, the Braves never finished higher than fifth in the SWAC.|
|Arizona State||Herb Sendek||Bobby Hurley||Sendek was fired on March 24 after nine seasons. He had signed a three-year contract extension before this season, but went 18–16 and 9–9 in Pac-12 play.|
|Arkansas-Little Rock||Steve Shields||Chris Beard||On March 18, 2015, Shields was let go by the Arkansas–Little Rock administration after 12 seasons. He left as the winningest coach in the Trojans' history with a career record of 192-178. However, despite winning five regular-season Sun Belt titles, Shield's team only won one tournament championship.|
|Bowling Green||Chris Jans||Michael Huger||Jans was fired on April 2 despite a 21–12 record in his first season in charge. Media reports indicated that the firing was due to alleged inappropriate behavior at a Bowling Green, Ohio bar after the Falcons' final game of the season.|
|Bradley||Geno Ford||Brian Wardle||Ford was fired after posting a 46–86 record in four seasons at Bradley.|
|Bucknell||Dave Paulsen||Nathan Davis||Paulsen left to take the George Mason job.|
|Buffalo||Bobby Hurley||Nate Oats||Hurley left to take the Arizona State job. Assistant coach Nate Oats was promoted to head coach on April 11.|
|Butler||Brandon Miller||Chris Holtmann||Chris Holtmann||On October 1, 2014, Miller abruptly went on a leave of absence to deal with an unspecified medical issue. After one year as an assistant coach, Holtmann was named interim head coach on October 2, 2014. As interim coach, he guided Butler to a 10–4 start including a third-place finish in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. On January 2, 2015, the interim tag was removed and Holtmann became the 23rd head coach of the Butler University men's basketball team.|
|Charlotte||Alan Major||Ryan Odom||Mark Price||After Major took a medical on January 6 to deal with chronic health issues, Odom was relieved of his coaching duties on March 16 when Major and the university mutually agreed to part ways, and his staff was not retained.|
|Chattanooga||Will Wade||Matt McCall||Wade, who was the first assistant Shaka Smart hired upon taking over the VCU program in 2009, returned to VCU after Smart's departure for Texas.|
|The Citadel||Chuck Driesell||Duggar Baucom||Driesell's contract was not renewed following the season.|
|DePaul||Oliver Purnell||Dave Leitao||Purnell resigned after posting an overall record of 54–105 (15-75 in Big East play) in five seasons. The Blue Demons brought back Dave Leitao, who had been head coach from 2002 to 2005, a stint that included the team's last NCAA tournament appearance (2004).|
|Eastern Kentucky||Jeff Neubauer||Dan McHale|
|East Tennessee State||Murry Bartow||Steve Forbes||After 12 years, an overall record of 224-169 (with a record of 16-14, 8-10 in SoCon play in the 2014–15 season), and three NCAA appearances at East Tennessee State, Bartow was fired due a five-season tournament drought with declining team performance, increasing fan apathy after the 2014–15 season, and the decision to head a new way with the program.|
|Florida||Billy Donovan||Michael White||Donovan left on April 30 to fill the head coaching vacancy at the Oklahoma City Thunder. In Donovan's 19 seasons at Florida, the Gators had an overall record of 467–186, 14 NCAA tournament appearances, and national championships in 2006 and 2007.|
|Fordham||Tom Pecora||Jeff Neubauer||Fordham hired Eastern Kentucky coach Jeff Neubauer to fill their vacant spot.|
|George Mason||Paul Hewitt||Dave Paulsen||Hewitt, formerly head coach of Georgia Tech from 2000–2011, was fired after posting a 66–67 record in four seasons with George Mason.|
|Green Bay||Brian Wardle||Linc Darner||Wardle left Green Bay after five seasons to accept the head coaching job with Bradley on March 27.|
|Hawaii||Benjy Taylor||Eran Ganot|
|Holy Cross||Milan Brown||Bill Carmody||Brown was relieved of his duties following the Crusaders' season ending loss to Bucknell in the Patriot League Tournament on March 5. Brown had a 56–67 record over five seasons, with just one postseason appearance.|
|Iowa State||Fred Hoiberg||Steve Prohm||Hoiberg, long rumored as an NBA coaching prospect, left for the head coaching vacancy with the Chicago Bulls.|
|Kennesaw State||Jimmy Lallathin||Al Skinner||Lallathin was fired on March 23 after only one season as the full-time head coach. He had received the job on an interim basis in January 2014 when previous head coach Lewis Preston took a leave of absence, and was given the full-time job after Preston was dismissed at the end of that season, but went 10–22 in his first full season in charge.|
|Liberty||Dale Layer||Ritchie McKay||Layer had led the Flames to the Big South Conference championship in 2013, but had only one winning season in five years. He was fired following Liberty's loss to UNC Asheville in the Big South Tournament.|
|Louisiana Tech||Michael White||Eric Konkol||White left for the Florida job. He was replaced by Miami assistant Konkol.|
|Mississippi State||Rick Ray||Ben Howland||Ray was fired on March 21, 2015 after going 37–60 in three seasons, ending with a 13–19 overall record and 6–12 in SEC play this season. The Bulldogs hired TV analyst Howland, a veteran coach best known for leading UCLA to three straight Final Fours from 2006 to 2008.|
|Murray State||Steve Prohm||Matt McMahon||Prohm left for the Iowa State job.|
|Nevada||David Carter||Eric Musselman||Carter was fired on March 11, 2015 after going 9–22 overall and 5–13 in Mountain West play this season, and failing to make the NCAA tournament in his six seasons at head coach.|
|Northern Kentucky||Dave Bezold||John Brannen||Bezold was fired on March 17 after 11 seasons. Although he went 194–133 overall, he was 33–54 in the first three years of NKU's four-year transition from Division II to Division I.|
|Penn||Jerome Allen||Steve Donahue||On March 8, Allen announced his resignation to follow the Quakers' last game on March 10.|
|St. John's||Steve Lavin||Chris Mullin||Lavin and St. John's mutually agreed to part ways on March 28. The Red Storm hired arguably their greatest player ever, Hall of Famer Mullin, who since retiring as a player has been in the front offices of the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.|
|San Diego||Bill Grier||Lamont Smith||Grier was fired on March 16 after eight seasons. He was unable to duplicate the success of his first season in 2007–08, when he led the Toreros to the first NCAA tournament win by either of San Diego's Division I programs. The Toreros only made one postseason appearance after that (last season's CIT), and finished 15–16 this season and 8–10 in the West Coast Conference.|
|SIU Edwardsville||Lennox Forrester||Jon Harris||Forrester, who oversaw the Cougars' transition from Division II to Division I, was fired after eight seasons and an 82–146 overall record.|
|Southeast Missouri State||Dickey Nutt||Rick Ray||Nutt was fired on March 23 after six seasons. He was coming off back-to-back winning records, but the Redhawks went 13–17 this season, leaving him at 90–108 overall at SEMO.|
|Tennessee||Donnie Tyndall||Rick Barnes||Tyndall was fired on March 28 after the school was briefed by the NCAA on accusations it was about to level against him stemming from his actions at his previous coaching stop at Southern Miss. The Volunteers hired Rick Barnes fresh off his firing from Texas.|
|Texas||Rick Barnes||Shaka Smart||Barnes was notified on March 28 that he had been fired. Despite a 402–180 record in 17 seasons at Texas, this season's Longhorns, widely touted as a Big 12 contender and ranked in the preseason top 10, finished 20–14 overall and 8–10 in the Big 12, ending in defeat in their NCAA tournament opener.-|
|UIC||Howard Moore||Steve McClain||Moore was fired after four seasons in which the Flames went 33–62 overall and 12–40 in the Horizon League.|
|Utah State||Stew Morrill||Tim Duryea||Morrill, head coach for the Aggies since 1998, announced his retirement effective at the end of the season.|
|Utah Valley||Dick Hunsaker||Mark Pope||Hunsaker announced he would step down from his position effective June 30, 2015. The Wolverines, based in Orem, Utah, went next door to Provo for their new coach, hiring BYU assistant Pope.|
|VCU||Shaka Smart||Will Wade||Smart left for the Texas job.|
|VMI||Duggar Baucom||Dan Earl||Baucom left for the Southern Conference's other military school, The Citadel.|
- Top seed in conference tournament
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