Boston College hires former KSU coach
• Boston College turned to another small conference coach to make the Eagles competitive in the Atlantic Coast Conference as it hired former Kent State University coach Jim Christian, hoping the coach who has led his teams to eight postseason berths in 12 years can get the Eagles back into the NCAA Tournament. BC went 4-14 in the ACC last year and the Eagles have not made the NCAAs since 2009.
“Any coach wants to have his chance to compete against the very best. The ACC is the very best,” Christian said Thursday in a conference call. “There’s no doubt for what I’m looking for, this is just a tremendous fit. ... The opportunity for growth — that’s what excites you.”
Christian, 49, led Ohio University to a 49-22 record the past two seasons. In 12 years at Ohio, Texas Christian and Kent State, he has a record of 243-153.
A native of Bethpage, N.Y., who was recruited to Boston University by Rick Pitino, Christian is the MAC’s all-time leader in winning percentage. He acknowledged that he was not a splashy, big-name hire, but said he hoped to have the kind of success that coaches like Tom Davis, Jim O’Brien and Skinner had after coming to BC as relative unknowns.
“In those days, those guys might not have been considered splash hires. But at the end of the day, they had success up there,” he said. “That excites me.”
• Louisiana Tech Athletic Director Tommy McClelland says men’s coach Michael White agreed to a six-year extension worth $3.6 million. White has a record of 74-31.
• Utah and men’s coach Larry Krystkowiak have agreed in principle to a new five-year deal. The Utes are 42-55 in three seasons under Krystkowiak.
• Chris Obekpa, a 6-foot-10 sophomore who led the Big East in blocked shots two seasons, was given a release by St. John’s to pursue transfer options.
• North Carolina junior 6-foot-9 forward James Michael McAdoo will enter the NBA Draft.
Washington receiver now facing charges
• Suspended Washington wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow was charged with two counts of fourth-degree assault and one count of malicious mischief after two incidents in February. The King County Prosecutor’s Office announced the charges Thursday. Stringfellow is scheduled to be arraigned in King County District Court on April 16.
• Vanderbilt and Mississippi will play each other Sept. 6 at LP Field, the home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
Venus Williams loses at Family Circle Cup
• Venus Williams lost to Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-4 at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C. The 20-year-old Canadian lost her serve to Williams in the final set to fall behind 2-1, but Bouchard rallied with a break of her own to get back on track.
• Silviniaco Conti and The New One made up for disappointing results at Cheltenham last month by winning the big races on Day One of the Aintree Festival in Aintree, England. Silviniaco Conti (9-4) was fourth at Cheltham but won the Betfred Bowl. The New One was hampered by a falling horse in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham but won the Aintree Hurdle.
— From wire reports