#Clemson basketball news: Middlebrooks not arriving until ’22; Richardson officially hired (AUDIO)

Ben Middlebrooks

Earlier this week 6-11 Ben Middlebrooks of Fort Lauderdale signed with Clemson. Middlebrooks was part of the 2022 class but said he had his academic work in place and would reclassify for the 2021 class. But Thursday morning Middlebrooks changed course, at least on his timing for arriving at Clemson.

In a tweet, Middlebrooks stated after talking with his coaches, he had decided to stay in high school thru the ’22 season. However, he stated he is firmly committed to Clemson.

“I’m 100% committed to Clemson, but after talking with my coaches I’ve decided to go 2022,” Satterfield wrote.

This past season Middlebrooks averaged over 20 points and 14 rebounds per game. He’s rated a three-star prospect and the #34 power forward nationally in the 247Sports Composite. 

Middlebrooks decision leaves Clemson with 10 scholarship players for the 2021-22 roster, meaning coach Brad Brownell has three more spots available. Here’s a rundown of the roster at this point:

  • G Nick Honor
  • G Chase Hunter
  • G Al-Amir Dawes
  • G Alex Hemingway
  • G Joshua Beadle
  • G David Collins
  • F Hunter Tyson
  • F Lynn Kidd
  • F PJ Hall
  • F Ian Schieffelin

Earlier this week, Middlebrooks joined us on SportsTalk to talk about his commitment to the Tigers.

Ben Middlebrooks on SportsTalk

Also Thursday, Clemson coach Brad Brownell announced the hiring of Kareem Richardson as an assistant coach. He replaces Anthony Goins who is now at Boston College. Richardson is the former head coach at UMKC. He spent the last two seasons at Indiana State.

Here’s the Clemson release on Richardson:

Kareem Richardson, a 24-year collegiate coaching veteran, joined the Tigers’ coaching staff, announced by Head Coach Brad Brownell and approved today by the Board of Trustees Compensation Committee.

“I’ve known Kareem for a long time and have always been impressed by his work ethic, knowledge of the game and competitive spirit,” said Brownell. “Kareem brings a wealth of experience to the position having worked for many outstanding coaches over the years as well as serving as the head coach at UMKC. Our players will enjoy working with him and I think his experience in different regions of the country will serve us well in recruiting.”­­

Richardson comes to Clemson after spending the previous two seasons at Indiana State (2019-21). The Sycamores finished 33-22 and 22-14 in the Missouri Valley Conference over those seasons while producing four All-MVC players.

Prior to his second stint at Indiana State, Richardson served as the head coach at UMKC from 2013-2019. He spent one season on Rick Pitino’s staff at Louisville, helping the Cardinals to a Big East Conference championship and NCAA Final Four appearance in 2013 before leaving to become the head coach at UMKC.

He had joined Louisville from Xavier where he helped the Musketeers reach the NCAA Sweet 16 and the finals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament with a 23-12 record. He helped the Musketeers land a Top 20 recruiting class in 2011.

Richardson spent three seasons as the head assistant coach at Drake prior to his time at Xavier. He has also served on the basketball staffs at UMKC, Evansville, Indiana State, Wright State and Indianapolis.

Richardson has been ranked as one of the top assistants in college basketball according to the basketball website Collegeinsider.com. He earned a reputation as a top-level recruiter during his time at Drake, serving as recruiting coordinator and helping head coach Mark Phelps secure the top-rated recruiting class in the Missouri Valley Conference in two out of his three years there. In his first year as assistant coach at Drake, Richardson helped lead the Bulldogs to postseason play during the 2008-09 season, in the inaugural CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

Prior to Drake, Richardson was the top assistant at UMKC for the 2007-08 season. He served as assistant coach at his alma mater Evansville from 2003-07, one season (2002-03) at Wright State, as well as a stint at Indiana State (1999-2002). Richardson’s coaching career began at the University of Indianapolis from 1997-99.

Richardson helped Indiana State enjoy some tremendous success. In 2000, he helped the Sycamores reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the Larry Bird era in the late 1970s. A year later in 2001, Indiana State topped No. 4 seed Oklahoma to advance to the second round of the NCAAs.

As a player, Richardson played in an NCAA Tournament as a freshman at East Carolina University. He then transferred to Evansville in 1995 and quickly established himself as the Purple Aces’ top point guard. Richardson, who was a team captain two years, was selected to the Missouri Valley Conference all-academic team in both 1996 and 1997. In 1996, he received notoriety on the MVC all-underrated team. He was a first team all-state selection at Rantoul (Ill.) Township High School in 1992 and was twice named conference player of the year.

Richardson, who was born in Tacoma, Wash., graduated from Evansville with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunication and interpersonal communication in 1997 and received his MBA from the University of Indianapolis in 1999.

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