Kansas announced the hiring of former Nebraska coach Doc Sadler as director of basketball operations on Wednesday. Sadler replaces Barry Hinson, who became the head coach at Southern Illinois after KU’s national runner-up finish in April.
“I’ve known Doc for 25 years and have certainly followed his career," KU coach Bill Self said in a statement. "…Competing against him when he was at Nebraska sold me on his ability for him to come in here and make us better.”
By NCAA rules, Sadler will not be allowed to coach on the floor during practice or go on the road to recruit. The move completes an overhaul of half Self’s immediate staff since the end of last season. Self also hired former assistant and St. John’s coach Norm Roberts to fill the vacancy left once Danny Manning became the coach at Tulsa.
Sadler was fired in March after the Cornhuskers finished 12-18 overall and 4-14 in their first season in the Big Ten. He posted a 101-89 record in six seasons at Lincoln and led Nebraska to three NIT appearances, in 2008, 2009 and 2011. He was also a head coach UTEP and Arkansas-Fort Smith. As an assistant coach, Sadler worked at seven current Division I schools, including Arkansas (1982-85, under Eddie Sutton), Lamar (1985-86, under Pat Foster), Houston (1986), Chicago State (1987-88, under Tommy Suitts), Texas Tech (1991-94, under James Dickey), Arizona State (1994-97, under Bill Freider) and UTEP (2003-04, under Billy Gillispie).
“This is an unbelievable opportunity to have a chance to get back into college basketball,” Sadler said in a statement. “When making decisions, I really thought I would sit out this year but when this came along I don’t think anyone would ever pass it up. I am thankful to Coach Self in giving me this opportunity. To be part of a program such as Kansas is unbelievable.”
Lucas checks in
The fourth member of the Jayhawks’ 2012 recruiting class arrived in Lawrence late on Tuesday night. Landen Lucas, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Portland, began classes on Wednesday morning and was in uniform for a camp scrimmage later in the afternoon — just days after his graduation from Westview High School.
“It’s gonna take a minute for me to catch my breath, get my legs under me,” Lucas said. “But that’ll all come. It was just nice getting out there and getting to play.”
The Jayhawks now have four freshmen on campus. The others: Forwards Perry Ellis and Zach Peters and guard Andrew White. Guards Anrio Adams (Seattle) and Milton Doyle (Chicago) are expected to arrive on campus at a later date.
• Former Jayhawks Julian Wright and Aaron Miles were among the former players suiting up for Wednesday’s scrimmage. Both are expected to take part in tonight’s Rock Chalk Roundball Classic Benefit at 7 p.m. at Lawrence Free State High School.