Ben Wood Finds a Home in Rhody; Charlie Villanueva Cut by John Calipari
I must have missed this, having gone on vacation soon after the basketball season was over, but former UConn grad assistant/jack-of-all-trades Ben Wood has found a new home at the University of Rhode Island.
Wood, a graduate of Woodbury's Nonnewaug High School, is the director of player development at URI. He'll run the team's video operations, coordinate film exchange and opponent breakdowns and edits, as well as oversee the team's community relations program, staff of team managers, and serve as the staff liasion with the academic services office.
Wood, a 2007 UConn grad (and 2009 masters grad from UConn), was a well-respected part of the Huskies' program for the past several years. He started as a team manager as a freshman, became the head manager as a junior in 2007 and, after graduating with a geography degree, became graduate manager while working on his geography master's.
This year, he was slated to begin writing his dissertation and his professors told him he really had to fully commit to that for a year. Not wanting to get out of basketball, he looked for a job and, with a great deal of help from UConn associate head coach George Blaney (who shares Seton Hall bonds with new URI coach Danny Hurley), got the job despite never having met Hurley before the interview.
Everyone in the UConn program was happy for Wood, including Jim Calhoun.
The Dominican head coach, of course, is John Calipari.
"Charlie was not in good form when we saw him," Calipari said to Deportes en la Z, after Villanueva had a private workout for the team in New York. "He was overweight, and unfortunately, we could not slow down the entire team and it was a decision taken collectively."