Chico State Assistant Coach Mark Darnall is joining the staff at Eastern Washington University of the Big Sky Conference.
“Mark Darnall is in his first season at Eastern after spending four seasons as part of the Chico State men’s basketball coaching staff.
Although the 2020-21 season in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) was wiped out because of the Covid-19 pandemic, he was head coach Greg Clink’s top assistant. The Wildcats were 52-29 and had two postseason appearances in his first three years in the program. In July, 2020, Darnall was selected as one of the 50 most impactful Division II assistant coaches in the country by Silver Waves Media.
In the 2019-20, Chico State went 23-7 and garnered a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Division II Tournament before being shut down due to Covid-19. Among the players he coached during his time at Chico State were first team All-CCAA Players Justin Briggs, Malik Duffy, Isaiah Ellis and Jalen McFerren. Justin Briggs was also Defensive Player of the Year and NCAA Division II All-West District second team as selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Darnall brought nearly a decade of coaching experience to Chico when he joined the coaching staff in 2017–18. The Lake Mills, Wisc., native spent the 2016-17 campaign as an assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and from 2011-16 served as assistant coach and director of basketball operations at UC Davis.
At UW-Platteville, he was the head assistant under Jeff Gard where they coached two future MVPs of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Robert Duax and Carter Voelker. Darnall also helped recruit All-WIAC players Justin Stovall and Quentin Shields, who led the Pioneers to consistent top 25 rankings in NCAA Division III and three NCAA Tournament appearances.
In addition to his coaching duties at UC Davis, Darnall handled all of the Aggies’ administrative responsibilities, including video and practice coordination, team travel, scouting, budgeting, schedule coordination, marketing, academic monitoring, community outreach, student-athlete development, and supervision of the program’s team managers and interns.
During Darnall’s tenure, UC Davis captured its inaugural Big West championship in 2015, and earned the program’s first Division I postseason appearance when the Aggies appeared in the National Invitation Tournament. UC Davis ended the season as national three-point champions, shooting a blistering .447 clip from behind the arc—the highest single-season three-point percentage since the three-point line was moved back in 2009.
Darnall came to UC Davis after assisting Aggie head coach Jim Les as a video coordinator at Bradley University in 2010-11. In that role he oversaw all aspects of the team’s film and video needs, including preparation of opponent scouting, managing the video room and supplying the coaching staff with practice and game film. He coordinated film exchange with opponents, used the XOS Digital video software program and assisted in other administrative duties.
Prior to that, Darnall was an assistant coach at Peoria Christian High School for the 2009-10 season, helping with both on- and off-court duties. Peoria Christian finished 16-13 while capturing the conference title with an 8-1 record.
Darnall played college basketball at Eureka College in Illinois where he led the Red Devils in scoring and shot 41.4 percent from the 3-point line in 2007-08. He was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court for his achievements on the court and in the classroom.
Darnall has coached at several camps and is co-author of several articles for Athletes in Action. He is the nephew of NAIA and Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame coach Dave Darnall.
He earned his undergraduate degree in sports management in 2009 and his master’s degree, in the same major, from Illinois State in 2011.
Eurohopes: “2021 class British big Ndewedo Newbury (’02) has committed to @USFDonsMBB. Newbury was originally committed to Princeton.”
Here’s an article when Newbury signed with Princeton.
The “hammer” (ball peen rather than sledge?) has fallen as Elliott Almond writes: San Jose State University AD Marie Tuite demoted
Liberty Basketball: “@GavilanMBB You guys are getting a high character player. @devean_hinton will be missed by our program, but we are excited about his future! Go represent the Lions! You have brought so much to our program and we thank you for being a great young man.”
That’s 6-foot-6 Devean Hinton of Liberty High.
6-foot-9 Haitian Donalson Fanord, out of Mississippi Valley State, has committed to Simpson University. Here’s a harrowing 2020 feature on the big.
Verbal Commits D2: “2021 Cochise College (TX) G Brian Rios has committed to Academy of Art.”
He’s a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard who averaged 12.1 points in 13 games/starts and 23.5 minutes while shooting 42%, 44% and 75% respectively.
Coach Brandon Laird: “That makes 48 of 49 Hornets to graduate in the Coach Katz era. “Best of the Best” Student-Athletes in our @SacHornetsMBB program doing things the #TheSACSTATEWay”
That is a remarkable statistic — no, make that right next door to half a hundred lifechanging degrees for Hornet basketballers.
6-foot-6 2022 shooting guard Derrick (Inderkum High) Claxton has transferred to a Seattle prep academy.
Verbal Commits D2: “Eastern New Mexico G Ibn Zaid (SR) has entered the transfer portal.”
Zaid is a 6-foot-1 guard out of Gavilan College.
“Ranking college basketball’s top committed transfers” David Cobb
Nor Cal related excerpts:
“6. James Akinjo Old school: Arizona | New school: Baylor
Akinjo averaged 15.6 points and 5.4 assists on 40.8% 3-point shooting at Arizona this season after transferring in from Georgetown. The 6-1 guard will likely need a waiver for immediate eligibility at Baylor. But whenever he does suit up for the Bears, you can rest assured he’ll be an impact player. No one is better at taking transfer guards and turning them into national stars than Baylor coach Scott Drew.
52. AJ Bramah Old school: Robert Morris | New school: Arizona State
Bramah averaged 21 points and 10.3 rebounds in 12 games this season as a 6-7 wing. Predicting how that production will translate to the Pac-12 for a player with no outside shot is tough, but you can’t blame Arizona State for taking a swing.”
“College Basketball’s Top 101 Transfers for 2021” Jeff Goodman
Nor Cal related excerpts:
“6) James Akinjo, 6-1, 185, PG, Jr., Arizona – BAYLOR Stats: 15.6 ppg, 5.4 apg, 41% 3-pointers
“Strong with the ball, has it on a string, low turnover guy. Will use his physicality to wear down a defense. Really improved his perimeter shooting and made it a weapon. Defensively, [he] can get after guys. Sometimes plays too much 1-on-1 and doesn’t realize it’s a five-man game. Struggles to finish from two and at the rim. Not an explosive vertical athlete, so he relies on tough twos and that can affect his percentage.”
79) Jordan Brown, 6-11, 235, PF, Soph., Arizona Stats: 9.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg
“Great low-post scorer, can finish over either shoulder. Capable shooter to 17-feet — and developing from behind the arc. Good rebounder on both ends. Needs to work on his defense, both on the perimeter and in the post. Can get shot-happy at times and doesn’t always make the right play. Not an explosive-above-the-rim athlete.”
85) AJ Bramah, 6-7, 210, F, Sr., Robert Morris – ARIZONA STATE Stats: 21.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg
“Great athleticism and rebounder. Very good mid-range shooter. The key will be whether he works hard enough to play for Bobby Hurley and in the Pac-12.”
“Dublin’s togetherness, defense shown again in another ranked win” Chris Jackson
“Folsom boys and girls sweep SFL hoops tourney” Nick Pecoraro