It appears that Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood will not be bringing any of his former assistants to Champaign. During an introductory press conference on Monday, Oklahoma State’s Mike Boynton mentioned that Lamont Evans will remain on the Cowboys’ staff as an associate head coach.
There had been speculation that Underwood would bring Evans along to Illinois this offseason, due largely in part to prior working relationships at three different schools since 2009.
Evans, a native of the Bahamas, played two seasons of Division-I basketball at Drake (1999-2001), where he earned All-MVC and All-Newcomer Team honors. Evans went on to became one of the top international point guards during a seven-year professional career with clubs in Slovenia, Germany, Finland, Belgium, and Venezuela. He eventually returned stateside in the Spring of 2009 to earn a degree from Kansas State.
Evans began his coaching career under Frank Martin during the 2011-12 season following stints as a student assistant and graduate manager for the Wildcats. While Martin left shortly thereafter, he provided Evans with another opportunity upon his move to South Carolina.
Evans remained in Columbia from 2012-16, where he developed a reputation as one of the nation’s most respected recruiters. According to an Oklahoma State press release, he was “instrumental” in the Gamecocks’ signing of five-star point guard PJ Dozier (McDonald’s All-American) and four-star shooting guard Sindarius Thornwell.
Evans’ career overlapped with Underwood at both stops between 2009-13, and as a result, he became the first assistant hired at Oklahoma State last April.
Underwood still has two staff positions to fill at Illinois, and it’s hard to imagine anything happening on the recruiting front until then. It was reported last week that one of the three vacancies will be held by Jamall Walker, who’s been retained after reaching a new agreement.