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Arizona basketball: Mark Phelps will reportedly replace Damon Stoudamire as assistant coach

Arizona will hire the former Drake head coach to fill the vacancy created by Stoudamire's departure.

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Damon Stoudamire left to become an assistant at Memphis earlier today, creating the need for another assistant on the bench at Arizona. According to Jason Scheer of, Arizona will hire Mark Phelps, currently an assistant at Marquette, to fill that void:

Prior to spending last season under Steve Wojciechowski at Marquette, Phelps was an assistant at Missouri, the head coach at Drake, an associate head coach under Herb Sendek at Arizona State, and an assistant (also under Herb Sendek) at North Carolina State. Not coincidentally, Sean Miller was also an assistant at N.C. State at the same time as Phelps.

This hire probably isn't as splashy as a lot of Arizona fans wanted. The loss of Damon Stoudamire was big -- Damon's NBA experience and Arizona ties gave him a lot of credibility with recruits -- and there isn't anything about Phelps that wows me in the same way. Nevertheless, Miller has been very good at managing his assistant coaches at Arizona (Damon is the first assistant to leave for anything other than a head coaching job), and Phelps has a lot of experience on the sidelines. I trust that Miller knows what he's doing, so I'm cautiously optimistic about this hire.