Head coaches tend to get much of the credit in college basketball, but the other assistants and staff deserve their fair share as well.
We’ve seen, time and again, what good assistants can do for programs. John Calipari’s Kentucky has looked lost for the past few years amid staff upheaval and Phil Martelli has been a valuable resource for Juwan Howard at Michigan, even besting Tom Izzo as an interim head coach once already.
So we’re doing a blog on the other members of Indiana’s bench so you know their names, value and what they’re doing for the Hoosiers.
Each program is allowed three assistants on staff. Mike Woodson’s early years have already seen some upheaval with the dismissal of Dane Fife after year one and the subsequent internal promotion of Brian Walsh.
The other two, Kenya Hunter and Yasir Rosemond, have been mainstays. Woodson was a longtime assistant at the NBA level with coaches such as Larry Brown and Doc Rivers, he knows the value of a good one.
Hunter and Rosemond both received something of a promotion ahead of last year, being named associate head coaches.
Associate Head Coach Kenya Hunter
Hunter carries the distinction of being the lone full-time assistant holdover from Archie Miller’s Indiana staff, having been hired the offseason prior to Miller’s firing in 2021. Before that he had stops at UConn, Nebraska, Georgetown, Xavier and Duquesne, his alma mater.
He had an administrative stint as Director of Basketball Operations at North Carolina State.
He was a four-year point guard at Duquesne but has been known primarily for his work with big men at the college level. Players coached by Hunter include Akok Akok, Terran Petteway, Roy Hibbert, Greg Monroe, Otto Porter and, of course, Trayce Jackson-Davis.
He took the lead as a recruiter for two notable players at Indiana and UConn. For the Hoosiers, it was current Los Angeles Laker Jalen Hood-Schifino. For the Huskies? Fellow 2023 draftee and NCAA Champion Jordan Hawkins.
His presence was and remains vital for Mike Woodson as he adjusts to the college game. Hunter has seen and coached basketball played in the Big East, ACC and Big Ten.
Associate Head Coach Yasir Rosemond
Rosemond was one of two full-time assistants hired following Woodson’s hiring in 2021. He’d previously worked as an assistant under Avery Johnson at Alabama.
His other stops include Georgia, Oregon (his alma mater) Seattle and Samford. He’s originally from the Atlanta area. Players coaches by Rosemond include Collin Sexton, Kira Lewis Jr., Herbert Jones and Aaron Brooks.
He has a strong recruiting reputation particularly in the peach state, serving as the lead recruiter for current Hoosiers Kaleb Banks and Jakai Newton. He was also instrumental in Indiana landing Kel’el Ware this past offseason.
Rosemond is one to keep an eye on as a guy who could get looks for mid-major head coaching positions, he reportedly received some interest this past offseason.
Assistant Coach Brian Walsh
We already went deeper into detail on Walsh’s promotion and tenure thus far, but he’s starting to earn a good reputation as a recruiter. He was integral to Indiana’s landing of five-star Liam McNeeley and has been spotted on the recruiting trail numerous times.
Indiana could have a rising star on staff, it’s worth monitoring.
Woodson has made multiple staff moves in the past few years, bringing in familiar faces to the fanbase and those he’s known from his years in the NBA ranks.
Let’s go through a few:
Director of Basketball Administration Armond Hill
Hill was brought on in an administrative role in the leadup to Woodson’s first year at the helm of the program. The two worked together on the Los Angeles Clippers staff for multiple years.
He’s originally from Brooklyn and is in the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. He played at and graduated from Princeton, where he was the Ivy League Player of the year.
Following his playing career and spending time as an assistant at his alma mater, Hill moved onto the NBA where he worked alongside Doc Rivers with the Celtics and Clippers, winning an NBA title in 2008.
Director of Player Development Calbert Cheaney
Cheaney, Indiana’s (and the Big Ten’s) all-time leading scorer was named Indiana’s director of player development this past offseason. He previously worked in a similar role during the Tom Crean years.
He’d spent the previous few years in various NBA roles, including working in player development for the Pacers and various assistant roles in the NBA G-League. He’d previously worked with the Warriors in front office and assistant coaching roles.
Additionally, Cheaney was an assistant at St. Louis for multiple years following his first tenure on the staff at Indiana.
Team and Recruiting Coordinator Jordan Hulls
Hulls is entering year two in his first post-playing career move with Indiana.
He’d spent the previous few years playing professionally before returning home, literally. Hulls is from Bloomington where he starred as Mr. Basketball for Bloomington South en route to an undefeated state title season.