Lipscomb WBB coach Lauren Sumski: ‘This is just a reset. This isn’t a rebuild.’

Lipscomb WBB coach Lauren Sumski: ‘This is just a reset. This isn’t a rebuild.’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Lipscomb announced Monday that Rhodes College head coach Lauren Sumski has been hired as the new women’s basketball coach. Lady Bisons fans were formally introduced to the former D-III coach at a welcoming conference Tuesday afternoon in the Hall of Fame room. “There were many candidates that we had,” Lipscomb athletic director Philip Hutcheson said. “High school, college, all levels, people from all over the country who were interested in the job. And I think that’s a credit to the Lipscomb community.” The biggest takeaway from Sumski’s introduction is how noticeably enthusiastic and energetic she was from the get-go. “I’d be remiss to not thank Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, for allowing me to be here,” Sumski said. “I’d be remiss to not thank President Lowry and Hutch, as they affectionately call him.” During what was a brutal 2018-19 season, the Lady Bisons began the year with a 2-1 record. They followed that with 19 straight losses before scraping a couple conference wins to finish the year 4-25. “This is just a reset,” Sumski said. “This isn’t a rebuild. We’re going to take every single day, and we’re going to work to be the best people we can be, the best students we can be, the best athletes we can be.” So how much of this “reset” will affect the current coaching staff? “I’m speaking with [Lipscomb assistant] Hannah Phillips,” Sumski said. “I love her. I just wanna make sure that we gel, and we click. And then outside of that, we’re just kind of taking it day-by-day. I’ve met with Kelsey [Gregory], who’s also been here.”...
BREAKING: Lennie Acuff named Lipscomb men’s basketball coach

BREAKING: Lennie Acuff named Lipscomb men’s basketball coach

Longtime Alabama-Huntsville coach Lennie Acuff has been named Lipscomb’s next basketball coach, the school announced in a release Tuesday afternoon. The news was initially reported by 247Sports basketball analyst Evan Daniels Tuesday morning, and News Channel 5’s Steve Layman later reported that a deal was in place. Acuff will be formally introduced to the Lipscomb community on Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT in the Paul Rogers Board Room in the Ezell Center. “I am thrilled, very humbled and thankful for the opportunity,” Acuff said in the school’s release. “I understand the tradition that exists with Lipscomb basketball and I will do everything I can to continue to build upon that tradition.” Acuff has served as UAH’s head coach for the last 22 seasons, growing the Chargers into a national power on the Division II level. He owns a 437-214 record at UAH and an overall record of 554-325 in 29 total seasons as a head coach. Acuff was reportedly a candidate for the Lipscomb job in 2013 when then-Stetson coach Casey Alexander got the nod. Ironically, Acuff now replaces Alexander, who left for Belmont on April 10 after guiding Lipscomb to three consecutive 20-win seasons. “I have always wanted an opportunity to coach at the Division I level,” Acuff said. “I felt like if I were going to do it, it would need to be an institution I felt I was in alignment with from a faith-based and values situation, and Lipscomb had that. “The type of players at Lipscomb are the same type I recruit in Huntsville, high-character kids that they’ve developed. Coach (Casey) Alexander built a great culture...
Garrison Mathews begins NBA preparation with strong showing at Portsmouth Invitational

Garrison Mathews begins NBA preparation with strong showing at Portsmouth Invitational

Lipscomb guard Garrison Mathews is quickly gaining attention as he prepares for his professional basketball career. The latest development? He now has his own Wikipedia page. “I didn’t even know I had one,” he said with a laugh. “I guess I’m making a name for myself, huh? Mathews just returned from the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, where his Portsmouth Partnership team won the championship with a 90-81 win over Sales Systems, Ltd. on Saturday. He averaged nine points over three games, performed well during agility and athletic tests and spoke with representatives from at least nine NBA teams. “It was overall a really good experience just to spend time with [the other prospects] and to show what I can do against some higher-level guys,” Mathews said. Mathews, who measured at 6-foot-6 in shoes, scored 15 points and made three shots from beyond the arc in his second game, an 83-71 win over Portsmouth Sports Club. He also pulled down 12 total rebounds in his three games, which were attended by Lipscomb assistant Sean Rutigliano and Director of Basketball Operations Adam Notteboom. “I didn’t shoot it as well as I would’ve liked to, but that wasn’t my ultimate goal in [Portsmouth],” he said. “My mindset was to show that I can guard higher-level guys, and that I can rebound and do the little things. If I make it to the NBA, I don’t know if my role will necessarily be as a scorer. But I want to be the guy that can come in and knock down open shots and play some defense.” Portsmouth Partnership runs the inbound to perfection and...
Rhodes coach Lauren Sumski gets Lipscomb women’s basketball job

Rhodes coach Lauren Sumski gets Lipscomb women’s basketball job

Rhodes College women’s basketball coach Lauren Sumski is taking the same job at Lipscomb, athletic director Philip Hutcheson announced Monday morning. Sumski has been head coach at Rhodes since 2017 and compiled a 35-21 record over two seasons. She is the first-ever female to lead the Lipscomb women’s basketball program in the school’s DI era. “I am humbled, honored, and grateful,” Sumski said in a release. “I am excited for the opportunity. I think that Lipscomb has a ton of things in place for us to field a successful women’s basketball program. “More than the things, it’s just such a high-quality type of person there. We’re excited to get to work and start building back up.” Sumski, 27, will be one of the youngest college head coaches in the nation. She graduated from Rhodes in 2014 and also played one year at Tennessee under legendary coach Pat Summit. She was rated the 28th-best high school prospect in the nation by ESPNU Hoopsgurlz, although injuries slowed her time as a Lady Vol, prompting her to return to Memphis to play for Rhodes. Following her graduation, Sumski spent three seasons as an assistant at Union under Lipscomb alum Mark Campbell. Hutcheson said several people highly recommended Sumski for the job, saying that she was “on her way to great things in the coaching profession.” “Those people commented on her energy, her intelligence, her ability to connect with others and her high emotional and basketball IQ, and those involved in the process all found that to be the 100 percent truth,” Hutcheson said. “From the very first phone call to our final...
Bisons take the win for midweek matchup against Middle Tennessee

Bisons take the win for midweek matchup against Middle Tennessee

The Lipscomb baseball team beat the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 12-10 Tuesday night in a nail-biting game at Dugan Field. Middle Tennessee (15-22, 9-6 C-USA) started the game with two runs in the top of the first, but the Bisons (19-17, 3-6 ASUN) quickly took the lead in the bottom of the second. David Graves tripled to right center, sending Josh Martinez to score. Brian Moore hit a home run afterward, sending Graves home and giving Lipscomb the edge to start third inning, 3-2. Lipscomb’s lead didn’t last long, as Middle Tennessee scored five runs in the top of the third. However, the Bisons lessened the gap to 7-5 as Graves hit a double in the bottom of the third inning, sending Cade Sorrells home, later followed by Chris Bashlor. The fourth and fifth innings were scoreless for the Bisons with Middle Tennessee scoring two runs in the top of the fourth, but the Bisons recovered and scored four runs at the bottom of the sixth, tying up the game 9-9. In the bottom of the seventh the Bisons took the lead 11-9 after three scoreless innings for Middle Tennessee. While the Blue Raiders tried to make a comeback at the top of the eighth with one run, they struck out, leaving Lipscomb the chance to score once more before the ninth inning. Despite the Blue Raiders’ strong lead in the third inning, Lipscomb was able to gain some momentum that led to the win. “When Max Habegger came in in the fifth inning, he gave us three scoreless innings,” Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand said. “When he came in,...
Lipscomb’s Kenny Cooper puts name in transfer portal

Lipscomb’s Kenny Cooper puts name in transfer portal

Things have gone from bad to worse for the Lipscomb men’s basketball team. After losing coach Casey Alexander to Belmont last week, junior guard Kenny Cooper announced that he’s putting his name in the NCAA transfer portal. “I have decided through a lot of thought and prayer that I will be putting my name on the transfer list and [will explore] other institutions,” he said in a tweet Monday. “Everyone [is] entitled to their own opinion, but this is what I feel is best for me.” Cooper averaged 9.8 points, 4.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game this season. He has been the team’s starting point guard for the last two seasons after contributing 6.9 points per game as a freshman in 2016-17. “I want to thank Coach Alexander, Coach Idstrom, Coach Drabyn and Coach Rutigliano for believing in me and allowing me to play at Lipscomb University,” Cooper said. “You all trusting in my abilities is something that I will be forever grateful for.” The Franklin Road Academy graduate saved some of his best performances for the end of the season. He recorded a rare triple-double (15 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) against Kennesaw State in the ASUN quarterfinals and later hit the game-winning shot in a 94-93 victory over NC State in the NIT quarterfinals. Cooper has one season of eligibility remaining, and he told 247Sports analyst Evan Daniels that he plans to appeal to the NCAA for a hardship waiver to be eligible immediately. If Cooper isn’t granted a waiver, he would have to sit out next season if he stays on the Division I level....