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THE WEEK IN MISSOURI SPORTS: Basketball team in the news

Sunday, June 17, 2012 | 6:24 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A new coach, an old coach and a fan kept the Missouri basketball program in the news this past week.

Leitao joins staff

The team replaced assistant coach Ernie Nestor, who left to take a position at Navy, with former DePaul and Virginia head coach Dave Leitao. Leitao was an assistant at Connecticut for many years before winning conference titles with the Blue Demons and Cavaliers.

Leitao joins Ryan Miller as one of the two new assistant coaches for the upcoming season. In addition to the new faces on the bench, the Tigers will also have a whole bunch of new faces on the court in 2012-13, most notably Connecticut transfer Alex Oriakhi.

Bobcats might want Snyder

Former Missouri coach Quin Snyder is a finalist for the Charlotte Bobcats' head coaching position. Snyder coached Missouri from 1999 to 2006, and has bounced around since his resignation. He is currently an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw is rumored to be the other finalist for the Bobcats' job. Charlotte went 7-59 last season, posting the worst record in NBA history.

Fan facing drug charges

The most bizarre Missouri basketball news of the week came when it was discovered that Levi McLean Franklin Coolley, a fan who sometimes traveled with the team, is facing drug conspiracy charges for cocaine distribution.

In March, Coolley was arrested at the team hotel in Omaha, Neb., as part of a wider drug bust, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.

The MU athletics department ran an internal investigation and did not find any evidence to suggest that any coaches or players were involved in any way.

Supervising editor is Frank Russell.


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