After one season under coach Frank Haith on the Missouri men’s basketball bench, assistant Isaac Chew will fill the top assistant seat for new Illinois coach John Groce’s staff.
Haith brought in Chew, a Chicago native who was a Public League Blue West Player of the Year at Wells High School. The addition came after the young assistant’s work at Indian Hill Community College in Iowa, a program regarded highly for producing D-I transfers, under Billy Kennedy at Murray State.
“This is an outstanding fit for our program,” Haith said in a release upon Chew’s hiring. “First of all, I have great respect for the work Isaac has put in to rise up the coaching ranks. He is a tireless worker and his players always come first to him. He is well-respected across the state of Missouri and bottom line, he is a winner.”
After his collegiate playing career at Avila University in Kansas City, he went on to help develop players for Kansas City Pump N’ Run, the AAU club that produced senior guard Marcus Denmon, senior center Steve Moore and junior guard Michael Dixon.
Chew will return to his home state and also reunite with Jamal Walker, a fellow assistant of his at Murray State whom Groce also called upon.
Tuesday, Haith told the Columbia Tribune that Toby Lane, director of basketball operations, will temporarily fill the assistant position on an interim basis before selecting a filler to his staff. With the title, Lane, who worked with Haith at Miami, is able to travel for recruiting purposes.
“When you have movement like this, you just kind of sit back and look at the big picture and just evaluate it and take your time,” Haith told the Columbia Tribune. “I’m not one that makes quick, drastic decisions.”
Haith and assistant Tim Fuller have headed recruiting with top targets including five-star recruit Devonte Pollard and Connecticut transfer Alex Oriakhi.
Oriakhi is scheduled to visit Missouri this weekend.