Quinnipiac introduces Baker Dunleavy as men’s basketball coach

By on March 27, 2017
IMG_0622Erin Kane | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac University officially hired and introduced Baker Dunleavy as its next men’s basketball head coach on Tuesday afternoon.

Dunleavy, 34, has been the associate head coach at Villanova University since 2013, where he helped oversee the team win the 2016 NCAA Division I National Championship.

“It was very clear to me that there was a foundation in place at this school that shares a lot of what I believe, and a foundation that I believe can lead to greatness, success,” Dunleavy said.

While Dunleavy has no prior head coaching experience, he comes from a basketball family. His father, Mike Sr., is a former NBA draft pick who played and coached in the league for 28 seasons (11 as player, 17 as head coach), and his brother, Mike Jr., is a 15-year NBA veteran and currently a member of the Atlanta Hawks.

“From a basketball standpoint, I would hope you would see a lot of similar things that you’ve seen at Villanova from an x’s and o’s standpoint,” Dunleavy said.

The Bobcats finished the 2016-17 season with a 10-21 record, losing their final seven games.

IMG_0648Erin Kane | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac began its head coaching search on March 7, when Tom Moore was fired after 10 seasons at the helm. He posted a 162-150 record overall, but just 19-42 in the past two years.

“I am confident that with this announcement, men’s basketball is also going to make March a very exciting time,” Quinnipiac University president John Lahey said.

Much has been made about whether freshmen guards Mikey Dixon and Peter Kiss, who led the team in scoring last season at 16.5 and 13.3 points per game, respectively, would transfer from the school following the hire.

Following a meeting between Dunleavy and the team’s players this morning, neither first-year standout has made a committment to where they will be playing next season.

“(The player meeting) went pretty well. I would say it was a relief to finally be able to meet face-to-face, who the new leader is going to be,” Dixon said. “You know, it went well, but like I said, I can’t really tell you I’m for sure doing this or for sure doing that.”

Kiss was equally uncommitted and also said that no teams have contacted him about transferring.

IMG_0637Erin Kane | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

“I really want to make the best decision for my family. I’m not making a commitment,” Kiss said. “I’m meeting with Coach Baker tonight to really get a stronger feel with him and see where that goes. I’m not leaning either way, I’m just going to meet with him and continue to try to build a relationship with him.”

Chaise Daniels has also reportedly requested his transfer from the school. The junior forward was the third-leading scorer (13.0 points per game), top rebounder (6.2 per game) and was the only Bobcat to start all 31 games this season. Daniels was not seen at Dunleavy’s introduction on Tuesday, but took to Twitter to voice his rumors on the situation.

The trio of Dixon, Kiss and Daniels combined for nearly 56 percent of Quinnipiac’s scoring in the 2016-2017 season (1,328 of 2,377 total points scored.)

In the meantime, Quinnipiac has also added three assistants to its staff in Tom Pecora, Shaun Morris and Anthony Goins. Pecora is a former head coach at Fordham while Morris has spent the last six seasons as an associate head coach at Boston University and Goins spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at Yale.

There is still uncertainty regarding the roster for next season, but some players are eager to get going with a new slate.

“It’s a fresh start, and I think that’s good for everybody,” sophomore guard Andrew Robinson said. “With him coming from a program like Villanova where they play that four-guard offense, I think that would be good for us with our personnel here.

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