Coach Robert Jones, Norfolk State University
Head coach Robert Jones sets out on his tenth season leading the Norfolk State men’s basketball program in 2022-23 and his 16th year overall with the Spartans. He led the program to its second-consecutive MEAC title in 2022 and an NCAA Tournament First Four win over Appalachian State in 2021.
The MEAC Coach of the Year in 2019 and 2021, Jones has led NSU to a .754-win percentage in MEAC play – fifth in the nation among coaches with at least 100 games coached – and made seven postseason appearances in eight years of postseason play.
Jones earned MEAC Coach of the Year honors for the second time of his career in 2022 as he led the Spartans to a MEAC regular season title with a 12-2 conference record. The team finished 24-7 overall, its winningest season since the 2011-12 campaign, defeating Coppin State 72-57 in the MEAC Championship to clinch a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Jones was named MEAC Tournament Most Outstanding Coach for the second consecutive year.
Norfolk State University
Francis "BJ" Fitzgerald
Coach Jim Cleamons, Ohio High School Basketball, Hall of Famer
Jim Cleamons, a 6-foot-5 swingman from Columbus Linden McKinley High School, averaged 18.5 points over four years at Ohio State. He played forward as a sophomore and junior but switched to point guard in his senior year (1970-71) and led a sophomore-dominated OSU team to the Big Ten championship. The Buckeyes won an NCAA Tournament game and finished 20-6. Jim Cleamons was drafted in the first round by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1972. He also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks and Washington Bullets in a nine-year NBA career. He played 652 games, averaging 12.6 points and six rebounds. Cleamons won six NBA titles as an assistant coach with Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
Claudio Penha Jr
Leon Ayers III
Bowling Green State
West Texas A&M