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Late Additions At Drake & Illinois State

Editor: Illinois State recently lost two assistant coaches to the University of Michigan and head coach Dan Muller has filled one of those positions. Drake’s late signing of Niko Medved has caused the program to look outside the country for reinforcements. The following stories are portions of press releases from goredbirds.com and godrakebulldogs.com.

Normal, IL – Brian “Penny” Collins has experienced the NCAA Tournament as an assistant coach and player, and he now aims to help Illinois State make the Big Dance in his new role as an ISU assistant coach, head coach Dan Muller announced Monday.

I have known Penny since he was in high school and have watched him grow in the business,” Muller said. “Penny has won everywhere he has been and will bring that winning attitude along with a ton of energy to our program. I can’t wait to start working with Coach Collins.”

As an assistant coach at East Tennessee State during the 2016-17 season, Collins helped the Bucs win the Southern Conference Tournament and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. ETSU posted a 27-8 overall record and won a share of the SoCon regular-season title with a 14-4 league mark. Collins also led Belmont to the NCAA Tournament as a player in 2006.

I am thrilled to join Dan Muller’s staff,” Collins said. “I have known Dan for many years and have always followed his program. Dan has instilled a winning culture here at ISU that I, along with the staff, intend to build on. This is a great opportunity to work for an established head coach, top notch program, great facility and superb fan base with high expectations to compete for championships.

A 2006 graduate of Belmont, Collins served as the head coach at Columbia State for three seasons (2012-15) before joining East Tennessee State. Collins led the Chargers to the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association regional championship game in his final two seasons and won the 2014-15 tournament title. In his final two years at Columbia State, Collins’ teams compiled a 54-11 overall record and made back-to-back appearances in the National Junior College Tournament.

As a four-year starter at point guard and a two-year captain, Collins played for coach Rick Byrd at Belmont from 2003-06, helping the Bruins compile 72 wins over a four-year span, including the program’s first-ever National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearance in 2004 and the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006.

Des Moines, IA – Drake University head men’s basketball coach Niko Medved has announced the addition of Antonio Pilipovic to the roster for the upcoming 2017-18 season. Pilipovic is a 6-7 forward from Cologne, Germany.

We are excited about adding a player like Antonio to our program,” Medved said. “He brings us a unique combination of size and skill and has a lot of experience playing at the international level.

Pilipovic competed with the Rhein Stars Köln the past two seasons in the German Pro A league, the second-highest level of basketball in Germany, where he played more than 20 games for the organization’s top team. As a member of the Rhein Stars junior team, he was a league All-Star and averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds per game.

Pilipovic will join the Bulldogs’ two other signees, Jalen Gibbs and Noah Thomas on a roster that features nine returning players from 2016-17.

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