On Tuesday morning, news started circulating that federal prosecutors were set to make an announcement regarding a widespread corruption scandal involving a handful of college basketball coaches. It didn’t take long for word to get out that charges of fraud and corruption were being brought against coaches from Oklahoma State, Auburn University, University of Arizona and the University of South Carolina. Jim Gatto, the head of sports marketing for ADIDAS, is also expected to be charged.
One of the coaches in question is Lamont Evans, an assistant coach for Oklahoma State. Evans joined the Cowboys’ coaching staff in 2016 after Brad Underwood was named Oklahoma State’s head coach. The two coaches had been assistants together at Kansas State University.
Evans has been coaching in the college ranks since the 2008-09 season, when he was a student assistant at Kansas State. He became a full-time member of the the team’s coaching staff prior to the 2011-12 season, working under coach Frank Martin. Martin brought Evans to South Carolina with him when he left Kansas State.
Here is what you need to know about Lamont Evans.
1. Evans is a Native of the Bahamas
Evans is a originally from Eleuthera, Bahamas and he first came to the United States when he was five. His family set up camp in Deerfield Beach, Florida, which is on the state’s east coast, in between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
By the time he reached high school Evans had become a quality basketball player and was a star for his team at Hallandale High School in Hallandale, Florida. A point guard, Evans was a Florida Class 5A first-teamer during his senior season. The year before saw Evans being named to the second team of Florida Class 5A All-State team.
Following high school Evans went on to play for Seminole Junior College in Sanford, Florida, where he averaged 19 points and 7.1 assists per game, and St. Catherine College in St. Catharine, Kentucky, where he averaged 16.2 points and 10.1 assists per game. After doing that for two years, his play earned him a Division I scholarship to Drake University in Iowa when he played for another two years.
2. After College Evans Played Pro Ball Internationally
After finishing up his college playing career at Drake and earning all-conference honors, he hit the road to play professionally. Over the course of the next few years Evans took his talents to the United States Basketball League, where he played for the Lakeland Blue Ducks, based out of Florida. He then went international.
Evans spent a handful of years playing professionally in Europe, where he was considered one of the top international point guards. He played for teams in Slovenia, Germany, Finland, Belgium and then down in South America, playing in Venezuela. The teams he played for in Slovenia and Belgium would go on to win championships with Evans running point for them.
He returned to the states towards the end of the decade and in the 2009, earned his bachelor’s degree in social science from Kansas State.
3. Evans Went From a Student Assistant Coach to Assistant Coach While at Kansas State
Upon his return to the states, Evans became a student assistant coach for Kansas State. The program, helmed by coach Frank Martin, was starting to make waves nationally. In 2008-09 the team had 22 wins, enough to get a bid to play in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT.) The next year was even better. Kansas State broke a school record for wins with 29, were selected for the NCAA Tournament and made it all the way to the Elite Eight, their first appearance in the round in over twenty years, when they lost to Kansas in 1988 as a four seed.
Kansas State made the NCAA Tournament in three of the four seasons Evans was with the team , where he went from student assistant to graduate assistant to assistant coach.
4. Evans Followed Frank Martin to South Carolina in 2012
Frank Martin left Kansas State at the end of March of 2012 to take the head coaching job at South Carolina. Evans tagged along and in his first season helping coach the Gamecocks, the team went 14-18. Martin and Evans had work to do and two seasons later, the team posted a winning record of 17-16. The season’s high point was an upset win over number 9 Iowa State. The team also won six games in the highly competitive SEC, their most wins since 2009-10.
While at South Carolina Evans began making a name for himself as a master recruiter. In year one in Columbia the Gamecocks, with help from Evans, had the 23rd best recruiting class in the country according to ESPN. One of Evans highest profile signings was Perry “PJ” Dozier, who played two years for the Gamecocks before going on the NBA. Prior to signing with South Carolina, Dozier was a McDonald’s All-American and the no. 4 rated point guard prospect in the country. He currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks.
During Evans’ time with South Carolina the team made it to the second round of the NIT in 2016, after going 15-0 to start the season and finishing with 25 wins.
5. Evans Was Brought Over to Oklahoma State by Brad Underwood in 2016
Brad Underwood had been an assistant coach with Evans at Kansas State and like Evans, followed Martin to South Carolina in 2012. The following year Underwood was named head coach for Stephen F. Austin and under Underwood, the team made the NCAA Tournament twice. In 2016, following the firing of Travis Ford, Oklahoma State hired Underwood, who then brought Evans over from South Carolina.
“We’re very fortunate to have Lamont join the Cowboy family,” said Underwood at the time. “I take tremendous comfort with Lamont in terms of who he is and what he stands for. His ability to work and interact with our players is second to none. He has established recruiting ties all over the country, and I consider him one of the top recruiters in the country. There’s no doubt he’ll benefit our program and our student-athletes for years to come.”
Oklahoma State posted a 20-13 record in 2016-17. They were a 10 seed heading into the 2017 NCAA Tournament, but were bounced in the first round by Michigan. Shortly after, Underwood was again on the move, this time headed to Illinois. Evans elected to stay at Oklahoma State and was named assistant head coach by new head coach, Mike Boynton.