Chris Lutz will have to sit out the 2007-08 season, but will have two years left to play. He scored 9.2 points per game as a freshman for the Boilermakers, and 6.1 points per game last season, averaging 47 percent from behind the arc. He helped lead Purdue to a first round NCAA Tournament win over Arizona when he scored 16 points in the game, making four threes in the contest. Lutz is a 6-foot-2 shooting guard who is originally from New Hampshire and also considered Xavier and Rhode Island.
"Coach Donnie Jones and the rest of his staff made me feel comfortable and I just felt like I couldn't get a better person to play for," said Lutz to FOXSports.com over the weekend. "His whole vision about the program is tremendous and his style of play is something I always wanted to play." Lutz also said Huntington reminded him of his native state.
On Monday, Jones announced the hiring of a Director of Operations in Tim Thomas. Thomas, a native of Wheeling, W.Va., becomes the fourth native West Virginian to be part of Jones staff, including the head coach (Point Pleasant) and assistants Shawn Finney (Mullens) and Brett Nelson (Saint Albans). Thomas graduated from Wheeling Jesuit College in 1993 and worked at West Virginia Tech from 1994-2003 in a number of capacities.
With the Golden Bears, Thomas was head women's basketball coach 2001-03; assistant men's basketball coach 1994-2001; and interim men's head coach in the spring of 2003. He led the women's team to it's first winning season in over a decade. Thomas then was Athletic Director and associate men's basketball coach at Laurinburg Institute in Laurinburg, N.C., producing 30 Division I signees and winning the prep school National Championship in 2004-05 with a 40-0 record. He moved to The Patterson School in 2005 and they were named the No. 1 prep school in the nation prior to the 21005-06 season. Last year, Patterson was 35-4 at the prep level and Thomas coached the varsity level to a 25-4 mark.
"This is an unbelievable opportunity to work with Coach Jones," said Thomas. "He is a high character guy, and having the chance to be on his staff is incredible. I think that the chemistry we have with our staff is going to spill over to our team and our program." Marshall announced last month they had added the highest rated player of the class in Tirrell Baines, who played for Thomas at The Patterson School. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound forward averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds per game, a player rated as a three-star standout by Scout.com. He joins 6-foot-3 combo guard Matt Walls from Scott County H.S. in Georgetown, Kentucky and junior college teammates Emmanuel Jones, a 6-foot-6 forward,, and Revelino "Mookie" Pierre, 6-foot-4 guard, of Riverside Community College in California as signees for Jones' first class. Jones also added 6-foot-6 forward Bruce Senior from Huntington High School as an invited walk-on, off of the three-time West Virginia state AAA championship team.