Source: 'Nova assistant Lange joins Sixers staff


Source: 'Nova assistant Lange joins Sixers staff

Updated 10 a.m.

The Sixers' new coaching staff is rounding out.

According to a source, Villanova associate head coach Billy Lange had agreed in principle to become a member of Brett Brown's coaching staff.

Lange joins Lloyd Pierce, Chad Iske and Greg Foster on Brett Brown’s staff.

This comes after a report on Friday stated that former Sixers assistant John Kuester is the leading candidate to become Brown’s top assistant (see story). Kuester previously served as an assistant with the Sixers under Larry Brown.

Lange, 41, is born and bred in the area. The New Jersey native played high school basketball at Bishop Eustace in Pennsauken Township, N.J., and then went on to play collage basketball at Rowan University.

Lange's coaching career began at Bishop Eustace, where he replaced father Bill Lange, Sr., for a single season. He then served as an assistant coach at Philadelphia University under Herb Magee and at La Salle before taking over the head coaching duties at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (Division III) in 1999.

He stayed for only two seasons and then joined Jay Wright's staff at Villanova.

Lange left Villanova in 2004 when he was hired as the head coach at Navy. Lange coached Navy for seven seasons, posting a 93-113 record during that span.

He rejoined Wright's staff as an associate head coach in 2011.

Brown has assembled a staff of coaches with strong player-development ties in the NBA in Pierce and Iske. Pierce most recently worked for the Memphis Grizzlies; Iske was an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets.

Nerlens Noel undergoes surgery on sore left knee

Nerlens Noel undergoes surgery on sore left knee

Nerlens Noel has had surgery on his sore left knee, and the Sixers have not disclosed a timetable for the disgruntled center's return.

Noel has been out since the team's first preseason game. He initially had a left groin strain before experiencing soreness in the knee during rehab, and it was discovered he had an inflamed plica. 

The team is calling the surgery a "minor elective arthroscopic procedure." It was performed in New York by Dr. Riley J. Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Noel eventually will travel to Birmingham, Ala. to rehab with associate clinical director Kevin Wilk at Champion Sports Medicine.

The Sixers expect to have a timetable for his return once Noel returns to Philadelphia. According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Noel is expected to miss three to five weeks. 

This has been a rough preseason for Noel, who hasn't hidden his displeasure with his role on the Sixers' jammed frontcourt. The team has until Oct. 31 to extend his rookie contract but, per a report in the Inquirer earlier this month, the two sides have yet to discuss it. 

Sixers still deciding who will start opener, how long Jahlil Okafor will play

Sixers still deciding who will start opener, how long Jahlil Okafor will play

CAMDEN, N.J. — Brett Brown doesn’t have many options at his disposal for opening night against the Thunder, but a day before the Sixers' regular-season tip-off, he still is considering how to utilize his shorthanded roster.

What Brown is sure of is Joel Embiid will be capped at 20 minutes in five four-minute segments. Embiid, coming off two years of foot injuries, began the preseason playing 12.

The Sixers have not locked in a minutes restriction on Jahlil Okafor. The second-year big man aggravated his right knee during training camp and played eight minutes in his first preseason game last Friday.

“You’ll intermittently sub that and Richaun Holmes will make up the rest,” Brown said after practice Tuesday. “The five-spot is locked in with those three, and I feel like tomorrow we’ll be able to better figure out how many four-minute sections does Jahlil actually get.”

Brown started Sergio Rodriguez, Gerald Henderson, Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Embiid in the final two preseason games. On Tuesday he did not announce a starting five, specifically a point guard. That role is between Rodriguez and T.J. McConnell because of the injury to Jerryd Bayless (wrist). 

“Still considering a lot,” Brown said of the one-spot. “Not prepared right now to say one thing or another.”

Rodriguez, who has been practicing with the white squad, anticipates he will be given the nod. It will be his first regular-season game in the NBA since 2010.

“Yes, I expect, but for me that doesn’t matter,” Rodriguez said. “It’s going to be a big game for everybody. Everybody needs to be ready. We will need all we have to beat them.”

The Sixers' inactive list includes Bayless, Ben Simmons (foot) and Nerlens Noel (knee), all of whom could be starters if healthy. With so many injuries to major contributors and the implementation of segmented minutes, Brown will have to look down his bench over the course of four quarters.

“We’re going to have to go 10-deep. I bet we could even go 11-deep,” he said. “We’re in a very unusual circumstance that players can’t play multiple minutes. ... That, coupled with I think you can’t expect to have the energy and effort that we want on the floor without giving people six-minute chunks.” 

The Sixers and Thunder face off at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center.