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Tue., March 27, 2012

Hired People familiar with the decision say Frank Martin has agreed to become South Carolina’s next men’s basketball coach. Martin will replace Darrin Horn, who was fired two weeks ago after going 60-63 in four seasons. The Gamecocks finished last in the Southeastern Conference last year. Martin is leaving Kansas State, which he led to the NCAA tournament four of the last five seasons. The Wildcats reached the regional finals in 2010. His overall record as a head coach is 117-54 and he is 6-4 in the NCAA tourney.

• Wagner College has promoted assistant Bashir Mason to succeed Dan Hurley as head men’s coach of the Seahawks.

The school announced that the 28-year-old Mason, who had been on Hurley’s staff for two seasons, is the youngest head coach in Division I basketball.

Announced After one season at Duke, Austin Rivers is leaving for the NBA draft. The freshman guard announced his decision and plans to hire an agent. He averaged a team-leading 15.5 points per game.

• Mississippi State forward Renardo Sidney has signed with an agent and will declare for the NBA draft. The 6-foot-10 junior from Jackson, Miss., averaged 11.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game over two seasons with the Bulldogs.

• Syracuse sophomore guard Dion Waiters is also entering the NBA draft. Waiters was the second-leading scorer on the Orange this season, averaging 12.6 points per game although he did not start a game.

Injured Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire has a bulging disk in his back and is out indefinitely, a damaging blow to New York with a month left in the regular season. The Knicks weren’t competitive in the playoffs last year when Stoudemire developed a back problem, and any hopes of even qualifying for the postseason are in jeopardy now that he has another.

Extension Alabama football coach Nick Saban has parlayed the Crimson Tide’s second national championship in three years into a raise and contract extension worth $5.62 million a year. The university’s board of trustees approved a two-year extension for Saban that will run through Jan. 31, 2020.

• Murray State and Steve Prohm agreed to a one-year contract extension and a pay raise after the Racers completed the most successful men’s basketball season in school history.

Signed The St. Louis Rams signed free agent wide receiver Steve Smith, filling a pressing need. Smith, who had 107 receptions for the New York Giants in 2009, will be entering his sixth season. Last year he caught nine passes in 11 games before being sidelined by a knee injury.

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