Saturday, April 15, 2017

News On The Horizon 4/15/2017

2017 Mid-Major NBA Draft Early Entry List--Mid-Major Madness
Mid-Major Early Entry List
Mark Alstork - Wright State
Kerem Kanter - Green Bay (will transfer to Xavier if he returns to school)
Transfer Guard Rob Edwards Enjoys Pitt Visit--Pittsburgh Sports Now
Transfers could impact Cleveland State, Kent State, Akron basketball programs (photos)--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Three Titans Lead The HL In Statistical Categories In

Great Day On Campus As Titans Host Special Olympics

Women's Basketball Hands Out Awards at Annual
Mann lands assistant coaching position at Mizzou--Oakland Post
Valentine honored as top coach under 30--Oakland Post
Illinois adds UIC assistant Chin Coleman to coaching staff--Chicago Tribune
Xavier Basketball: Graduate transfer Kerem Kanter commits to Musketeers--Busting Brackets
Xavier adds talented big Kerem Kanter, but only if he withdraws from NBA Draft--CBS Sports
Prized Green Bay transfer Kerem Kanter explains why he chose Xavier Musketeers--WCP0
Cody Schwartz is transferring home--Phear The Phoenix

Kraker selected by Mystics in WNBA draft--Green Bay Press Gazette
Mehryn Kraker Selected 27th Overall in WNBA Draft by Washington
Tulsa Memorial scoring machine Caleb Nero picks Milwaukee--PantherU
Senior Salute Helps Bid Farewell To 2016-17

Don’t Miss Women’s Basketball’s 17th Annual Golf
Women’s Basketball Camps
Northwestern basketball to host Valparaiso in 2017-18 non-conference schedule--Inside NU
MVC’s best options to replace Shockers just might be already in league--Hoopville
And while some will contend that it’s tougher to do now than before because of the proverbial “ever-widening gap between the haves and have nots,” that’s not entirely accurate. Valley schools have always had to do it on a budget compared to bigger schools. Southern Illinois had three coaches over its six-year NCAA streak. Wichita State lost Mark Turgeon one year after its 2006 Sweet 16 trip. It’ll always be a fact of life in leagues like the MVC, just like it is for the Atlantic 10, CAA, Horizon, and anyone else not in that top echelon.

It would be foolhardy to expect too much from a new addition or additions because every single school being suggested as a candidate has its drawbacks. Belmont has a terrific, model basketball program but is an afterthought in its own city. The relative same can be said about Valparaiso in its region just outside Chicago; like Belmont, Valpo is a relatively niched private school that isn’t going to attract a huge audience, even as its basketball program is regularly excellent.
Hefferman: Departure gives MVC opportunity to cement Midwest presence--The Southern
So, the Valley has three options, all which involve creating a bigger presence in their current geographic footprint. Adding a national presence will be tough, if not impossible, but the league can add depth, at least one great new market, and become a real player for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament next March.

Here's a quick look at their options:

No. 1 — Add Valparaiso or Belmont right now

The Valley still has a national brand, and still has an automatic bid to the Big Dance for the winner of Arch Madness. Adding Valparaiso or Belmont in the next month or two — the league added Loyola in less than 40 days after Creighton left in 2013 — gives the league a solid 10th member that can compete for the league championship.

Valparaiso competes in the Horizon League, where the Valley got the Ramblers. The Crusaders won 30 games in 2015-16 and 24 this past season, reaching the NIT, where they lost to Illinois on the road, and produced the Horizon League player of the year in forward Alec Peters. Three Division I transfers sat out this season and will be eligible in 2017-18.

Valparaiso is located in northwest Indiana, kind of between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana, and could help the Valley get a bigger hold in the Hoosier State.

Belmont is a home run because it would get the Valley into Nashville. The Bruins went 23-7 this past season and 20-12 in 2015-16 under longtime coach Rick Byrd. They are yet to win an NCAA Tournament game. Maybe joining the Valley would be a new beginning, and open up new recruiting areas for them.

Pick up Valparaiso or Belmont, you've got 10 teams, you've added a program that wins a lot, and the Valley gets into a new market close to its current geographic footprint.
Reports: MVC Interested in Belmont, Valparaiso & Murray State after WSU Departure--KXEL
MVC Basketball: Five teams the Valley should add--Busting Brackets
All-Mid-Major Madness: First Team and Player of the Year--Mid-Major Madness
2016-17 All-Mid-Major Madness First Team
Alec Peters, Valparaiso

We were all crushed when Peters sustained an injury at the end of the season that really stymied Valpo’s chances at a run to the NCAA Tournament. Before that, Peters was able to make a difference for the Crusaders from every spot on the floor. He shot nearly 40 percent from three in conference, often pulled down 10-plus rebounds, dished out assists, and knocked down his free throws with regularity. The Crusaders lost a couple surprising games, but with a healthy Peters, they certainly could have been a Cinderella team in March. Still, he leaves college as Valparaiso’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder. By a lot.
Golder Signs NLI To Join Valpo Men’s Basketball
NKU signee Chris Vogt talks basketball--Cincinatti Enquirere
WKU, Wright State to play 4-year series--Bowling Green Daily News
Injured Wright State player has no feeling in his legs--College Basketball Talk
Family of injured Elder grad asks for continued support, prayers--WCP0
Wright State, Miami University both offer Trotwood’s Torrey Patton--Dayton Daily News
Prep guard from Louisville signs with Wright State--Dayton Daily News
Sports Today: Reds best start since 1990, Ohio State spring winding down, NBA playoffs, etc.--Dayton Daily News
A couple of developments on the Wright State recruiting front this week:

1. Coach Scott Nagy signed Jaylon Hall, a guard from Louisville, and reportedly offered a scholarship to Trotwood-Madison senior Torrey Patton.

2. As chronicled last month, Patton had a puzzling lack of offers as the Rams made their run to the state final four, but he has caught the attention of a few schools since then.

At 6-4, Patton cuts a similar profile to Mark Alstork, the Raiders’ leading scorer last season. Alstork, a Thurgood Marshall grad, has announced he won’t be back in Fairborn next season.

If he is not satisfied with feedback during the NBA draft process, he will likely find a new team as a grad transfer.

Alstork told last weekend his long list of potential destinations includes Michigan, Maryland and Cincinnati. Former WSU coach Billy Donlon is an assistant at Michigan.

The Raiders signed guard Tyler Mitchell from Kings High School during the early signing period last fall while guard Cole Gentry transferred to WSU from South Dakota State…
Facebook page for WSU’s Ryan Custer gains traction--Guardian
University/Athletics Statement on Ryan
Hall Signs With
YSU hires Calhoun’s top assistant--Youngstown Vindicator
YSU hires Slay as men’s assistant--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
New Penguin coaching staff putting in plenty of hours--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Coaches reunite at Youngstown--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
The Journey Continues--The Jambar
Paul Molinari Named YSU Men’s Basketball Assistant
Youngstown State Men’s Basketball Names Jason Slay Assistant
Youngstown State Men's Basketball Tabs Mark Richmond as Director of

Benjamin’s Stellar Season Earns Her the MVP--The Jambar
Benjamin Named Coach DiGregorio MVP at Women’s Basketball
Alexus Burkhart Joins YSU's Women's Basketball
Kraker Selected by Washington Mystics in WNBA Draft--The Horizon League

Sunday, April 9, 2017

News On The Horizon 4/9/2017

2017 NBA Draft Early Entry List: Who is staying and who is going?--College Basketball Talk
Mark Alstork, Wright State
Kerem Kanter, Green Bay
The top mid-major graduate transfers of 2017--Mid-Major Madness
G Mark Alstork, Wright State

Have a need for a scorer? Alstork has you covered. The 6-4 wing finished third in the Horizon in scoring (19 ppg) to go along with 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He also had some monster games: 39 vs. Toledo, 33 vs. Youngstown State, 30 vs. Southern Illinois. Alstork even had a near triple-double with a 29-10-8 line against Miami (OH).

F Kerem Kanter, Green Bay

He’s the younger brother of Enes Kanter and he’s in the same mold. He put up 11.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in just 19.1 minutes this season and has the ability to step out and shoot the three.He also has a body that’s equipped to bang in the paint. Four double-doubles in his last five games were a preview of the player he could be.
AAC presidents to vote this week on adding Wichita State; could begin play in fall--CBS Sports
Missouri Valley commissioner Doug Elgin is aware of Wichita State’s intentions. There have been reports the Valley could move quickly to replace Wichita State, possibly with Valparaiso.
A Wichita State move would kick off a significant round of conference realignment in basketball below the Power Five level. The Horizon League is reportedly looking at schools in large cities to improve its profile. The University of Nebraska-Omaha and the University of Denver have been mentioned.
Rob Edwards Should Stay at Cleveland State--Campus Pressbox
Student-Athletes Receive Numerous Awards At Honors
Oakland loses another assistant as Mann heads to Missouri--Detroit News
UWGB men land junior college recruit--Green Bay Press Gazette
League is trending up, but are changes on the Horizon?--Phear The Phoenix

Kevin Borseth's Summer Basketball Camps Open for
LaVall Jordan Set To Join Bob & Brian MACC Fund
Support Milwaukee Basketball Alumni With Vote For
What Wichita State's conference move means for the AAC, Missouri Valley--USA Today
Creighton was quickly replaced by Loyola-Chicago in 2013, and odds are Valparaiso would be a sensible-yet-underwhelming fill-in for the void the Shockers leave.
Missouri Valley Conference needs to fill voids left by Wichita State and Creighton--CBS Sports

State: Indiana
Division I since: 1978
Record: 634-552 (.535)
Conference history: Horizon and Summit League/Mid-Continent
Regular-season conference titles: 14
NCAA Tournament appearances: Nine

Valpo’s only been D-I since the late 1970s, but it’s got 1,100 wins, total, to its name over the ages. Its location, basketball-first mindset and solid history over the past 20 years make it an enticing replacement. If SLU really is a pipe dream, Valpo should be a reasonable get. And it’s a candidate that would make the Valley look fairly stable, if it were able to poach the Crusaders out of the Horizon. For Valparaiso, it’s a slight upgrade in league and a scene that allows the school to clearly remain top-three in its new digs. It’s going to be able to recruit at the same level still, if not a little higher. It has a workable basketball budget and name recognition to bring appeal to the league. Plus: the fanbase is good, too. From a culture-fit perspective, Valpo is a no-brainer.
If SLU is off the table immediately, I have to believe the next three in line would all consider leaving because they are in lesser leagues. You get any of the four programs listed above, you come out of the Wichita State situation looking pretty good. If, for whatever reason, you stay basketball-minded and are looking elsewhere, here are other possible candidates: Detroit (former member, big city spot), Oakland (stable program capable of making the move), UMKC (good location, would beg to get into the Valley), Fort Wayne (any school in Indiana fits MVC profile), SIU-Edwardsville (already a member in other sports, and is near the hub of the league, in St. Louis).
The Valley will be just fine, but there is no denying that it takes a huge hit with the loss of the Shockers. So if it wants to maintain its status as a top-12 league, it needs to lure in either Saint Louis, Valparaiso, Murray State and/or Belmont.
MVC targeting Valpo, Murray State as additions following Wichita State’s departure--Fan Rag Sports
Conference realignment: Rumors swirl amid Missouri Valley upheaval--Mid-Major Madness
But so far, the rumors seem to suggest expansion is on the MVC’s mind. The Des Moines Register summarized the schools that have been floated since WSU’s AAC announcement, and they square with our list from last week:

A list of possibilities has been reported, including Valparaiso, Belmont, UMKC, Omaha, the four Dakota schools and more. The decision will likely come down to numerous factors, such as geographical fit, financial stability and basketball relevance.

FanRag’s Jon Rothstein reported yesterday that Valparaiso and Murray State are the league’s targets. And given that it’s Rothstein, it might be safe to assume that those two schools are at the top of the MVC’s wish list.
Then there’s the market play. That would weigh in favor of schools like UMKC and Omaha, and the Kansas City Star confirmed that the Kangaroos are interested.

“Obviously we would love to be considered,” UMKC athletic director Carla Wilson said. “If we could be more regional with our conference affiliation that would create some geographic rivalries, help our travel and be a benefit to us.”

The Star also noted that UMKC, UIC and Valpo were considered when the MVC ultimately chose Loyola Chicago as Creighton’s replacement in 2013. That could mean that the Flames will be in the mix again.
Valparaiso reportedly in consideration for Missouri Valley--NWI Times
Does Valparaiso match with Missouri Valley Conference?--Inside VU Sports
Report: MVC targeting Horizon League team--Cincinnati Enquirer
TWO NKU PLAYERS DEPART: Northern Kentucky University men's basketball head coach John Brannen announced the release of Brennan Gillis (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis), who will pursue opportunities to finish his education while playing football, and Brandon Maxwell (Orlando, Fla./Daytona State CC).

"I'd like to thank both Brennan and Brandon for their contributions to NKU men's basketball," said Brannen. "I wish both of them nothing but the best in their future endeavors."

Gillis played in 64 games as a Norse, averaging 2.6 points and 1.7 rebounds. Maxwell averaged 1.4 points in 24 games played this year.
Gillis, Maxwell released from men’s basketball team--The Northerner
Gillis, Maxwell released from NKU men’s
Elder High School graduate Ryan Custer injured at large Oxford party--WCPO
Potential Grad Transfer: Mark Alstork--Blogger So Dear
Sports Today: Basketball ratings, Friday night Big Ten football development, Ohio State updates and more--Dayton Daily News
Wright State got some bad news yesterday as star guard Mark Alstork announced he is not only looking into the NBA draft but plans to graduate and potentially transfer.

The Raiders won 20 games in their first season under coach Scott Nagy, though they weren’t able to do all the things he wanted to do as far as style of play.

It will be interesting to see how they look when the roster is more of what he wants.
Wright State basketball player reported in critical condition--The Guardian
Report: Michigan reaches out to Wright State transfer Mark Alstork--UM Hoops
YSU fans can forget dismal past--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle

Penguins’ new coaching staff nearing completion
--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
YSU basketball veterans pleased with new system--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Morse’s Stellar Season, Semifinal Run Highlight Men’s Basketball

Season In Review: Penguins Set Stage for Future Success in

Friday, March 31, 2017

News On The Horizon 3/31/2017

Basketball Diary: February/March
Lowest-scoring game

March 4: #274 Milwaukee 43, #95 Valparaiso 41 [53] This was in the Horizon League quarterfinals and Valpo was adjusting to like without it’s star player Alec Peters. One can understand why the Crusaders may have been out of sorts. Still, it’s kind of frustrating to know you only needed 44 points to buy yourself another game. The 43 points was the lowest for a winning team all season. The game was 4 to 3 at the end of the first quarter, which was the lowest-scoring first quarter in any game in over five years. Milwaukee won its semifinal and its appearance in the Horizon League final was the least-likely team accomplishment in all of the conference tournaments, estimated at 2% before action began.
VIDEO: Dennis Felton Interview With Al
Hard work brings five Titan b-ballers honors--Varsity News

In end, Green Bay better prepared for Horizon final--Varsity News
Dorsey-Walker looks past Oakland basketball--Oakland Post
Final Illinois Rankings for the 2016-17 season--The Catch and Shoot
The state of Illinois finally ended its shutout streak in the NCAA Tournament with Northwestern going dancing. Aside from that? It was a somewhat disappointing year.

UIC reached the CBI semifinals and Illinois made the NIT quarterfinals, but the state had a legitimate chance to send four teams to the NCAA Tournament at one point during championship week with Illinois State on the bubble after its Arch Madness finals loss, Illinois trying to play its way into the field with the Big Ten Tournament coming up and UIC being favored in the Horizon League semifinals against Milwaukee.
7. UIC (17-19, 7-11 Horizon; CBI Semifinals)

After upsetting Green Bay, UIC had a wide-open path to the Horizon League championship game. But then the Flames got knocked off by bottom-seeded Milwaukee in the semifinals.

UIC still got a bid to the CBI and took advantage with two postseason wins before falling to Coastal Carolina in the semis.
Shocking exodus--Whoosh! Net
UWGB men land big recruit in Patterson--Green Bay Press Gazette
Manny Patterson commits to Green Bay--Phear The Phoenix
Our best destination doesn’t exist yet--PantherU

Rechlicz Looks Back On 2016-17
On Improving the NCAA Tourney: Part I--Rush The Court
Open Hearts and Minds for the Little Guys

Perhaps the biggest problem for the committee each year is how to assess the teams that play in non-power conferences. With so few opportunities for resume-enhancing wins using the current methodology, those squads are at a distinct disadvantage. The solution is for the committee to consider other evaluation tools when its standard method does not give enough information. For example, here is a situation that occurred during the 2016 selection process.
The committee chose Tulsa and Temple ostensibly because they owned more top-50 wins, but those two teams also had numerous more chances to play top-50 opponents. Since St. Mary’s and Valparaiso didn’t have those same opportunities, the committee should have utilized another metric to properly consider them. This methodology should also apply to seeding — making Wichita State (KenPom top 10) a #10 Seed in this year’s event was extremely unfair to both the Shockers and the other teams in their pod (i.e., Dayton and Kentucky). This inherent availability problem in evaluating teams from mid-major leagues is only going to get worse as several power conferences move to 20-game league schedules and further limit opportunities for the teams from the other leagues to schedule tough non-conference games.
Valparaiso athletic director Mark LaBarbera talks hot-button topics in Q-and-A--Post-Tribune
Peters Named Honorable Mention All-American by Associated

Crusaders Announce Elite
Report: NKU Working to Extend Brannen's Contract--River City News
Update: Bothof issues statement on Brannen’s status--The Northerner
Competitors announced to face WSU’s Davis in dunk contest--Dayton Daily News
Former Wright State standout Thomasson signs NBA D-League contract--Dayton Daily News
Davis exits dunk contest with groin injury--Dayton Daily News
WSU’s Alstork declares for NBA Draft--Dayton Daily News
Sports Today: Grant’s challenge at Dayton, Ohio State’s rebuilds and reboots and the Reds are coming to town--Dayton Daily News
Wright State can brag of a shorter NBA draft drought than UD’s thanks to big man Vitaly Potapenko, who was taken 12th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1996.

Mark Alstork, who led the Raiders in scoring last season as a junior, declared this morning he will enter the draft, although it is likely a fact-finding mission more than anything else. He can return if he doesn’t sign with an agent.

As a 6-5 guard, he has the size to intrigue scouts if he continues to develop under now-second year coach Scott Nagy, so it will be interesting to find out what he learns from scouts during this process.

The Raiders were also in the news last night as Steven Davis took part in a slam dunk contest for college seniors, but an injury wiped out his chance to take home the title…
Alstork leaving options open, but focus set on NBA--Springfield News-Sun
Alstork Declares for NBA

Women Enjoy Success Under First-Year Coach
The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 28, 2017--Hoopville
Youngstown State has long been one of the true outposts in Division I basketball, a school where winning seasons are rare-just five over the last 33 years-and finishing even near the middle of the Horizon League has been a success. The Penguins are known far more for football, but they do seem to have done very well with the hire of Jarrod Calhoun, who comes from Fairmont State (W.Va.), which just played in the NCAA Division II championship game. Calhoun was a success at Fairmont State and as head coach at then-NAIA (now NCAA D-II) Walsh (Ohio), and he also spent time working under Bob Huggins at West Virginia.
Ed Puskas: Penguins are already winning--Youngstown Vindicator
Calhoun plans to bring up-temp style to YSU--Youngstown Vindicator
YSU officially hires Calhoun as men’s coach--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Huggins a big fan of new YSU coach--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
New YSU coach wants turnaround--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Penguins pleased with new leader--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
A Sleeping Giant: Jerrod Calhoun Introduced as YSU Men’s Basketball Coach--The Jambar
Peters Named AP Honorable Mention All-American--The Horizon League