Wednesday, October 18, 2017

News On The Horizon 10/18/2017

NCAA will allow college basketball teams extra exhibition game for Hurricane Relief (photos)--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Akron (John Groce) and Cleveland State (Dennis Felton) have new head coaches with rebuilding rosters. Veteran Kent State coach Rob Senderoff must retool from the graduation loss of All-MAC forwards Jimmy Hall and Deon Edwin. Here is a capsule look at each team, three weeks into preseason practice.
CLEVELAND STATE -- Like Akron, Felton and the Vikings have had a lot of player turnover since the end of last season, with the senior backcourt of Bobby Word, Kenny Carpenter key to the immediate future. Felton has been implementing a lot of updated defensive concepts hoping to help his undersized team be more competitive over the course of the season.
Officials with all three programs said they are looking into the possibility of playing that extra exhibition. Another limitation is players can't miss class time, meaning games will have to be played on the weekend and/or against nearby competition.

Horizon League member Youngstown State announced Wednesday that it will play host to Thiel in an exhibition game Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
VIDEO: Favorite NBA Players for Men's Basketball
Getting to know OU athletes--Oakland Post
Basketball’s Christopher Palombizio:

Christopher Palombizio is his name, and basketball is his game.
Palombizio rotates between small forward and power forward. This is his 16th year playing the game he loves.
Sophomore Palombizio is majoring in Human Resource Development, and has a tentative graduation date of 2019/2020.
Favorite movie: Friday. Favorite color: Black. Favorite currently enrolled class: Career Development.
“My favorite thing about basketball is the ups and downs in which it teaches you a lot about yourself and challenges you in all aspects.”
UW-Green Bay's new AD, Charles Guthrie, has Packers connections--Green Bay Press Gazette
UW-Green Bay Names Charles Guthrie Ninth Athletics Director in Program
MU, UWM will play basketball exhibition for hurricane relief efforts--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Single-Game Tickets And Mini-Plans Now On
NKU Norse get verbal commitment from Kansas shooting guard Bryant Mocaby--Cincinnati Enquirer
NKU Athletics announces that CW Cincinnati will air five Norse men’s basketball games this season--Northern Kentucky Tribune
@NKUNorseMBB season ticket sales soar for 2017-18; Mini plans & single-game tickets now
Wright State to face coach’s son in basketball exhibition--Springfield News-Sun
The Ukraine Train: Vitaly Potapenko--The Guardian Online
Hartfield to be big contributor for YSU--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
New Season, New Staff: YSU Basketball Gears Up--The Jambar
Men's Basketball to Host Thiel in Hurricane Relief Exhibition Game Oct.

Monday, October 16, 2017

News On The Horizon 10/16/2017

32 Conferences, 32 Days: Horizon League--CBB Central
College Court Report 2017-18 Preseason Awards: Horizon League--College Court Report
10 possible Cinderella teams you may be talking about during March Madness--CBS Sports

With Valpo star Alec Peters no longer exerting his dominance in the Horizon League, the door is wide open for Oakland and Greg Kampe to storm through as a contender once again in the league, and could win it outright. Kampe brings back a rock star lineup of seniors in Martez Walker, Jalen Hayes and Nick Daniels which all played major roles last season and now have the experience to run the show in the Horizon.

Factor in the presence of Illinois transfer Kendrick Nunn, and you could easily make the case for the Golden Grizzlies as a Horizon League favorite and Cinderella darling in the making. The shoe absolutely fits.
Ex-Oakland hoops star Kay Felder joins Bulls--Detroit News

Non-Power Five Guards who will be Household Names in 2017-18: Sophomores, Part Three--College Court Report
Tarkus Ferguson is one of several talented sophomores on the 2017-18 roster for the UIC Flames, and he will look to lead them to a conference title.

Tarkus Ferguson – UIC Flames

2016-17 Stats: 11.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.6 bpg; 40.1% FG, 78.3% FT

The UIC Flames have arguably the deepest roster in the Horizon League this season, and they have youth on their side. Five of their top six returning scorers are all sophomores in 2017-18, which means they could still get better with time. Leading the way on the back end is guard Tarkus Ferguson, who stuffed the stat sheet almost every game as a freshman.

Ferguson averaged 11.2 points per game, which was good for the third-best mark on the team last season, and tops among all UIC guards. He also averaged a team-high 4.9 assists, and added 5.3 rebounds for good measure. He had 17 performances in which he recorded at least 10 points, three rebounds, and three assists over the course of the year.

The one knock on Ferguson’s game was his ball security. He averaged over three turnovers a game, and had three or more turnovers in 22 games. If he can limit the amount of turnovers he coughs up on a nightly basis, his personal statistics will improve considerably, along with his teammates. Regardless, Ferguson’s ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor is impressive. Look for him to continue to stuff the stat sheet this season.
UWGB's Terry adjusts to life without basketball--Green Bay Press Gazette
Packers broadcaster Wayne Larrivee to call UWM basketball on TV--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Marquette To Host Milwaukee In Hurricane Relief

Basketball Fans And Students Enjoy “Panthers On The Plaza”
Player Spotlight: Grant Benzinger--The Guardian
Penguins give fans a taste of uptempo style--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

News On The Horizon 10/10/2017

Horizon League Preview: Can Oakland rebound from a first round tourney exit?--College Basketball Talk
Madness Men's Basketball Preseason High-Major All-American Teams--College Sports Madness
First Team
G Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
G TJ Haws, BYU
G/F Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure
F Jalen Hayes, Oakland
F/C Jock Landale, Saint Mary's
Fourth Team
G Trey Kell, Rhode Island
G Joe Chealey, Middle Tennessee
G/F Thomas Wilder, Western Michigan
F Peyton Aldridge, Davidson
F/C Drew McDonald, Gonzaga
Horizon League Preview: Can Oakland rebound from a first round tourney exit?--Yahoo Sports
Detroit Mercy Basketball Coaches Show Returns Next
College notes: Oakland lands 6-11 center from Nigeria--Detroit Free Press
Horizon League Basketball Media Day previews 2017-18
Men’s basketball is
College hoops teams starting to gain attention in crowded Chicago landscape--Chicago Tribune
•UIC was picked to finish third in the Horizon League's preseason poll and is coming off semifinal appearances in the conference tournament and the CBI. The Flames, who went 17-19, were two wins away in the league tournament from making the NCAA tournament.

That record marked a major improvement from their 5-25 mark in coach Steve McClain's first season in 2015-16.

Adding former Illinois and Proviso East great Dee Brown to the staff has city hoop heads talking too.
Coaches notice each other's recruiting and development. McClain said he has felt teams in the city have been turning a corner since last season.

"You had a group of coaches who felt like they were tracking in the right direction," he said. "It had been a while since even coaches felt they were tracking that way. When you look at the success at the end of the year for every program in here, there were bright spots. It is a great time in the city for all of the universities."
Men’s basketball picked third in preseason poll--UIC News

Athletes collect items for hurricane relief--UIC News
2017-18 SEC Basketball Season Preview: Missouri Tigers--Team Speed Kills
There are also road trips to Utah and UCF and the annual rivalry game against Illinois in St. Louis. They won’t play in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, and while most of the remaining nonconference games aren’t exactly walkovers, they’re also not terribly impressive, either. Green Bay, which ranked 190th in KenPom last year, is the best of the bunch. In short, Missouri’s nonconference schedule is designed to produce a pretty record that’s mostly devoid of substance. If the freshmen are ready, Missouri could better its win total from last season before Christmas.
Green Bay picked to finish 6th as practice begins--Phear The Phoenix
Men's Basketball Officially Opens 2017-18
Wayne Larrivee, voice of the Packers, joins UWM as men's basketball TV announcer--On Milwaukee
Men’s Basketball Black & Gold Scrimmage Set For October
Wayne Larrivee Set To Join Milwaukee Broadcast

UWM Students Invited To Be Part Of “Panther Pit 56”
UNC and Kansas have the top players in our rankings of this season's top 12 transfers--CBS Sports
9. Mark Alstork, Illinois

Last school: Wright State

Making the jump from the Horizon League to the Big Ten is no easy task, but Mark Alstork -- a grad transfer who began his career at Ball State -- has plenty of experience under his belt to make the leap with ease.

The 6-5 Ohio native is a high volume scorer coming off a season in which he averaged 19.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists for Wright State. And in Brad Underwood's high-octane run-and-fun offense, he should do well replacing the departed Tracy Abrams.

The Illini are going to have an offense to fear in 2017-18, and Alstork will be a major factor in that transformation if Underwood's offensive fingerprint translates from Oklahoma State to his new home in Champaign.
JC transfer adds energy in the paint--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Men’s Basketball to Hold Open Practice Saturday

Friday, October 6, 2017

News On The Horizon 10/6/2017

Horizon League Men's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Teams--College Sports Madness
Oakland picked to win title, Cleveland State ninth: Horizon League Men's Basketball 2017 (photos)--Cleveland Plain Dealer
The 2017-18 Cleveland State Men’s Basketball Preview: Overachievers Wanted--Campus Pressbox
Vikings Tabbed Ninth in Horizon League Preseason

Abshaw & Livingston Named To #HLWBB Preseason
Tickets To City College Series Vs. Wayne State To Benefit DPS K-5 Now On
Titans Tabbed Fourth, Allen, Hogan Earn Horizon League Preseason

Titans Picked to Finish Fifth in #HLWBB Preseason
Kampe not 100 percent, but vows to be ready for season--Detroit News

Flames Picked Third in Preseason

UW-Green Bay's Sandy Cohen III granted NCAA waiver to play this season--Green Bay Press Gazette
NCAA rules in favor of Sandy Cohen--Phear The Pheonix
Sandy Cohen III Granted NCAA Waiver, Receives Additional

Green Bay Favored to Win 20th-Consecutive League
College Sports Madness Honors Men’s Basketball
Horizon League Announces Men's Basketball Preseason

Kostowicz Again Named Preseason First Team
Russell: Nine questions -- and answers -- for local teams this college basketball season--WCPO
CINCINNATI -- College basketball is back, and it’s looking good for area Division I men’s teams.

All four programs -- Cincinnati, Miami, Northern Kentucky University and Xavier -- have started practicing in the last week, and exhibition games are just around the corner.

Questions galore accompany the new season. Will each team’s veterans live up to expectations? Will the newcomers make significant impacts? Come March, will there be two Elite Eight teams in this city?

Xavier and UC have are expected to be preseason Top 25 teams when the major polls are released. NKU is coming off a program-first DI NCAA tournament berth and Miami has a new coach in Jack Owens.

Here are nine questions and answers about the hoops campaigns ahead of the regular season.
What does NKU do for an encore?

To recap the Norse’s last campaign: Head coach John Brannen led the team out of rebuilding mode and into the Horizon League championship, where it defeated Milwaukee for an NCAA tournament automatic bid. It was among the best stories of the tournament, as NKU was in its first year of eligibility for the Division I postseason after reclassifying from Division II.

The buck stopped against second-seeded Kentucky in the NCAA tourney -- UK won 79-70 -- but NKU acquitted itself nicely and drew nationwide attention.

This year the Norse return 77 percent of their offense and 76 percent of their minutes played, and their top three scorers -- Horizon League Tournament MVP Lavone Holland II, All-Tournament team member Drew McDonald and Carson Williams -- are back.

Although there’s a larger target on the program now, the pieces are in place for another successful season.
Who could have a breakout season?
NKU’s Carson Williams isn’t exactly a secret, but the 6-5 forward scored 21 points against Kentucky in the NCAA tournament and doesn’t back down from challenges.
NKU's Drew McDonald named Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year--Cincinnati Enquirer
McDonald named #HLMBB Preseason Player of the Year; @NKUNorseMBB picked

Horizon League releases 2017-18 preseason
Wright State senior sidelined by surgery, could miss opener--Dayton Daily News

Wright State’s Welch named Horizon League preseason player of year--Dayton Daily News
Women's Basketball Picked Second; Two
Always moving--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Morse Named Preseason All-Horizon League First-Team, Penguins Tabbed

Women's Basketball Picked to Finish Eighth in HL Preseason
Oakland Tabbed #HLMBB Favorite, McDonald is Preseason Player of the Year--The Horizon League

Green Bay Tops #HLWBB Preseason Poll; Wright State's Welch Tabbed Preseason Player of the Year--The Horizon League

Monday, October 2, 2017

News On The Horizon 10/2/2017

2017-18 College Basketball Season Preview: Impact Transfers--College Basketball Talk
4. Elijah Brown, McKyle McIntosh and Paul White, Oregon (via New Mexico, Illinois State and Georgetown): Plenty of familiar faces are gone from last season’s Final Four team at Oregon but head coach Dana Altman reloads at multiple spots. Elijah Brown, the son of former NBA head coach Mike Brown, is an experienced player at 6-foot-4 as he should be counted on as one of the team’s leading scorers. The 6-foot-7 McIntosh was a versatile wing forward who was one of Illinois State’s best players last season while former four-star recruit Paul White finally gets to play after sitting out to due injury and transfer rules.
7. Mark Alstork, Illinois (via Wright State): Illinois desperately needed experienced help on the wing to replace Malcolm Hill and Alstork should help after a strong all-around junior season. Putting up 19.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, Alstork was an all-Horizon League performer who also made 70 three-pointers and shot 84 percent from the free-throw line.
Jordan Johnson, UNLV (via Milwaukee): One of the nation’s leaders in assists at 8.1 per game during the 2015-16 season, Johnson has some intriguing weapons to play with at UNLV like McDonald’s All-American Brandon McCoy.
Kendrick Nunn, Oakland (via Illinois): The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 15.5 points and 5.0 rebounds as a junior before transferring after running into legal problems. He joins an Oakland team with NCAA aspirations.
Rotary After Hours Event to Take Place on Thursday at Wolstein Center; Thomas & Felton to Speak at
Vikings Hold First Official Practice for 2017-18
"Hoop Night in the D" Set for Oct.
Men’s Basketball Back On The

Titans Officially Open 2017-18 With First
42 days ‘til opening day: Current players and coaches that should see their names in the rafters--Mid-Major Madness
The head coaches

The guys below are already legends at their respective schools. The may even already have a court named after them or name in the lights (we should’ve done more homework, we know), and if they don’t, they certainly — to one degree or another — could one day:
Greg Kampe, Oakland
Local DI hoops coaches sound off on scandal, FBI probe--Detroit News

Integrated dance and cheer team: where are they now?--Oakland Post
44 days ‘til opening day: Ranking the mid-majors in the 44th president’s home state--Mid-Major Madness
Of the ten programs in the state, none has made an NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007. Things looked relatively rosy in the early 2000s, with UIC, Eastern Illinois, Bradley and Southern Illinois making at least one appearance each from 2001-2007. But in the last few decades, the only team with a prolonged run of success was the MVC domination by Bruce Weber, Matt Painter and Chris Lowery at SIU from 2001-2007.

Will the NCAA Tournament drought be broken this upcoming season? Chances aren’t bad that it will. Here’s a ranking of the ten programs by how likely it is they’ll cut down the nets at their respective league tournament this season.

(And don’t worry, we’ll balance things out tomorrow with a post dedicated to the 43rd president)

UIC (Horizon)
Illinois State (MVC)
Loyola Chicago (MVC)
Southern Illinois (MVC)
Eastern Illinois (OVC)
Bradley (MVC)
Northern Illinois (MAC)
Western Illinois (Summit)
Chicago State (WAC)
SIU Edwardsville (OVC)

UIC, Illinois State, Loyola Chicago and Southern Illinois fall into the same category: legitimate conference contender.

The Flames are not the Horizon favorite, as that probably goes to Oakland. Northern Kentucky has a case as well. But Twitter-maestro Dikembe Dixson is arguably the league’s best player, and along with Tai Odiase (11.4 PPG, 6.9 RPG), creates the Horizon’s best frontcourt. That should put UIC right in the mix.
Dee Brown: 'Everything is about winning'--Champaign News-Gazette
Men's Basketball Exhibition vs. ONU

Women's Basketball Season Tickets On
Men's and Women's Basketball Individual Game and Season Tickets On Sale
Join The Milwaukee Basketball Teams For “Panthers On The Plaza”
Louisville coaching search: The mid-major candidates--Mid-Major Madness
John Brannen (Northern Kentucky)

Brannen is young, local, and would be a good pick-up if the Tom Creans of the world say no. After 16 years as an assistant coach, from Charleston to Alabama, Brannen took over a Northern Kentucky program that reached the NCAA Tournament in its first year of eligibility as a Division I school. The Norse won just nine games in his first year in 2015-16, but turned it around to go 24-11, capped by an improbable Horizon League championship. The Alexandria, Kentucky native knows the state well and, if he’s not picked, could become a hot name on the coaching carousel in the near future.
Three NCAA Tournament teams highlight the inaugural Islands of the Bahamas
Northern Kentucky University Men’s Basketball To Air On CW

It doesn't look like the next NKU president will be Trey Grayson--Cincinnati Enquirer
Norse Force hopes to gain strength as athletics succeed--The Northerner
Northern Kentucky announces additional info on its A Night with the Norse
Deeper roster ‘a good feeling’ for Wright State women’s basketball--Dayton Daily News
College basketball: Proven scorers, newcomers give Wright State hope--Dayton Daily News
Wright State’s Nagy hopes scandal leads to change in college hoops--Springfield News-Sun
Player Spotlight: Cole Gentry--Guardian Online
Calhoun’s crew on court--Youngstown Vindicator
Preparing for practice--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Men’s Basketball to Hold First Official Practice
Men's Basketball Holds High-Intensity First Practice

YSU women's basketball team celebrates return to health--Youngstown Vindicator
Defensive play stressed on women’s team--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Women's Basketball Holds Energetic First Practice of 2017-18 on