Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: DePaul

Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: DePaul

2015-16 results: Dave Leitao returned to the sidelines for the Blue Demons as they finished 9-22 and 3-15 in the Big East. Turning over the roster and getting new players is a key to Leitao's recruiting efforts the first two seasons and this roster featured some talented pieces for the future.

Players to watch: Senior guard Billy Garrett Jr. has been a huge part of the team the last three years and the former Morgan Park star is back for his final season. Garrett's major help came in the form of sophomore Eli Cain, as the 6-foot-6 wing put up 10.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per game last season.

[RELATED: Local college hoops 2016-17 preview - Illinois State]

Key storylines: The Blue Demons are hoping that a group of newcomers can help make them competitive this season as the Class of 2017 recruiting haul — including transfers Max Strus and Austin Grandstaff — is something to get excited about.

Newcomers to track: Freshman Brandon Cyrus enters with strong expectations to provide slashing and athleticism this season and he could be a nice future piece to compliment with Cain. Graduate transfer senior Chris Harrison-Docks and freshman Devin Gage, who won the Class 4A Illinois state title with Curie this past year, should add depth with more capable ball handling.

Season outlook: DePaul isn't going to compete in the Big East this year, but they're going to be in more games as they have some intriguing perimeter talent. If the Blue Demons can play small and withstand in rebounding and rim protection, there could be some exciting moments for DePaul fans this season as Cain and Cyrus could be fun to watch. 

Loyola finishes top 10 in Coaches Poll

Loyola finishes top 10 in Coaches Poll

This year’s March Madness Cinderella team (accompanied by rising star Sister Jean) not only captured the hearts of Chicagoland and underdog supporters alike, but also Division 1 coaches, too.

Loyola University Chicago finished in the top 10 of the USA Today Coaches Poll, landing a 21 spot climb to finish in seventh place — the biggest rise the 2018 poll saw. The poll is conducted weekly with votes coming from a panel of Division 1 coaches who are all members of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

Loyola made the biggest climb from 21st to 7th in the Coaches Poll!

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Loyola shocked the college basketball nation as the team was only the fourth No. 11 seed in NCAA basketball history to reach the Final Four, where they were defeated March 31 by No. 3 seed University of Michigan 57-69.

Relive their memorable journey here.

Loyola's magical run ends with Final Four loss to Michigan

Loyola's magical run ends with Final Four loss to Michigan

The Loyola Ramblers captured the hearts of millions with their magical run through March Madness.

And while it seemed like this talented group, led by head coach Porter Moser - and Sister Jean, might never lose, their journey ended Saturday night in San Antonio at the hands of the third-seeded Michigan Wolverines.

The Ramblers went through a dry spell in the first half but still managed to take a 29-22 lead into halftime in a game that featured two suffocating defenses. The second half was a different story, as the Wolverines put on a clinic and continued their lockdown defense, outscoring the Ramblers by 21 in the eventual 69-57 victory.

Relive their magical run in the video above. Below you can find our Facebook Live coverage of Gentile Arena, where the Ramblers' official watch party took place during the game.