NCAA Talk

NCAA: Illinois falls to Purdue in conference play

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NCAA: Illinois falls to Purdue in conference play

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue figured out how to slow the pace - and still score a little, too, Wednesday night.Terone Johnson finished with a career-high 25 points and D.J. Byrd scored nine of his 15 during a key 19-3 second-half run, sending the Boilermakers past No. 11 Illinois 68-61.Byrd sealed the game with a three-point play with 20.1 seconds to go.The Boilermakers (7-6, 1-0 Big Ten) have won three straight and are over .500 for the first time this season. They have won eight straight over the Fighting Illini.Illinois (13-2, 0-1) was led by Brandon Paul with 15 points and Joseph Bertrand with 14, but managed only one basket during a decisive 5 12-minute stretch of the second half. Illinois has lost eight straight conference road games, dating to a Jan. 4, 2012 win at Northwestern.Complete Recap Box ScoreLoyola handles Valparaiso
VALPARAISO, Ind. -- Ben Averkamp scored 16 points and had four blocked shots Wednesday night as Loyola of Chicago beat Valparaiso 63-54 in the Horizon League opener for both schools.Christian Thomas had 14 points and six rebounds, and Cully Payne had 13 points and seven assists for the Ramblers (10-3).Ryan Broekhoff led Valparaiso (10-5) with 15 points and seven rebounds. Kevin Van Wijk also had seven rebounds, and contributed 10 points. LaVonte Dority also scored 10 points for the Crusaders, going 8 for 8 from the free-throw line.Loyola led 26-24 at halftime. Broekhoff made a 3-pointer for Valparaiso early in the second half, but Thomas' layup with 18 12 minutes to go put the Ramblers ahead for good.Complete Recap Box Score

UIC edges Youngstown State

Gary Talton drilled a go-ahead 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining and made three free throws to protect the lead as Illinois-Chicago defeated Youngstown State 65-60 on Wednesday night.Talton had 19 points and Hayden Humes 15 for the Flames (10-4, 1-0 Horizon League), who snapped a three-game losing streak.Kendrick Perry scored 19 points and Blake Allen had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Penguins (8-6, 0-1). Allen's 3-pointer gave Youngstown State a 60-59 lead with 1:31 remaining.Josh Crittle scored 14 points and Daniel Barnes 10 for Illinois-Chicago.Talton was 7 of 15 from the field with six rebounds.Complete Recap Box ScoreDePaul falls in heart-breaker to Seton Hall
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Fuquan Edwin converted the game-winning layup with 6.9 seconds remaining to give Seton Hall a 73-72 win against DePaul on Wednesday night.Aaron Cosby led Seton Hall (12-2) with 24 points.Jamee Crockett of DePaul missed a wide open 3-pointer with four seconds left to seal Seton Hall's win in the Big East conference opener for both teams. A turnover gave Seton Hall the ball with 26 seconds remaining as they trailed DePaul, 72-71.DePaul (9-5, 0-1) chipped away at Seton Hall's 40-32 halftime lead. DePaul guard Durrell McDonald made a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to tie the game at 52 with 9:42 remaining.Less than a minute later the Blue Demons took the lead on Brandon Young's three-point play. From then on, the teams traded baskets as neither squad led by more than five points the rest of the game.Complete Recap Box Score
Bradley knocks off Southern Illinois

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Walt Lemon Jr. scored 20 points Wednesday night to help Bradley to a 66-60 victory over Southern Illinois.Lemon's basket with 2:58 left gave the Braves (10-4, 2-0 Missouri Valley) the lead for good at 57-56. Lemon finished 8 for 11 from the field and also contributed five steals for Bradley, which was 0-9 on the road in the MVC last season. Dyricus Simms-Edwards and Jordan Prosser had 11 points apiece for the Braves.Desmar Jackson led the Salukis (7-6, 0-2) with 15 points and nine rebounds. Jeff Early scored 11 and Anthony Beane Jr. added 10 points for SIU.Bradley shot 50 percent from the field and led 28-23 at halftime. Southern Illinois shot 42 percent and was just 13 for 23 from the free-throw line. Bradley was 14 of 18.Complete Recap Box Score
Western Illinois defeats Savannah StateMACOMB, Ill. -- Adam Link scored 10 points and Western Illinois slipped by Savannah State 39-35, extending their winning streak to eight games.Terell Parks had eight rebounds and blocked seven shots for the Leathernecks (11-3).Savannah State led 23-12 at halftime. But the Tigers shot 32.6 percent from the field for the game, while Western Illinois shot 44 percent.Khiry White led the Tigers with 10 points. Arnold Louis had eight rebounds.Savannah State (5-8) has now lost five consecutive games.Complete Recap Box Score

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

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AP

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

It looks like it was too good to be true.

Tyger Campbell shocked the recruiting world when he committed to DePaul on May 8.

Less than four months later, Campbell has reopened his recruitment.

The Rivals.com four-star point guard out of La Lumiere High School in Indiana, who is the No. 66 prospect in the 2018 Class, took to Twitter Friday night to explain his decision.

One of Campbell's original draws to the Blue Demons was DePaul hiring Shane Heirman as an assistant coach. Heirman coached Campbell for two seasons at La Lumiere.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com when he committed to the Blue Demons. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy."

Campbell currently has offers from a handful of D1 schools, including Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, Memphis and Tennessee.

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

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USA TODAY

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

On the heels of a 12-win improvement, UIC basketball is riding confidently into the new season. 

And why shouldn't they be? Head coach Steve McClain returns a young, talented nucleus that's expected to challenge for a Horizon League championship and NCAA Tournament berth. 

In fact, the program is in such good shape that they thought: Let's play Kentucky. 

Yup, that's right. The UIC Flames will match up with the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on Nov. 26, a necessary stage in development, according to McClain. 

“Every year you build your program, there’s steps you have to take," McClain said. "When we got the opportunity to go to Kentucky, I think that’s the next level of exposure for our program.

"When you're chasing trying to be great, you gotta show your kids and show people what greatness looks like. I don't think anyone can argue what Kentucky has done, so I want to put our kids in that environment so they see what it is." 

The contrast between programs is severe. UIC hasn't made an NCAA Tournament since 2004. The Wildcats have made 11 since then. UIC has never advanced out of the first round at the Big Dance. Kentucky has eight National Championships. 

Even this upcoming season, as the Flames boast one of their most skilled teams in school history, none of them were ever touted like Kentucky's freshman class, which ranks No. 2 in the nation per ESPN. 

But the disparities in past successes don't seem to bother UIC. Instead, players, who were likely snubbed by bigger schools in recruitment, are excited about the opportunity to compete on a national stage that the Flames rarely see. 

“First I was like, ‘It’s about time we got someone like (Kentucky) on our schedule,’" said center Tai Odiase, one of the few seniors on the roster. "We’ve been trying to play bigger teams to showcase what we’re made of."

“I don’t see why you go into a place like that without a chip on your shoulder. You don’t go in there just to play basketball, we’re trying to win."

UIC will be heavy, heavy underdogs. There's no way around that. But there are certain spots where they may not be at such a disadvantage. 

On the defensive end, Odiase continued to terrorize guards and big men alike, finishing fifth in the NCAA with 2.9 blocks per game. The dynamic guard duo from "The Six," Godwin Boahen and Marcus Ottey, are quick enough to hang and both took a huge step down the stretch last season. Then there's the return of 2015-2016 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Dikembe Dixson, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

"The doctors at times thought he was a freak of nature because he was back as quick as he was," McClain said.  

Still, it's a tune-up game for Kentucky, who also scheduled Kansas, UCLA and Louisville on their non-conference slate. But one team's expected walk through is another team's vital experience. 

"Our guys can walk in and see that on a given night, you can compete with anyone," McClain said. 

Given new athletic director Garrett Klassy's comments at his introductory press conference, it doesn't seem as if games like this are a one-hit wonder for UIC. 

“I am an aggressive scheduler," Klassy said. "I helped with the scheduling at George Washington. We’ll play anyone, anytime, anywhere.

"You want to measure yourself against the best. We have a lot of returning starters. It’ll be nice to go on the road, play a tough game and maybe sneak out an upset."