NCAA Talk

48 Illinois players on 2017 NCAA Tournament rosters

48 Illinois players on 2017 NCAA Tournament rosters

The NCAA tournament drought for colleges from Illinois will end this season as Northwestern became the first local team to make the big dance since 2013.

The Wildcats making the NCAA tournament for the first time is a great story as Northwestern features a roster full of players who played their high school ball in Illinois.

Much like we see every season, 2017 will feature 48 players from Illinois high schools on NCAA tournament rosters this season. That number is down slightly from last season's total of 51 but there are still a lot of local players to watch this season.

Eight of the last nine NCAA champions have featured a key player on the roster from the Chicagoland area. Only UConn's title team in 2011 didn't have an area player. 

Local stars such as Sherron Collins (Kansas, Crane), Bobby Frasor (North Carolina, Brother Rice), Jon Scheyer (Duke, Glenbrook North), Anthony Davis (Kentucky, Perspectives/MSA), Wayne Blackshear (Louisville/Morgan Park), Ryan Boatright (UConn/East Aurora), Jahlil Okafor (Duke/Whitney Young) and Jalen Brunson (Villanova/Stevenson) have won titles over the past few years.

Will we see that stretch continue? Here are the local names to keep an eye on the next few weeks.

Key Players from Key Teams

Sterling Brown, SMU (Proviso East) -- The senior was one of the most balanced wings in the nation as he put up 13.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

Jalen Brunson, Villanova (Stevenson) -- Brunson emerged as one of the Big East's best players as a sophomore as he averaged 14.8 points, 4.2 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game while also shooting good percentages across the board.

Jevon Carter, West Virginia (Proviso East) -- West Virginia's leading scorer and distributor at 13.1 points and 3.9 assists per game, the junior is a tremendous two-way guard. 

Ethan Happ, Wisconsin (Rockridge) -- Wisconsin's most balanced threat shot 59 percent from the floor while averaging 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. 

Vic Law, Northwestern (St. Rita) -- A perfect three-and-D wing, Law had a good sophomore season after missing last season. Law averaged 12.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

Scottie Lindsey, Northwestern (Fenwick) -- The junior emerged as the Wildcats' biggest offensive threat this season as he averaged 14.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Ben Moore, SMU (Bolingbrook) -- A double-double threat, Moore shot 56 percent from the field and averaged 11.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

Kendall Pollard, Dayton (Simeon) -- One of the Atlantic 10's better scorers, Pollard averaged 14.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

Role Players from Big Programs

Jordan Ash, Northwestern (St. Joseph) -- The sophomore guard saw his minutes decline this season as he appeared in 26 games for the Wildcats. 

Barret Benson, Northwestern (Hinsdale South) -- The freshman has been a reserve for the Wildcats this season as he put up 2.0 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

Josh Cunningham, Dayton (Morgan Park) -- After missing multiple months with leg injuries suffered on a big dunk, Cunningham is back in the Dayton rotation at the end of the season.

Kyle Davis, Dayton (Morgan Park) -- Valuable two-way guard averaged 8.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in his senior season while shooting 39 percent from three-point range.

Alvin Ellis III, Michigan State (De La Salle) -- Having the best season of his career, the senior averaged 19.1 minutes per game and averaged 6.5 points per game.

Tony Hicks, Louisville (St. Rita) -- Hicks spent his graduate transfer season with the Cardinals after starting his career at Penn. The reserve guard saw action in 21 games this season.

Sean O'Mara, Xavier (Benet) -- The junior reserve big man averaged 5.5 points and 2.8 assists off the bench this season. 

Nick Rakocevic, USC (St. Joseph) -- After helping the Chargers to Peoria in back-to-back years, Rakocevic averaged 15 minutes per game off the bench, averaging 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. 

Akeem Springs, Minnesota (Waukegan) -- Springs injured his Achilles during the Big Ten Tournament and will be out the rest of his senior season. He averaged 9.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game as the Gophers' best shooter.

Nathan Taphorn, Northwestern (Pekin) -- The senior reserve floor spacer will be best remembered for making the full-court pass that found Dererk Pardon to beat Michigan.

Joe Toye, Vanderbilt (Whitney Young) -- As a sophomore, Toye has been a valuable role player for the Commodores as he's putting up 6.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

Small-School Players to Watch

Jordan Caroline, Nevada (Champaign Central) -- Caroline spent his first two years of high school in Illinois before heading to Montverde as he's one of Nevada's best players. Caroline averaged 14.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this season. 

Steven Cook, Princeton (New Trier) -- Princeton's leading scorer had an outstanding senior season, averaging 13.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for a team that was unbeaten in the Ivy League.

Aldonis Foote, Middle Tennessee (Peoria) -- The reserve senior guard put up 2.2 points and 1.4 rebounds per game as Foote and the Blue Raiders are back in the NCAA Tournament.

Marvin Jones, Texas Southern (Thornton) -- Jones had his best season during his senior year as he averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. 

Tevin King, South Dakota State (Providence-St. Mel) -- The sophomore guard averaged 4.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game this season off the bench. 

Joe Mooney, UC Davis (Notre Dame) -- Mooney appeared in 16 games off the bench during his redshirt freshman season, averaging 2.3 points per game.

Michael Orris, South Dakota State (Crete-Monee) -- Orris is putting up 8.3 points and 4.0 assists per game this season as he hit the game-winning three-pointer in the Summit League Tournament semifinals.

Devontavius Payne, East Tennessee State (Carbondale) -- The junior guard has been a valuable reserve for the Pirates as he averaged 6.7 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. 

Makur Puou, New Orleans (Mooseheart) -- The 6-foot-9 junior has been a valuable interior presence for New Orleans as Puou averaged 5.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

Lamont Walker, Texas Southern (Morgan Park) -- The junior wing gets minutes off the bench as he averaged 3.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

Also of Note

Larry Austin Jr., Vanderbilt (Lanphier) -- The point guard transferred to Vanderbilt from Xavier and had to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. 

Michael Ballard, Wisconsin (Fenwick) -- The former Fenwick product is a walk-on at Wisconsin that didn't see game action this season. 

Cullen Barr, Xavier (Carmel) -- The senior walk-on appeared in seven games for the Musketeers this season.

Brennan Besser, Duke (Latin) -- The sophomore walk-on saw two minutes of action in Duke's season opener and hasn't seen the floor since.

Michael Dowdy Jr., Seton Hall (U-High) --The senior walk-on appeared in six games this season. 

Rapolas Ivanauskas, Northwestern (Barrington) -- The freshman redshirted this season to recover from shoulder surgery.

DiVonte Lumpkin, Texas Southern (Harlan) -- The walk-on has not played for Texas Southern this season.

Tito Malnati, Northwestern (New Trier) -- A freshman walk-on, Malnati has not seen the floor this season.

Charles Matthews, Michigan (St. Rita) -- Transferring from Kentucky, the former St. Rita star sat out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. 

Patrick Mazza, Notre Dame (Glenbard West) -- The senior walk-on appeared in four games this season and scored a bucket against Boston College late in the season.

Stuart Nezlak, Iowa State (Fenwick) -- A senior walk-on, Nezlak saw time in four games this season, scoring six total points. 

Zach Norvell Jr., Gonzaga (Simeon) -- The freshman is redshirting this season after offseason knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Before shutting it down, Norvell had 18 points in 23 minutes of a Gonzaga exhibition win this preseason.

Conor Peterson, Xavier (Libertyville) -- A freshman walk-on, Peterson played in seven games this season. 

Tom Planek, Providence (Fenwick) -- The junior walk-on has seen action in eight games this season. 

Matt Rosenwinkel, Northern Kentucky (Rochelle) -- The senior walk-on played in five games this season. 

Gavin Schilling, Michigan State (De La Salle) -- Out for the season with a knee injury, Schilling would have seen a lot of action for Michigan State.

Kendall Stephens, Nevada (St. Charles East) -- Starting his career at Purdue, Stephens sat this season out after transferring to Nevada.

Paul White, Oregon (Whitney Young) -- The former IHSA state champion sat out this season after transferring from Georgetown. 

Teams with no Illinois players: Arizona, Baylor, Butler, Bucknell, Cincinnati, Creighton, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida State, Iona, Jacksonville State, Kansas, Kansas State, Kent State, Kentucky, Marquette, Maryland, Miami, Mt. St. Mary's, North Carolina, North Carolina Central, North Dakota, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Rhode Island, Saint Mary's, South Carolina, Troy, UCLA, UNC Wilmington, Vermont, VCU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Wichita State, Winthrop

Loyola basketball coach Porter Moser to be next featured guest on Inside Look

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NBC Sports Chicago

Loyola basketball coach Porter Moser to be next featured guest on Inside Look

“Inside Look presented by Cadillac,” hosted by NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan & featuring Porter Moser to debut Saturday, September 15 at 6:30 PM CT

NBC Sports Chicago live stream available on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive or via the NBC Sports app
 
NBCSportsChicago.com to provide additional web-exclusive coverage of ‘Inside Look,’ including extended video clips


Chicago, IL (September 11, 2018) – NBC Sports Chicago - THE home of the #AuthenticFan - continues to delve into the lives of some of the biggest names in Chicago sports with its candid, monthly, one-on-one interview series Inside Look presented by Cadillac.  

Debuting Saturday, September 15 at 6:30 PM CT (immediately following Cubs Postgame Live), NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan hosts an exclusive one-on-one interview with the man who led Loyola University Chicago’s men’s basketball team to the pinnacle of NCAA greatness this past spring, Ramblers head coach PORTER MOSER.  NOTE: Live stream of this program will also be available at CSNChicago.com/WatchLive or via the NBC Sports app to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers.

Moser, who recently signed a contract extension with the Ramblers through the 2025-26 season, was born in Naperville, IL and was a standout preps star at Benet Academy in nearby Lisle, which was followed by a successful collegiate career at Creighton University, where he helped the Bluejays to an MVC Tourney Championship and an NCAA Tourney appearance in 1989.  Following a number of post-playing career assistant coaching stints, along with head coaching positions at Arkansas-Little Rock and Illinois State, Moser was named head coach at Loyola in the spring of 2011, which ushered in a new level of success not seen in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood since 1963.

Moser’s nationally-recognized level of leadership with Loyola was officially established this past season as he led the mid-major program to a 32-6 record (15-3 in the MVC), which included winning the MVC Tournament title and automatically qualifying them for the “Big Dance.” As a #11-seed in the NCAA Tournament, Loyola’s incredible run began with upset victories over Miami-FL (#6), Tennessee (#3), Nevada (#7), along with their unforgettable win against #9 Kansas State, which sent the Ramblers to their first Final Four appearance in 55 years.  Over the past four seasons, Moser’s teams have recorded an 89-50 (.597) record and their 50 win total over the past two seasons are its most over a two-year period since posting 51 total victories during the 1962-63 & 1963-64 campaigns.

In this edition of “Inside Look,” Moser discusses everything from growing up from his early playing days in high school and college, his transition from player to coach, what the amazing run to the Final Four has meant for the university and mid-major programs in general, along with his vision for Loyola’s future, and much more.   

NBC Sports Chicago will also re-air Inside Look with Porter Moser on the following dates/times: Wed, Sept. 19 at 7:30 PM - Thu, Sept. 20 at 11:30 PM - Sat, Sept. 22 at 9:30 PM - Mon, Sept. 24 at 11:30 PM - Fri, Sept. 28 at 3:00 PM (on NBC Sports Chicago+) & Sat, Sept. 30 at 5:30 PM (Schedule subject to change). In addition, viewers are urged to check out NBCSportsChicago.com for additional interview footage of the Moser interview, along with an archive of past Inside Look guests over the years.  
 
Note the following quotes from Inside Look with Porter Moser presented by Cadillac premiering Saturday, September 15 at 6:30 PM:
 
Moser on the conversation he had with his father when he decided to become a coach:
“I said ‘Dad, I think...I know I want to coach college basketball.’ He goes, ‘How much you gonna make?’ I go, ‘Well, I’m going to volunteer my first year and bartend at night to make some extra money.’ And he said, ‘Do you love it?...is that what you’re passionate about?’ And I said ‘yes.’ And he says, ‘You gotta do it…you gotta do it.”

Moser on his team approach last season: 
"I never said during the season, ‘Hey you guys, we’re going to the Final Four.’ It was about the process. You ask any one of our guys, it was about getting better, what’s in front of us. We very rarely, pretty much hardly at all, talked about the end goal.”

Moser on the importance of making the NCAA Tournament: 
“There’s been some Loyola Rambler fans that have been sitting here 35 years...they’ve been waiting. And to share this arena with them (Loyola fans), with our families and kids, and to have your name come up on the screen. Miami, then Loyola. And to watch us all jump up, that’s an accumulation of a lot of work. And just to share it with the stage we had and the people we had, that’s what makes things special…the journey you went through and the people that went through it with you.”

Moser on accomplishing a Final Four run in his hometown: 
“I was that kid. Cubs, Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears. I even rooted the White Sox on...and to have a little part of this and to see how Chicago embraced it (Loyola’s run), that meant a lot to me.”

Moser on perseverance: 
“I’ve always said, if I had a tattoo, and I don’t, it would be an old proverb that would be: ‘Fall Seven, Rise Eight.’ And I’ve just been blessed to have people in my life that have always talked about perseverance. I keep a picture of the ‘63 national (championship) team right to my left. Every morning when I walk in to my desk, I see them holding the trophy…and I have another picture of Sheridan Road packed with fans. When things get hard, it’s such a much more rewarding path fighting through it.”

Moser on not being complacent going forward: 
“Don’t get me wrong, I want to win. I want to advance. I want to get better. I’m obsessed this offseason about getting better. I don’t want to talk about repeating. I don’t want to talk about going back to the Final Four. I want to talk about capturing our culture again.”
 

DePaul extends contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through 2023-24

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USA TODAY

DePaul extends contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through 2023-24

One of the icons of DePaul athletics is sticking around.

Monday, DePaul extended the contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through the 2023-24 season. Bruno just wrapped up his 32nd season as head coach of his alma mater, leading DePaul to its 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament.

While the Blue Demons were eliminated in the Round of 32 this March, Bruno has led the program to the Sweet 16 three of the last eight seasons.

“I am so thankful to be working at a great institution like DePaul,” Bruno said in a press release. “I never would have been here without coach Ray Meyer who gave me a basketball scholarship, Frank McGrath and Gene Sullivan who hired me in the 1970s."

Behind Bruno, DePaul went 27-8 in 2017-18, winning its fifth-straight Big East regular-season title. The Blue Demons also won their third Big East Tournament title in five years, defeating rival Marquette 98-63. Bruno also picked up his 700th career victory in February, defeating conference-foe Butler 86-68.

“I’ve been fortunate to have great assistant coaches through all the years,” he said. “My current staff is absolutely one of the best in the country.

"Most important, the reason you succeed is the players. I’ve been blessed to have tremendous student-athletes help build the DePaul women’s basketball legacy.

“I am excited about this contract extension because we still have work to do. As proud as we are of everything we have achieved, our expectation through the length of this extension is to take the Blue Demons to even higher places.”