51 Illinois players on 2016 NCAA Tournament rosters


51 Illinois players on 2016 NCAA Tournament rosters

For the third consecutive year, the state of Illinois will not be represented by any teams during March Madness. Men's college basketball has been on a drought getting teams into the field of 64 the past few years, but there are still plenty of high school players from Illinois making up NCAA tournament rosters.
The 2016 NCAA tournament features 51 players who spent time playing high school basketball in Illinois and players from the Land of Lincoln are still finding plenty of success in the tournament. Since Florida won back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007, seven of the last eight NCAA champions have featured a key player on the roster from the Chicagoland area. Only UConn in 2011 was without an area player, but 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) and Jahlil Okafor (Duke/Whitney Young) have won titles over the past few years.
Here's a look at the 51 Illinois prep players appearing on NCAA tournament rosters and how they fared this season. For more CSN coverage of the 2016 NCAA tournament, be sure to check out Chris Boden's "Sad State" series on SportsNet Central this week. The four-part series began airing on Sunday night and runs through Wednesday night on the 10:30 p.m. edition of SportsNet Central.  

  • Jalen Brunson, Villanova (Stevenson) — The former Illinois Mr. Basketball is a key piece for Villanova as a freshman, averaging 9.9 points, 2.6 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game. 
  • Jevon Carter, West Virginia (Proviso East) — The sophomore guard led No. 3 seed West Virginia in minutes as Carter averaged 9.7 points, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.
  • James Farr, Xavier (Evanston) — One of the Big East's premier big men, the senior averaged 10.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for the Musketeers. 
  • Ethan Happ, Wisconsin (Rockridge) — The Big Ten's freshman of the year, the forward put up 12.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 52 percent from the field.
  • Roosevelt Jones, Butler (O'Fallon) — A senior veteran, Jones put up 14 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game while making All-Big East second team honors. 
  • Abdel Nader, Iowa State (Niles North) — The senior averaged 13.1 points, 5.1 rebounds per game for the Cyclones while being one of the team's main perimeter threats.
  • Tyler Ulis, Kentucky (Marian Catholic) — The SEC Player of the Year as a sophomore, Ulis averaged 17.2 points, 7.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Ulis will likely leave early for the 2016 NBA Draft and is getting buzz as a late first-round pick.
  • Fred VanVleet, Wichita State (Rockford Auburn) — A two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, the senior averaged 12 points, 5.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game for the Shockers.


  • Larry Austin, Xavier (Springfield Lanphier) — The sophomore guard was Xavier's backup point guard this season, averaging 1.9 points and 1.2 assists per game.
  • Max Bielfeldt, Indiana (Peoria Notre Dame) — The Big Ten's Sixth Man of the Year, the Michigan transfer big man has been huge for Indiana. Bielfeldt averaged 8.0 points, 4.5 rebounds per game as a senior. 
  • Myles Carter, Seton Hall (St. Rita) — As a freshman, the big man appeared in nine games and played in 32 total minutes. 
  • Kyle Davis, Dayton (Morgan Park) — The junior guard played a key role for Dayton this season, averaging 7.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
  • Alvin Ellis, Michigan State (De La Salle) — During his junior season, Ellis came off the bench to average 2.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. 
  • Johnny Hill, Purdue (Glenbard East) — Transferred in to become one of the key guards for Purdue. The senior averaged 5.1 points, 2.7 rebounds per game. 
  • Charles Matthews, Kentucky (St. Rita) — The freshman played in every game for Kentucky this season, getting 10 minutes a game off the bench while averaging 1.7 points and 1.7 rebounds per game.
  • Sean O'Mara, Xavier (Benet) — A reserve big man, O'Mara came off the bench to average 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. 
  • Kendall Pollard, Dayton (Simeon) — The former Simeon product had a solid junior season, averaging 10.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. 
  • Gavin Schilling, Michigan State (De La Salle) — After dealing with injury the early part of the season, the junior big man averaged 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
  • Kendall Stephens, Purdue (St. Charles East) — The junior hasn't seen consistent minutes since taking a leave from the team in January. Averaged 6.1 points, 1.3 rebounds per game for the season.
  • Jamari Traylor, Kansas (Julian) — In his senior season, Traylor came off the bench for Kansas to average 3.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in a little under 14 minutes per game.
  • Joe Toye, Vanderbilt (Whitney Young) — The freshman has played in 29 games this season and averaged 3.4 points and 1.2 rebounds per game in limited minutes. 
  • Christian Williams, Iowa (St. Teresa) — During his freshman year, Williams appeared in 17 games and averaged 5.3 minutes per game. 
  • Nick Zeisloft, Indiana (Lyons) — After transferring from Illinois State, Zeisloft has been a key reserve for the Hoosiers the last two seasons. Put up 6.8 points, 1.7 rebounds per game as a senior. 


  • Quinton Chievous, Hampton (Notre Dame) — The redshirt senior forward was one of the MEAC's best players this season, averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds per game on 57 percent shooting.
  • Willie Conner, Buffalo (Crane) — A junior guard, Conner averaged 12.1 points and 2.3 rebounds per game this season for the Bulls. 
  • Sam Downey, Yale (Lake Forest) — A key reserve for Yale, Downey averaged 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs. 
  • Kalin Fisher, Hampton (Proviso East) — As a freshman, the guard came off the bench for Hampton to averaged 3.7 points per game.
  • Aldonis Foote, Middle Tennessee (Peoria Central) — After spending time in junior college, the junior forward averaged 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds per game as a reserve.
  • Brian Greene Jr., Florida Gulf Coast (Thornton) — The reserve guard fell out of the rotation and only appeared in 16 games this season, averaging 1.2 points per game.
  • Marius Hill, Arkansas-Little Rock (Homewood-Flossmoor) — During his junior season, the forward averaged 3.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest. 
  • Reginald Johnson Jr., Hampton (St. Joseph) — The senior guard led Hampton in scoring at 18.3 points per game while also averaging 4.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds.
  • Tevin King, South Dakota State (Providence-St. Mel) — A reserve guard, King put up 3.7 points and 1.8 rebounds per game during his freshman season.
  • George Marshall, South Dakota State (Brooks) — A first-team, All-Summit League selection, the senior guard averaged 14.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
  • Rayshaun McGrew, Stony Brook (Vocational) — The senior forward is a key player for the Seawolves, averaging 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
  • Khalil Small, Green Bay (Providence-St. Mel) — The sophomore guard averaged 9.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game for the Phoenix this season.


  • Peyton Allen, Wichita State (Chatham Glenwood) — Sitting out this season as a redshirt after transferring from Texas A&M. Will have three years left. 
  • Jackson Bax, Wisconsin (Lincoln-Way East) — Walk-on has appeared in two games this season.
  • Brennan Besser, Duke (Latin School) — The walk-on appeared in one game this season.
  • Kevin Coker, Xavier (Plainfield South) — Appeared in four games and attempted one field goal this season.
  • Josh Cunningham, Dayton (Morgan Park) — Redshirted this season due to NCAA transfer restrictions after coming over from Bradley. Former Morgan Park star has three seasons of eligibility left. 
  • Michael Dowdy Jr., Seton Hall (U-High) — Has played in eight games and seen 13 minutes of action as a walk-on, totaling three points and four rebounds.
  • Dylan Ennis, Oregon (Lake Forest Academy) — Senior guard transferred from Villanova and appeared in two games before ending his season with a foot injury. Will apply for sixth year of eligibility. 
  • Cole Gentry, South Dakota State, (St. Charles East) — The freshman point guard redshirted this season and will have four years of eligibility left.
  • Brandon Hutton, Iowa (De La Salle) — Redshirting at Iowa as a freshman this season and will have four years of eligibility remaining.
  • Kurt Karis, USC (Glenbrook North) — Walk-on guard is redshirting this season after transferring from Chicago State, due to NCAA transfer regulations. 
  • Robert Knar, Northern Iowa (Mundelein) — The guard has appeared in 11 games this season and played 34 total minutes, tallying 13 points and seven rebounds.
  • Isaiah Moss, Iowa (Simeon) — Just like teammate Brandon Hutton, Moss is redshirting this season and will have four years left at Iowa.
  • Stuart Nezlek, Iowa State (Fenwick) — Played in five games for Iowa State as walk-on, totaling two points and a rebound in eight minutes of action.
  • Harrison Niego, Indiana (Lyons) — A freshman walk-on guard, Niego is starting to get more minutes for Indiana as he's appeared in 21 games and averages 5.1 minutes per game.
  • Tom Planek, Providence (Fenwick) — Walk-on appeared in 12 games and played 31 total minutes, scoring six points.
  • Bobby Wehrli, Dayton (Benet) — Saw action in 21 games as a walk-on this season, playing 118 minutes and contributing 20 points and 17 rebounds.

Teams with no Illinois players: Arizona, Austin Peay, Baylor, California, CSU Bakersfield, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Colorado, Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, Fresno State, Gonzaga, Hawaii, Holy Cross, Iona, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Saint Joseph's, Southern, Stephen F. Austin, Syracuse, Temple, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Tulsa, UNC Asheville, UNC Wilmington, Utah, Virginia, VCU, Weber State

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

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 or via the NBC Sports app 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 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 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? 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


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.”