A couple of local Missouri Valley teams headline a doubleheader on CSN on Wednesday night.
In the first game at 6 p.m., Northern Iowa travels to Loyola while the second game at 8 p.m. will be Missouri State playing at Illinois State. You can see both of these games live on CSN.
The Ramblers (10-5, 0-2) are off to a sluggish start in conference play after looking good early in the season. Junior forward Aundre Jackson leads the way for Loyola at 15.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game while senior guard Milton Doyle, a Marshall product from the Public League, is putting up 14.4 points and 4.3 assists per game.
The Panthers (5-8, 0-2) are also looking to pick up their first win in league play as Northern Iowa enters this one with four straight losses. Senior Jeremy Morgan has been outstanding this season but he needs more help as he leads the team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.
In the second game, Illinois State (10-4, 2-0) is trying to keep pace with Wichita State after a good start. The Redbirds are coming off of two consecutive double-digit wins to start Valley play as senior forward Deontae Hawkins (14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds) and senior guard Paris Lee (13.6 points, 5.4 assists per game) are playing well.
Missouri State (11-4, 2-0) has been playing good ball lately as they have three straight wins. Junior forward Alize Johnson has been playing great ball lately as he's averaging 14.2 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
The Michigan Wolverines are hiring former Fab Five star Juwan Howard as the head coach of their basketball team. Aside from being a part of that prolific college basketball team, Howard is a two-time NBA champion with the LeBron James-led Miami Heat.
And he is a former local basketball hoops star at Chicago Vocational Career Academy, where we was named an All-American in 1991.
But the Fab Five have not been on the best of terms over the years, particularly current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose and Chris Webber. With Howard back in Ann Arbor, all beefs are officially over.
“It squashes any drama or any beef because we’re not going to bring that to Ann Arbor’s campus with Juwan Howard as our head coach," Rose told Mike Greenberg when asked about the beef Thursday morning on ESPN's Get Up. "The one thing that we both know is his success turning around the University of Michigan is first and foremost about him and about the players that he’s going to influence. Then it’s about us being there to support him, not being drama, not being splintered, not giving any indication of dysfunction.
"We’re going to move as a family and we’re going to do what we can to build on what John Beilein has established in Ann Arbor.”
Rose reiterated this point later in the day during a segment with fellow Michigan alum Adam Schefter.
Let's wait and see if Howard brings winning ways to Michigan to make this honeymoon period last, otherwise it could be back to business as usual.
Also, does Chris Webber feel the same way? Has Rose already talked to Webber to clear the air? Or is Rose just saying it's over on his side in the hopes Webber follows suit?
Both Webber and Rose made it clear that Howard was their preferred candidate, so they seem to be on the same page.
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Porter Morter isn't going anywhere.
After reports circulated that St. John's offered him a long-term contract worth north of $2 million per year, the 50-year-old head coach has decided instead to stay at Loyola. He's led the Ramblers to three 20-win seasons in the past five years, and guided the program in 2018 to their first Final Four appearance since 1963 — a span of 55 years.
Moser released this statement on his Twitter account on Tuesday:
Dear Rambler Nation,
I know there have been a lot of things swirling out there the past few days. Because I have coached and coached with some amazing young men, and because I have had the support of the University, friends, family, and the loyal Loyola fans; opportunities have arisen. I know that is part of the business, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm humbled, grateful, and grounded with what comes my way.
People in business say I'm crazy for passing up opportunities and the money. But what they don't know is the amazing young men I coach and the culture we have built. What they don't know are the amazing young men who are committed to come to Loyola and wear the Maroon and Gold. What they don't know are the people and friends that make up the Loyola community. And what they don't know is what makes me tick.
So what I do say to Rambler nation is ... let's keep building this culture and making a difference. Let's keep chasing championships. Let's do things better than we have ever done before.
With that said ... I'M ALL IN!