NCAA Talk

Illinois State in-state recruiting class recap

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USA TODAY

Illinois State in-state recruiting class recap

EDGY's Illinois State Redbirds Grade: B

Illinois State once again was able to build a strong overall recruiting class. Head coach Brock Spack has been able to turn around the Redbirds program in his tenure at ISU by being able to out-recruit his conference rivals. ISU needed to reload upfront on the offensive line after graduating its entire starting unit from a season ago. The Redbirds inked seven hogs, including the best name in college football in Kobe Buffalomeat, then also filled needs at wide receiver along with adding more depth to several spots with the Class of 2017. Illinois State also remained focused on in-state talent, as seven of its 23-player recruiting class call Illinois home.

Headliner Of The In-State Class?

Batavia offensive tackle Evan Day ( 6-foot-6, 290 pounds) might still be a few pounds shy of the listed 290 pounds for now, but I fully expect that to change. Day has tremendous length and reach and is an athletic kid who moves well. Once Day fully fills out his oversized frame he has a chance to become one of a handful of in-state names who will be expected to step in and fill some immediate holes on the ISU offensive line. I would not be stunned to see a few in-state freshmen offensive linemen get serious looks this August at cracking the starting lineup.

The One Who Got Away?

Illinois State was in the hunt for Naperville North three-star tight end Mitch Lewis (6-foot-6, 220 pounds) up until the last week of the recruiting period. Lewis, who is very close to his family, also has a special needs younger brother at home. Lewis gave staying closer to home and playing for the Redbirds serious consideration. Lewis didn't rule out the ISU Redbirds until after his last official visit to Miami of Ohio, which he signed with last Wednesday.

Final Thoughts on the Illinois State Redbirds Recruiting Efforts:

Illinois State is simply the "hot" in-state FCS level school to be a part of these days. Besides the overall improvement of the football program under Spack, the improved facilities, terrific location and just the whole Bloomington-Normal area has been a huge boost to ISU and it's recruiting efforts.

Issues? The skyrocketing cost has become a negative in recruiting circles for all FCS level schools in Illinois. Several neighboring states continue to drag students over in huge numbers across state lines by enticing Illinois residents with discounted tuition and other incentives. Fortunately for Illinois State, they have been less impacted by these issues, but for how long? Some Missouri Valley Conference rival out of state schools pay nearly $10,000 less a year than in-state kids pay for schools such as Illinois State. At the FCS level, where most recruits receive a portion of a "full" scholarship, the overall economic picture  begin to become a bigger factor.

Illinois State football and its recruiting efforts remain on the right path. While the football program still fights for center stage in the Illinois State sports landscape, the gap has narrowed towards the football program. The Class of 2017 again is another strong overall effort by ISU coaches and the Redbirds remain headed on course towards bigger and better things.

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.”

 

Loyola rewards Porter Moser with multi-year contract extension

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USA TODAY

Loyola rewards Porter Moser with multi-year contract extension

Loyola is rewarding Porter Moser for his basketball team's success this season.

Loyola and Moser have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday. The deal is through the 2025-26 season.

"We are excited to be able to announce a new contract for Porter that will keep him at Loyola a long time," Loyola Director of Athletics Steve Watson said. "He is the perfect fit for Loyola and operates his program the right way, with student-athletes who achieve excellence on the court and in the classroom and are also excellent representatives of the institution.

"We are fortunate to work at a university like Loyola, that values and has made a commitment to athletics. It is nice to reward Porter not just for an outstanding season, but also for the job he has done during his time here."

That's a well-deserved extension for a head coach who led the Ramblers to a NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1985.

As the 11th seed, Loyola exceeded all expectations, shocking the world with a Final Four appearance. The Ramblers took down No. 6 Miami, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 7 Nevada, and No. 9 Kansas State before losing to No. 3 Michigan, who would go on to lose to No. 1 Villanova in the championship game.

Loyola finished the regular season with a 28-5 record and a MVC Championship.

In seven seasons, Moser has a 121-111 record with the Ramblers, though three of his last four have been winning seasons.