Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: Bradley


Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: Bradley

2015-16 Results: It was a tough first season for head coach Brian Wardle as his rebuilding roster finished 5-27 and 3-15 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Winning three league games with a roster that bare was no small feat as last year's roster took plenty of lumps to prepare for the future. 

Players to Watch: Guard Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye was one of the few bright spots last season as he averaged 9.8 points per game and was an MVC All-Freshman selection. Junior forward Donte Thomas, a former Thornwood product, also returns as he put up 9.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

Key Storylines: Last season, Bradley had nine true freshmen on the roster as the Braves were one of the youngest teams in the country. With six of those freshmen back, as well as six new freshmen (some of them walk-ons) Wardle still has an incredibly young team as he tries to find pieces that will help him set up a foundation for the future.

Newcomers to Track: Besides the freshmen, the Braves get two new transfers this season. Former Seton Academy star Alex Foster returns to the Land of Lincoln after starting his college career at Texas Tech while forward JoJo McGlaston joins the roster from Utah State. Both juniors give the Braves some much needed experience.

Season Outlook: It will be baby steps for Bradley again this season as their roster is, once again, incredibly young and inexperienced. If some new pieces continue to emerge and some of the sophomores show improvement, this could be a team with a lot of upperclass experience the next few seasons that could make for a tough out.

NCAA is taking steps to allow student-athletes to make money off their likeness


NCAA is taking steps to allow student-athletes to make money off their likeness

Bulls rookie guard Coby White has talent, an infectious smile and an afro that makes him stand out on the court. It’s a fair bet he could have made some money off his likeness while he played at North Carolina if the rules allowed it.

The NCAA is taking steps towards allowing its athletes to do so, but there’s still a long way to go in the process. The organization’s Board of Governors unanimously voted to start the process. That vote moves things to the NCAA’s three divisions “to consider updates to relevant bylaws and policies,” as it was worded in the NCAA's press release.

“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” said Michael V. Drake, the chair of the board and president of Ohio State. “Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education. This modernization for the future is a natural extension of the numerous steps NCAA members have taken in recent years to improve support for student-athletes, including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships.”

The board asked each division (Division I, Division II, Division III) to make any new rules immediately and no later than January 2021.

It’s important to note that none of the changes are final, or even imminent. It’s still relevant that the NCAA is going through the process at all, after being so strongly in favor of amateurism across the board for its student-athletes.

The potential changes would not allow for compensation based on performance or participation in a sport. Of course, the natural grey area is that higher performing athletes will be more marketable so they would be compensated on performance indirectly.

This comes after California passed legislation to allow college athletes to receive endorsement/sponsorship money and other states are pursuing similar.

This is still far from being official or finalized, but it will continue to be a major story in college sports over the next couple years.

Dave Leitao suspended 3 games, DePaul put on 3-year probation


Dave Leitao suspended 3 games, DePaul put on 3-year probation

The DePaul men's basketball team has been placed on three-year probation and head coach Dave Leitao has been suspended three games for the 2019-20 season, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.

The program was found guilty of "failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance while Leitao did not "prevent violations from occurring in his program."

A Division I Committee on Infractions panel concluded that a "former DePaul associate head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he knowingly directed the former assistant director of basketball operations to provide impermissible recruiting benefits to a recruit."

The NCAA found that three coaches knew about the situation but failed to report the infractions. DePaul will vacate all wins earned while the ineligible player competed and suffer recruiting restrictions. They were also fined $5,000 plus 1% of the men's basketball program budget.

In 2019, DePaul had their first winning season since 2007 by going 19-17.