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Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: DePaul

Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: DePaul

2015-16 results: Dave Leitao returned to the sidelines for the Blue Demons as they finished 9-22 and 3-15 in the Big East. Turning over the roster and getting new players is a key to Leitao's recruiting efforts the first two seasons and this roster featured some talented pieces for the future.

Players to watch: Senior guard Billy Garrett Jr. has been a huge part of the team the last three years and the former Morgan Park star is back for his final season. Garrett's major help came in the form of sophomore Eli Cain, as the 6-foot-6 wing put up 10.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per game last season.

[RELATED: Local college hoops 2016-17 preview - Illinois State]

Key storylines: The Blue Demons are hoping that a group of newcomers can help make them competitive this season as the Class of 2017 recruiting haul — including transfers Max Strus and Austin Grandstaff — is something to get excited about.

Newcomers to track: Freshman Brandon Cyrus enters with strong expectations to provide slashing and athleticism this season and he could be a nice future piece to compliment with Cain. Graduate transfer senior Chris Harrison-Docks and freshman Devin Gage, who won the Class 4A Illinois state title with Curie this past year, should add depth with more capable ball handling.

Season outlook: DePaul isn't going to compete in the Big East this year, but they're going to be in more games as they have some intriguing perimeter talent. If the Blue Demons can play small and withstand in rebounding and rim protection, there could be some exciting moments for DePaul fans this season as Cain and Cyrus could be fun to watch. 

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.