Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: Northern Illinois


Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: Northern Illinois

2015-16 Results: Last season things started coming together for the Huskies as they finished 21-13 and 9-9 in the MAC. Head coach Mark Montgomery appears to have found some consistency with the roster and returns a lot of pieces this season.

Players to Watch: Junior center Marin Maric led the Huskies in scoring and rebounding as a sophomore as he put up 11.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Senior Aaric Armstead, a former Hales star, is also back after averaging 10.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Sophomore shooter Marshawn Wilson is also back after averaging 11.0 points per game and shooting 41 percent from three-point range.

Key Storylines: Northern Illinois has never won the MAC since joining in 1997 and they haven't been above .500 in league play since 2006. With expectations now being placed on this team, how will they respond to the expectations of having to win? 

Newcomers to Track: Most of the rotation returns for NIU, who does get freshman guard Eugene German in the mix. German could push for backcourt minutes if he shows that he's a playmaker and sophomore Laytwan Porter doesn't perform. 

Season Outlook: Expectations are high for NIU as they push for a NCAA tournament bid out of a very tough MAC. The conference is putting a lot of teams in the postseason and the Huskies played in the Vegas 16 last season, so they're looking to build by playing in a bigger tournament. With a lot of production returning, the time for NIU to win is now.

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.”


Loyola rewards Porter Moser with multi-year contract extension


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.