Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: Notre Dame

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Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: Notre Dame

2015-16 results: The Fighting Irish continued its recent success by advancing to the Elite Eight for the second consecutive season as they finished 24-12 with an 11-7 mark in the ACC. With five double-figure scorers, Notre Dame had one of the best and most balanced offenses in the country last season.

Players to watch: Many are expecting a big senior from senior wing V.J. Beachem as he put up 12.0 points and 3.9 rebounds per game while shooting 44 percent from three-point range. Senior Steve Vasturia is also back at guard after putting up 11.4 points and 3.2 assists per game. Junior Bonzie Colson is also returning after a breakout sophomore campaign in which he put up 11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

[RELATED: Local college hoops 2016-17 preview - DePaul]

Key storylines: Finding a way to replace guard Demetrius Jackson and center Zach Auguste is going to be key but head coach Mike Brey can lean on a likely starting lineup that includes two seniors and three juniors. Moving the ball and getting steady guard play seems manageable but Auguste was a key on both ends of the floor for Notre Dame. The team also has to manage a brutal ACC conference that could have double-digit NCAA tournament teams this year. 

Newcomers to track: The Irish get three true freshmen and one redshirt freshman on the roster this season. Guard Temple Gibbs, the younger brother of former Seton Hall and UConn star Sterling Gibbs, joins the backcourt while Canadian Nikola Djogo could surprise. Redshirt freshman Elijah Burns and forward John Mooney could help the frontcourt depth.

Season outlook: It would be a lot to ask Notre Dame to make the Elite Eight for the third consecutive season but the new expectations for this program is to fight for the Final Four. As long as Notre Dame can navigate the ACC and get a decent seed in the NCAA tournament, they'll be as battle-tested as any team in the country and their offense could be tough to stop in the tournament.

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.