NCAA Talk

Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: University of Illinois at Chicago

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Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: University of Illinois at Chicago

2015-16 Results: In head coach Steve McClain's first season he had to start rebuilding the roster and found some positive pieces out of a 5-25 season. The Flames finished 3-15 in the Horizon League as freshman Dikembe Dixson became a breakout star.

Players to Watch: Dixson returns for his sophomore season after averaging 19.8 points per game. The guard will have to improve his shooting efficiency, but he's a proven scorer who can carry a team's offense. Junior center Tai Odiase, a former Homewood-Flossmoor product, is a rim protector for the Flames as he averaged 9.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game.

Key Storylines: The Flames are trying to build into a respectable program again and this season and they have some real expectations to get wins. Seeing how a young team responds to those expectations will be interesting, as well as the continued development of players like Dixson and Odiase.

Newcomers to Track: McClain was able to reel in some talented freshmen for this team including forward K.J. Santos and Canadian guard Marcus Ottey. The 6-foot-8 Santos started his high school career at Geneva before going to prep school out East. Ottey is a 6-foot-2 guard with a reputation for scoring.

Season Outlook: With some exciting young talent and only room to go up, the Flames have reason to be optimistic heading into the season. The Horizon League still features some talented programs like Valparaiso, Green Bay and Oakland but UIC could at least be in the right direction to be competing with those programs shortly.

Jalen Rose: Fab Five beef squashed with Michigan hiring Juwan Howard

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USA TODAY

Jalen Rose: Fab Five beef squashed with Michigan hiring Juwan Howard

The Michigan Wolverines are hiring former Fab Five star Juwan Howard as the head coach of their basketball team. Aside from being a part of that prolific college basketball team, Howard is a two-time NBA champion with the LeBron James-led Miami Heat.

And he is a former local basketball hoops star at Chicago Vocational Career Academy, where we was named an All-American in 1991.

But the Fab Five have not been on the best of terms over the years, particularly current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose and Chris Webber. With Howard back in Ann Arbor, all beefs are officially over.

“It squashes any drama or any beef because we’re not going to bring that to Ann Arbor’s campus with Juwan Howard as our head coach," Rose told Mike Greenberg when asked about the beef Thursday morning on ESPN's Get Up. "The one thing that we both know is his success turning around the University of Michigan is first and foremost about him and about the players that he’s going to influence. Then it’s about us being there to support him, not being drama, not being splintered, not giving any indication of dysfunction.

"We’re going to move as a family and we’re going to do what we can to build on what John Beilein has established in Ann Arbor.”

Rose reiterated this point later in the day during a segment with fellow Michigan alum Adam Schefter.

Let's wait and see if Howard brings winning ways to Michigan to make this honeymoon period last, otherwise it could be back to business as usual.

Also, does Chris Webber feel the same way? Has Rose already talked to Webber to clear the air? Or is Rose just saying it's over on his side in the hopes Webber follows suit?

Both Webber and Rose made it clear that Howard was their preferred candidate, so they seem to be on the same page.

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Porter Moser announces he's staying at Loyola

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USA TODAY

Porter Moser announces he's staying at Loyola

Porter Morter isn't going anywhere.

After reports circulated that St. John's offered him a long-term contract worth north of $2 million per year, the 50-year-old head coach has decided instead to stay at Loyola. He's led the Ramblers to three 20-win seasons in the past five years, and guided the program in 2018 to their first Final Four appearance since 1963 — a span of 55 years.

Moser released this statement on his Twitter account on Tuesday:


Dear Rambler Nation,

I know there have been a lot of things swirling out there the past few days. Because I have coached and coached with some amazing young men, and because I have had the support of the University, friends, family, and the loyal Loyola fans; opportunities have arisen. I know that is part of the business, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm humbled, grateful, and grounded with what comes my way.

People in business say I'm crazy for passing up opportunities and the money. But what they don't know is the amazing young men I coach and the culture we have built. What they don't know are the amazing young men who are committed to come to Loyola and wear the Maroon and Gold. What they don't know are the people and friends that make up the Loyola community. And what they don't know is what makes me tick.

So what I do say to Rambler nation is ... let's keep building this culture and making a difference. Let's keep chasing championships. Let's do things better than we have ever done before.

With that said ... I'M ALL IN!