The 'Sad State' of College Hoops on SportsNet Central


The 'Sad State' of College Hoops on SportsNet Central

It was a third straight NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday without any Illinois representation. The drought’s almost as long as today’s show was.

While Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois had encouraging seasons, and Northwestern has been building momentum, they’ll have to settle for the consolation tourneys. “SportsNet Central” on Comcast SportsNet begins a four-part series at 10:30 tonight highlighting why our locals (specifically DePaul, NU, Loyola, UIC and Illinois, which has historically drawn heavily from Chicago) have been struggling. The answers are easy (recruiting and keeping local stars home), the route to those solutions aren’t.

The only local coach we spoke with is Northwestern’s Chris Collins because he’s one of those star local players who got away (Duke). Now he’s trying to get the cream of the local crop (at least those who can be accepted) NOT to follow the example he set.

Other than Chris, we stayed away from the coaches currently in their positions to get perspective from the outside. Those who’ve been through this process before, successfully and unsuccessfully. Former players like Mark Aguirre, Kendall Gill and Dave Corzine. Former coaches like Jimmy Collins and Joey Meyer.

Successful high school head coaches like Nick Irvin, Gene Pingatore and Robert Smith. We also got some thoughts from our own David Kaplan, who was an assistant coach at Northern Illinois back in DePaul’s glory days and currently does some color commentary on games across the country. You’ll also hear from the most outspoken of our subjects, Mike Irvin, the Director and Head Coach of the AAU Mac Irvin Fire. And you’ll hear why arguably the current top point guard in the state, Morgan Park’s Charlie Moore, didn’t commit to Illinois, even though he was very interested.

Sunday night's episode, “March Madness,” shares how mad the above guests are about the current state. Monday, we dive into recruiting and relationships (or lack of) between these Division I schools and many of the top players in the Chicagoland area. Tuesday, the debate on whether a “One-and-Done” would actually help, long-term, if one of these programs caught lightning and got a blue-chipper. Finally, Wednesday, we examine a couple of theories that might help matters for these five schools in particular.

We hope you’ll check it out. It's on the 10:30 editions of “SportsNet Central” Sunday through Wednesday, leading up to yet another Big Dance that Illinois schools can only watch. Again.

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.