NCAA Talk

The 'Sad State' of College Hoops on SportsNet Central

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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.

Dave Leitao suspended 3 games, DePaul put on 3-year probation

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USA TODAY

Dave Leitao suspended 3 games, DePaul put on 3-year probation

The DePaul men's basketball team has been placed on three-year probation and head coach Dave Leitao has been suspended three games for the 2019-20 season, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.

The program was found guilty of "failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance while Leitao did not "prevent violations from occurring in his program."

A Division I Committee on Infractions panel concluded that a "former DePaul associate head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he knowingly directed the former assistant director of basketball operations to provide impermissible recruiting benefits to a recruit."

The NCAA found that three coaches knew about the situation but failed to report the infractions. DePaul will vacate all wins earned while the ineligible player competed and suffer recruiting restrictions. They were also fined $5,000 plus 1% of the men's basketball program budget.

In 2019, DePaul had their first winning season since 2007 by going 19-17. 

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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