Bruce Weber

Bruce Weber thanks Illinois fans in a full-page ad

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The end for Bruce Weber at Illinois wasn’t a pretty one as the Fighting Illini lost 12 of their final 14 games, ultimately resulting in his being let go by the school.

But that didn’t prevent the new Kansas State head coach from reaching out to thank Illinois fans.

Weber took out a full-page ad in Sunday’s Champaign News Gazette, thanking everyone in the Illini Nation for a “memorable nine years.”

Weber, who began his head coach career at Southern Illinois, went 210-101 during his time at Illinois, leading the Fighting Illini to the 2005 national title game.

But he won just two NCAA tournament games after that season and missed the Big Dance in three other seasons, leading to his dismissal and the hiring of John Groce.

Weber taking out the advertisement shows a level of class that many coaches would not display after being relieved of their duties.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Clemson lands 2017 guard

Brad Brownell
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Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.

The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.

Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.

Arizona’s Tarczewski out 4-to-6 weeks

Kaleb Tarczewski, Sean Miller
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Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.

The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.

Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.