Fordham extends contract of coach Tom Pecora through 2016-17 season

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Fordham has signed head coach Tom Pecora to a contract extension that will keep him in the Bronx through the 2016-17 season, the school announced Tuesday.

Pecora, a New York City native, has been Fordham head coach for the past two seasons, having come over from Hofstra in 2010.

The Rams finished 10-19 last season, including 3-13 in the Atlantic 10.

“I’m grateful to the University for making this commitment to myself, my staff and my family,” Pecora said in a statement. “Since our first day at Fordham we have been doing everything possible to get this tradition-rich program back to where it should be and we will continue to work hard in order to accomplish our goals and represent Fordham in a first-class manner.”

In 2012-13, the Rams will be led by senior Chris Gaston, a versatile forward who averaged 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds this past season.

Pecora has two players coming in from the Class of 2012, and recently scored a commitment from former TCU commit Ryan Rhoomes, a New York native.

Rhoomes is working toward eligibility.

Fordham will be welcoming two major additions to the Atlantic 10, Butler and Virginia Commonwealth. News surfaced Tuesday afternoon that Butler would become part of the conference next season.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.