It’s no secret that numerous Big Ten and Big East college basketball programs make recruiting Chicago for talent a heavy priority. In the sometimes no holds barred, highest-bidder environment of college coaches though, Marquette’s reported snagging of assistant coach Isaac Chew, after he had been on the job at Illinois for a month, is particularly notable.
Marquette coach Buzz Williams is known as one of the most persistent coaches on the recruiting trail, which apparently also extends to his assistants. Chew seemed to be set as the Chicago guy for Illinois, but that only lasted a month. Now, Williams has a potential force in Chicago in Chew, who originally went to Illinois from Missouri a short time ago.
What was originally lauded as a solid recruiting asset for new Illinois coach John Groce has now turned into a back to the chalkboard moment, as Groce will need to hit a home run to replace Chew in the coming weeks. There’s an accurate clamoring that Illinois needs to be strong recruiting Chicago for the long-term success of their program. July’s evaluation period is just over a month away, and one would figure that a move will need to be made to be fully staffed for that onslaught of events.
With one Chicago-based newcomer on the roster next season in the top player in Illinois in 2012, forward Steve Taylor, and scholarship offers out to a handful of other players in Illinois, Williams no doubt has made the area a priority. With Chew, a former high school player in the Windy City, on the way to bolster his own constant recruiting efforts, Marquette is in good shape going forward recruiting-wise.
Kellon Hassenstab runs Hoopniks.com. Follow him on Twitter @hoopniks.
Wednesday’s slate of games had several wild results.
Former Ohio State walk-on turned blogger turned author Mark Titus, who is currently writing for The Ringer, joined Rob Dauster on the latest episode of the CBT Podcast to go over last night’s games. The two also discussed who is the best team in the nation at the moment, as well Frank Mason III’s rap single from several years ago #BIFM
You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Audioboom
North Carolina’s Roy Williams called fellow Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino to apologize for a fan’s behavior during Wednesday night’s game in Chapel Hill.
While leaving the floor at halftime, Pitino had to be restrained by members of the Louisville coaching staff and he and a UNC fan exchanged words as he made his way to the locker rom. There’s video of Pitino pointing and shouting at a fan, who reportedly said, “Pitino, you suck!”
“I don’t like that,” Williams said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “I mean we’re in North Carolina. We don’t have to be like everybody else. We can raise Cain. You can boo, but you don’t have to say the stuff that we as coaches have to put up with.”
“I hope that never happens at North Carolina ever again.”
No. 8 North Carolina defeated No. 7 Louisville, 74-63.
STILL TO PLAY
Georgia at Alabama (RPI: 68, KenPom: 61, next four teams), 7:00 p.m.
Nebraska at Michigan State (RPI: 43, KenPom: 55, No. 10 seed), 7:00 p.m.
Towson at UNC Wilmington (RPI: 41, KenPom: 57, No. 12 seed), 7:00 p.m.
Jim Boeheim was on the DP Show on Thursday morning, and he admitted that John Gillon’s 23-foot banked-in three at the buzzer was (shocker!) a lucky shot.
But that wasn’t the most interesting thing that he said on the show.
Patrick asked him about his future in Syracuse, and Boeheim had an interesting response.
“I don’t know what’s etched in stone these days,” Boeheim said. “I really don’t. There’s a plan in place, and we’re going to see what happens. But basically right now, I might be done this year. You just don’t know. You just have to wait until the season’s over.”
Boeheim also responded to a column written by Pete Thamel in SI that speculated on when his time in Syracuse would come to an end, saying the only accurate part of the story was that “he spelled my name right”, before adding that, like anyone else nearing the end of a career, when he has a bad day or a bad week, he thinks about calling it a career.
Creighton announced on Wednesday that injured point guard Mo Watson Jr. was suspended from the program on Feb. 13th for “alleged actions that are contrary to university policies and core values.”
The reason for that suspension, according to a report from the Omaha World-Herald, is that he is being investigated for an alleged sexual assault that happened in Omaha this month.
No charges have been filed and Watson was not arrested as of Wednesday night, according to the paper.
Watson was having an all-american season and leading the nation in assists when he tore his ACL on Jan. 16th in a win at Xavier. He underwent surgery in his hometown of Philadelphia a couple of weeks later, but he has not been a part of a Creighton team activity since his return.
Creighton is 4-5 since Watson’s injury, losing on Wednesday night at home against Providence. They’ll likely make the NCAA tournament still.
Watson is not going to participate in Senior Night festivities in Omaha next week, per the OWH.