Marquette transfer Jamail Jones chooses Florida Gulf Coast

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After just one year of Division I eligibility, Florida Gulf Coast has already landed a former Top 100 recruit.

Jamail Jones, a 6-6 forward who spent his last two seasons playing for Buzz Williams at Marquette, has transferred to FGCU and will be eligible to play at the beginning of the 2013-14 season.

“Jamail has the unique combination of size, athleticism, and skill level that can help him become an exceptional scorer and versatile play-maker,” head coach Andy Enfield said in a statement. “He fits in perfectly with our other talented young players in our up-tempo style of play. I could not be more excited than to welcome Jamail and his wonderful parents to the FGCU basketball family.”

Jones averaged 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds in his two seasons at Marquette, after attending high school at Montverde (Fla.), a national basketball powerhouse located in central Florida.

FGCU is building a strong foundation for itself, in the infancy of its Division I existence, also bringing in Nate Hicks, a 6-10 transfer from Georgia Tech, and 6-9 Iowa State transfer Eric McKnight.

Hicks will have to sit out the 2013-14 season, alongside Jones, but McKnight will be eligible for this upcoming season, after sitting out in 2011-12.

Those new additions will be added to a core that returns 85% of its scoring and 84% of its rebounding from last season.

The Eagles finished 15-17 last season, including 8-10 in the Atlantic Sun.

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.