Big Ten Basketball Tournament - First Round

Illinois guard Brandon Paul suffers fractured lower jaw

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According to the Illinois basketball program rising senior guard Brandon Paul suffered a fractured lower jaw in a game at open gym on Thursday.

According to Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune, Paul will undergo surgery today and should be able to take part in non-contact work in two weeks.

Obviously no injury is good, but if there’s a time for a player to have to deal with one during the summer would probably be it.

Paul averaged 14.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for the Fighting Illini, with his season-high being the 43-point explosion in Illinois’ 79-74 victory over Ohio State on January 10.

Paul and classmate D.J. Richardson will be key cogs in the Illini attack as John Groce enters his first season at the school after leading Ohio to the Sweet 16.

Illinois dropped nine of their final ten games in 2011-12, ultimately leading to the dismissal of Bruce Weber who is now the head coach at Kansas State.

Joseph Bertrand also returns to Champaign, but the Fighting Illini will need their returning big men to step up in light of Meyers Leonard entering the NBA Draft.

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

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.