Barack Obama

President Obama meets with Wisconsin basketball team during campaign stop


President Obama likely won’t need much help winning the youth vote in November’s presidential election, but his decision to meet with the Wisconsin basketball team could very well have secured the votes of 16 young men in the Badger State.

After a Twitter campaign by forward Zach Bohannon and some convenient connections to the Obama campaign, the Wisconsin team was able to score a few minutes with Obama before a campaign stop in Madison this week.

The players only got close to five minutes with Obama (and a shoutout to start his day’s speech at the rally), but the president was able to flex his basketball intelligence, according to Yahoo!.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Bohannon told the site. “He said, ‘Now I’ve got a challenge for you. We all know you guys can win at home. The true test is whether you guys can win on the road.’ We’re like, ‘Holy crap, he knows about our home-court advantage?'”

Obama’s ties to the college game are deep, with brother-in-law Craig Robinson at the head of the Oregon State program. He has also been known to attend games, including the First Four games in Dayton last season with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

As for Bohannon, he aspires to be a politician after basketball and, if his ability to arrange a meeting with the president on short notice is any indication, he might understand the power of social media just as much as the famously savvy Obama campaign.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, 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
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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.