God (Shammgod) is Ed Cooley’s Co-Pilot

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“Ray, when someone asks if you’re a god, you say YES!”

With all due respect to Ghostbusters, some teams don’t just need a god, they need God with a capital “G”. Providence College, picked by most pundits to come in dead last in the Big East, has called in the big guns. God Shammgod, who ran the point for the Friars in the mid-1990s before embarking on a lengthy professional career both foreign and domestic, was recently hired as an assistant coach at his alma mater.

Shammgod spent part of his summer teaching basketball clinics for area youth, sharing the secrets of a wicked crossover along with a super-serious message to stay in school and get a solid education. It’s something he knows plenty about; his role on the PC bench is “Undergraduate Student Assistant Coach” because Shammgod is learning and teaching at the same time.

The Providence Journal spells it out:

At 35, Shammgod has walked a long road since he left Providence College as a 19-year-old sophomore point guard to go to the NBA. That road has led him right back to Rhode Island.

Shammgod didn’t finish college after he left PC, but now he is again a student there, and has found a new family in coach Ed Cooley and all the folks who run the basketball and sports programs. He is studying education, hoping to be a basketball coach, and getting pointers from Cooley and other mentors.

Of course, this is all well and good. I’m happy Shammgod is back to finish his abandoned degree. But my interest in him transcends his basketball exploits. Before Troy Machir and I combined our #AllNameTeam efforts this season, I used to publish my own list of great monikers, awarding the God Shammgod Trophy to the player with the best combination of name and stats. No name-obssessed writer can resist lines like this one, which appears in Shammgod’s official bio:

“After his NBA career, God played in the Chinese Basketball Association for several teams, including the Zhejian Cyclones and Shanxi Yujun. He has played professionally in several countries, including Poland and Saudi Arabia.”

Welcome back to college hoops, God.

(Gigantic h/t to @BFoley82 of College Baseball Daily)

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.