Rick Majerus

Rick Majerus will not return as Saint Louis coach


Friday, Saint Louis University announced that head coach Rick Majerus will not return as basketball team’s head coach.

Majerus, who took a leave of absence from the Billikens in late August, is still undergoing evaluation and treatment for an ongoing, serious heart condition.

The 64-year-old head coach, took Saint Louis to the NCAA tournament last season finishing 28-6 (12-4 Atlantic 10)

“Coach Majerus’ health is of the utmost importance, and our thoughts and prayers are with him as he faces his challenges,” said Director of Athletics Chris May in a press release. “We are thankful for Rick’s efforts as he succeeded by all accounts as our head men’s basketball coach. This is an exciting season for the program, and we think it is important to communicate, with transparency, to the student-athletes, staff and our loyal fans that Rick will not be returning.

“The focus for this season does not change,” said May. “Rick built this team to be in a position to compete for championships, and we will move forward with that same goal. We will continue to invest all of our resources to ensure that this team, under the leadership of interim head coach Jim Crews, is put in the best position possible to succeed.”

In five seasons at SLU, Majerus posted a 93-67 record. The former Utah and Ball State coach, helped build Saint Louis into a contending program in the A-10, a conference the Billikens joined in 2005.

Even without Majerus on the sideline Saint Louis still entered the season with high expectations. The Billikens received 10 first-place votes and were picked to finish second in the conference, behind St. Joseph’s.

SLU is 1-1 on the season, playing Texas A&M on Monday.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
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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.