How late did you stay up last night? Was it late enough to catch a 12:30 a.m. ET tip-off?
If you didn’t, we don’t blame you, but you missed Charlotte’s 67-59 victory over Northeastern to win the Great Alaska Shootout title in Anchorage.
“Just an honor. For this tournament being 35 years old,” Charlotte coach Alan Major said on winning the championship. “I’m really happy for JT Thompson. Last time he was here, he lost to Butler in OT. He said before the game, ‘How many chances in life do you get to go back and finish something?’ So I’m happy for him, but it’s just an honor to have a banner in here among some pretty elite company.”
The Great Alaska Shootout might not be the tournament that it used to be, eclipsed by the Maui Invitational and, more recently, what looks to be a perennially strong field in Atlantis, but Charlotte defeated Texas State, Oral Roberts, and Northeastern to win the title.
Charlotte had three stand-outs in the tournament, with Pierria Henry being named tournament MVP and Chris Braswell and Terrence Williams named to the All-Tournament team.
The 49ers improve to 6-0 on the season and return home to take on East Carolina on Dec. 1.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
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.
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.