Chris Jones

Louisville-bound point guard Chris Jones named NABC JUCO Player of the Year

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On Tuesday, Northwest Florida State sophomore point guard and Louisville commit Chris Jones was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Junior College Player of the Year.

The 5-foot-10 point guard averaged 22.9 points per game in his final season at Northwest Florida State, leading the Raiders to their second consecutive national championship game appearance. Jones ended his junior college career with a 62-6 record over the course of two seasons.

“He’s just a great player,” said Northwest Florida State head coach Steve Forbes said in a school statement earlier this month when Jones was selected as an All-American.. “He works hard and he deserves everything he gets. He has had a great two years here and I really think being here has helped Chris a lot. He has matured both mentally and physically, and he’s a better player now than when he got here.”

Jones will need to translate the success he had in the JUCO ranks to the D1 level, as the Cardinals begin their title defense in October without the leadership of senior guard Peyton Siva.

Louisville returns Russ Smith, Chane Behanan, Wayne Blackshear, Montrezl Harrell and Luke Hancock from this season’s title team while losing center Gorgui Dieng to the draft.

Rick Pitino will look to Jones and incoming freshman Terry Rozier (Hargrave Military Academy/Shaker Heights, Ohio) to help with the ballhandling duites, especially with sophomore guard Kevin Ware returing from his broken leg. Shooting guard Anton Gill (Hargrave Military Academy/Raliegh, N.C.) and power forward Akoy Agau (Omaho Central High, Omaho, Neb.) are also members of Louisville’s incoming class.

“It looks like Chris made a great choice of where to finish his college career,” Forbes added. “I know he’s ready to get up there. They are getting a good player.”

Photo courtesy of @NWF_Raiders

Terrence is also the lead writer at 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.
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.