Chicago mayor expected to announce plans for $300 million DePaul arena

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Sometimes, it’s amazing that DePaul has struggled as mightily as it has recently. It’s far and away has the greatest college basketball tradition of any school in the state of Illinois, short of the Illini themselves and rivals Northwestern in terms of dominating the Chicago-land collegiate landscape, athletically.

But nonetheless, the last decade has been cruel for the Blue Demons, but the Mayor of Chicago has a plan to help end the hurt, with Rahm Emanuel expected to announce plans to build a $300 million arena for DePaul, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The plans will include $100 million coming from taxpayer dollars in the Chicago area, with the university committing $100 million to the project as well.

“The plans will pimp Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s attempt to lure the Blue Demons to the United Center and the new training facility he is building near the United Center,” one source told the Chicago Sun-Times. “This really ups the competition.”

The arena will be located at McCormick Place. Earlier this year, DePaul declined an offer for a 10-year, rent-free offer from Reinsdorf to move their games to the United Center in downtown Chicago to pursue Emanuel’s offer. The plan also features hotels in the area as well as ideas for tourism trade.

The Blue Demons have played their home games in Rosemont, Ill. since 1980.

“DePaul for years has been talking about a stadium in Chicago that’s better for their basketball team, better for their fans and better to be closer to home,” Emanuel said then.

DePaul has too much tradition to be as bad as it is. Bringing in coach Oliver Purnell was suppose to help things, and he’s recruited at an average level, but there has to be more to it than that. A new arena would help things, especially if you put said arena in an area that could be a social epicenter. But then, it’ll take a strong product inside that arena to keep people filling the seats.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday night, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

North Carolina to wear black jerseys December 19 vs. UCLA

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While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.

Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.

Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.