Sun Belt Conference

New logos represent ‘new beginning’ for Sun Belt Conference

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One byproduct of conference realignment has been the rebranding of some leagues, mainly to display the charting of a new path. That’s the case for the Sun Belt Conference, which will welcome multiple new members on July 1.

The Sun Belt unveiled new primary and secondary logos on Sunday, as well as its new mantra of “Together We Rise.” Also unveiled were team-specific logos for each of the 14 schools that will call the league home in 2014.

The Sun Belt Conference is now empowered by a new brand identity that capitalizes on 4 key principles (AMBITIOUS, AUTHENTIC, LOYAL, ADVENTUROUS). In addition, a new identity will represent the reinvigoration of the Sun Belt Conference brand through several points of uniqueness:

  • The chosen identity highlights the sun as a powerful and iconic expression for the conference that suggests unity, strength, promise and ambition.
  • The individual parts of the icon combine to create a unified whole and represent strength in togetherness; a foundational value at the core of the Sun Belt Conference brand.
  • The band of blue across the diameter of the icon symbolizes the Sun “Belt” region, while dually creating the feeling of a sun breaking the horizon at the dawn of a new day.

The primary logo:

Sun Belt Conference

Four current members (FAU, FIU, Middle Tennessee and North Texas) will join Conference USA on July 1, with Western Kentucky following suit on July 1, 2014.

The Sun Belt adds three members this summer (Georgia State, UT-Arlington and Texas State) and two more in 2014 (Appalachian State and Georgia Southern), with Idaho and New Mexico State joining for football only in 2014.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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.