John Wilkins, Bryant Allen, Demetric Williams

Bryant Allen dismissed from Illinois State program

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Bryant Allen’s career at Illinois State has come to an end.

Allen has been kicked off the team, according to The Associated Press, being dismissed for the standard “violation of team rules.” Though according to previous reports, Allen was arrested Sunday morning on unspecified drug charges following a traffic stop on campus. He has yet to be charged.

In a release, coach Dan Muller said that Allen, who would’ve been a senior, may be able to stay in school and earn his degree, but he will not be a member of the basketball team, obviously.

“Bryant has violated our team rules and I am very disappointed in him,” said Muller in a statement Monday,. “I will continue to try to help and encourage Bryant to finish his degree, but it will not be as a Redbird-student athlete.”

The dismissal cripples a Redbird program that is already hurting for proven talent. Gone is Jackie Carmichael, who exhausted his eligibility. Jon Ekey elected to transfer to Illinois. Johnny Hill chose to leave the program, as did Jordan Threloff (Northern Illinois) and Zeke Upshaw (Hofstra). In total, four players return off last season’s roster.

Allen, however, is the first to be forced to leave the program.

The Maplewood, Mo. native started 30 games last season for Illinois State last season and looked to be the lone returning starter for the Redbirds. The 6-1, 180-pound Allen averaged 8.6 points, 1.9 assists and 1.8 rebounds last year. He spent his first season in college as a walk-on at Minnesota in 2009-10. He began his Illinois State career as a member of the football team.

Muller, although in his first season as head coach, had a disappointing year last season, given the expectations for the team in the Missouri Valley Conference. Looks like things aren’t going to get any easier, at least not in the near future, with an entirely new starting five next year.

Muller and his staff have a three-man freshman class of Tony Wills, Paris Lee and Anthony Beane, Jr., all three star recruits according to Scout.com, paired with five junior college transfers coming in for the 2013-14 season.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

USC athletic director Pat Haden to step down in June

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LOS ANGELES (AP) University of Southern California athletic director Pat Haden says he will retire on June 30.

USC President Max Nikias made the announcement Friday.

Haden has run the athletic department for 5 1/2 years, leading the Trojans through a multiyear stretch of NCAA sanctions against its vaunted football program. He created a large NCAA compliance program and improved graduation rates and grade point averages across the athletic department.

The former USC quarterback also received criticism for the football program’s relative underachievement and for his handling of coach Steve Sarkisian, who has sued the school over his termination last year.

Nikias says Haden’s department also raised over $400 million during his tenure.

Nikias says Haden will start a one-year job guiding the renovation of the Coliseum after he retires.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Ivy League’s best meet in New Haven

Columbia guard Maodo Lo, right, steals the ball from Northwestern forward Aaron Falzon, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Evanston, Ill.  (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Columbia at Yale, 5:00 p.m.

The two best teams in the Ivy League, with matching 4-0 league records, meet for the first time this season. The Lions were close to suffering their first loss last weekend, but an Alex Rosenberg jumper as time expired gave the Lions the win at reigning champion Harvard. Rosenberg’s one of four players averaging at least 12.2 points per game for Kyle Smith’s team, with senior guard Maodo Lo leading the way at 15.8 per contest.

They’ll face a Yale rotation led offensively by point guard Makai Mason (15.7 ppg, 4.1 apg), and the front court tandem of Justin Sears and Brandon Sherrod has been outstanding. The winner get a leg up in the Ivy race, with the rematch scheduled for March 5 in New York City (regular season finale).

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: Central Michigan at Akron, 8:00 p.m.

Two of the top teams in the Mid-American Conference meet at the JAR, as Akron looks to extend its win streak to six straight. The Zips’ balanced offensive attack has been led by forward Isaiah Johnson (12.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg), who currently leads the team in both scoring and rebounding. As for the visiting Chippewas, guards Braylon Rayson and Chris Fowler combine to average 32.7 points per game, with Fowler also responsible for a MAC-best 6.3 assists per contest. CMU’s had some struggles on the defensive glass in league play, ranking 11th in that category, but they’ve done a better job defensively than they did in non-conference play.

OTHER NOTABLE GAMES

  • MAAC leader Monmouth is back in action, as they host a Fairfield team led by one of the conference’s best players in senior forward Marcus Gilbert. The Hawks have a deep lineup led by junior guard Justin Robinson, who at this point in time is the likely frontrunner for MAAC Player of the Year honors.
  • Looking to catch Monmouth is Iona, which is a game behind the Hawks at 9-3. A.J. English and the Gaels visit Canisius in a matchup that should not lack for offense. Iona’s more inclined to run, but Canisius doesn’t lack scorers either with guard Malcolm McMillan leading four players averaging double figures.
  • Given the fact that they’re 1-3 in Ivy League play, Harvard’s essentially in the spoiler role unless some chaos breaks out at the top end of the standings. The Crimson can help in that regard with a win at Princeton, with the Tigers (2-1) a game behind Columbia and Yale in the loss column. Princeton’s been the better offensive team this season, thanks in large part to junior forward Henry Caruso who leads the team in both scoring and rebounding.