SIU-Edwardsville Athletics

SIU-Edwardsville announced addition of Mitch Gilfillan to coaching staff

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SIU-Edwardsville head coach Lennox Forrester has completed his coaching staff for the 2013-14 season, as it was announced that former Ball State assistant Mitch Gilfillan has made the move to the Ohio Valley Conference school.

Gilfillan spent the last four seasons at Ball State as an assistant to Billy Taylor, who was replaced by former Arizona associate head coach James Whitford in the spring. That change ultimately led Gilfillan to Edwardsville, where he joins associate head coach Matt Laur and assistant Deryl Cunningham on Forrester’s staff.

“I want to thank Coach Forrester and SIUE for the opportunity to join the men’s basketball program,” Gilfillan said in the release. “SIUE is filled with promise and potential in one of the most underestimated conferences in the country – the OVC.  I want to help the Cougars reach new heights on and off the court.”

As for Laur, he’d been a member of Forrester’s staff for the last five seasons before receiving his promotion to associate head coach. The Cougars will look to rebound from a 9-18 campaign in 2012-13, and they’ll need to account for the graduation of leading scorer Jerome Jones (16.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and leading rebounder Mark Yelovich (11.6, 5.9) in order to do so.

Junior guard Kris Davis is the Cougars’ leading returnee, as he averaged 11.7 points per game in 2012-13.

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.