Former Auburn guard Shaquille Johnson headed to junior college

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Less than two weeks after being dismissed from the Auburn program for a violation of team rules, 6-5 guard Shaquille Johnson has reportedly found a new home.

According to Brad Winton of JucoRecruiting.com, Johnson will attend Northwest Florida State and play for new head coach Steve DeMeo in 2013-14.

As a freshman Johnson played 18.6 minutes per game, posting averages of 5.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest. An outstanding athlete, Johnson shot 41% from the field but just 27% from beyond the arc.

Johnson’s stint at Auburn came to an end due reportedly to an arrest on charges of possession of marijuana.

“We hold our student-athletes to a high standard at Auburn University in the way that they conduct themselves off the court,” head coach Tony Barbee said in a statement announcing Johnson’s dismissal from the program.

“I am very disappointed in Shaq’s choices and actions, and they won’t be tolerated. This decision is not one that I take lightly, but it is in the best interest of both the program and the student-athlete.”

Led by point guard Chris Jones, who will play at Louisville this season, Northwest Florida State was one of the best junior college programs in the country under head coach Steve Forbes. Forbes has since joined Gregg Marshall’s staff at Wichita State, with DeMeo being hired to be his replacement.

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.