Bob Huggins

Report: Forward Elijah Macon cleared to attend West Virginia

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Formerly a commitment in West Virginia’s 2012 recruiting class, 6-8 power forward Elijah Macon was forced to delay his enrollment in order to attend prep school. One year later, Macon’s been cleared to attend the school this season according to Mitch Vingle of the Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette. Of course, this means that Macon has still yet to be cleared to play.

The addition of the Huntington Prep product (if cleared to play) is an important one for the Mountaineers, who lost both Deniz Kilicli and Aaric Murray from last year’s team. The 2012-13 campaign was a disappointing one for head coach Bob Huggins, and while he may not have a great deal of interior depth this season this may be a better mix.

Macon would join a rotation that doesn’t have a great amount of experience, with junior Kevin Noreen (3.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg) being the most experienced returnee. The Mountaineers did manage to add some talented players to the front court, with former URI big man Jonathan Holton and freshman Devin Williams among the newcomers.

Holton had some legal issues to clear up before being allowed to join the program, and with that done the former Atlantic 10 All-Freshman Team selection has the talent needed to be an impact newcomer in the Big 12. Adding Macon to the mix would only make the Mountaineers better inside.

But if last season did anything, it reiterated the importance of team chemistry to a successful program. If West Virginia can improve in this area, they’ve got a shot at improving on their 13-19 record (6-12 Big 12) of a season ago.

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.