Pat Skerry

Towson lands 2014 guards Byron Hawkins and Jordan McNeil

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Monday was a productive day for Pat Skerry and the Towson Tigers. Skerry secured commitments from two in-state guards for the Class of 2014.

Mount St. Joseph High (Md.) senior wing Jorden McNeil picked Towson over offers from College of Charleston, Toledo and UMBC while Clinton Christian School combo guard Byron Hawkins chose the Tigers over schools such as St. Joseph’s, George Washington and George Mason.

“It’s local and their basketball team was on the rise,” McNeil told the Baltimore Sun on Monday afternoon, following his decision. “I really liked it. I didn’t have any reason to wait, so I made the decision.”

“My visit was just so great and I really enjoyed my time there with the team, and the school was so fun,” Hawkins told Jamie Shaw after he made his pick. “I have a lot of faith in Coach Skerry and the staff, so that helped.”

The future backcourt mates join Milford Mill Academy small forward Allen Costley and Saint John’s High shooting guard Mike Morsell in Towson’s Class of 2014.

Skerry is continuing to move Towson in the right direction. He had success on the floor with a 17-win turnaround this past season, and is putting together nice work on the recruiting trail with four commits in its current recruiting class from the Baltimore-Washington D.C. area.

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.