cooley

The Secondary Break: Monday’s Links

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PC coach Ed Cooley has dropped 100 pounds as he strives to improve his health (Providence Journal)
At the end of last season Providence head coach Ed Cooley knew that something had to change. Weighing 344 pounds and with friends and family concerned about his health, Cooley changed his diet and underwent a medical procedure that has resulted in him losing 100 pounds to date. His goal: to get down to 225, which was his playing weight at Stonehill College.

Big East nostalgia in the air as No. 2 Syracuse tops St. John’s (Sports Illustrated)
Sunday’s meeting between the Orange and Red Storm brought back memories of the good old days for some, when the Big East existed without the influence of major college football. But even with those feelings being present, things aren’t the same.

Book on Illinois’ 1989 Final Four team interesting, controversial (Chicago Sun-Times)
Stephen Bardo, currently a color commentator for both the Big Ten Network and Fox Sports I, was also the starting point guard on the 1989 Final Four team at Illinois. Dubbed the “Flying Illini” due to their explosive style of play, that team is one of the best in school history. Bardo’s written a book on the experience, and some of the stories in the book have gained attention.

BYU-Utah rivalry alive and kicking (Salt Lake Tribune)
On Saturday night Utah made quite the statement within the Beehive State, soundly defeating BYU 81-64. And amidst talk of the rivalry possibly coming to an end soon, the atmosphere showed that the rivalry is still alive.

Former Georgetown forward Greg Whittington commits to Rutgers (Gannett New Jersey)
Rutgers picked up a key addition on Sunday as 6-foot-8 forward Greg Whittington made the decision to transfer to the school. Whittington was a member of the Georgetown program and sitting out the season due to a knee injury until being dismissed from the program a few weeks ago.

Illini can’t close in loss vs. Oregon (Chicago Sun-Times)
Illinois had a key victory away from home well within reach on Saturday night, but they were unable to seal the deal against No. 15 Oregon. That’s part of the process of a team that has multiple newcomers in the rotation and lacks a credible interior scoring threat. But they will be competitive.

Embiid rouses Kansas in 80-63 win over New Mexico (Kansas City Star)
While Andrew Wiggins has received much of the attention when Kansas’ crop of freshmen are discussed, he has a teammate in center Joel Embiid who’s shown significant amounts of both talent and upside. In the Jayhawks’ win over New Mexico on Saturday Embiid played a critical role in the outcome, and as the season wears on Bill Self’s going to have to give him even more minutes.

Jelling woes still linger for Kentucky’s young basketball team (Lexington Herald-Leader)
Kentucky’s loss at North Carolina on Saturday was simply the latest piece of evidence that the Wildcats have plenty of growing up to do both collectively and individually. Who are the leaders capable of bringing the players together? That’s a question the team has yet to answer, and until they do Kentucky won’t be able to reach its full potential.

VIDEO: Asheville player hits trick shot

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 18:  Kevin Vannatta #10 of the UNC Asheville Bulldogs drives against Jalen Brunson #1 of the Villanova Wildcats in the first half during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 18, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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UNC-Asheville has gotten into the trick shot game.

The basketball program’s official Twitter account posted this video of guard Kevin Vannatta nailing a shot from the balcony of Kimmel Arena.

Nice shot, huh?

Vannatta, a junior from Upper Arlington, Ohio, started all 34 games for the Bulldogs last year, averaging 11.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 50.6 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from 3-point range. It looks, though , like he might be working on extending his range.

Northwestern finds new home for 2017-18

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Northwestern has found a temporary home while its arena undergoes a nine-figure renovation.

The Wildcats will play the 2017-18 season at Allstate Arena, about 15 miles west of Evanston, Ill. in Rosemont, the school announced Tuesday.

“We are excited to partner with Allstate Arena to host Northwestern men’s basketball games during the 2017-18 season while Welsh-Ryan Arena is undergoing its renovation,” Northwestern vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips said in a statement. “The venue has a rich college basketball tradition in the Chicagoland area. I know that our fans will enjoy cheering on our team at Allstate Arena during what will be an exciting season.”

Allstate Arena previously had been home to DePaul, which is moving into its own new building this year. Capacity is around 18,000 for basketball.

Northwestern had its best season under coach Chris Collins last year, going 20-12 overall and 8-10 in the Big Ten.

The renovation to Welsh-Ryan Arena will bring the building – which opened in 1952 and last renovated in 1983 – into the 21st century by replacing wood bleachers, widening concourses, adding concessions, improving arena technology and adding new locker rooms at the cost of at least $110 million.

Construction is slated to begin in spring of 2017 and be completed in the fall of 2018.

George Washington tabs Maurice Joseph interim head coach

GW Athletics
GW Athletics
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George Washington announced on Tuesday that Maurice Joseph has been named interim head coach for the 2016-17 season.

“I am eager and well prepared to begin this journey with the 13 student-athletes in our locker room and the tight-knit group of coaches that I will rely upon heavily,” said Joseph. “It is a distinct honor to have the opportunity to be a mentor to our team in this new role. I have the utmost confidence that I will validate the trust that Provost Maltzman and Patrick Nero have placed in me, and that we will deliver a product that makes our students, alumni and fans across the globe proud of GW Basketball and the university.”

Joseph has been a part of the GW coaching staff for the last five years, a full-time assistant for the last three.

He takes over for Mike Lonergan, who coached Joseph for three years at Vermont. Lonergan was fired two weeks ago stemming from an investigation into allegations of abuse.

Lonergan’s other two assistants, Hajj Turner and Carmen Marciariello, both were interviewed for the position as well, according to sources. Turner had been Lonergan’s associate head coach for the past five years, since Lonergan took over at GW.

“In his five years at GW, Maurice has shown himself to be selflessly dedicated to the success of our student-athletes and fully committed to our department and university,” said Nero, GW’s athletic director. “His leadership ability and basketball acumen will bring focus and stability to the talented team we have this year. Our team, basketball staff and athletic department are looking forward to working together for a successful season.”

2016-17 CBT Expert Picks

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10:  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski hugs Grayson Allen #3 of the Duke Blue Devils after he fouled out against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during their 84-79 overtime loss during the quarterfinals of the 2016 ACC Basketball Tournament Verizon Center on March 10, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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We are now less than six weeks away from the start of the college basketball season, which means that it is time for us to officially get our picks on the record.

Here, our four writers pick who we think will win each league, the national title and the major awards:

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CBT Podcast: Listen as we put together the NBC Sports Preseason All-American Team

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 26:  Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats reacts in the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at KFC YUM! Center on March 26, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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We figured that it wasn’t enough just to simply list out who was on our All-America teams and who was our National Player of the Year, not when the decision is so wide open. Not when there are so many worthwhile candidates.

So while you can go and see the NBCSports.com Preseason All-American team here and you can read our feature story on Duke’s Grayson Allen, the NBCSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year, here, you can also listen along as we try to hash out just who we wanted slotted in which spot.

Because we recorded it all on a podcast.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Audioboom or anywhere else that podcasts are given away for free.

If you enjoy what you hear on this podcast, please rate and review the podcast, as it will help us reach more listeners.

Thanks for listening!

MORE: 2016-17 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule