Gene Teague

Seton Hall rolls past Lafayette, Gene Teague suffers scary injury to head

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The result of tonight’s game between Seton Hall and Lafayette was never in doubt. The Pirates got out to a 47-15 lead at halftime, and the only question was whether they would double up Lafayette’s score. They didn’t, but the final score was 90-58 — a true throttling from the opening tip to final buzzer.

The story of the game from quaint Walsh Gym — Seton Hall’s 2,600 on-campus arena — won’t be the game itself, but rather Gene Teague.

Teague was having himself a game (18 points and 11 rebounds) up until a scary injury left him on the ground motionless for about 15 minutes. Teague received a pass from Fuquan Edwin, and while he left his feet attempting to lay the ball home, he was undercut by Lafayette forward Dan Trist with 14:43 remaining in the second half.

It wasn’t a dirty or malicious play at all, just a very unfortunate one. Trist was lying on the ground after attempting to take a charge from Edwin, and Teague’s left leg collided with his shoulder, resulting in a nasty spill.

Teague was taken off on a stretcher with his forehead taped down so as to prevent any movements. With the game in hand, the only thing that mattered the rest of the night was Teague’s well-being. Fortunately, reports began to surface that it wasn’t an injury to Teague’s neck, but rather a head injury with a probable concussion.

Willard has since confirmed these reports:

Teague has been a monster for Seton Hall in the front-court this season. The transfer from Southern Illinois, who is now in his second year with Seton Hall, has recorded a double-double in six of his last seven games.

It remains to be seen how long Teague will be sidelined for, but this certainly is a big blow.

Seton Hall has already dealt with their fair share of injuries and issues this season. Sterling Gibbs returned tonight after suffering a knee injury against St. Peter’s that caused him to miss the following game against Eastern Washington. The Pirates have also coped with injuries to Patrik Auda and Edwin. Not to mention, Tom Maayan also had to leave the program to rejoin the Israeli army.

The Pirates didn’t figure to really factor into the Big East race this season, but with how well Teague had been playing, along with a tough back-court consisting of Gibbs and Edwin, Seton Hall would have posed a threat to teams.

Seton Hall now has to prepare for Big East play, which begins next Tuesday at Providence.

Knee injury sidelines Illinois forward Leron Black

Josh Hart, Leron Black
Associated Press
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Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.

Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.

Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).

In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.

Coach Hamilton likes mix on Florida State basketball roster

ACC Basketball Tournament: Florida State v North Carolina
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State is the only team in the Atlantic Coast Conference that returns all five of its starters from last season.

For most teams that would be cause for celebration. For coach Leonard Hamilton it means he is hoping the struggles of the past two seasons have been valuable experience.

The Seminoles had their first practice on Wednesday as they are looking to bounce back from a season in which they went 17-16 and didn’t play in a postseason tournament for the first time in 10 years.

“We have five starters returning from a team that won 17 games. We have guys that have been around, who know their shortcomings and can pass on their wisdom to the younger players,” Hamilton said.

With an experienced roster and a highly regarded recruiting class, Hamilton is hoping to lead the Seminoles back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012, which is also the year they won the ACC Tournament.

Jarquez Smith, the leading returning scorer from last season, said the open gyms before the start of practice have been extremely competitive as the incoming recruiting class has tried to assert itself early.

“We’ve been going at each other’s neck and it has gotten very competitive,” Smith said. “Everyone is fighting for their position because the guys coming off the bench are just as athletic as who is on the court.”

The newcomers feature Dwayne Bacon (a McDonald’s All-American selection), Terance Mann (the Gatorade Player of the Year in New Hampshire) and Malik Beasley (the Georgia 1A Player of the Year). There’s also Chris Koumadje, who at 7-foot-4 will be the tallest player in school history, and Benji Bell, who helped lead Northwest Florida State to the JUCO National Title.

“This is a very confident and focused group of inexperienced players,” Hamilton said. “They want to make something special happen but aren’t taking anything for granted.”

Two things that Hamilton will look to work on during preseason practices is defense and figuring out his rotation. The Seminoles suffered from a lack of depth last season but this year he could have a roster that goes 10 deep and allows him to go to more of a full-court pressing style of defense.

Xavier Rahan-Mayes led the team in scoring last season, averaging 14.9 points en route to becoming the first freshman in ACC history to score 30 or more points three times. The one thing he said he noticed in preseason practices were that everyone played off each other’s strengths.

Florida State’s first exhibition game is Nov. 2 against Lynn University before opening the season on Nov. 15 against Nicholls State.

“I think we have a pretty good combination of experience and an influx of new players. Any time you have that type of scenario you appreciate it,” Hamilton said. “It looks like we have it moving in the right direction. We’ve had a good offseason and regrouped.”