Kennesaw State head coach Lewis Preston takes leave of absence

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The start of the 2013-14 season has been a tough one for the Kennesaw State Owls, as they currently have a record of 3-12 and have lost seven straight games ahead of their Atlantic Sun home opener against East Tennessee State on Saturday afternoon. Things got a little tougher on Thursday afternoon, as the school announced that head coach Lewis Preston will take a temporary leave of absence for “medical and personal reasons.”

Preston, who is in his third season as the head coach at Kennesaw State, spent three seasons on Ed DeChellis’ staff at Penn State prior to being hired by the Atlantic Sun school. According to the release associate head coach Jimmy Lallathin will assume the head coaching duties in Preston’s absence. In regards to when Preston could rejoin the program, no timetable was given.

Of Kennesaw State’s three wins only one came against a Division I opponent, as they beat Chattanooga 73-69 on November 19. All seven defeats in the team’s current losing streak have been by double digits, with the closest margin being 17 points (losses to Kent State and Georgia Tech).

h/t CBS Sports

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.