Cincinnati, Creighton among eight teams in inaugural Emerald Coast Classic

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There will be another in-season tournament in 2014, with the Emerald Coast Classic taking place this November. On Thursday Global Sports, the group running the event, announced the eight-team field with 2014 NCAA tournament participants Cincinnati and Creighton being the headliners.

“We are extremely excited about being in the Emerald Coast Classic this November,” Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin said in the release. “We have been in a number of multi-team events with Global Sports in the past and I am sure that Maury and his staff will put together a tremendous event.”

Also in the four-team group that will meet in the semifinals on November 28 at Northwest Florida State College are Ole Miss and Middle Tennessee. In one semifinal Cincinnati, which won a share of the American Athletic Conference regular season title, will take on Middle Tennessee with Creighton and Ole Miss matching up in the other semifinal.

The tournament concludes November 29, with the semifinal winners meeting for the title and the other two semifinalists meeting in the third place game. Also participating in the event are Eastern Illinois, North Carolina Central (which represented the MEAC in the NCAA tournament), Northern Arizona and Southern.

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.