James Dickey

Former Houston head coach James Dickey joins Travis Ford’s staff at Oklahoma State

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After spending four seasons as head coach at Houston, James Dickey announced in late March that he was stepping down to attend to private family matters. And just over a month later Dickey has returned to the coaching ranks, returning to Stillwater to join Travis Ford’s coaching staff at Oklahoma State. The news was announced by the school Wednesday afternoon.

“I’m excited and honored and want to thank Coach Ford for the opportunity to join his staff. I have followed his playing and coaching career and have great respect for who he is and what he’s accomplished,” Dickey said in the school release. “I’m thrilled about returning to Oklahoma State and living in Stillwater. My family is here and this is a great place to live and work.

“Cowboy basketball is special and has a knowledgeable, passionate fan base and a very loyal, enthusiastic student body. It will be exciting to be back in historic Gallagher-Iba Arena. Coach Ford has a tremendous staff which I look forward to being a part of as we build on the great tradition of OSU basketball.”

Dickey moves into the position formerly held by Steve Middleton, who was not retained at the end of the 2013-14 season, and he joins Butch Pierre and Chris Ferguson on Ford’s coaching staff.

This will be Dickey’s second stint in Stillwater, as he was a member of Eddie Sutton’s coaching staff from 2002-08. The most successful season during that run was the 2003-04 campaign, with the Cowboys winning the East Region and reaching the 2004 Final Four in San Antonio.

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.