The Big Ten made waves when they announced that their conference tournament would be moving to Washington D.C.’s Verizon Center in March of 2017, but the move east won’t last long for the league.
On Thursday, the Big Ten announced that the United Center in Chicago and Bankers’ Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis would once again host the league tournament between 2019 and 2022, with Chicago getting the nod in the odd years and Indy in the even years.
So for those scoring at home, the future of the Big Ten tournament looks like this:
- 2015: Chicago
- 2016: Indianapolis
- 2017: DC
- 2018: Undecided
- 2019: Chicago
- 2020: Indianapolis
- 2021: Chicago
- 2022: Indianapolis
What will be interesting is to see where the Big Ten tournament ends up in 2018, as the Chicago Tribune is reporting that commissioner Jim Delany has targeted Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Big East has a long contract with MSG for their league tournament, which would mean that the Big Ten would have to be flexible with their dates, but it’s clear that with the expansion of the conference to the east coast — remember, Maryland and Rutgers are now B1G members — that Delany is making a push that direction.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.
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.