Mick Cronin has signed a contract extension that will keep him employed by Cincinnati through the 2020-2021 season, according to a report from ESPN.com.
The contract is worth about $2.2 million over the next seven years and is the fourth extension that Cronin has received in his eight years at the helm of the Bearcats. If he remains at the school for the duration, he will have spent 15 years at the university. Bob Huggins coached the Bearcats for 16 seasons.
Cincinnati went 27-7 last season and won a share of the inaugural American regular season title. While Cincinnati lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Harvard, the season was still a success considering the fact that the Bearcats were considered a borderline NCAA tournament team entering the season.
Cronin will have his work cut out for him next year, as the Bearcats will be looking to replace Sean Kilpatrick and Justin Jackson and lost former five-star recruit Jermaine Lawrence to transfer.
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.