After leading San Diego to the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament last season, head coach Bill Grier has been rewarded with a contract extension. The school made the official announcement earlier this week.
“We have made progress getting back to a winning record, and reaching postseason play. There is still much work to be done,” San Diego executive director of athletics Ky Snyder said in the release. “I have great confidence in coach Grier and his staff to continue elevating this program. ”
In seven seasons as the head coach at San Diego, Grier has put together a record of 102-128 and has led the Toreros to their only three postseason wins in program history. Prior to winning two games in last season’s CIT, Grier also led San Diego to a win over UConn in the 2008 NCAA tournament.
San Diego finished the 2013-14 season with an 18-17 record, going 7-11 in WCC play. The Toreros, who will take a summer trip to Rome in August, return three of their top four scorers from a season ago. Guards Johnny Dee (16.6 ppg), Duda Sanadze (12.9, 3.7 rpg) and Christopher Anderson (10.3, 3.7, 6.2 apg) all return, but San Diego will have to account for the graduation of leading rebounder Dennis Kramer (11.5, 6.6).
Two key players in that regard will be forwards Jito Kok and Semi Fajemisin, with the former averaging 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game in 2013-14.
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.
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.