A new season of college basketball is less than 100 days away. Also, the summer recruiting period is quickly coming to a close. This combination of events has led to a number of interesting developments, including an increase in the number of links available about the Chicago-area squads. This week's links are separated into sections. In "News" you'll find previews, feature articles and other information about teams and players. In "Recruiting" you'll find all the latest news about high school players looking to come - or not come - to Chicago to play basketball. Everything is after the jump.
- Northwestern has never been to the NCAA Tournament. It is the only major conference team that has never been to the Big Dance. Rivals looked at the major conference teams that have gone through the longest droughts while asking, "Is this the year Northwestern finally breaks through?"
- If the Wildcats are going to make the tournament they'll have to put together a good showing in the Big Ten. An early analysis of the Big Ten conference by The Only Colors - a Michigan State blog - puts Northwestern at seventh in conference. The quadrant graphs make the post all the more worth checking out.
- Another coach sure to be on the hot seat this season is DePaul's head man Jerry Wainwright. Scott Powers recently took a look at what Wainwright needs to do to keep his job through the season. In short, the patience of Blue Demon fans everywhere is starting to run thin.
- Someone who is expected to help Wainwright this season is the newly named director of basketball operations, Tom Kleinschmidt. Kleinschmidt just missed the cut for the Chicago College Basketball Top 10, but will his great ability on the court translate to meaningful things off of it?
- In an interview with the Charlottesville Daily Progress, Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage mentioned Northwestern athletics as a role model for the Cavaliers program. While I think he's talking mostly about the football program, it's nice to see the Wildcats mentioned as a model for anyone.
- The Chicago Flame gave students a list of five must-see games this season from across all of UIC's athletics. One of the games they picked is Oregon State's visit to the UIC Pavilion sometime this fall.
- This is an older article from Kyle Whelliston - of the Mid-Majority - about Chicago State and David Holston in particular. It shows how big of an ambassador Holston has been for the school. He'll continue to provide that role as he heads abroad to continue his professional career.
- With the season on the way debates for who should get playing time are going to start to heat up again. One of the toughest decision in Chicago college basketball is which sophomore Northwestern should start at center. Welsh-Ryan Ramblings rehashed the center debate on Monday.
- Using the example of Ball State, The Star Press recently did a good look into how difficult it is for mid-major programs - like those in the MAC and Horizon League - to convince recruits to come to their schools once high major programs become interested. While schools can literally spend years attempting to lure a student athlete to their program is can all be gone in the instant a high-major program offers a scholarship.
- Many freshman already go to summer school before they start their college basketball careers. Now the NCAA is considering mandating it for "incoming students in need of academic help." We'll see how far this new legislation goes.
- Dominique Ferguson is one of the top players in the Class of 2010. He was on the map of a number of programs, including DePaul, and is the #8 player in the ESPN 100 list. That's why it surprised everyone when he committed to Isiah Thomas and Florida International University.
- Northwestern recruit Will Sheehey is another example of the power of AAU basketball in the recruiting process. Before this summer he was a little-known player from Florida. Sheehey had three scholarship offers before the season and now he says he has close to 13. Read all about his summer at Purple Reign. (Scout.com membership required.)
- UIC gained the commitment of another recruit on Thursday. Rising senior Kenny Stevenson chose the Flames over Loyola, Ball State, Eastern Illinois and Illinois State.