News and Notes

I've been away, but I've been collecting some links to news and notes that might be interesting to fans of Chicago college basketball. Of course I've also been waiting for Chicago State to announce a new head men's basketball coach, but at this point that's like hoping for a sunny day. The coaching search is now over two months long and is by far the latest vacancy to be filled in NCAA Division I. Here is ESPNChicago's Scott Powers on the search thus far. He seems to think it will be ending shortly.

But onto things that are actually happening.
No talent in the NBA Draft - Want to know why the Chicago area teams are struggling? Because none of them have any top level talent. The NBA Draft is on Thursday and no players from Chicago's five schools appear in Chad Ford's two round mock draft ($$). Players that Chicago-area fans might recognize are Butler's Gordon Hayward, Tulsa's Ben Uzoh and Jerome Jordan, and Georgetown's Greg Monroe. Monroe was outplayed by DePaul's Mac Koshwal when the Hoyas played the Blue Demons in Chicago, but Koshwal hasn't been in any of the mock drafts I've read recently. He's a bubble second round player at this point.

Blue Demons at The Taste - The Taste of Chicago is an awesome event. The fact that DePaul head coaches Doug Bruno and Oliver Purnell are going to be at The Taste is a good community relations move. They're running a very short clinic. They are going to do four mini-clinics on Friday from 4-6 p.m. Good luck grabbing a spot.

Big Ten Basketball Preview - Yes, there is one already out. Chicago City Sports has a preview of the Big Ten basketball season. The pick of Michigan State to lead the conference is a no-brainer now that Tom Izzo is a Spartan "for life," but I think saying Illinois is going to tie for second and that Northwestern is going to finish fifth is pumping up the home teams a bit. (Also Note: Chicago College Basketball will be covering a bit more Illini basketball in the upcoming season as well.)
If you made me choose now my Big Ten Top 5 would be: 1. Purdue, 2. Michigan State, 3. Ohio State, 4. Wisconsin, 5. Illinois. Northwestern should be in the mix with Minnesota for 6th in the conference. Watch out for a possible breakout season from Indiana or Michigan.
Advanced Evaluative Metrics - Honestly, this study out of Northwestern is fascinating. It has been formulated around soccer, but it seems logical to me that the same types of networking theory could be applied to create advanced basketball metrics. It would take highly detailed play-by-play, but the results could be very interesting. I'm hoping to have a more in-depth conversation about this piece next week, but I just wanted to point it out.
Northwestern going international - The Northwestern Wildcats want to contend in the Big Ten and try and get an NCAA Tournament berth next season. Thus some off season team building activities are in order. The 10-day trip to Italy allows Bill Carmody to begin integrating two key pieces of next season's roster - Kevin Coble and JerShon Cobb - into the lineups and schemes. Certainly watch for more news about the trip in August.

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