The college basketball off season is nearing its midway point and there are still a lot of unsolved mysteries in the college basketball world. Coaches, players and schedules are all still trying to settle themselves as the season approaches. While there is a lot of exciting news coming out, more on some of those later in the week, here are three - as yet unsolved - biggest mysteries in Chicago college basketball.
Mystery #1 - Who will coach Chicago State? - The Cougars already have a trip scheduled to Hawaii next season, but they don't have a coach. There were rumors that the vacancy was going to be filled shortly, but now we're at the end of June and a coach still hasn't signed up to lead a program that is sorely in need of a figurehead. The search has been going on for almost two and a half months now. Considering that former head coach Benjy Taylor has landed safely at Hawaii, it's only fitting that a non-conference game there is the only date set in stone.
Who ends up finally taking over and trying to cleanup this mess could go a long way towards deciding exactly what Chicago State's place in the new Great West Conference, or Division I collegiate athletics in general, is. With the Great West rumored to be on the verge of losing North Dakota to the Summit League it's an important time in the young conference's history.
Mystery #2 - Where will Northwestern transfer Kyle Rowley end up? - Kyle Rowley wasn't a great fit for the Princeton offense and the Northwestern basketball program in general. He's a big guy that likes to play with his back to the basket. If Rowley is setting picks 20 feet from the basket and launching up three-point shots he's being used the wrong way. Thus he's seeking to transfer to a school that can better use his basketball skills. The fact is that at 7-feet tall and 280 pounds he has some physical girth, which is important, but he's still a very raw player.
Rowley needs to go to a team that can use his transfer season to help him gain valuable knowledge and dominant post moves. He needs to go to a team that will be able to give him solid playing time in the post in 2011-12. While the rumors that he might go to a high, high major
seem to have been ridiculous, he could certainly make a team better eventually.
Maybe he'll stay local and another Chicago team will get to watch him develop. I know this would be a long way to fall, but would Rowley consider playing at Loyola-Chicago? It actually seems like a good fit in terms of competition, time to develop and system. Again, just throwing something out there.
Mystery #3 - Who is going to play in Loyola's holiday tournament? - I guess this question really should be, "Is there going to be a Loyola holiday tournament?", but it seemed like this question was much more appropriate. The Ramblers have already agreed to play a home-and-home series with DePaul. This is a great first step, but now there are just a few home dates left. I haven't seen an official count yet, but my guess is that playing in a holiday tournament offers Jim Whitesell's club the best opportunity available to play meaningful games at the beginning of the season without compromising their non-conference schedule completely.
Keep your eye on Loyola. Already that Ramblers have been one of the most active Chicago teams during the off season and there may be more news yet to come.