News Round Up - Friday, Sept. 3

CORAL GABLES, FL - APRIL 01:  John Henson #22 of the West Team dunks over Dexter Strickland #7 of the East Team in the 2009 McDonald's All American Men's High School Basketball Game at BankUnited Center on April 1, 2009 in Coral Gables, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Wow, it has been a long time since I posted some thoughts here on the blog. It's been so long I almost couldn't remember my log-in. Of course, it's really only two weeks, but in the 24-hour news cycle that can feel like an eternity. In that time there has been a lot going on. Thus I wanted to share some relevant links I've been reading. Feel free to add your own in the comments after the jump.

DePaul's Lack of Respect: Inspired by Indiana's really nice idea to play a state mini-tournament each season, Rush the Court is doing its own feature by squaring off seven-man rotations from 16 different states. Illinois is in the tournament and Northwestern and the Fighting Illini both have players on the squad, but DePaul got booted by guys from Bradley and Southern Illinois. It seems a little ridiculous that RTC couldn't find a single returning player better than Braves' guard Andrew Warren on the Blue Demons' roster. Even worse? Illinois got crushed in the voting against 8-seed Michigan.
Big Ten Predictions: Illinois and Northwestern were both in ESPN's Best Case / Worst Case predictions for the Big Ten. You can check them out here, but the summary is - Illinois: Winning the Big Ten / NCAA Tournament, 5th place; Northwestern: NCAA Tournament / Shrug.

The McDonald's All-American Game is Coming to Chicago: Some of the top high school talent in the country, most of which won't be coming anywhere near the Windy City again, is going to be on display at the United Center on March 30, 2011. Also, it's pretty cool that Chicago State is going to host the slam dunk, three-point and skills competitions on March 28. It should give the the school and the Jones Convocation Center some much needed exposure. More on this as it approaches. The photo at the beginning of the post is from the 2009 game.

Northwestern is in Italy (and winning): The competition isn't exactly the quality of the international teams in Istanbul, Turkey right now for the FIBA World Championships, but the Wildcats are doing alright in Italy. The best analysis of those games has come from Welsh-Ryan Ramblings. If that doesn't give you all the Northwestern news you need check out this article about life after Kevin Coble.
Two other notes:
  1. I want to know what the "ESPN Buzzer Beater" channel is.
  2. I'll miss Fire Bill Carmody's game recaps, but thanks for the kind words about this site.
Alright, with those out of the way expect more to come. At the very least I'll be diving into news, rosters and schedules as they are officially released over the next month. It's good to be back.

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