News Round Up - Thursday, Sept. 23

JACKSONVILLE, FL - MARCH 19: Luis Guzman #10 of the Temple Owls defends Jon Jaques #25 of the Cornell Big Red during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Jacksonville Veteran's Memorial Arena on March 19, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I like doing news round ups on Thursdays. It makes the week feel more complete. Not much to report this week, but a couple interesting tidbits about Chicago State scheduling, a Big Ten preview for a former player and a tribute to Alumni Gym.

I found it very interesting that Slam Magazine got a Cornell grad, Jon Jaques whose photo is there to the right, to write the Big Ten Preview this season. They couldn't find a competent writer from all of the prestigious academic universities in the Big Ten? I'm sure Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism or Indiana's National Sports Journalism Center probably would have something to say about that.
Still, Jaques did put the obligatory "Northwestern might go to the NCAA Tournament" blurb into his preview. It's the last thing in the article. I wonder if the school's sports information department just passes around a boilerplate paragraph that reporters can just stick into their stories these days. That'd be the easiest way to get publicity. Right?

That'd be all well and good, but Jaques picked Northwestern to finish seventh. Behind Minnesota? Alright, the other five make complete sense. Ohio State, Purdue, Illinois, Michigan State and Wisconsin are proven programs that dominate the Big Ten every season, but what have the Golden Gophers done to deserve such respect? Ridiculous. But we'll look over the Wildcats' schedule next week.

In other news, St. Louis University had to move its game against Chicago State because it moved its game against Dayton to accommodate a national television game on... CBS College Sports. Yup, anytime you can get national exposure on a super-premium cable channel you've got to shuffle the schedule. Though I do receive CBS College Sports, so I'll make it a point to watch that game on January 5 for scouting purposes. The Cougars will now play St. Louis on February 22. That's right in the middle of Atlantic 10 play for the Billikens and I assume the middle of Great West play for Chicago State, though no official schedule has been released.
Two Loyola notes as well. The Phoenix ran a nice piece by Sports Editor Matt Wilhalme about Alumni Gym yesterday. The Ramblers beat crosstown rival UIC 89-85 in the final men's basketball game played in the venue in 1996. Also, Loyola got a brief mention in the Miami Herald as ESPNU's 83rd ranked prospect in the class of 2011, Darnell Harris, chose Florida International over the Ramblers and Providence. Loyola could desperately use someone with Harris' size and athleticism, but at least the Ramblers were mentioned. It's always good publicity to be named when a top recruit signs.

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  • Jon Jaques is both a talented basketball player who is now playing professionally in Israel as well as a gifted journalist who wrote a blog for the NY Times and is now blogging for Slam Magazine. You may disagree with his analysis of the Big 10, but, you should not be questioning his credentials.

  • In reply to abby8:

    I'm not questioning Jaques' basketball or journalism skills at all. What I wonder about is his knowledge of the Big Ten. As someone that has written about conferences for national sites sometimes it is difficult to have a handle on the situations at every school. I think someone embedded in Big Ten country or passionate about the conference might have some better insights.

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