Carmody extended, Melvin in a Top 25, Birton suspended

Brad Birton grabs a rebound

Three pieces of important news that you might've missed yesterday from around college basketball in Chicago.

Bill Carmody receives contract extension from Northwestern - This one really wasn't a surprise because Carmody had this extension offer in hand before the season even began. Once the school did that it was just a matter of time. The extension set off a little bit of a Twitter storm about how difficult the job of coaching the Wildcats is. I don't think it's the "toughest" job in Division I, but it's certainly one of the most difficult high-major jobs in the country and I think Carmody has done a good job with what he's been given over the past 10 seasons.
Welsh-Ryan Ramblings did a great job taking a look at both sides of the Carmody debate and came to a conclusion of well not much. It's understandably tough to put this move in perspective. Still, I think this team can make an NCAA Tournament with Carmody as its head coach. Whether that happens this season, in 2011-12, or beyond is another question.

DePaul's Cleveland Melvin is in Basketball Prospectus' Top 25 Freshman - This is an honor that is well deserved. Amongst all the freshman in the country Melvin was selected as one of the Top 25 in a group of his peers from his play on a statistical basis. He's ranked 16th on the strength of his 110.0 offensive rating, low turnover rate and strong block percentage. These are all things we've praised in the past, but congratulations to Melvin for receiving this award.

Brad Birton will miss UIC's game against Milwaukee - The trip up to Wisconsin is going to be a big one for UIC and the fact that Birton will miss the next one doesn't help. Of course we knew this suspension was coming because a flagrant foul that warrants ejection draws an automatic suspension, but it still stings. 
That said, I'm excited for what's planned for the Flames' trip up north. I'll have a new voice joining the site to help with covering UIC. More on that tomorrow. Also, more basketball tomorrow as DePaul is in action against Seton Hall and Northwestern plays at Iowa.

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