Frequently Asked Questions: College Court Report Fan Voted Awards

Quinton Hooker got a ton of support from family, friends, and the North Dakota athletics department last season, en route to being named the College Court Report Player of the Year. (Source: Russell Hons – North Dakota Basketball)

CALGARY, Alta. — For the third season in a row, we turn to the fans to hand out some hardware.

Starting at the end of February, and stretching into the first week of April, the College Court Report Player and Freshman of the Year Fan Votes take place. It’d be easy for us to sit back and hand out awards on our own, but admittedly so, it’s tough for us to watch every single game each season.

We may miss something that others saw, and may not get a full 360 look at a player. So, is there anyone better than the fans to hep pick two major awards?

The answer is simple. No.

We look at every player not on the roster at a power conference school, and narrow down the field. From there, it’s up to the fans to pick the winners in a bracket-style format.

It’s a unique way for fans to show their support for their beloved student-athletes. However, it’s tough to please everyone.

Each year, we get messages and comments from fans all across the country, expressing concerns surrounding the contest and their favourite players being properly represented.

As the Owner of College Court Report, I fully respect and understand each and every comment and concern around the challenge. I personally take the time to answer each one as best as I can.

Here are some of the more common questions that I’ve received over the past couple of years in the Fan Vote contests, and some answers that I hope will provide some more insight into the thought processes surrounding the Player and Freshman of the Year awards. Continue reading Frequently Asked Questions: College Court Report Fan Voted Awards

RECAP: #4 UCF advances to NIT semifinals, beats #2 Illinois, 68-58

Photo courtesy of Peyton Wesner.

ORLANDO, Fla. — UCF guard A.J. Davis dreamed about playing at Madison Square Garden. 

Now, he can check it off his bucket list.

The Knights advanced to the National Invitation Tournament semi-finals, fighting off Illinois, 68-58. The Fighting Illini led for only one minute and 53 seconds during a game in which they shot an anemic 30.6 percent.

“Every game we are just trying to not give up threes and layups (and) make guys shoot tough twos,” UCF center Tacko Fall said. “We work on it every day.”

The Matt Williams Show began at 7:00 p.m. sharp. The senior sharpshooter from Orlando swished 3 three-pointers to charge UCF ahead, 11-3. Continue reading RECAP: #4 UCF advances to NIT semifinals, beats #2 Illinois, 68-58

Wesner: Power conference bias, strength of schedule will send Wichita State to AAC

Photo courtesy of Peyton Wesner.

Tic. Tock. Tic. Tock. Tic. Tock.

Do you remember waiting on a decision after your first job interview?

Sitting in your living room with a racing mind and constantly checking for a missed call or email, you begin to second guess whether your first impression was strong and your answers crisp.

The Missouri Valley Conference is now engaged in a waiting game with mid-major powerhouse Wichita State.

Will they stay, or will they go?

Reported by The Wichita Eagle’s Paul Suellentrop Tuesday, the Shockers’ move to the American Athletic Conference is “almost inevitable.” Continue reading Wesner: Power conference bias, strength of schedule will send Wichita State to AAC

Pair of big name players hit the graduate transfer market for next season

Elijah Brown announced his intentions to graduate and transfer from New Mexico on Monday, becoming the second key transfer to leave the Lobos in the past two seasons.

CALGARY, Alta. — The off-season leading up to the 2017-18 season has been an exciting one, so far.

There’s only one thing. The 2016-17 season isn’t over yet, and big dominos are already falling. From coaching changes and player transfers, to star players declaring early for the draft, the off-season is shaping up to be one for the ages.

On Monday alone, Tyler Lydon declared for the 2017 NBA Draft after two seasons with the Syracuse Orange. The LSU Tigers found their new head coach, in Will Wade.

Then, on opposite sides of the country, two big time players announced their respective intentions to graduate and transfer elsewhere for next season.

Guards Duane Wilson and Elijah Brown both announced their intentions on Monday, adding more excitement to the ensuing off-season that will take us to the 2017-18 season. Continue reading Pair of big name players hit the graduate transfer market for next season

RECAP: Ferguson ties CBI single-game assist mark in 80-71 win for UIC

Tai Odiase (23 points, 7 rebounds) and the UIC Flames led for all but 46 seconds in Monday’s win over George Washington, 80-71. (Source: UIC Flames)

CHICAGO, Ill. — It’s always better to give than to receive.

On Monday night, the UIC Flames proved that to be true in their CBI quarter-final match-up with the visiting George Washington Colonials. Despite possessing a sub-.500 record after the regular season, the Flames looked good in their post-season opener against the Stony Brook Seawolves, and they were looking to build off the positive momentum.

It was a record night for the Flames as a whole, and for freshman guard Tarkus Ferguson. As a team, UIC tied the CBI single-game mark with 24 assists, and Ferguson tied the individual single-game mark, dishing out 12 dimes of his own.

The Flames only trailed the Colonials for a grand total of 44 seconds on Monday night. Ferguson narrowly missed a triple-double, recording six points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists in the Flames’ 80-71 victory. Continue reading RECAP: Ferguson ties CBI single-game assist mark in 80-71 win for UIC

Syracuse sophomore Tyler Lydon to enter 2017 NBA Draft

Per Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports, Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon will sign with an agent and declare for June’s NBA Draft. The sophomore forward stuffed the stat-sheet with 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.4 blocks per game this season.

Lydon, a 2016-17 All-ACC honorable mention, made an immediate impact off the bench as a freshman. The 6’9″ New York native posted four double-doubles and averaged 10.1 points and 6.3 rebounds during the Orange’s 2016 Final Four run. This past season, he one upped last year’s totals with nine double-doubles. Continue reading Syracuse sophomore Tyler Lydon to enter 2017 NBA Draft

Redbird Nation excited for possible matchup with Illinois

Photo courtesy of Peyton Wesner.

Fifty-seven miles — that is the distance between State Farm Center and Redbird Arena. Despite the proximity, the Illinois State Redbirds and Illinois Fighting Illini have played just eight times in 97 years.

A ninth meeting may be in the works for Wednesday.

If #1 Illinois State defeats #4 UCF and #2 Illinois is victorious against #6 Boise State, the in-state rivals will play for a trip to the 2017 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) semifinals. It would be the first time the two have battled in the postseason since the 1980 NIT.

Because the matchup is one win away, Bloomington-Normal is buzzing over the possibility to knock off the heralded program.

“They are obviously having a down year, and we are having an up year,” said ISU class of 1999 graduate David DiMarzio. “We should beat them.”

The first meeting between ISU and U-of-I was in Normal, Illinois, on December 20, 1920. The Fighting Illini were the victors, winning 31-21. The initial contest was the LAST time the Redbirds hosted the most distinguished college basketball team in the state.

Ironically, the imbalance in scheduling led DiMarzio to alter his allegiance.

“I grew up as an Illini fan because I didn’t know any better. Then I came to ISU, and I found out that they won’t play us here (at Redbird Arena),” DiMarzio said. “That’s the big reason that I stopped liking them and cheering for them.”

Since 1920, Illinois has won seven straight contests against Illinois State. No game has been a full-fledged blowout, however. The Birds have kept within ten points in four of the eight contests. Moreover, the 2011-2012 squad took the Fighting Illini into deep waters at the Cancun Challenge before being edged 63-59.

Yet, this Redbirds’ team is more talented than five years ago. Although Illinois State had Nic Moore, Jackie Carmichael and Jon Ekey, their record (21-14) pales in comparison to the final campaign of seniors Paris Lee, Deontae Hawkins and Tony Wills (28-6). 

With this in mind, Bloomington, Illinois, native Zachary Holland understands the significance of advancing to the semi-finals of a postseason tournament.

“That would be really big,” Holland said. “I don’t think that has ever happened.”

Holland is right: The Redbirds have not won a game, in either the NCAA Tournament or NIT, to move to the national semifinals.

Colleen Sherwood, who graduated from Illinois State last year, can describe the atmosphere for the Fighting Illini’s trip to Normal in one word.

“It would be crazy!” Sherwood said.

Whether the possible matchup leads to regular season contests is unknown. 2004 was the last time Illinois scheduled Illinois State for a non-conference bout.

Current ISU student Jacob Veazey has hope a victory could spark the beginning of a consistent rivalry.

“If we beat them in the tournament, I think it is a reason to schedule games yearly,” said Veazey.

School pride fills the community of Bloomington-Normal before tonight’s second round matchup versus UCF. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST on ESPN.

— P. Wesner

Photo courtesy of Peyton Wesner.

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