BOCA RATON, Fla. — It’s been an eventful off-season for the Florida Atlantic Owls thus far.
Following the 2017-18 season, administration relieved head coach Michael Curry of his duties after four seasons at the helm. Over that time, the Owls amassed a record of just 39-84.
Two weeks after relieving Curry of his duties, the Owls named Dusty May the program’s next head coach, giving him the task of turning around the program and helping to make them a contender in the Conference USA. May spent the last three seasons in the SEC as an assistant coach with the Florida Gators, who made two NCAA Tournament appearances over May’s three years.
It won’t be an easy task to turn around a program, and it’s not going to happen in one year. However, on Thursday, the Owls landed an impact transfer who will add some talent and intrigue to the roster come the 2019-20 season.
CANMORE, Alta. — It was quite a week for the Jacksonville Dolphins.
Not only did the Dolphins put together a 3-1 record over the past seven days, including a 2-1 record at the Wright State MTE in Dayton, OH, but they also cleaned house in terms of the weekly Atlantic Sun awards. Jace Hogan picked up Newcomer of the Week honours, while Devin Harris nabbed Player of the Week honours.
Their week ended up on a high note, as they picked up a big win over the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs in triple-overtime, 106-99. Harris played an impressive 52 minutes on the day, leading the Dolphins to the impressive victory to close out a strong week for the team across the board.
Over the course of the week, Harris has three games with 20+ points, while also recording his first two double-doubles to open the week. He was a force on both ends of the floor, and Jacksonville fans wanted to show their support for the senior from Tampa, Florida.
For his efforts this past week, a stretch that saw him record 23 or more points three times, senior guard Devin Harris has been selected by the fans as the College Court Report Fan-Voted Player of the Week for November 20-26, 2017!
CANMORE, Alta. — The 2017-18 season tips off on November 10th, which means the final month without college basketball is finally upon us.
Fans all across the country are gearing up for another exciting college basketball season, and with the recent scandal involving the FBI and several power conference programs across the NCAA, the level of anticipation is through the roof.
Conference preview pieces are starting to circulate from various media outlets, and conferences are hosting their annual media days and announcing their preseason polls and award winners. It’s always interesting to see how coaches and media rank teams in their respective conferences.
With the season right around the corner, we are starting to release our Preseason Player of the Year awards for each conference, along with three All-Conference teams. Picked at random, we will release two sets of awards each day.
Heading into the 2017-18 season, the Horizon League makeup looks a little bit different than in year’s past. The Valparaiso Crusaders have moved to the Missouri Valley Conference, and in their place, the IUPUI Jaguars accepted an invitation to join the league from the Summit League.
With the departure of the Crusaders, a new program will emerge as the regular season champion. Will it be the Oakland Golden Grizzlies, who welcome a power conference transfer to bolster their back court rotation? Or the UIC Flames, who have a young, but talented roster that’s arguably the deepest in the conference? What about the Northern Kentucky Norse, who won the conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season?
Only time will tell.
Until then, take a look below at who we’ve tabbed as our Preseason Horizon League Player of the Year, and our Preseason All-Horizon League teams!
He may be a graduate transfer who can lead his new team to the NCAA Tournament, but he is also a symbol for Dayton, Ohio.
“I play with passion. I play with a chip,” said Alstork, a Dayton native and former star at Wright State, on Watching with Wesner. “You can tell when someone is from where I’m from, how they play and the passion they play with.”
Alstork is one of the most talented scorers left on the transfer market; he averaged 19 points per game and scored 27 plus points on 7 separate occasions last season.
Last week he narrowed his list to four teams, leaving Illinois, LSU, Pittsburgh and South Carolina as potential suitors.
Throughout the month, Alstork has been frequently posting on social media, chronicling his experiences and campus visits. The 6’5” scoring guard has an altruistic reason for his persistent Snapchat videos and tweets.
“I wanted to take my people from Dayton, Ohio, who have supported me from day one. I wanted them to be with me in the process,” he said. “They have been with me for this long. I don’t want them to feel like that I am going to change up on them or that I am not going to continue to be the same person I am. I’m never going to change who I am.”
Alstork did not want to transfer from Wright State. After all, as a hometown product playing at a local university, the benefits were abundant. However, being a part of the Raiders became toxic.
“During the season, I went through a time with myself that a lot of people don’t get out of. I was frustrated with some of the things — Some of the things at Wright State wasn’t normal,” Alstork recalled. “I actually didn’t want to leave, to be honest. I wanted to stick it out and try to become an NBA player from Wright State.
“It’s not easy leaving your family and friends,” said Alstork. “They can be looking forward to watching me play two times a weekend. It’s a place to come and be happy and smile and enjoy life.”
Two values of importance to Alstork is faith and family. As the son of a preacher, a relationship with God was forged early on — one that has not weakened with age.
“Faith and prayer is a huge part of me being who I am and continuing to be in God and continuing to grow a relationship in God,” he said. “I know God leads my life.”
For many student-athletes, athletics and academics dominate. Add being a transfer with a plethora of top-tier options and a disconnection from core values can occur.
This was not the case with Alstork.
“I know exactly the reason why I am on this earth,” said the 2016-17 Horizon League first teamer. “It has nothing to do with me and it has all to do with God.”
Six visits and fourteen flights later and the memories of a lifetime have been given to Alstork and his family.
“The most memorable moment for me was being able to have my mother and brother there the whole time,” said Alstork. “I’m just glad, I’m able, that God has allowed me to be in this position in my life. I never would have thought that this would happen again. The opportunity that I am having is straight from God.”
Three years after receiving a release from Ball State, Mark Alstork will call one final school home. Another decision must be made; but, with it, perspective and advice will be given to aspiring basketball players in Dayton.
“I’ve had some people hitting me up,” said the Thurgood Marshall High School product. “Older kids who say, ‘You motivate me. You aspire me. Your work ethic speaks for itself. And no matter who gets you, you’re not going to change.’”
Alstork confirmed he will tweet to the college basketball world his decision tomorrow, exclusively on Twitter.
With his decision, one major domino for next season will fall and one team will be closer to a trip to the Big Dance.
CALGARY, Alta. — You get a graduate transfer, and you get a graduate transfer.
Over the past three days, several of the top graduate transfers announced their decisions for the 2017-18 season, causing a big shake-up in terms of the overall rankings. In the process, they all boosted the chances of their respective teams for next season in their own conference races.
Four of the biggest names on the grad transfer market are off the board, so now where do teams look for some immediate production come the 2017-18 season?
Another big name hit the market this weekend, and he averaged over 15 points per game a year ago for the UTSA Roadrunners. Add him to the mix, and there’s still plenty of talent out there, all of whom are eager to find the right fit and help a team play deep into March.