Mustangs upset No. 10 De La Salle

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Mustangs upset No. 10 De La Salle

By Tim O'Brien
YourSeason.com

Visiting De La Salle in December, St. Ritas Tony Hicks 31 points helped the Mustangs pull out a double-overtime thriller.

In Fridays rematch, Hicks had some help in the backcourt as Cullen Foulks came through with a huge fourth quarter to help lift host St. Rita to a 60-46 win in the Catholic League North.

Foulks scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth.

The coaches always tell us to step up when we can, Foulks said. I had to step up because Tony cant do all the scoring.

Hicks led St. Rita (12-8, 8-1) with 17 points with Dominique Matthews scoring 12 points. With four conference games left, the win puts the Mustangs control their own destiny in search of the programs first Catholic League title since 2003.

Marcus White (18 points) and Gavin Schilling (12 points) paced De La Salle (14-4, 5-3).

Trailing 37-31 but charging fast, De La Salle looked poised to mount a comeback when Foulks came to life. Having scored just four points through three quarters, he drilled two free throws and added a three-point play on an acrobatic layup. Hicks added his own three-point play as part of St. Ritas 11-0 run that helped regain control.

We just wanted to put them away quick, and we were able to take control, Foulks said.

De La Salle never recovered, committing three key turnovers as part of the run.

Foulks finished 8 of 9 from the charity stripe and St. Rita shot 15-of-22 from the line overall in the fourth quarter.

De La Salle finished 8 of 20 from the free-throw line for the game.

Their senior guards (Foulks and Hicks) were pretty good tonight, De La Salle coach Tom White said. They made their free throws, and when we make eight, thats the difference.

Jalen Coleman-Lands reportedly transferring away from Illini

Jalen Coleman-Lands reportedly transferring away from Illini

The exodus out of Champaign continues, with Jalen Coleman-Lands reportedly the latest Illinois basketball player to leave the team in the aftermath of this spring's coaching change.

Coleman-Lands, perhaps the highest-rated recruit brought in during the John Grcoe Era, is set to transfer away from the program after two seasons with the Fighting Illini, per a report from Scout.com's Evan Daniels.

As a sophomore this past season, the sharpshooting Coleman-Lands played in all 35 of the team's games and started 15 of them. He averaged eight points a game and shot 38 percent from 3-point range.

Coleman-Lands was a big deal when he was recruited out of the state of Indiana. Landing a highly touted Hoosier has been an historic rarity for the Illini, but Coleman-Lands picked Groce's program over offers from Arizona, Indiana, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Xavier, among others. He was a four-star recruit and ranked by Rivals as one of the top 40 prospects in the Class of 2015.

While Coleman-Lands was at times electric from behind the arc, he wasn't always consistent, hence his moving in and out of the starting lineup.

Coleman-Lands' departure is the latest in a busy offseason of roster transformation for the Illini, something not too unexpected given the decision to fire Groce after a largely unsuccessful five-year tenure and replace him with Brad Underwood. While Underwood is earning rave reviews from outside critics and has already made a huge recruiting splash in luring Illinois' Mr. Basketball, Mark Smith, to the Illini, it's understandable that players who committed to Groce would want to rethink things.

D.J. Williams preceded Coleman-Lands in transferring out of Champaign. And half of the blockbuster recruiting class Groce assembled prior to his firing — four-star recruits Jeremiah Tilmon and Javon Pickett — opted to play elsewhere. All that on top of the team's three leading scorers from last season — Malcolm Hill, Maverick Morgan and Tracy Abrams — exhausting their eligibility in Groce's final year.

Coleman-Lands' decision means Illinois will return just five scholarship players from last year's roster: Jaylon Tate, Kipper Nichols, Te'Jon Lucas, Leron Black and Michael Finke.

But there are reinforcements coming in Underwood's first season leading the program. Smith will be joined by a pair of freshman guards recruited by Groce: Trent Frazier and Da'Monte Williams. Plus, just Wednesday, the team announced the addition of Wright State graduate transfer Mark Alstork, who averaged 19 points a game last season.

Still, as is often the case with college basketball coaching changes, this is a dramatic evolution of a roster in just a couple of months.

And to top things off, Illinois fans might not even see Coleman-Lands leave the state. Internet chatter in recent days has mentioned that Coleman-Lands could be transferring to DePaul, where his high school coach was recently hired as one of Dave Leitao's assistants.

How big of an impact will Victor Cruz have on the Bears?

How big of an impact will Victor Cruz have on the Bears?

The Bears inked Victor Cruz to a one-year deal on Thursday, adding another receiver to an already crowded corps.

But it never hurts to add a veteran one to a young group, especially with a new starting quarterback.

Cruz is 30 years old and isn't the same Pro Bowl-caliber player he was before missing the entire 2015 season with a calf injury, but he surely has a lot left in the tank and can serve as a great mentor for the Bears receivers.

Just how big of an impact will he have on his new team? See what the SportsTalk Live panel had to say in the video above.