NCAA Hoops: No. 20 Notre Dame upset

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NCAA Hoops: No. 20 Notre Dame upset

NEW YORK (AP) Steve Lavin has no idea how work is going to be every day.

Just three days after playing one of its worst games of the season, St. John's came up with a very solid effort in a 67-63 victory over No. 20 Notre Dame on Tuesday night, the Fighting Irish's second straight loss.

It was hard to believe the Red Storm were the same team that lost 67-51 to then-No. 19 Georgetown on the same Madison Square Garden court.

"I told you expect the unexpected," Lavin said of his roster that doesn't have a senior or junior on it. "Buckle up and enjoy the roller coaster ride with this young team that at times is maddening but they balance it out with some brilliant play."

The man was right and it all happened in one game.

Playing man-to-man rather than a zone defense as they have all season, St. John's started out strong, unlike the previous game, and held a 32-31 lead at halftime.

"We came out very intense today," forward Amir Garrett said. "Against Georgetown that definitely wasn't the we played. Tonight we came. We came out hard, with intensity, very fierce."

The Red Storm (10-7, 2-3 Big East), who had lost two straight and four of five, had a 12-point lead midway through the second half and despite giving it all up, they managed to score the game's final six points for the win, their third straight over the Fighting Irish.

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DePaul hangs tough, but can't overtake Cincinnati

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) Cashmere Wright scored 20 points before leaving with an injury, leading Cincinnati to a 75-70 victory over DePaul Tuesday night.

Cincinnati (15-3, 3-2 Big East) won its second straight game after breaking a two-game losing streak at Rutgers. DePaul (10-7, 1-3) has lost four of its last five games.

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Bradley narrowly escapes SIU

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) Dyricus Simms-Edwards scored 18 points and Bradley defeated Southern Illinois 69-66 Tuesday night.

Four Braves were in double figures. Walt Lemon Jr. scored 16 points and added eight assists, Tyshon Pickett scored 15 and Will Egolf had 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots for Bradley (11-7, 3-3 Missouri Valley).

Desmar Jackson led the Salukis (8-9, 1-5) with 21 points. Jeff Early had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Anthony Beane Jr. added 13 points for SIU.

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High School coaches 'leave no stone unturned' in helping players explore next level

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Photo at top: Loyola Academy assistant coach Paul Pryma extends his hand toward a Steinmetz High School player during pregame introductions on Feb. 21. (Andres Waters/MEDILL)

High School coaches 'leave no stone unturned' in helping players explore next level

By Andres Waters
Special Contributor to CSNChicago.com

After Loyola Academy held off rival New Trier 43-40 to win the 2017 Zion-Benton regional championship, Ramblers head coach Tom Livatino had a special message for his players.

"That's the best celebration that I have ever been a part of," Livatino said. "Because everybody was completely about love. You guys love each other and we all can tell. I'm really, really proud just to be one of our coaches."

While the speech was a powerful way for Livatino to tell the players of his appreciation, he and other high school coaches engage in something much bigger to show players how proud they are: college recruiting.

In addition to time spent planning and practicing, coaches also sacrifice countless hours each week helping their players find opportunities to play at the next level.

"It's a really long part of the process, but to be honest, it's a part of the job that I absolutely love," Livatino said. "We demand so much of our players in every aspect. And, from a basketball standpoint, the least I could do is everything in my power to help them out."

Less than 48 hours after the Ramblers completed their season with a loss to Evanston Township in the Waukegan Sectional semifinal, Livatino was back in his office holding individual meetings with each player.

Starting with the 10 departing seniors, Livatino discussed the factors that go into choosing a college for high school athletes.

His conversations with the two players who already committed, senior guards Ramar Evans and Matt Lynch, focused on how they felt about their next steps. With the others, Livatino asked whether they wanted to play at the next level and, if so, which schools they wanted to attend that shared an interest in them. The conversations held with the Ramblers' juniors are very similar.

"I wasn't just looking for basketball, I was looking for a fit academically and socially," said Lynch, who committed to Division III St. Norbert College. "[Livatino] said St. Norbert would be the best fit for me. It fit everything I was looking for."

Read the full story at Medill Reports Chicago.

CSN Chicago, in partnership with Northwestern University,  features journalism by students in the graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. The students are reporters for Medill News Service. Medill faculty members edit the student work. Click here for more information about Medill.

From dunks to deliveries: Former No. 1 pick LaRue Martin's unlikely success story

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Photo at top: La Rue Martin poses for a photo at a National Basketball Retired Players Association event. (Photo courtesy of La Rue Martin)

From dunks to deliveries: Former No. 1 pick LaRue Martin's unlikely success story

By Elan Kane
Special Contributor to CSNChicago.com

LaRue Martin Jr. thought his future was set. The Portland Trail Blazers had drafted him No. 1 overall in the 1972 NBA draft. Money and fame awaited.

Fifteen years later, he started work as a UPS driver, struggling to find uniform pants that fit his 6-foot-11 frame.

"There is life after sports," Martin said. "Period."

It's been 45 years since the draft and Martin, a former Loyola University star, is now the UPS Illinois district public affairs and community services manager. He is labeled by many as one of the biggest busts in NBA draft history, but he is fine with that designation.

"I don't believe in saying anything negative, you have no control over that," Martin said. "I took care of my family, did what I had to do and I'm the type of person I can't dwell off the negatives. I can't. I kept my head up high and moved onto a positive mode of life and it has treated me very well."

Martin averaged 5.3 points and 4.6 rebounds in 14 minutes per game in just four seasons with the Trail Blazers. He blames his low numbers on his lack of playing time, but many believe he was just not good enough.

"He didn't get playing time because he [stunk]," said Boston Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan, who has covered the NBA for decades. "[Former No. 1 overall draft pick Michael] Olowokandi didn't do much but I think he did more than that."

Martin is used to the criticism.

"As a young man, reading the papers all the time, that bothered me, I must admit that," Martin said. "But I hold my head up high now because I've been very successful in the corporate world."

Read the full story at Medill Reports Chicago.

CSN Chicago, in partnership with Northwestern University,  features journalism by students in the graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. The students are reporters for Medill News Service. Medill faculty members edit the student work. Click here for more information about Medill.