NCAA: Illinois falls to Purdue in conference play

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NCAA: Illinois falls to Purdue in conference play

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue figured out how to slow the pace - and still score a little, too, Wednesday night.Terone Johnson finished with a career-high 25 points and D.J. Byrd scored nine of his 15 during a key 19-3 second-half run, sending the Boilermakers past No. 11 Illinois 68-61.Byrd sealed the game with a three-point play with 20.1 seconds to go.The Boilermakers (7-6, 1-0 Big Ten) have won three straight and are over .500 for the first time this season. They have won eight straight over the Fighting Illini.Illinois (13-2, 0-1) was led by Brandon Paul with 15 points and Joseph Bertrand with 14, but managed only one basket during a decisive 5 12-minute stretch of the second half. Illinois has lost eight straight conference road games, dating to a Jan. 4, 2012 win at Northwestern.Complete Recap Box ScoreLoyola handles Valparaiso
VALPARAISO, Ind. -- Ben Averkamp scored 16 points and had four blocked shots Wednesday night as Loyola of Chicago beat Valparaiso 63-54 in the Horizon League opener for both schools.Christian Thomas had 14 points and six rebounds, and Cully Payne had 13 points and seven assists for the Ramblers (10-3).Ryan Broekhoff led Valparaiso (10-5) with 15 points and seven rebounds. Kevin Van Wijk also had seven rebounds, and contributed 10 points. LaVonte Dority also scored 10 points for the Crusaders, going 8 for 8 from the free-throw line.Loyola led 26-24 at halftime. Broekhoff made a 3-pointer for Valparaiso early in the second half, but Thomas' layup with 18 12 minutes to go put the Ramblers ahead for good.Complete Recap Box Score

UIC edges Youngstown State

Gary Talton drilled a go-ahead 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining and made three free throws to protect the lead as Illinois-Chicago defeated Youngstown State 65-60 on Wednesday night.Talton had 19 points and Hayden Humes 15 for the Flames (10-4, 1-0 Horizon League), who snapped a three-game losing streak.Kendrick Perry scored 19 points and Blake Allen had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Penguins (8-6, 0-1). Allen's 3-pointer gave Youngstown State a 60-59 lead with 1:31 remaining.Josh Crittle scored 14 points and Daniel Barnes 10 for Illinois-Chicago.Talton was 7 of 15 from the field with six rebounds.Complete Recap Box ScoreDePaul falls in heart-breaker to Seton Hall
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Fuquan Edwin converted the game-winning layup with 6.9 seconds remaining to give Seton Hall a 73-72 win against DePaul on Wednesday night.Aaron Cosby led Seton Hall (12-2) with 24 points.Jamee Crockett of DePaul missed a wide open 3-pointer with four seconds left to seal Seton Hall's win in the Big East conference opener for both teams. A turnover gave Seton Hall the ball with 26 seconds remaining as they trailed DePaul, 72-71.DePaul (9-5, 0-1) chipped away at Seton Hall's 40-32 halftime lead. DePaul guard Durrell McDonald made a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to tie the game at 52 with 9:42 remaining.Less than a minute later the Blue Demons took the lead on Brandon Young's three-point play. From then on, the teams traded baskets as neither squad led by more than five points the rest of the game.Complete Recap Box Score
Bradley knocks off Southern Illinois

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Walt Lemon Jr. scored 20 points Wednesday night to help Bradley to a 66-60 victory over Southern Illinois.Lemon's basket with 2:58 left gave the Braves (10-4, 2-0 Missouri Valley) the lead for good at 57-56. Lemon finished 8 for 11 from the field and also contributed five steals for Bradley, which was 0-9 on the road in the MVC last season. Dyricus Simms-Edwards and Jordan Prosser had 11 points apiece for the Braves.Desmar Jackson led the Salukis (7-6, 0-2) with 15 points and nine rebounds. Jeff Early scored 11 and Anthony Beane Jr. added 10 points for SIU.Bradley shot 50 percent from the field and led 28-23 at halftime. Southern Illinois shot 42 percent and was just 13 for 23 from the free-throw line. Bradley was 14 of 18.Complete Recap Box Score
Western Illinois defeats Savannah StateMACOMB, Ill. -- Adam Link scored 10 points and Western Illinois slipped by Savannah State 39-35, extending their winning streak to eight games.Terell Parks had eight rebounds and blocked seven shots for the Leathernecks (11-3).Savannah State led 23-12 at halftime. But the Tigers shot 32.6 percent from the field for the game, while Western Illinois shot 44 percent.Khiry White led the Tigers with 10 points. Arnold Louis had eight rebounds.Savannah State (5-8) has now lost five consecutive games.Complete Recap Box Score

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.