Daniels cleared to help Notre Dame in BCS Championship

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Daniels cleared to help Notre Dame in BCS Championship

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- DaVaris Daniels is fully recovered from a broken collarbone suffered Nov. 10, and has re-joined the Notre Dame offense in time for the team's rigorous preparation for the BCS Championship against Alabama Jan. 7.

"He's good," coach Brian Kelly said. "We would not put him out there unless he was free from injury."

Daniels' return is welcome news for the Irish offense, adding another weapon to Everett Golson's arsenal against a fearsome Alabama defense. Golson successfully looked Daniels' way at a higher rate in the few weeks leading up to his injury, and Daniels hasn't noticed a dropoff in that chemistry despite being out of commission for about a month.

"We kind of just gelled back together," Daniels said. "Once I got back in there, there were no setbacks or anything."

Daniels was cleared for Notre Dame's physical, full-contact practices this week and said he took a "pretty good blow" Friday. That came after weeks of wearing a red jersey, usually reserved for quarterbacks won't get hit during practice.

"I never have been the type of guy to shy away from contact -- when you have to, it's kind of a different situation," Daniels said, adding, "I don't know, it was kind of fun not being able to be touched."

Before putting the red jersey on to participate in some timing drills, Daniels had to sit on the sidelines and watch as his teammates prepared for and played against Wake Forest and USC, with a trip to the BCS Championship on the line.

That wasn't easy, especially for someone who played a significant role in Notre Dame's narrow win over Pittsburgh -- the closest the Irish came to a defeat all season.

"It was hard," Daniels said. "Even watching practice, it was the worst feeling I've ever felt."

Daniels isn't guaranteed to fit back in to his usual role for the BCS Championship, though. While he hopes to be in that spot and will have plenty of practice reps with Notre Dame's first-team offense over the next week, it won't be handed back to him. But either way, Notre Dame plans on utilizing his skill set against Alabama.

"I think we'll be fine with him," Kelly said. "He's a really good player that understands that his reps are going to be based upon how he practices and how he performs. I'm certain that he'll play a role in the game."

Saturday on CSN: Loyola, Illinois State host Missouri Valley opponents

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Saturday on CSN: Loyola, Illinois State host Missouri Valley opponents

CSN will have two Missouri Valley Conference games with local teams on Saturday. 

The first game tips at 3 p.m. live on CSN as Evansville heads to Loyola. The second game tips at 7 p.m. and is also live on CSN as Drake will play at Illinois State.

Loyola (13-7, 3-4) is coming off of a tough road loss in double overtime to Northern Iowa. The Ramblers have been led by senior Milton Doyle this season as the former Marshall star is one of the better guards in the Valley.

Evansville (10-10, 1-6) has dropped five straight games as they're struggling to gain any momentum in conference play. Senior guard Jaylon Brown is having an outstanding season for the Purple Aces as he's putting up 21.2 points per game.

The second matchup has Drake (6-13, 4-3) traveling to Illinois State. The Bulldogs have won three of four games and junior guard Reed Timmer is dangerous while former Saint Viator product Ore Arogundade is having a solid sophomore season. 

Illinois State (15-4, 7-0) is leading the Valley after a huge win over Wichita State as they've won eight straight games. The Redbirds are hoping to make a run to an NCAA tournament bid with another home win.

Preview: Eastern Illinois, Southern llinois in action today on CSN

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AP

Preview: Eastern Illinois, Southern llinois in action today on CSN

College basketball is back on CSN on Saturday as two local teams will be featured in live conference matchups.

In the first matchup at 11 a.m., Eastern Illinois will host Austin Peay in an Ohio Valley Conference clash on CSN+ while the second matchup has Evansville hosting Southern Illinois in a Missouri Valley Conference game at 1 p.m. on CSN.

Eastern Illinois (9-8, 1-3) is coming off of a conference loss to Murray State. Junior guard Montell Goodwin leads the charge for the Panthers as he's averaging 14.8 points per game on the season. Austin Peay (5-13, 1-3) just earned a tight win over SIU-Edwardsville to help end an 11-game losing streak. Junior Josh Robinson is having a strong season despite the losing as he's averaging 21.2 points per game for the Governors.

The second game will be on the main CSN at 1 p.m. as Southern Illinois (10-8, 3-2) tries to bounce back from a loss to Bradley. The Salukis are led by sophomore guard Armon Fletcher as the Edwardsville product leads the team at 13.7 points per game.

Evansville (10-8, 1-4) is coming off of three consecutive losses as the Purple Aces are trying to figure things out at home. Senior Jaylon Brown has been one of the Valley's premier scorers this season as he's putting up 20.9 points per contest.