Wednesday, April 18, 2007

April 18th News and Notes

The Big Ten conference schedule is about to get longer. Conference officials have approved an 18-game league schedule beginning next season. Details regarding its implementation have not been released. "The coaches know about it," conference spokeswoman Robin Jentes said. Big Ten schools had played an 18-game schedule until a conference tournament was introduced in 1997. Since then, they had played a 16-game conference schedule.

According to, Chicago State will name Tulane assistant coach Benjy Taylor their new head coach, replacing Kevin Jones. Taylor has been an assistant at Tulane for the past two seasons, and was a head coach at North Central College and an assistant at Indiana State prior to that. Chicago State went 9-20 this past season. The official announcement will be made Wednesday.

According to
FOX Sports, Gonzaga junior guard Pierre Altidor-Cespedes is leaving the program and will be eligible to play at another school. He averaged 3.2 points per game this past season, starting 14 games. He has been grandfathered into the rule that allowed a player to transfer and play immediately if they graduate and still have a fifth year of eligibility remaining. Former BYU transfer David Burgess also said that he would not be returning to the team.

The 2007 ACC-Big Ten Challenge schedule has been set. The eleven games will be played on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after Thanksgiving (November 26-28). It will feature the first-ever meeting between Wisconsin and Duke and a rematch of last year’s marquee North Carolina-Ohio State match-up. Other top games include Georgia Tech heading to Indiana, and Michigan State facing off against North Carolina State.

Wichita State recruit Guy Ntang died Monday night during a pickup game at New Hampton School in New Hampshire. According to a news release, Ntang “was on the court, away from the action, when he apparently lost consciousness and fell backward.” Mike Brandt, a family friend of Ntang, added, “He was playing and he was just back-tracking and he just fell backward and died. It’s horrible.” New Shockers coach Gregg Marshall was watching the game from the stands, hours after meeting Ntang for the first time. He did not comment on the situation, although he reportedly told Brandt that “it was the most devastating thing he had ever seen.”

According to the Raleigh News and Observer, Michigan and Duke will renew their series now that Tommy Amaker is no longer coaching the Wolverines. Duke associate athletic director Mike Cragg said that the two teams will play a home-and-home series beginning this season. The two teams had played every season from 1989 until 2002, when the series was not renewed. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski does not like coaching against former players; Amaker played for him from 1984-1987.

Skip Myslenski of the
Chicago Tribune writes about the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and how the Big Ten has not put up much of a fight since the inception of the event. He discusses how the ACC has won all eight of the Challenges, and that only one Big Ten team, Michigan State, has a winning record in the tournament.

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