College Football and Basketball Doesn’t Feel Real to Me this Year

We’re a day away from this thing going haywire,” said Illiinois Fighting Illini head basketball coach Brad Underwood on media call yesterday. That’s life during COVID-19, when any game, anywhere can be cancelled at any time.

Underwood says he has been paying close attention to Ohio State football’s situation, one that is complicated and strange to say the least. Underwood also said the may do some same-day travel when it comes to Big Ten Conference games so as to try and avoid, as much as is possible, exposure to the coronavirus.

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20-21 DePaul Blue Demons Season Preview

College basketball season is now here, although it won’t be starting at the same time for everybody. The DePaul Blue Demons, due to a covid-19 outbreak and precautionary protocols, saw their first three games canceled.

The earliest they could begin play in the first week of December, and we’ll see what happens. The Blue Demons are coming off a season in which they started 12-1, looked dominant in the preconference and were on the cusp of being nationally ranked.

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Illinois Basketball Final Four Odds are Very Favorable

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The Illinois basketball enters the season nationally ranked #8 in the AP poll, making this is the most anticipated season for this program since 2005-06, or the third season of the Bruce Weber era. That team returned two starters from the previous season, the greatest in school history, which saw Illinois finish national runners-up and break all time record for single season wins.

This year’s Fighting Illini team returns four starters and two legitimate stars in Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn. No wonder their Final Four odds are rather favorable and their national title odds are not long.

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Ahamad Bynum: DePaul Signee is Next Potential Simeon Superstar

Simeon Career Academy, located on the SouthSide of Chicago, is legendary for producing star basketball players, who thrive at the next level, and often times, they even go the next level beyond that.

Ahamad Bynum, a consensus top 100 player and four-star prospect, could be up next. He leads the five-player DePaul Blue Demons recruiting class of 2021, which currently ranked No. 9 nationally by 247Sports.com, 11th by Rivals.com and No. 14 by ESPN. Could he be the next Derrick Rose, Jabari Parker or Nick Anderson?

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20/21 Kentucky Wildcats Season Preview, Odds, Analysis, Key Games

Ten is the most relevant number to Kentucky Wildcats basketball right now as it’s both their ranking in the AP preseason poll, and the number of new players coming into the squad this season. The John Calipari era at Kentucky has been all about annual roster turnover, and churning is standard here, but this is next level.

How will it all play out in Lexington? What does the sports betting community think of their chances and their odds this upcoming season? Well, it’s the bluest of the blue blood programs, but they’re not the favorites in 2020-21.

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#8 Fighting Illini Basketball: 2020-21 Season Preview

Said Illinois Fighting Illini freshman Brandon Lieb: “Being in a top ten program, no matter what happens this season, I don’t think it will be one that I’ll ever forget.”

“Seeing the talent we have, we’re able to compete with any team in the country,” Lieb continued, “and with that awe factor, it’s kind of surreal, but every team has work to be done.”

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Keion Brooks on Kentucky Wildcats, NBA “La Familia”

John Calipari has instilled a sense of “La Familia” in his Kentucky Wildcats program, and all the former UK players that strive and thrive in the NBA. Yes, Calipari’s La Familia may just be the most Italian sounding sentence we’ve ever published here on The Sports Bank.

Writing this article puts me in the mood to pour chianti and consume caprese, with Pavarotti playing in the background of course. Because after all this is a major La Familia, The Family in Italian (ditto en Espanol) evening on the calendar- NBA Draft night.

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2020 NBA Mock Draft 11-18-20 Final

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The NBA Draft is now scheduled for November 18. The order is almost set. If you’re into mock drafts, then you hahev come to the right place. Here is the link to our final MLB mock draft, the NHL mock can be found at this link and the 2021 NFL mock draft is available at this link.

As far as we know, we’re the only mom and pop shop, independently owned media outlet that produces a mock draft for all four sports.

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Illini Basketball vs Football Contrast is as Stark as Ever

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If you are a supporter of University of Illinois athletics there are certain truths that you hold dear. If you’re an alum, student, aspiring student, family member of the aforementioned groups, townie et al. you know that almost every fall brings the “it’s basketball season now” moment.

Pulling off an upset at Rutgers yesterday didn’t change that. The fact that Illini football was actually an underdog at Rutgers tells you everything you need to know about why mentally checking out on football is, like the late great Wilford Brimley said of Quaker Oats, the right thing to do.

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Kofi Cockburn: “can’t we all agree that racism is a nasty thing?”

Sophomore Illini Center Kofi Cockburn met the media this morning, via Zoom, wearing a t-shirt that read “More than an Athlete.” It perfectly summated both he himself, and the theme of the session. Jumping straight into Q&A, he gave a lot of honest and open answers in response to plenty of uncomfortable questions.

At no point was he visibly uncomfortable or annoyed, during the 50 minute Zoom call. The star big man recognizes the very large platform he has as an Illini basketball star, and all the influence that comes with it. 

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Calipari on Potential Rupp Arena Name Change, Team Protests

In a media zoom call scheduled specifically for a discussion on the hiring of Bruiser Flint as a new Assistant Coach, John Calipari covered a vast array of topics. The University of Kentucky head coach was asked about:

COVID-19, the chances of having a season amidst it, backlash for his tweet about getting getting his team registered to vote, the on-campus conversation about potentially re-naming Rupp Arena, former UK Associate Athletic Director DeWayne Peevy taking the A.D. job at DePaul, a potential series with the Blue Demons) and what his thoughts would be if his players wanted to stage a protest against social injustice.

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Kentucky-DePaul Series? DeWayne Peevy and John Calipari Weigh in

When DeWayne Peevy introduced himself to the DePaul community yesterday, as the new Athletic Director, he threw down the gauntlet to his longtime colleague and friend, University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari.

“That’s going to be the first thing I’m going after,” Peevy responded when asked on a media Zoom call about trying to schedule UK. “Cal, if you’re listening, get the phone ready.” Peevy then made it clear he doesn’t want a home and home series; they have to come to Chicago.

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