CHAMPAIGN — Wright State pulled out of the multi-team tournament scheduled for Illinois next week.
Citing the lack of available student-athletes as a result of quarantining individuals with positive COVID-19 tests and those designated as close contacts along with injuries, the Wright State men’s basketball team will not travel to Illinois to open the 2020-21 season.
“As we have seen this summer and fall with professional sports and college football, disruption is likely while competing in a pandemic,’’ said Bob Grant, Director of Athletics at Wright State in an official school release. “We must continue to hold the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches and staff as our top priority as we navigate through this current athletic landscape.’’
According to a release from the University of Illinois, “we are currently exploring options to fill the opening in our multi-team event with the goal of continuing the four-team format as scheduled.’’
Illinois, rated No. 8 in the preseason Associated Press Poll, is scheduled to open with North Carolina A&T at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, while Wright State had been scheduled to play Ohio in the second game that day. The Illini were going to play the Raiders at 11 a.m. on Thursday before finishing the tournament against the Bobcats at noon on Friday.
Fan Cutouts at State Farm
CHAMPAIGN — The University of Illinois men’s and women’s basketball teams will be starting their 2020-21 seasons without fans at the State Farm Center, but the school is hoping to create a home-court advantage with fan cutouts.
Individuals can purchase a package to have an image of themselves placed in the stands for men’s and women’s basketball home games this season. The cutouts will be placed in the baseline seats behind both baskets, in the Traditions Club sideline seats and upper 100 baseline seats, which are included in television and video board camera angles.
For the lower baseline package in sections 105-018 and 114-17, the cost is $105.
The sideline package in Traditions Club sections 109-113, the cost is $89.
While the upper baseline package, sections 134-138, will be $50.
Those who purchase a Fighting Illini Fan Cutout will be in the drawing for weekly prize packs and an image of the cutout in the arena will be sent by email to see it placement. Fans can add a Brad Underwood signature to the cutout for $50, and the cutout will be shipped to the purchaser after the season concludes. The additional money will be donated to the Orange Krush Foundation to assist in the annual community grant program.
Orders purchased by Dec. 7 will be guaranteed placement for the first Big Ten home game on Dec. 15 against Minnesota. Fans are limited to one person per cutout and the individual must be in either Illinois or neutral apparel.
If fans are allowed to attend games at any time during the season, the athletics department will make every effort to put the cutouts in the closest comparable area in the arena.
For information or to purchase a cutout, go to www.fightingillini.com
Illini place two on Naismith list
CHAMPAIGN — Junior guard Ayo Dosunmu and sophomore center Kofi Cockburn have been named to the 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Watch List, announced on Thursday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Illinois is just one of nine schools and the only Big Ten program with at least two players on the 50-place preseason list for the Naismith Trophy, which has been awarded annually since 1969 to the nation’s most outstanding college basketball player.
Dosunmu, who is also a preseason All-American, averaged 16.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists last season for Illinois, while Cockburn, the 2020 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, averaged 13.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest. The duo helped lead the Fighting Illini to a 21-10 record and a 13-7 mark in the Big Ten.
Seeger 50 Covington 15
COVINGTON, Ind. — After a close first quarter, the Seeger girls basketball team poured on the offense to defeat Covington 50-15 in Wabash River Conference action on Thursday.
The Patriots had a 9-6 lead after the first, but then outscored the Trojans 27-2 in the second and third quarters to put the game away.
Aubry Cole had 12 points to lead Seeger, while Avery Cole had 10 and Riley Shrader and Paige Laffoon added eight.
Briley Peyton and Holly Linville each had four points to lead Covington.
Ice Breakers cease operations
MENTOR, Ohio — The impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the guidelines imposed by State of Ohio have forced the Mentor Ice Breakers to shut down as of Dec. 31, 2020.
According to a release from the team, the Ohio COVID-19 Guidelines imposed early in 2020 made it very difficult to sustain and generate the revenue necessary to continue.