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The Secondary Break: Monday’s Links

Dec 16, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

cooley AP

PC coach Ed Cooley has dropped 100 pounds as he strives to improve his health (Providence Journal)
At the end of last season Providence head coach Ed Cooley knew that something had to change. Weighing 344 pounds and with friends and family concerned about his health, Cooley changed his diet and underwent a medical procedure that has resulted in him losing 100 pounds to date. His goal: to get down to 225, which was his playing weight at Stonehill College.

Big East nostalgia in the air as No. 2 Syracuse tops St. John’s (Sports Illustrated)
Sunday’s meeting between the Orange and Red Storm brought back memories of the good old days for some, when the Big East existed without the influence of major college football. But even with those feelings being present, things aren’t the same.

Book on Illinois’ 1989 Final Four team interesting, controversial (Chicago Sun-Times)
Stephen Bardo, currently a color commentator for both the Big Ten Network and Fox Sports I, was also the starting point guard on the 1989 Final Four team at Illinois. Dubbed the “Flying Illini” due to their explosive style of play, that team is one of the best in school history. Bardo’s written a book on the experience, and some of the stories in the book have gained attention.

BYU-Utah rivalry alive and kicking (Salt Lake Tribune)
On Saturday night Utah made quite the statement within the Beehive State, soundly defeating BYU 81-64. And amidst talk of the rivalry possibly coming to an end soon, the atmosphere showed that the rivalry is still alive.

Former Georgetown forward Greg Whittington commits to Rutgers (Gannett New Jersey)
Rutgers picked up a key addition on Sunday as 6-foot-8 forward Greg Whittington made the decision to transfer to the school. Whittington was a member of the Georgetown program and sitting out the season due to a knee injury until being dismissed from the program a few weeks ago.

Illini can’t close in loss vs. Oregon (Chicago Sun-Times)
Illinois had a key victory away from home well within reach on Saturday night, but they were unable to seal the deal against No. 15 Oregon. That’s part of the process of a team that has multiple newcomers in the rotation and lacks a credible interior scoring threat. But they will be competitive.

Embiid rouses Kansas in 80-63 win over New Mexico (Kansas City Star)
While Andrew Wiggins has received much of the attention when Kansas’ crop of freshmen are discussed, he has a teammate in center Joel Embiid who’s shown significant amounts of both talent and upside. In the Jayhawks’ win over New Mexico on Saturday Embiid played a critical role in the outcome, and as the season wears on Bill Self’s going to have to give him even more minutes.

Jelling woes still linger for Kentucky’s young basketball team (Lexington Herald-Leader)
Kentucky’s loss at North Carolina on Saturday was simply the latest piece of evidence that the Wildcats have plenty of growing up to do both collectively and individually. Who are the leaders capable of bringing the players together? That’s a question the team has yet to answer, and until they do Kentucky won’t be able to reach its full potential.

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