Today in the Afternoon Rumble, two legends passed away, Nebraska's best player is moving on, and Louisville is battling injury issues already.
Honoring the greats
One of the major pioneers for women's basketball and women in general died on Tuesday morning. Pat Summitt, 64, was battling early onset dementia since 2011.
Summitt has the most wins in college basketball history (both mens and women's), made 31 straight NCAA Tournaments, won eight National Titles, competed in 22 Final Fours and won seven Coach of Year awards. Most importantly, Summitt had a major impact on her players and their lives off the court, as every single athlete she's ever coached graduated college.
The mastermind of the 1985 Chicago Bears' defense, Buddy Ryan, also passed away on Tuesday, leaving behind his children Rex and Rob (of the Buffalo Bills). Ryan was 82 years old and has long battled cancer.
Ryan was known for his innovative defense scheme that brought exotic blitzes from everywhere on the field. He was excellent with his X's and O's and had a particularly effective game plan during Super Bowl XX, when they demolished Steve Grogan and the New England Patriots.
Andrew White, who was expected to be Nebraska's best player next season, has been granted a release and is eligible to transfer to anywhere of his liking (immediately eligible). The 6'7" forward will be one of the more coveted players on the market due to his versatility, ability to play inside-and-out, outside jump shot and rebounding prowess. He's not a great defensive player and needs to work on his passing, but his scoring punch would be valuable for almost any team.
According to the Omaha World Herald, White's family has high expectations for their son and believe that he will thrive at a school that generates more recognition than Nebraska.
Florida State point guard Benji Bell played just one season under Leonard Hamilton and has opted to transfer. Bell averaged 3.8 points and 1.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc.
Bell would have had a difficult time finding playing time next season in Tallahassee, as Dwayne Bacon, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Trent Forrest, C.J. Walker and Braian Angola-Rodas make up a talented backcourt.
Louisville's Raymond Spalding had "minor groin surgery" and should be "back in no time," while Mangok Mathiang is dealing with a foot injury that will keep him out the entire summer.
If the front court stays healthy (they have good depth inside), the Cardinals should be much improved in the ACC this season.
Illinois, who dealt with injuries left-and-right last season, has Mike Thorne (knee) and Leron Black (knee) participating in drills. Thorne has been cleared for non-contact work. Black has been cleared for full contact drills. They should also have Tracy Abrams ready for the start of the season after he tore his Achilles last year during the preseason.