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DePaul Names Leitao Basketball Coach — Again

March 30, 2015 @ No Comments

Monday meanderings: Seldom do we talk about college basketball around here. Today we make an exception. All because DePaul made an exceptional hire Sunday. OK, exceptionally unusual. Maybe even exceptionally bad. DePaul hired Dave Leitao. who previously coached at DePaul (2002-05) before departing to coach Virginia. He subsequently bounced around with his latest job being an assistant coach at Arkansas. And some people thought having the city of Chicago (meaning the taxpayers) foot the bill for a new arena at Navy Pier was the most outrageous happening in recent memory for the basketball team.

Wendy Trent is here. Because. Simply because. Seems reasonable rationale.

Wendy Trent is here. Because. Simply because. Seems reasonable rationale.

* “I underestimated what a special place DePaul University and the city of Chicago are when I left here in 2005,” Leitao said in a statement released by the school. “The dedication and support here to the growth of student success is second to none, not only for a basketball program but also for the entire student body.” Then again, maybe Leitao underestimated the likelihood that he never would be a head coach again after leaving Virginia.

* “His success here speaks for itself with three postseason appearances in three years with teams that energized our alumni and fans with their competitiveness and work ethic,” athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto said in the school’s statement. If she was looking to make an unforgettable move, mission accomplished. Not sure whether the No. 2 choice for replacing Purnell was exhuming the body of legendary former coach Ray Meyer and placing it on DePaul’s bench.

* Please pardon me if I missed the news while sleeping, but as of early Monday WSCR had taken no action — well, unless you consider taking no action to be a form of action — regarding afternoon co-host Dan Bernstein for his sexist remarks last week on Twitter about Comcast SportsNet’s Aiyana Cristal. The action doesn’t have to be a suspension for Bernstein, who already said on air he is an idiot (which he actually isn’t, but saying so presumably defuses the situation in some folks’ minds). WSCR (and its owner CBS Radio) need to take action. And something more than hiring a female voice or two for on-air jobs. Something that gets to the core of a problem that allows sexist sentiments to prevail. And the powers that be should take action not because of any pressure they might feel from people calling for them to do so, but because doing so is the right thing to do.

* Edwin Jackson threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings (one hit, one walk, three strikeouts in the Cubs’ 7-0 victory against Kansas City in his battle for the No. 5 starter job. Well, assuming he’s actually part of the battle. His location apparently was much better than in his previous outing when he showed up late to the ballpark because of bad GPS directions. If the Cubs can find a team that is willing to trade anything of value for Jackson, the Cubs might merit front office of the year consideration. Same thing regarding Welington Castillo. Just the Cubs’ luck that no team has suffered a devastating injury at catcher and is desperate for a player who doesn’t figure in the Cubs’ plans.

* For those scoring at home (or elsewhere and even not at all), Cubs second baseman Javier Baez went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, so he’s pretty much in midseason form. Phenom Kris Bryant played his second game in left field and went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. His batting average plummeted to .425.

* Speaking of strikeouts, catcher George Kottaras had two in three at-bats for the White Sox. In his other at-bat, he hit a two-run double in a 4-1 victory against Cleveland. Gordon Beckham had two errors at shortstop for the Sox. Not sure whether to label the experiment to make him a backup at short a failure but it sure doesn’t seem like a success.

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