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College Sports

Goss: Kirk, other area products enjoy good season

We have been discussing senior forward Nick DiNardi being a member of the Loyola basketball team that will participate in the Final Four beginning with Saturday’s semifinal against Michigan.

DiNardi is a walk-on who has scored two points and grabbed four rebounds in 12 minutes of playing time this season. The NCAA regional final against Florida State, a 78-62 Loyola victory, marked his eighth appearance of the season.

Meanwhile, there are numerous other former area standouts who recently completed their college basketball seasons, with varying degrees of success. Let’s take a look around the Division I and II ranks.

Teyvion Kirk, Ohio (14-17): A freshman guard from Joliet West, Kirk was outstanding, averaging a team-high 15.3 points to go with 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 32.0 minutes. He shot .438 from the field, .400 (16 of 40) from 3-point range and .721 (137 of 190) from the free-throw line.

Prentiss Nixon, Colorado State (11-21): Although the Rams lost 12 of their last 13 games, Nixon, a junior guard from Bolingbrook, was solid. He averaged 32.1 minutes, 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting .359 from the floor, .330 (66 of 200) from 3-point land and .843 (102 of 121) from the free-throw line.

Trevor Stumpe, Wofford (21-13): Stumpe not only helped his team win at North Carolina early in the season, but the sophomore guard also had a good run the rest of the way. He averaged 10.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 0.8 steals in 26.7 minutes. He shot .460 from the floor, .427 (47 of 110) from beyond the arc and .864 (57 of 66) from the free-throw line.

Aaron Jordan, Illinois (14-18): The Illini had little to crow about, but the season the junior guard from Plainfield East put together qualified as one of the positives. Jordan played in all 32 games and averaged 20.1 minutes, 7.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 0.8 steals. He shot .467 from the field, .463 (44 of 95) from 3-point range and .844 (54 of 64) from the foul line in his first season with coach Brad Underwood. In John Groce’s final season, Jordan averaged only 6.9 minutes, 1.0 point and 1.1 rebounds.

Max Strus, DePaul (11-20): A junior forward who had two strong seasons at Lewis before transferring, Strus led the Blue Demons with a 16.8 scoring average. In 35.6 minutes, he also averaged 5.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals. He shot .408 from the floor, .333 (81 of 243) from 3-point range and .803 (98 of 122) from the free-throw line.

P.J. Pipes, Wisconsin-Green Bay (13-20): Pipes, a freshman guard from Lemont, played in all 33 games and averaged 22.4 minutes, 7.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.7 steals. He shot .371 from the field, .325 from 3-point land and .855 (59 of 69) from the foul line.

Trevian Bell: Pipes’ freshman teammate at Wisconsin-Green Bay and Kirk’s high school teammate, Bell appeared in 26 games, averaging 12.5 minutes, 4.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 0.4 steals. He shot .386 from the field, .382 (13 of 34) from beyond the arc and .727 from the free- throw line.

Elyjah Goss, IUPUI (11-19): The red-shirt freshman forward from Plainfield East got into all 30 games and averaged 13.8 minutes, 3.6 points and 3.5 rebounds and shot .441 from the floor, .308 from 3-point range and .759 (22 of 29) from the free-throw line.

Nana Akenten, Nebraska (15-17): In his freshman season, the Bolingbrook graduate played in seven games and averaged 3.0 minutes, 1.0 points and 0.3 rebounds.

Kevin Krieger, Minnesota State (24-10): A sophomore guard and Stumpe’s high school teammate, Krieger was an All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference selection after averaging 32.4 minutes, 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.7 steals. He shot .500 from the floor, a remarkable .508 (63 of 124) from 3-point land and .836 (102 of 122 from the free-throw line.

Jose Grubbs, Missouri-St. Louis (14-13): In 26 games, Grubbs averaged 21.7 minutes, 7.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 1.0 steal. He shot .468 from the field, .311 from 3-point range and .686 from the foul line.

• Dick Goss can be reached at dgoss@shawmedia.com.

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