Today's links: Big Ten's changing hoops landscape
Tuesday it was Victor Oladipo. Yesterday, it was Cody Zeller. Now, what will Indiana look like with two of its biggest stars having turned pro? Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star takes a position-by-position look. Let’s start daily links there.
And how will the early defections of Oladipo and Zeller impact Indiana’s recruiting going forward?
With Oladipo, Zeller and Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas off to NBA, the world watches and waits to see which Michigan players will opt to turn pro. Here is how experts assess the prospects of Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary.
Most feel Burke and Hardaway will leave. Me, too. Robinson and McGary appear to be longer shots. I think GR3 and McGary will stay, but will McGary’s stock ever be higher?
Just as Purdue big man Sandi Marcius was getting good, it looks like he won’t return for his final season of eligibility at Purdue. This isn’t good for Matt Painter. It seems Marcius wants more P.T. at a smaller D-I school. The Nedelisce, Croatia, native played in 75 games for the Boilermakers, averaging 2.1 points and 2.1 rebounds per contest.
Illinois has had a big talent drain along the defensive line the last two years, losing the likes of Corey Liuget, Whitney Mercilus, Mike Buchanan, Glenn Foster and Akeem Spence. Now what for new d-line coach Greg Colby? Loren Tate of the Champaign News-Gazette is worried for an Illini squad that has lost 14 Big Ten games in a row.
Ohio State football always is looking for an edge. Check this out: The Buckeyes have new vision training system. It’s a very fascinating device called Dynavision.
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien will be challenged to manage a roster that will be short on scholarship numbers. This is where his background in the NFL will be valuable. Scholarship limits equal limited contact.
Penn State is limited to 65 scholarships next season, 20 less than the competition. In addition, the 2013 recruiting class — the first of four — was capped at 15 players. All of this requires some serious management skills by O’Brien and his coaches this spring, and in August, as the program readies for an Aug. 31 season opener against Syracuse in East Rutherford, N.J.
It’s been over five minutes since our last update on the future look of the Big Ten divisions. So, here you go.
Michigan may have a quandary at backup quarterback with Russell Bellomy out with a knee injury. It looked like staffers were going to choose between a true freshman (Shane Morris) and a walk-on redshirt freshman (Brian Cleary) to backup Devin Gardner. But Brady Hoke has said Michigan may look to a graduate transfer or JC transfer to help fill the role.
Being an Iowa running back has had its perils in recent seasons, as injuries have hampered the position. And transfers also have dogged the position. But now, it’s time to be excited about the Hawkeye runners.
Mark Weisman and Damon Bullock form a nice tandem. And Jordan Canzeri is back from a knee injury that ruined 2012. Yep, Iowa will have some nice options at running back.
While the running backs at Iowa may be in good shape, that’s apparently not the case at Michigan State. The race to replace Le’Veon Bell remains a work in progress. Nick Hill, Jeremy Langford and Nick Tompkins are in the running this spring.
“Obviously, it’s a position of concern for us,” Mark Dantonio said recently. “Our guys are playing hard. We’ve gotta find a guy we can give the ball to 250 times. I don’t know that we have that yet. That’s part of who we are and we’re gonna find it.”
In the end, a freshman could end up being MSU’s top running back.
TWEETS THAT MATTER
My take: If Taylor Lewan says Devin Gardner is becoming more of a leader, that’s great to hear and good enough for me.
My take: I wonder if some of the Michigan underclassmen basketball players will take a lead from Lewan and return.
My take: I like it when schools take their spring games on the road. Good way to publicize the team and school—and it helps in recruiting.
My take: I can’t wait to see this offense in another three or four years.
My take: I believe it. A lack of good big men in this draft could push Zeller that high.
My take: Zeller played like a walk-on. That’s a high compliment.
My take: Wow and amaze your friends with this tidbit.
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.|
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