Here are the podium press conference sessions from all 12 Big Ten men’s basketball coaches.
Indiana’s Tom Crean: “We have a lot to learn. I think the biggest thing we’re trying to get accomplished right now is to get our team to
understand — this team to understand what it takes to practice at a championship level and showing the standards of last year, not necessarily who it was, but how it was done, I think is the most important thing.”
Illinois’ John Groce: “We want to play faster this year. Have we built ourselves for more speed? Yes. Will we get to our top tempo this year? We will see.”
Iowa’s Fran McCaffrey: “I’ve never taken a shortcut approach. We primarily built it with incoming freshmen. We believed in the guys who remained. I think so often you hear a guy takes a job and, okay, when you get your own guys in there, things will get better. I always looked at it like this: The minute I take that job, whoever is there, they’re my guys. Whoever I bring in, they’re my guys. And together it will build it step-by-step.”
Michigan State’s Tom Izzo: “Knock on wood, there’s a couple of unique things about Gary Harris which could make him one of the best guards I’ve ever coached. And one is his mental approach to things. He’s a very humble kid, and he’s low maintenance. That’s odd this day and age. And the second thing, he’s a shooter that guards people. And that’s odd in this day and age, or any age, in fact, now that I think back to some of the guys that we’ve had many years ago.”
Michigan’s John Beilein: “Good to get to this point of the year where we’re ready to start another season. I like my team. I like the way we
practiced. Different format has allowed us to experiment with some things and give us a little bit more contact with the players.”
Minnesota’s Richard Pitino: “I think the one misconception I think is everybody thinks it’s a grind-it-out league. But I watched Indiana’s exhibition game yesterday while I was working out and they want to run. I’ve watched Michigan State. They want to get out and run. Ohio State. All these teams really want to get out and run.’
Northwestern’s Chris Collins: “Certainly it’s a new style, new philosophy, a lot of new terminology. I’ve been very pleased with how our guys have responded, how hard they’re working. Everybody’s bought into what we’re trying to do, and I’m hoping as we can continue to progress through the season, that we can improve and get better, and that’s what — in order to be a team that can be successful in the Big Ten we have to continue to improve and get better.
Nebraska’s Tim Miles: ” We are more than just a ‘whatever’ school. And when I say ‘whatever,’ is because you don’t have to peel the onion back far to find out (Nebraska women’s coach) Connie (Yori) and I are both picked 12th. She’s 12th in the country; I’m 12th in the league.”
Ohio State’s Thad Matta: “I think the dynamics of our offense will be very unselfish play. Ball movement, a lot of body movement. We’ve got length. We’ve got size. We’ve got different guys that can post. I think both Amir Williams and Trey McDonald have been a lot more productive down low, which obviously adds strength to our offense.”
Penn State’s Patrick Chambers: “Obviously the last two years we’ve been working hard. Our record doesn’t indicate how hard these kids have worked. We look forward to a fresh start, and we look forward to this upcoming season. Hopefully it’s a healthy one and we keep all of our guys on the floor and being able to compete.”
Purdue’s Matt Painter: “We talked about returning four starters, and I really don’t know who our starters are going to be. I think it’s a good thing for us. We have more depth. We have more experience. We have nobody in our junior class. So we have four seniors, two guys that have been with us four years, and we have two fifth-year guys that hopefully can bring us some stability and some experience, some maturity, to balance out the youth that we have on our team.”
Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan: “We have a very tough non-conference schedule. And to start, it is very difficult. And I’ve had a long talk with our scheduler. But it’s the way it plays out. So we’ll be tested early and often. Strength of schedule will not be a problem.”