Catch up on Friday's Big Ten headlines

Nice piece by Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com on how the Big Ten is excelling at developing NBA players. It’s also nice that most are guys who stayed at least two years. Lesmerises says it’s those guys in the middle – good enough to go early but not sprinting out the door from day one – who have elevated the play in the Big Ten.

Last year, the Big Ten had its best draft in years, with five league players selected, four of them in the first round. None of were seniors. But none were freshmen, either, Lesmerises. This year, the Big Ten could see as many as seven players drafted, four of them in the first round. One, Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, is a freshman.

One, Michigan State’s Adreian Payne, is a senior. The others are “middle” guys in Michigan State’s Gary Harris, Michigan’s Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson, Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross. Michigan’s Mitch McGary is still weighing his options.

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Remember back when Urban Meyer challenged the Big Ten to recruit better? Well, Penn State’s James Franklin is doing just that.

So, with Penn State’s recruiting class currently rated No.1 in the nation, Franklin has — indirectly — taken Meyer up on his challenge, Ben Jones of StateCollege.com points out. The Big Ten hasn’t seen many recruiters like Meyer or Franklin and now they have both of them to deal with. Franklin isn’t looking to make Ohio State’s resume stronger, he’s looking for Ohio State to make Penn State’s resume stronger.

Man, I have a feeling Meyer vs. Franklin is gonna turn into a great rivalry. By the way: They meet in a prime-time game in State College on Oct. 25.

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The gang at Eleven Warriors has taken a look at the film from the Ohio State spring game.

Even with Carlos Hyde gone, it looks like the preferred running scheme will be the inside zone once again. And it looks like quick passes to a fleet of athletic wideouts like Johnnie Dixon and Michael Thomas will become a staple.

More OSU: Urban Meyer spoke recently. And, Michigan’s Brady Hoke was a target. Big shock, huh?

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The life of Princess Lacey was celebrated last night at Michigan State. And there wasn’t a dry eye in the Breslin Center.

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Pretty cool that Michigan legend and NFL Hall of Famer Dan Dierdorf will broadcast Wolverines football games this fall.

“This is the only job that I would have ever considered taking,” he told the Detroit News. “When I walked away from CBS, I didn’t think I’d ever be in a broadcast booth again. I didn’t plan on this.

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“It’s a dream come true for me. There’s a real coming home aspect for me.”

Could Michigan big man Jon Horford land at Florida, where his brother Al played? Perhaps.

I still am a bit vexed as to why Horford wouldn’t just finish his career in Ann Arbor, what with Jordan Morgan gone and Mitch McGary’s status unknown. You’d think Horford would get a lot of laying time next season. Oh, well.

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When it comes to running backs, Northwestern will have a nice collection of them in 2014. In fact, it looks like one of the top crops in the Big Ten for next season.

Venric Mark, Treyvon Green, Stephen Buckley and Warren Long. Not bad, huh? Where is one-time mega recruit Malin Jones? He has fallen way out of favor.

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Check this out: A list of 2014 college hoops transfers from ESPN. Just a sea of names. Incredible, really. You know every coach has this page bookmarked.

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I will leave Iowa fans with this look at the five best decisions by Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz from the Des Moines Register.

No. 1: Hiring Reese Morgan from the prep ranks in 2000. The guy has an eye for talent and can coach.

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TWEETS THAT MATTER

Heavens, no. The SEC East is killer with Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. And you know Tennessee will get better.

Fresno is always a tough place to play.

I would be stunned if Mizzou calls. Plus, Painter’s deal at Purdue is now much improved from the last time he danced with Missouri.

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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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