Start your week off with Monday's Big Ten headlines
Wow. Here’s a little bit of pressure for incoming Michigan State guard Lourawls Nairn: Mateen Cleaves says the kid reminds him of … himself! The Spartans suffered a lot of attrition. So, there figures to be plenty of opportunity for Nairn.
Nairn is a 5-10, 165-pound point guard ranked just outside the top 100 prep players in the nation. The skinny on Nairn: He’s undersized with a still-developing jumper. Intangibles are his biggest assets—for now.
“I’ll never be a LeBron James or a Kobe Bryant,” Nairn said. “I think with me being undersized, I have to always be a dog, and I have to always bring energy. That’s why I play with so much passion.”
Nebraska’s Terran Petteway was a revelation last season, emerging as one of the top players in the Big Ten after transferring from Texas Tech. Well, he’s working hard in the offseason to get even better. To be exact, he’s trying to become bigger and stronger.
The 6-6 Petteway was listed at 209 pounds a year ago. Now, he’s at 218 pounds with a body-fat of about three percent. He also recently bench pressed 245 pounds six times and squatted 405 pounds. Not bad at all.
“You should see the stuff he does in the weight room,” said Tim Wilson, NU’s basketball strength coach. “It’s pretty incredible.”
No shock here: A poll of Michigan State fans reveals that 57 percent of them approve of Mark Dantonio’s job performance. Just three percent disapprove. It’s good to be Dantonio!
The hype surrounding incoming Michigan cornerback Jabrill Peppers is monstrous. Brady Hoke has told him to keep things in perspective. That could be difficult to do.
The Wolverines bring back three secondary players who started a combined 33 games in 2013 and return a host of other youngsters (Jourdan Lewis, Channing Stribling, Dymonte Thomas) who played a bit in 2013.
“Jabrill and I have had conversations,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said this week on an episode of “Inside Michigan Football.” “All those people who are patting you on the back, they’re the same ones who will put a knife in your back (if you struggle). Don’t worry about that, just do what you’ve done to get you to this point and work the way you’ve worked.
Marcus Jackson of the Champaign News-Gazette takes a look at Big Ten players who could be selected in the 2015 NBA Draft. No. 1 on the list: Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky.
Tough news for Ohio State, as defensive lineman Tracy Sprinkle is suspended indefinitely after being charged with cocaine possession following a bar brawl.
He isn’t part of the two-deep of talented Buckeye front. Still, he’s a promising youngster.
Bob Flounders of Pennlive.com takes a look at the incoming Nittany Lions freshmen.
There are some problem areas (offensive line, linebacker) for PSU as the team gets ready for camp, and Franklin and his assistant coaches have been sending strong signals they may turn to the 2014 recruiting class to provide depth and, in some cases, immediate impact.
Keep an eye on these guys: quarterback Michael O’Connor, wideouts Saeed Blacknall, Chris Godwin, DeAndre Thompkins, tight end Mike Gesicki and linebackers Jason Cabinda Troy Reeder.
Kirk Ferentz has high hopes for his team’s offense, and so do I. In fact, could it be Iowa’s attack best since 2002?
“We’ve got a good core,” coach Kirk Ferentz said earlier this summer, “but that doesn’t mean we’re there yet. We’ve got to get better.”
Since Ferentz took over the program in 1999, the Hawkeyes have produced four seasons in which they averaged at least 30 points a game. The Hawkeyes return eight starters from an offense that scored 26.3 points in 2013.
Who among Chris Collins’ first Northwestern recruiting class of five players could contribute now? Well, hopefully, most of them. But Vic Law and Bryant McIntosh should lead the way.
|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.|