Don’t think that actor Bill Murray has forgotten about Illinois’ 2005 national championship loss to North Carolina, because he hasn’t. Murray followed the 2005 Illini from the Chicago Regional to the national title game. He even gave the team a pep talk before a game. [ MORE: TMZSports.com: I don’t give cash to Tar Heel fans ] Now, courtesy a recent TMZSports video, we see proof that Murray remains an Illini fan. In it, Murray jokingly gives a panhandler a hard time about being from North Carolina before going on a rant and finally giving him money. “North Carolina?” Murray
For a night, Michigan products Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. are teammates again. Same goes for Burke and his former AAU bud Jared Sullinger. It all happens at 9 p.m. ET tonight at the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge. That’s right, Burke, Hardaway Jr. and Sullinger, along with former Indiana star Victor Oladipo, are all on the same team in the annual freshman-sophomore All-State Weekend event. [ MORE: NBA.com: BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge ] This year, the rosters are mixed with first- and second-year players, allowing Burke (Utah), Hardaway Jr. (New York), Oladipo (Orlando) and Sullinger (Boston)
When it comes to college and pro success among recent Big Ten basketball players, it doesn’t get much better than Morris Peterson. Not only did the ex-Michigan State star claim Big Ten Player of the Year and All-America honors en route to the Spartans’ 2000 NCAA title, the Big Ten’s last crown, he enjoyed a successful 11-year NBA career. His playing day behind him, Peterson runs his own clothing company, World Artist Refuge, and manages an entertainment artist touring company, World Artist Transport. He also does philanthropic work in Flint, Mich., and New Orleans, and is in the process of
Another week is in the books, and that means it’s time for my latest Big Ten Player of the Year tracker. Michigan State’s Gary Harris topped my initial list last week, but it’s Iowa’s Devyn Marble on top this week. Agree? Feel free to enter your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post. [ MORE: Tom Dienhart previews the week ahead ] 1. Devyn Marble, Iowa – 42%, 16.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.9 spg. While Gary Harris and Nik Stauskas are struggling from the field, Marble is fresh off an impressive 26-point effort (6-of-10
Watch a conference enough, and you can’t help but notice that every team has a common theme that gets mentioned in every broadcast. Chances are, you know your team’s topic of conversation. But what about the rest of the Big Ten teams? Here’s my recurring subject for every Big Ten team. Illinois. Bruce Weber didn’t recruit Champaign native Rayvonte Rice. Indiana. Yogi Ferrell has a new role now that Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller are in the NBA. Iowa. Depth! Michigan. Tie: Nik Stauskas isn’t just a shooter. And, the Wolverines are without preseason All-America Mitch McGary. Michigan State. Injuries!
Signing Day sure has changed in the last couple of years, hasn’t it. Yes, the National Letters of Intent are still sent via fax, but teams are going all out on social media to welcome their newest football additions. Some teams even have a draft board. See how Big Ten teams made their signings official on Twitter in this post. [ MORE: Read Tom Dienhart’s 2014 Big Ten Signing Day Notebook ] Every team but Ohio State tweeted each individual signing, and a majority of the teams did so with some really fancy graphics and art work. Check it below.
One of my favorite parts of National Signing Day is checking each school’s class for the best names. Per usual, the Big Ten’s 2014 signing class is littered with fantastic names. From Illinois’ Tito Odenigbo to Wisconsin’s Rafael Gaglianone, check out my top 14 (that’s how many schools we have now) new Big Ten names. Did I miss one? Submit it in the comment box at the bottom of the post. [ MORE: Track all of today’s Big Ten football signings ] TOP 14 Names 1. Bearooz Yacoobi, OT, Purdue 2. Freedom Akinmoladun, TE, Nebraska 3. Cameron Queiro, LB, Northwestern
Big Ten fans are very familiar with Sam Thompson soaring into the air for a highlight-reel inbound alley-oop. After all, the Ohio State junior has done it countless times over the course of his career. In Tuesday night’s win at No. 13 Iowa, however, it was Amir Williams channeling his inner Sam Thompson. Watch Williams elevate for the alley-oop in this post. [ MORE: Watch all of the top 2013-14 Big Ten dunks ] INSTANT HIGHLIGHT: @OhioStateHoops just had an inbound alley-oop. Sam Thompson, right? Nope. WATCH – http://t.co/WwWDRn7kIu — Ohio State on BTN (@BTN_Ohio_State) February 5, 2014
Now that all but one team (Nebraska) has officially reached the halfway point of the conference hoops season, it’s time unveil the first installment of my weekly Big Ten Player of the Year tracker. Michigan State’s Gary Harris tops my first list. Agree? Feel free to enter your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post. [ MORE: Tom Dienhart ranks the week’s top Big Ten games ] 1. Gary Harris, So., G – 44%, 18.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.0 spg. Have you heard Michigan State has had an injury-riddled season? Of course, you have.
Indiana unveiled a half-dozen new helmets last offseason. Could the Hoosiers add even more lids this offseason? A picture of four new helmets was shared on social media recently, and the team neither confirmed nor denied the new designs when asked about them. Here’s what an Indiana spokesperson emailed BTN.com: “We haven’t announced anything official.” Indiana football getting MORE hideous helmets? http://t.co/zF8s9bjX9L Make it stop IU… pic.twitter.com/SqIxS5J2WK — LostLettermen.com (@LostLettermen) February 3, 2014 If Indiana adds these helmets in 2014, it would up its total to 10 – assuming it keeps all of last year’s designs. That’s a lot of