Latest Tom Dienhart News

One-on-One: Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor

Crazy. There’s no other way to describe what has been a topsy-turvy Big Ten chase this season, and Wisconsin point guard Jordan Taylor has lived it. His Badgers entered the season with high hopes but struggled through a three-game losing skid from Dec. 31 to Jan. 8 that included two losses on Wisconsin’s home court, a rarity.

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Dienhart: Intrastate battle headlines slate

The Big Ten features 11 men’s basketball games this week, including an interesting non-league contest that has Michigan playing at Arkansas. Will this week’s slate of games feature as many upsets, further jumbling the conference race? Here’s how I rank the games this week.

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Dienhart: Big Ten Hoops Player Rankings

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s weekly Big Ten player rankings are in, with the same big men remaining at the head of the class. Those players, of course, are Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Michigan State’s Draymond Green and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger.

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Dienhart: Let's look at the week ahead

Up is down. In is out. Black is white. Welcome to Big Ten basketball 2012, a season filled with twists and turns that have jumbled the race (standings). And the conference season isn’t even half over. This past week was filled with tumult that scrambled the league standings and made one thing perfectly clear: This is going to be a wild race for the Big Ten championship.

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Dienhart: Who's Up & Down This Week

That was quite a week in Big Ten men’s basketball. When I wrote Monday about Wisconsin’s struggles, I didn’t imagine they’d shake it off at Purdue later in the week. Then I spoke with Jerry Palm and he told me the Big Ten had eight tourney teams as of right now – we’ll check back with him next week to see if that’s changed. The week got better when I attended the Illinois game and witnessed Brandon Paul’s amazing 43-point night. That will surely shake up my weekly Big Ten Player Rankings.

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One-on-One: Northwestern's John Shurna

John Shurna knows time is running out. The Northwestern forward knows there’s a sense of urgency for the Wildcats to get on a roll. History is at stake. Specifically: The school’s first NCAA tourney trip.

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Dienhart: Predicting the Big Ten Race ... of 2012

The 2011 season was barely punctuated, and the 2012 football polls were already coming out. LSU looks like a consensus pick for No. 1, but the Big Ten is well represented. In the five polls I found, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin all were ranked. And Nebraska appeared in all but one poll. Ohio State, which is ineligible to win the Big Ten title or play in a bowl in 2012 because of probation, is in two polls.

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Dienhart: What's next for PSU's Tom Bradley?

Tom Bradley sits and waits. It’s all he can do at this point. The former Penn State defensive coordinator told me last night that he doesn’t have any coaching jobs in the works despite several schools across the nation being in the market for defensive coordinators. In fact, three Big Ten schools need defensive coordinators: Iowa, Illinois and Purdue. If nothing transpires, the affable Bradley told me that he may explore opportunities in broadcasting. Still, he would offer a lot to any staff that hired him.

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Dienhart's Mailbag: Did Ball Make Right Call?

You have more questions, and I have more answers in this week’s mailbag. With the basketball season heating up, readers wonder who the best team is in the Big Ten, what’s wrong with Wisconsin, and who have been the top freshmen. But also: Did Montee Ball make the correct decision to come back for his senior year? I’ll tell you what I think but then you can tell me what you think about that question and others in the comments box at the end of my post.

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Dienhart: Q&A with CBS Sports bracketologist Palm

Eight NCAA bids. That’s how many Big Ten teams CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm has in the NCAA tournament. Of course, there’s still a lot of time left in the season until March Madness unfolds, and schools will be working madly to enhance their resumes. Between then and now, I will talk to Palm each Wednesday and upload the phone conversation right here. This week we discussed the Illini’s big win over Ohio State, the upcoming Indiana vs. Ohio State tilt, and how many No. 1 seeds the Big Ten theoretically has right now.

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Dienhart: Paul's 43 amaze, lift Illinois

On a night when legendary Illinois coach Lou Henson was honored with a banner that was raised to the rafters of Assembly Hall, Illini guard Brandon Paul raised the roof on the place. Paul notched a career-high 43-point effort in propelling Illinois to a 79-74 victory over Ohio State in what could be a season-defining game for the Illini.

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Dienhart: Coker released from scholarship

News that Iowa running back Marcus Coker has asked for his release from his scholarship is bad news for the Hawkeyes. The sophomore, who was suspended for Iowa’s Insight Bowl matchup with Oklahoma for violating team rules, was one of the Big Ten’s top backs, ranking second in the league in rushing (115.3 ypg). He ran 281 times for 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns, bringing a tough, physical presence to the Hawkeye rushing attack after bursting on the scene at the end of 2010.

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Dienhart: Big Ten Hoops Player Rankings

Another week, another look at the top players in the Big Ten. Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger has dominated all year. The question: Will anyone dethrone him this season from his perch atop these rankings?

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Dienhart: Let's Look At The Week Ahead

The Big Ten men’s basketball season is really heating up as we enter a third week of league action, so it’s time to roll out the first installment of my Monday basketball column. We’re calling this my Big Ten Whiteboard, because I’ll be drawing up all the good stuff you’ll need to keep track of in the week ahead.

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Dienhart: Lining Up My Big Ten Three-Pointers

For now, football is in my rear view window and the road for me ahead has plenty of Big Ten hoops. In my first installment of my Big Ten Three-Pointers, my aim is to fire up 3-pointers from around the Big Ten as I look back at the previous week’s news and then ahead to what’s coming. Ready, set, shoot …

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