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Latest Tom Dienhart News

Tom Dienhart hands out midseason Big Ten basketball grades

Following Sunday’s quartet of Big Ten games, every team has played at least nine conference games, exactly half of its league schedule. [ MORE: Follow @BTNJonCrispin | Power Rankings | Big Ten midterm grades | Best of week that was | Players of the Week | Bracketology | Scoreboard | Standings | Stats | Polls | Win a trip for two to the Big Ten tourney ] Halfway home, it’s seems like a great time to hand out some midseason grades. Get my report card for all 14 teams below. Illinois (10-12, 2-7): D. Injuries have impacted this roster greatly.

Poll: Who would you pick to take a last-second shot to win a game?

If you had to pick one Big Ten player to take a last-second shot to win a game, who would it be? I posed the question to those who cover the league. Jess Settles, BTN: Denzel Valentine. He already has hit many late-game shots in his stellar career. He’s not afraid of the moment and he has the skill set to make a game winner in a variety of ways. GopherHole.com: Melo Trimble for sure. He’s confident, he’s got great range and can get a shot off with very little separation. Cold blooded. Kevin Noon, BuckeyeGrove.com: I know a lot

Dienhart's top 5 players to replace: Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin is aiming to get back to the summit in the Big Ten West. But there is work to do as Paul Chryst begins his second season in Madison coming off a 10-3 debut and second-place finish in the West. Chryst has talent back to work with. The offense returns the likes of RBs Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale, WRs Robert Wheelwright and Jazz Peavy, TE Troy Fumagalli and offensive linemen like Dan Voltz and Michael Deiter. The defense has back LBs T.J. Edwards, Jack Cichy and Vince Biegel, along with NT Arthur Goldberg, E Chikwe Obasih and CB Sojourn

Dienhart: Michigan Wolverines have their man in Warde Manuel

Michigan's new Athletic Director is Warde Manuel, a former Wolverine defensive tackle and a rising star in college athletics administration. He cut his teeth as an athletic director at the University of Buffalo and UConn. Now, he’s back at Michigan, where it all began as a student-athlete (1986-89) and administrator from 1998-2005.

Big Ten links: Catch up on Friday's football & hoops headlines

Maryland basketball got a signature win, Wisconsin football and Indiana football got new defensive coordinators, there are some Big Ten Senior Bowl standouts, and more in Friday's edition of the Big Ten headlines digest.

Big Ten Football: Top non-conference games next season

Got a case of the winter blahs? Missing your pigskin fix? Why not look ahead to the football season? No better way to prime the 2016 pump than by looking at the top seven non-conference games of the coming season, listed by date. Know this: Sept. 17 is a big Saturday in a season in which Big Ten schedules now feature just three non-league games and nine conference tilts. Wisconsin vs. LSU at Lambeau Field, Sept. 3. These schools met in the 2014 season opener in Houston, with the Tigers taking a 28-24 victory. LSU also won the two other

Big Ten mailbag: Dienhart answers your questions

Time for me to reach into my mailbag and answer your pressing queries. It seems a white-hot Iowa team has the attention of many of you. The Hawkeyes have a big game tonight. With that, let’s get going. Who do you have winning the Iowa-Maryland game in College Park, Md., on Thursday? – Braydon Dobereiner I know the Terrapins are tough with Melo Trimble and Co. But how can you go against the Hawkeyes, winners of nine in a row overall and 13 Big Ten game in succession dating to last year? Even on the road in a tough environment?

Big Ten links: Thursday's football & hoops news digest

In today's Big Ten headline roundup, we have one look at a critical stretch in Northwestern basketball's schedule. Are they tourney worthy? Meanwhile, Wisconsin needs to enhance their tourney credentials, too. Rutgers football got some good news. Minnesota basketball has some, too. Read these stories and others in today's digest.

Tom Dienhart's top 5 players to replace: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Rutgers will begin its third Big Ten season under transition. Kyle Flood is out. Chris Ash is in, hired away from his job as defensive coordinator at Ohio State. Ash has work to do, especially on a defense that ranked No. 13 in the Big Ten overall (462.0 ypg) and 12th in scoring (34.9 ppg). The offense will be undergoing a scheme change, making this a critical spring on both sides of the ball. One of the biggest position battles will come at quarterback between Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig. Other talent back on offense is RBs Josh Hicks and

Duncan Robinson Q&A: 'I like to make at least 200 shots every day'

Duncan Robinson has a story you won’t believe. It’s a tale of the rise of player from Division III obscurity to the big time. It’s the stuff of movies. [ MORE: Watch Rutgers at Michigan at 7 p.m. ET tonight on BTN2Go ] Just two years ago, he was averaging 17.1 points playing for Division III Williams College in Massachusetts. Now, Robinson is a key play for a rising Michigan team that’s looking to get back into the Big Dance after missing last season. Robinson is Wolverines’ top marksman, a deadly shooter from long range who can light up a