Illinois G Brandon Paul breaks jaw during open gym

Illinois' Brandon Paul

Most Dominating Performance of the Year: Brandon Paul

It’s been a tough week or so for a couple Illinois standout athletes. Last week, defensive lineman Michael Buchanan broke his jaw in a Champaign altercation, and on Thursday, star guard Brandon Paul suffered the same injury during open gym. Paul, the winner of BTN’s 2012 “Most Dominating Performance,” is coming off a junior season in which he averaged 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

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Michigan State's Draymond Green

Head to Saginaw with Draymond Green

Rejoice, basketball fans. BTN is dedicating Friday’s programming to men’s basketball. Starting at 10 a.m. E.T., we’re re-airing a trio of exciting 2011-12 games, including Indiana’s memorable upset of No. 1 Kentucky, all of which precede a marathon of our award-winning “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2012,” which tips off at 3:30 p.m.

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Athlon Sports ranks top 25 Big Ten Heisman Candidates

Coming up with 25 national candidates for the Heisman Trophy is difficult enough, so it’s easy to understand what Athlon Sports must have gone through while compiling its Big Ten’s 25 Heisman Trophy Contenders. Twenty-five, really?! Let’s focus on the top 5, what do you say? Here it is: 1. Denard Robinson; 2. Montee Ball; 3. Rex Burkhead; 4. Braxton Miller; 5. Taylor Martinez.

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WSJ: Which colleges produced most NBA minutes?

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article that breaks down which colleges produced the most minutes in the NBA during this strike-shortened campaign. Duke, to no surprise, landed at No. 1, with 21,609 minutes. But what about Big Ten teams? Ohio State (7,903 minutes) came in 13th to lead 10 Big Ten teams. See the breakdown and the players who contributed the minutes in this post.

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Suggestion Box: Nominate Your Big Ten Greatest Game

Greatest Games: 1998 Purdue at Wisconsin

I Hit It To Win It: Nick Anderson

“The Big Ten’s Greatest Games” for football and basketball is a popular program for our TV viewers and online readers. Each year we dig through the archives and roll out new episodes featuring games from the past. For example, that classic 1989 Big Ten basketball finish between Illinois and Indiana featured in our ongoing series “I Hit It To Win It” (watch the video in this post).

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Talking 2012-13 Big Ten Basketball Breakout Players

ESPN.com’s Eamonn Brennan posted a story Thursday offering his 10 potential breakout players for 2012-13, and the list features one Big Ten player: Michigan State’s Keith Appling. Here’s a sampling of Brennan’s thoughts on Appling: “With the team’s do-everything leader Draymond Green gone, and a batch of younger, less experienced players rounding out the rotation, Appling has a chance to evolve from a nice complementary piece into one of the Big Ten’s bonafide stars.”

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BTN Names Jim Reeder Vice President, Ad Sales

CHICAGO – BTN has named Jim Reeder as its Vice President, Ad Sales. In his new role, Reeder is responsible for providing oversight and strategic direction for the entire BTN sales team. Reeder comes to the network after serving as a Sales Account Executive for Fox Networks, where he sold Fox Sports Net, Fox College Sports, Fox Soccer, FUEL TV, and SPEED.

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