Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Groce’s Illinois basketball team kicked off the Big Ten college basketball exhibition season with a commanding 101-64 win over McKendree Thursday night at the State Farm Center. More important than the final score, this was a chance for fans to see how this Illinois team would fill the void left by the departure of senior guards Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson.
Can you smell it in the air? College basketball is just around the corner. In fact, the Big Ten preseason kicks off tonight as Illinois hosts McKendree at 8 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Digital Network. It will be the first chance to get a look at several of the conferences top newcomers, which is always exciting to see at this time of year.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
The release of the USA Today coaches poll is another indicator of how close we are to beginning basketball season. I was not shocked to see five Big Ten teams ranked in the new poll: 2. Michigan State, 9. Michigan, 10. Ohio State, 21. Wisconsin and 24. Indiana.
It is no question that football and basketball rule the world of college athletics. Ohio State is considered a “top-notch” national powerhouse when it comes to college football, and the same can be said about Michigan State when talking about college hoops.
Come basketball season, Seth Davis is all over your television screen. This winter, that will include BTN/BTN2Go. Davis, along with former “Flyin’ Illini” star Stephen Bardo, highlights the new additions to BTN’s 2013-14 hoops talent roster. The SI and CBS Sports personality will serve as a game analyst and hopes to also find the time to do some studio work.
Find out more about: Big Ten Q&A
CHICAGO – BTN will be the fans’ destination for high-quality hoops this season, with more than half of all Big Ten Conference matchups airing on the network, including nine straight weeks of doubleheaders on “Super Wednesdays.” In all, BTN will televise 67 men’s conference basketball matchups, including four Big Ten Tournament games and an additional number of non-conference games.