Dienhart: 12 Newcomers to watch in 2012

Every season, there are fresh faces that make impacts–true freshmen, redshirt freshmen, transfers from four-year schools, junior-college transfers. And often times, the newcomers seemingly come out of nowhere to make big impacts. Perfect example: Lavonte David two seasons ago. Following is a look at one newcomer from each Big Ten team who has a good chance to make a significant impact this season. Consider this your chance to learn about these guys now.

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Deron Williams signs NBA contract on iPad

Technology is great, isn’t it? Nowadays, we can watch games on the go from our smartphones. We can even sign contracts without paper or pen. Not all of us, but some of us. Like former Illinois star Deron Williams, who used an iPad to sign his contract with the Brooklyn Nets early Wednesday morning. In Las Vegas with Team USA, Williams tweeted a picture of himself signing the contract, the tweet reading: “Officially a Brooklyn Net! Signed my contract on an iPad Just thank God for this wonderful Opportunity #HelloBrooklyn”

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012 Big Ten games Part III

The countdown of my top 2012 Big Ten football games continues with games 40-59. That’s right, I’m ranking all the Big Ten games for this upcoming season. Yesterday, I did games 60-79, and the day before it was 80-96. I’ll continue to work my way to the top games each of the next two days. Like rankings like this? You need to check out my Rankings archive, where I rank all things Big Ten, including my top 2012 Big Ten units. Also, get all my latest Big Ten football posts right here.

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Olympic Journal: Long Road To My First Games

Gia Lewis-Smallwood is a former discus thrower at Illinois who recently qualified for the 2012 London Olympics as a member of Team USA. In her first Big Ten Olympic journal for BTN.com, she writes about what it’s like to make the Olympics at the age of 33.  Read her first entry in this post and find more Big Ten Olympic journals here.

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SBNation: 99 days until college basketball season

Here’s something you probably didn’t know: the college basketball season officially tips off in 99 days. Credit the guys at SBNation.com for alerting us. As a way to celebrate, the site published a fun post Tuesday that offers 99 college hoops thoughts, facts and predictions for the 2012-13 season. And, of course, the Big Ten is represented. See a sampling of some of the best ones in this post.

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