The calendar says 2012, but it may as well be 1975. The Big Ten is all about Michigan and Ohio State on this Signing Day, hearkening to days of the “Big Two and the Little Eight.” Only in today’s world, it’s the “Big Two and the Little 10.” According to Scout.com, Ohio State and Michigan dominated the Big Ten in recruiting.
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There’s a designer out there, Charles Sollars, who is designing FAUX Nike Pro Combat helmets for BCS conference schools. While the helmets are just concepts and something he does as a hobby, I assume, they’re still really fun for all of us to consider and critique. Many of the lids are pretty cool, too. He has a design for every Big Ten school — some good, some ridiculous — and you can see them in this post.
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Illinois had a coaching change and new head coach Tim Beckman was able to come in and close the class out for the Illini. One of the top guys in the class comes from in-state, Lincoln Way East wide receiver J.J. Robertson who brings big play ability and ball skills to the table.
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Illinois picked up a much needed home victory over Michigan State, and Illini fans would probably appreciate if the discussion ended right there. It was about as ugly as basketball can get, with turnovers and missed shots aplenty. The Spartans had more missed shots than points, and their 26.7 effective field goal percentage represented the program’s worst shooting night in at least 15 seasons (I only have eFG data back to 1997-98). To top it all off, conference player of the year contender Draymond Green, who hadn’t played anyway much due to foul trouble, left the game late with an apparent injury. Green has been diagnosed with a sprained left knee and is considered day-to-day, which is certainly better than many of the possible alternatives.
Tuesday’s Michigan State-Illinois game was far from a thing of beauty. In the final minutes of the first half, in fact, ESPN play-by-play guy Mike Tirico begged, “This half NEEDS to end!” As inept as the offenses were in the 42-41 decision at Assembly Hall, there were a couple highlights: Meyers Leonard’s alley-oop and Brandon Paul’s poke.
Illinois upset No. 10 Michigan State, 42-41, (recap) and No. 20 Wisconsin topped Penn State, 52-46, for its sixth consecutive win (recap) Tuesday night. Perhaps worse than the loss for the Spartans, Draymond Green left the game with a left knee injury (AP story), and he’ll undergo tests Wednesday. Catch up on all the action with our Big Ten scoreboard and get stats, video and recaps in this post.
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LeBron James’ ridiculous dunk against Chicago on Sunday and Blake Griffin’s silly slam against Oklahoma City on Monday got us thinking about the best dunks of the 2011-12 Big Ten season. Rodney Williams, Victor Oladipo and Sam Thompson’s highlights immediately come to mind, but there have been so many other memorable dunks. See my top 10 slams in this post. Did I forget a dunk? If so, click “other” on the poll or enter your selection in the comment box at the bottom of this post. Also, check out a collection of our dunk-centric highlights with our Did You See This? archive.
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