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Role playing: One ultimate Big Ten hoops roster

Here’s a question to ponder: What does every great college basketball team have in common? We know every one has a superstar. This year’s national champion UConn had Shabazz Napier, last year’s champion Louisville team had Russ Smith, and the 2012 Kentucky team had Anthony Davis, and so on. Every great college basketball team also has players who fill specific roles. For example, in addition to superstar Nik Stauskas, this year’s Michigan Big Ten title team had a shooting specialist in Zak Irvin, a bench spark in Spike Albrecht and a team leader in senior Jordan Morgan. This got me

If B1G basketball players formed a football team ...

Here’s a question that college basketball fans have probably asked themselves at one point or another: How good would that guy be if he played football? The which-basketball-players-would-be-great-at-football topic always makes for a great conversation point, but rather than pointlessly flirting with the idea, let’s go ahead and actually put it into action. With both the college football and basketball seasons now in the books, I went ahead and put together a 22-man football lineup made up of all Big Ten hoops players from the 2013-14 season. Did I miss someone? If so, tweet me @BTNSean. OFFENSE Quarterback: Josh Gasser,

Dienhart: Here's my top 5 incoming freshmen

Freshmen often are expected to contribute the moment they hit campus. Look at what guys like Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr., and Indiana’s Noah Vonleh—among others–meant to their teams last season. As we continue to turn the page toward next season, here’s a look at five incoming freshmen I think will have the best shot to make an instant and significant impact next season—and probably will need to if their respective teams expect to have a good season. 1. James Blackmon Jr., Indiana. If you watched the Hoosiers this past season, you saw the shooting deficiency. Indiana just

Dienhart: A sneak peek at 2014-15 Big Ten hoops

The 2013-14 season was punctuated with UConn’s win over Kentucky in the national championship game Monday night. Deep breath … exhale. That means it’s time to turn the page toward the 2014-15 season. Yes, already. How will the Big Ten look? Not too bad. Take a peek. Illinois 20-15 overall; 7-11 Big Ten Key personnel back: G Tracy Abrams; F/C Nnanna Egwu; G Malcolm Hill; G Kendrick Nunn; G Rayvonte Rice; G Jaylon Tate Key losses: G Joseph Bertrand; F Jon Ekey Key newcomers: F Leron Black; G Aaron Cosby (Seton Hall transfer); F Michael Finke; F Darius Paul (Western Michigan transfer);

LeVert named 2014-15 preseason All-American by ESPN

Now that the 2013-14 college hoops season has come to a close, people are already beginning to take a look at what’s to come in 2014-15. ESPN college basketball insider Jeff Goodman recently released a list of the most likely 2014-15 All-Americans, followed by a ranking of the 15 next-best players. Headlining Goodman’s list is Michigan’s Caris LeVert, who is the lone Big Ten player listed as a first team All-American. [ MORE: 5 Big Ten breakout players for 2014-15 | Early look at 2014-15 hoops polls ] “Nik Stauskas made the huge jump last season, and look for LeVert

BTN LiveBIG: Monday Download

Last week, the University of Illinois announced that astronaut Mike Hopkins will deliver the commencement address on May 17. The University of Nebraska Medical Center hosted a team of Russian scientists recently. A professor at Michigan State is nationally known for his potato research. Yesterday, the annual FestiFools parade hit the streets of Ann Arbor, Mich. Find out more about this collection of “magnificent, huge, bizarre and politically incorrect” art on their website.  

Stadium Journey ranks Crisler top Big Ten arena

The website StadiumJourney.com recently released a list, ranking the best college basketball arenas across the nation. The rankings are based on several categories, which include: food and beverage in the arena, overall atmosphere, the neighborhood in which the arena resides, the fans, the access (including traffic, parking, restrooms, and ability to move around in the arena), overall return on investment, and a catchall category for any extras. [ MORE: Best sights and sounds from Final Four Media Day ] The highest-ranked Big Ten arena on the list is Michigan’s Crisler Center, which comes in at No. 7 overall. “It wasn’t

BTN LiveBIG: Quinn Buckner helping Hoosiers

With the distinction of being one of three people to have won a championship at every level of basketball – high school, college, the NBA, and the Olympics – Quinn Buckner knows what it takes to succeed. He also captained college basketball’s last undefeated team, the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers. That experience and leadership is now being put to work bettering the lives of others. Buckner has been the Vice President of Communications for Pacers’ Sports & Entertainment since 2004 and that role has allowed him to get involved with several charities throughout Indianapolis. He currently serves on the boards of

Merriman: Ranking Big Ten's McDonald's All-Americans

The 37th annual McDonald’s High School All-American game is set to take place tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET at the United Center. The game will feature three future Big Ten players in James Blackmon Jr. (Indiana), D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State) and Melo Trimble (Maryland), all of who will play for the East Team. The McDonald’s All-American game is known as being the most prestigious high school all-star game around, bringing together the top prep players in the nation for one night of exciting hoops action. There is a long list of former Big Ten standouts who have participated in this

Vote for the best BTN Big 10K race shirt

There’s still time to enter the BTN Big 10K event in Chicago on Saturday, July 26. You can do that right here. Here’s what else you can do: Vote for your favorite BTN Big 10K school-themed race shirt. When you sign up, you can choose a unique, school-specific technical T-shirt inspired by the football jerseys of your favorite Big Ten team. Use the poll below to vote for your favorite look. We’re determining votes by hashtag. If you use a hashtag on Twitter or post any of the 14 hashtags on the BTN Big 10K Facebook page, we’ll count that