We have all heard of both college and professional sports teams doing promotional “Bobblehead Nights.” But a “Gnome Night” is a new marketing technique that could catch fire soon. ESPN Sports Business reporter Darren Rovell recently tweeted that the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats have announced a Cody Zeller and Kemba Walker gnome giveaway at games this month. Bobcats announce Kemba Walker & Cody Zeller Gnome giveaways at games this month pic.twitter.com/nHZNQpBEWm — darren rovell (@darrenrovell) January 9, 2014 This must be a first. Personally, my favorite part is that Walker’s gnome is taller than Zeller’s, when Zeller (7-0) is a foot
OK, the mail has been steadily streaming in. That makes sense since there has been a lot going on these days, what with the bowl season, hoops heating up and … oh, yes, Fran McCaffery! Let’s dig in and address the best of your questions and comments. And, as usual, thanks for writing! You can keep the notes coming at the bottom of this post. My piece on Iowa coach Fran McCaffery and his behavior in the Wisconsin game elicited many responses. Check out a few of them here. I’ve responded to them below. Is this a blog or a
CHICAGO –BTN Originals will once again give Big Ten fans a view inside some of the most dynamic men’s basketball programs in the country this season with the debut of The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2014. The series’ fifth season debuts at 9:30 PM ET Sunday following the Illinois at Northwestern men’s basketball game. “Once again, the Big Ten Conference features some of the top teams in the nation,” said BTN Originals Coordinating Producer Bill Friedman “and The Journey will have our cameras rolling to capture the most compelling stories and to take the viewer courtside and into the locker
In the first epic clash of the conference season, Michigan State held serve at home against a relentless Ohio State team. Does this give the Spartans the inside track on the Big Ten title? Let’s dive in. In a lot of ways, this was a tough game to figure. MSU fans can point to the fact that their team led nearly the entire game, and that Michigan State’s ability to build a 17-point lead over the first 31:58 of game time is indicative of who is the better team. FIRST 31:58 OF REGULATION Points Possessions Efficiency Ohio State 38 51
On Monday, the 12 Big Ten men’s basketball coaches joined the Big Ten teleconference to take questions from the media. We’ve posted the audio for each coach on the call here, and will do so every Monday throughout the basketball season. Listen to coach Tom Crean: Listen to coach Fran McCaffery: Listen to coach John Groce: Listen to coach Chris Collins: Listen to coach Penn State Associate Head Coach Keith Urgo: Listen to coach Matt Painter: Listen to coach Tom Izzo: Listen to coach Bo Ryan: Listen to coach John Beilein: Listen to coach Thad Matta: Listen to coach Richard
One week of Big Ten action is in the books, as Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State continue to lead the way. Illinois is a surprising 2-0 and thinking big, while Michigan has overcome injuries to forge a 2-0 start. Minnesota may be better than expected, while 1-1 Iowa is still formidable after a tough loss at Wisconsin on Sunday. This week, all eyes will be on the Breslin Center in East Lansing, where the Spartans will play host to Ohio State in a monster league game. Here’s a breakdown of the week ahead. GAME OF THE WEEK: Ohio State
The easy narrative for Wisconsin’s win over Iowa is that Fran McCaffrey was hit with a double technical foul when his team held a 2-point lead, and that those four points gave Wisconsin the lead, the momentum, and the margin of victory. VIDEO: #Hawkeyes Fran McCaffery addresses ejection in postgame presser – http://t.co/AlHFDt79LY — Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 6, 2014 But is that true? Iowa held an 11-point lead at halftime, and up until the technical (which were assessed before Nigel Hayes could attempt his free throws on a foul called just prior), Wisconsin was closing fast. If we
Illinois, No. 5 Michigan State and No. 3 Ohio State all improved to 2-0 in Big Ten play with convincing victories Saturday. The Illini took down Penn State, 75-55, the Spartans won at Indiana, 73-56, and the Buckeyes rolled past Nebraska, 84-53. Catch up on all the scores, stats and video highlights in this post. [ MORE: View Saturday’s full Big Ten scoreboard ] ILLINOIS 75, PENN STATE 55 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Rayvonte Rice scored 15 points to lead four Illinois players in double figures as the Illini defeated Penn State 75-55 on Saturday. Illinois (13-2,
Assembly Hall will host two of the best point guards in the Big Ten Saturday, as Keith Appling leads his fourth-ranked Michigan State Spartans (12-1, 1-0) into Bloomington against Yogi Ferrell and the Indiana Hoosiers (10-4, 0-1). [ MORE: Week in review: Who’s up and down in the Big Ten? ] This marks the third head-to-head meeting all-time between the two point guards, with Ferrell and the Hoosiers winning both games last season. Ferrell averaged 8.4 points and 4.5 assists, compared to averages of just 4.5 points and one assist by Appling, who led the Spartans in scoring last season.
It’s finally here: My first edition of Big Ten Three-Pointers, my weekly fun and informative look back and forward around the Big Ten hardwood. We offer up scoreboards and other features like BTN Connect daily, of course, but I like to take a concentrated look at the week in one special take. I also have a few notes for you to keep in mind before we dive in. Stay in touch with me via my BTN .com mailbox – I get lots of mail and it’s fun to hear from fans. Let’s keep it civil and let’s keep it fun.