Any talk about Indiana’s 2011-12 athletic year begins and ends with the turnaround of the men’s basketball program. On the heels of a forgettable three-year run that yielded a 28-66 record, the Hoosiers returned to relevancy with a 27-9 season, highlighted by a Sweet 16 berth and upset wins over eventual national champ Kentucky and then-No. 2 Ohio State. The difference between the previous three seasons: Freshman sensation Cody Zeller, the Coaches’ choice for Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an All-Big Ten second-team honoree.
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Lots of questions loom on receiving corps across the Big Ten. The top seven pass catchers from 2011 are gone: Illinois’ A.J. Jenkins; Iowa’s Marvin McNutt; Northwestern’s Jeremy Ebert; Michigan State’s B.J. Cunningham; Wisconsin’s Nick Toon; Michigan State’s Keshawn Martin; Minnesota’s Da’Jon McKnight.
Like many of us, Big Ten products are all over Twitter. They let us into their lives and put their personalities on display in 140 characters or less, and they often delight and enlighten in the process. See some of our favorite Big Ten-centric tweets from Monday in this post.
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In the coming days, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina will tackle all the important football statistical categories and offer their predictions for the 2012 Big Ten leader. Up first: Scoring. See Tom and Brent’s email thread in this post and vote for your winner, too.
Our social media efforts here at BTN are always evolving. You probably know by now that www.facebook.com/BTN is a good place to go for general updates and features on that social network while www.facebook.com/BTNVideo is an excellent way to get every BTN.com video to show up in your timeline. And www.facebook.com/BTNTomDienhart is where the work of BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart appears, too.
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Playoff talk dominates the headlines on this Monday, as we move closer to a June 20 meeting when all the leagues will convene to hammer out details of a likely four-team playoff to begin in 2014.
Here’s something you probably didn’t expect to read today: Hud Mellencamp, the son of Bloomington native and rock star John Mellencamp, is going to walk on to the Duke football team, according to Bruce Feldman. Even more surprising, the younger Mellencamp, a former Golden Gloves boxing champ in Indiana, was home schooled and didn’t play high school football. He is expected to play defensive back for the Blue Devils.