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Spring football: Interviews & features from across the Big Ten.

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11:00 AMMichigan St. at PurdueWatch
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Dienhart: Here are my final Big Ten hoops grades

The dust has settled on another basketball season. And, it was a good one for the Big Ten, as three schools advanced to the Elite Eight (Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State) and one made it to the Final Four (Wisconsin). Another won the NIT (Minnesota). Let’s punctuate the season by handing out final grades. Illinois, 20-15, 7-11/T8th. The Fighting Illini had a roller coaster season. In earlier January after a home win vs. Penn State, Illinois was 13-2 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten. Alas, the wheels came off during an eight-game losing skid. Illinois would go on to lose

2014 Big Ten draft class vs. other conferences

The deadline to declare for the 2014 NBA Draft is less than a week away, and the Big Ten draft class is beginning to take its final shape. Baring any surprises, Michigan’s Mitch McGary is the only player in the conference who has yet to announce whether he will stay in school or bolt early for the NBA. Big names like Nik Stauskas, Gary Harris and Noah Vonleh highlight this year’s Big Ten Draft class, but how do they compare to other conference’s top draft hopefuls? Here is a breakdown of the top five NBA Draft prospects from the Big

Fourteen B1G products on 2014 NBA playoff rosters

Fourteen former Big Ten stars are listed on 2014 NBA playoff rosters. Ohio State paces the conference with four players: Mike Conley, Kosta Koufos, Greg Oden and Evan Turner. In all, six Big Ten schools are represented. The team with the most Big Ten products? That would be Memphis, which features the aforementioned Conley and Koufos and Jon Leuer and Zach Randolph. ILLINOIS Meyers Leonard, Portland Trailblazers Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets INDIANA D.J. White, Charlotte Bobcats Cody Zeller, Charlotte Bobcats MICHIGAN Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers MICHIGAN STATE Alan Anderson, Brooklyn Nets Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors Zach Randolph, Memphis

Magnificent 7: An early look at 2014-15 MVP race

The Big Ten has suffered some big attrition when it comes to players leaving early for the NBA Draft as Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross, Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, Michigan State’s Gary Harris and Michigan’s Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III all declared. Michigan’s Mitch McGary still is weighing his options. If he bolts, it will leave another gap to fill. On top of that, stars like Roy Devyn Marble of Iowa, Adreian Payne of Michigan State and Tim Frazier of Penn State are departing seniors. Who’s left? Who will be the front-runners for Big Ten Player of the Year in 2014-15,

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,

Branden Dawson will return to Spartans for senior season

Michigan State forward Branden Dawson will put the NBA on hold and return for his senior season. The 6-6 Dawson made the announcement official on Tuesday afternoon. [ MORE: Big Ten roster updates: Who’s on the move? ] “I was always pretty sure that I wanted to return for my senior season, but Coach Izzo said he would do what he does for all his players and gather some information,” Dawson said. “As he started making calls, my mom came up and we met with Coach. The three of us decided that as far as my basketball career, both present

Michigan State's Gary Harris to enter NBA draft

Michigan State sophomore Gary Harris will turn pro, the school announced Monday afternoon. This surprises no one, as Harris is projected by most to be a lottery selection. In fact, some felt Harris could have gone pro after his freshman season, when he averaged 12.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists. [ MORE: Who’s on the move? See Big Ten NBA draft entrants, transfers ] The 6-4 Harris is a sweet shooter who excels in the open court. He can shoot, pass, work off the dribble and defend. Bottom line: Harris is the complete player and was the preseason pick

Which undeclared B1G player is most NBA-ready?

It’s already mid-April, which means that the NBA draft is quickly approaching. Several Big Ten players have yet to officially announce their future plans. That list includes the likes of Branden Dawson (Michigan State), A.J. Hammons (Purdue), Gary Harris (Michigan State), Mitch McGary (Michigan), Glenn Robinson III (Michigan) and Nik Stauskas (Michigan). That’s a talented list of players, which brought me to the following query: Which of these undeclared Big Ten players is the most NBA-ready right now? I posed the question to eight top-notch writers who cover Big Ten hoops closely. Here is what I got. * Michigan State’s

Merriman: If everyone could inspire like Lacey

They say that it doesn’t matter what someone is born, but, instead, what they grow to be. In eight short years of life, Lacey Holsworth, whose battle with cancer and relationship with Michigan State’s basketball program became known nationwide, grew to be an inspiration to anyone who knew her story. Lacey, or Princess Lacey as so many knew her as, passed away late Tuesday night. Only 8, and after a battle with a rare form of cancer known as neuroblastoma, Princess Lacey let go of this world and moved on to a higher place. [ MORE: Twitter: Spartans, Big Ten