The Big Ten placed a nation’s best 10 players on the John R. Wooden Award preseason top 50 list, released Tuesday. Michigan State led the way with three players (Keith Appling, Gary Harris and Adreian Payne), while Michigan (Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III) and Ohio State (Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross) also made the list. A freshman made the cut, too. See all the representatives in this post.
We resume our season preview back-and-forth, with Mike answering Josh’s question about Wisconsin–is this team becoming the Atlanta Braves of college basketball? Always a good team, always in the postseason, but never a real threat to win it all?
Did you miss something while you stepped away from your computer? We’re tracking some of the best Big Ten social media happenings and posting them all right here. Check out today’s edition, including some very impressive praise for Indiana freshman Troy Williams.
Jerry Kill joined Monday night’s #BTNLive to talk about the white-hot Gophers, his dance moves and his view from the coaches box during the team’s four-game winning streak. Kill, who is focused on getting his epilepsy under control, said he plans to stay in the box for the rest of the season. Why not? The team is 4-1 under acting head coach Tracy Claeys. Watch our interview with Kill in this post.
No. 1 vs. No. 2 doesn’t happen often. In fact, the last time the top two teams in the AP Poll met on the men’s hardwood, the year was 2008. But, for the first time since No. 2 Tennessee beat No. 1 Memphis on Feb. 24, 2008, we’ll have No. 1 vs. No. 2. It all happens Tuesday night, when No. 2 Michigan State plays No. 1 Kentucky at the United Center.
Most of the Big Ten cruised to easy wins over cupcakes—with one notable exception—but the Wisconsin Badgers faced a formidable challenge against St. John’s. The Red Storm was mediocre last year, but the team returned everyone, including a healthy dose of rising sophomores. The team is expected to be much-improved, much like Wisconsin’s offense.
The Big Ten office released its first Players of the Week for the 2013-14 men’s basketball season Monday. The honorees include a pair of first-time winners, including Nebraska sophomore Shavon Shields, who put 28 points in an easy win over Florida Gulf Coast.