Former Penn State basketball player Joonas Suotamo graduated with a degree in Film and Video, and one could say the ex-power forward, from 2005-08, is putting his degree to work. [ MORE: Suotamo represents Penn State in galaxy far, far away ] Suotamo is the double for Chewbacca in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opened Friday. Peter Mayhew, the original Chewbacca, is back to play the role, but at 71 and with knee problems, a double was needed for the action scenes. Enter the 6-foot-10 Suotamo, who played professional basketball in his native Finland after graduating from Penn State.
“Big Ten Elite: 2002 Maryland and Indiana Basketball” debuts Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go immediately after the Maryland-Princeton basketball game. The latest in the “Big Ten Elite” series takes you inside the Maryland and Indiana men’s basketball program in 2002 and looks at the seismic changes for both as they headed toward their eventual NCAA championship game in what was then a Big Ten-ACC showdown. For Indiana, assistant coach Mike Davis took over for Bobby Knight. At Maryland, former Ohio State coach Gary Williams was in the process of rebuilding a Terrapins program in the wake of the
We are one month into the college basketball season, and conference play is just around the corner. Michigan State, Purdue and Maryland look to be a cut-above the rest of the Big Ten pack. But which Big Ten hoops team has been the most pleasant surprise so far? I asked some writers who cover the league for their opinion. Jon McNamara, BadgerBlitz.com: I’d have to say Northwestern. 9-1 with the only loss to North Carolina. There’s a chance the Wildcats break their NCAA tournament streak this year. Doug Bucshon, OrangeandBlueNews.com: Northwestern. Coming off of a 10th place finish in the B1G a
There were two Big Ten men’s basketball teams in action on Wednesday night. Ohio State kicked things off with a 67-54 win over Northern Illinois on BTN. With the victory, the Buckeyes improved to 5-5 on the season. Minnesota closed out the evening with an impressive 70-52 victory over Chicago State. Catch up on all of the action with our Big Ten scoreboard. Check out some of the top highlights from Wednesday’s Big Ten basketball action.
Frank Kaminsky is the best player of the highly successful Bo Ryan era. [ MORE: Get our favorite Twitter reaction to Bo Ryan retiring ] The consensus 2014-15 national player of the year candidate led Wisconsin to back-to-back Final Four appearances, including a trip to last season’s national final vs. Duke. It wasn’t always easy for Kaminsky in Madison, though, and that goes for on the court and with his head coach. Kaminsky’s Wisconsin career was typical of a Ryan big. He saw little court time in his first two seasons, all while drawing plenty of criticism, before developing into
This Sunday, Rutgers takes on Monmouth (N.J.) at 1 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go. Yes, THAT Monmouth, the one with the high-energy collection of bench players who have become the buzz of college basketball this season. Known on Twitter as @MonmouthBench, the Monmouth Hawks reserve players are anything but reserved. Find out why in this post.
Bo Ryan can coach basketball as well as anyone in the profession. [ MORE: Twitter reaction to Bo Ryan’s retirement | Relive reaction to retirement ] As many around the game know, the recently retired Wisconsin coach has a personality to match his coaching prowess. Whether it be on the sideline, in the huddle, in a postgame interview or in a postgame press conference, Ryan is comfortable in his own skin. Win or lose, Ryan always was entertaining, and that goes for in-game and postgame. See a half-dozen of my favorite recent Ryan moments in this post.
Seven Big Ten titles. Fourteen NCAA tournaments. Two Finals Fours. One national final. Three-hundred-and-sixty-four wins, the most in Wisconsin history. It was an incredible run for Bo Ryan as Wisconsin men's basketball coach.
Shocking news across hit the wire last night with Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan announcing his retirement. Talk about big shoes to fill. You wonder if the Badgers can continue their run of excellence that has seen top-four finishes in the Big Ten each season under Ryan since he arrived in 2001-02, as well as Final Four runs the last two years. Gonna be difficult to follow that act. *** Whoa, daddy: ESPN launched its often confusing BPI (Basketball Power Index, for the uninitiated). And guess who is No. 1? Purdue. Yes, Purdue. The Boilermakers are the top team in the nation
After flirting with retirement in the offseason, Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan made it official tonight: He’s retiring with long-time assistant Greg Gard taking over as interim head coach. [ MORE: Top Twitter reactions to Bo Ryan’s retirement announcement ] “After months of conversation with Barry Alvarez and his administrative staff, as well as my wife, Kelly, I have decided that now is the right time to step down from the head coaching position here at Wisconsin,” Ryan said in a statement. “This was a decision months in the making. I brought this up to Barry back in April. He advised me