Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Big Ten announced Thursday the 42 student-athletes scheduled to attend the 2014 Big Ten Football Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon, presented by Allstate and BMW, July 28-29 at the Hilton Chicago. The 43rd annual event will mark the first official appearance of Maryland and Rutgers as members of the Big Ten and will feature 20 returning all-conference selections and all 14 head coaches.
Big Ten Basketball Media Day was a chance for the media to be introduced to some of the top players and the coaches around the conference. It was also a chance take in all the sights and sounds around the Big Ten, and there were plenty of good ones.
The city of Chicago was filled with college basketball’s best on Thursday as the top players and coaches from around the Big Ten gathered at the annual Big Ten Media Day. It was a chance to ask some out-of-the-norm questions and find out who really are the best personalities around the Big Ten.
Looking for the most difficult team to peg? Look for further than Indiana. The Hoosiers lost two of the Big Ten’s top players in Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller. But Tom Crean welcomes a talented collection of eight newcomers for an Indiana team that won the Big Ten and advanced to the Sweet 16. Among the key newcomers are Arizona State transfer Evan Gordon, 6-11 Luke Fischer, and wings Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson.
Brace yourself, fans: There could be a lot of fouls called in games this season as players adjust to two new rules changes that figure to have a profound impact. Officials are supposed to whistle hand-checking a foul. No more: no harm, no foul. You touch a player cutting through the lane, and you’ll hear the shrill of a whistle. The goal: To boost sagging offensive numbers.
Minnesota’s Richard Pitino and Northwestern’s Chris Collins are the new kids on the Big Ten block. And, each has a big hill to climb to keep pace with the likes of Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin, among other programs.
Here are all 12 press conferences held by the Big Ten women’s basketball coaches at Big Ten Basketball Media Day.
Here are the podium press conference sessions from all 12 Big Ten men’s basketball coaches.
Michigan State is the pick to win the Big Ten. Why not? The Spartans teem with talent for a program that went 27-9 last season while advancing to the Sweet 16. There’s Keith Appling, Branden Dawson, Adreian Payne, Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine for a team ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation in some polls. But the hub of all this talent is Gary Harris. How good is the sophomore, who spurned the NBA to return to East Lansing? Listen to Tom Izzo.
Michigan lost key players in Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr., from a team that reached the national title game. But this edition of the Wolverines looks formidable even though it has a combined 33 points to replace with Burke and Hardaway gone. A key guy: Glenn Robinson III.
Iowa is an exciting team that looks primed for a breakout as Fran McCaffery enters his fourth season in Iowa City. “Obviously, we’re very optimistic about this year’s team,” said McCaffery. “Recognize the position we’re in and welcome the challenge. I’ve not had a team in my entire career that is this deep.
Illinois is an interesting team with eight newcomers. Who will be a leader for a team coming off a 23-13 season that won a NCAA game? John Groce is looking to senior Joseph Bertrand, especially as a vocal leader. Among the new faces are three transfers from four-year schools: Rayvonte Rice (Drake); Jon Ekey (Illinois State); Ahmad Starks (Oregon State), though Starks was denied a waiver to play this season.
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Michigan State has been chosen as the unanimous Big Ten favorite heading into the 2013-14 men’s basketball season as voted on by a panel of conference media. The media also tabbed Spartan sophomore Gary Harris as the Preseason Player of the Year. Michigan and Ohio State were selected to finish second and third, respectively.
Today’s Big Ten Basketball Media Day press conferences were streamed live and for free from Chicago on the Big Ten Digital Network. Head into this live blog to watch your Big Ten men’s coach talk to the media.
The Big Ten held the 42nd Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon on Thursday at the Hilton Chicago. BTN’s Dave Revsine served as the event’s emcee, interviewing all the conference’s coaches, and Penn State offensive lineman John Urschel delivered a speech on behalf of the 36 players in attendance. Watch Urschel’s speech here and see all of our Kickoff Luncheon videos in this post.
If there was a darling at Big Ten media days, it was Northwestern. Expectations are at an all-time high in Evanston, where talk of winning the Big Ten is legit for a program that has eight starters back on offense and seven on defense from a 10-win squad that won the program’s first bowl game since the 1948 season.
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CHICAGO – How often do some of the best players from all 12 Big Ten teams gather under one roof? Once a year, at the annual Big Ten media days. To take advantage of the opportunity, I conducted a Big Ten poll Thursday that asked one player from every team the same five questions. Who’s the most exciting Big Ten player? What’s the toughest Big Ten road venue? See all the results in this post.
CHICAGO – There’s no better time or place to get an up-close look at the latest changes to Big Ten uniforms and helmets than at the annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon. Teams deck out their designated areas with all of the latest, greatest threads and equipment. Take a look at all the new looks the Big Ten will debut this season in this post.
BTN’s Dave Revsine hosts our two-hour “Kickoff Luncheon Special,” which airs at 8 p.m. ET Friday. Revsine, who also served as the emcee for Thursday’s Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, will be joined by analsysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith as they look ahead to the 2013 season.
CHICAGO – Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien didn’t get an invite to the Big Ten media days at the Hilton Chicago. Coming off a season in which Budzien made all but one kick, he decided to crash the event. Not in a bad way. The Northwestern communications and media department thought it would be fun to have the kicker attend the event and cover it in a self-deprecating and humorous way. Budzien and Northwestern nailed it.
Our friends at Huskers.com had a little fun with a collection of photos of the Big Ten mascots attending this week’s Big Ten media festivities and Kickoff Luncheon in Chicago. Who better to be the topic of an animated GIF than a bunch of animated Big Ten super fans?
As is the case every year on the first day of Big Ten media days, Big Ten head coaches and commissioner Jim Delany had their time on the podium. All 12 coaches met the media, starting with Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald and ending with Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz.
CHICAGO – Urban Meyer is a big draw under normal circumstances. Add Ohio State’s recent player discipline to the equation, and the two-time national championship coach easily had the largest throng of media following him at Wednesday’s Big Ten media day. Meyer knew the attention was coming. He also knew he’d be answering plenty off-the-field questions despite being the coach of a popular preseason pick to make the BCS title game.
CHICAGO – Big Ten media days are underway at the Hilton Chicago. Thirty-six players and all 12 coaches are here and meeting the media. Get caught up on Wednesday’s happenings in this Day 1 Notebook.