Latest Big Ten Pros News

Big Ten players on NBA Summer League rosters

Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor

Gus Johnson: Sullinger for two and the win

Longing for some basketball? The 2012 NBA Summer League tips off July 9-13 in Orlando, with eight teams represented, and continues July 13-22 in Las Vegas, with a record 24 teams in action. They’ll be no shortage of Big Ten products involved, including 2012 first-round picks Meyers Leonard and Jared Sullinger. See all the Big Ten products who will be in action in this post.

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Former Boiler Plawecki hits clutch pro home run

Kevin Plawecki

Kevin Plawecki Home Run

Former Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki is no stranger to hitting clutch home runs. It was only a little more than a month ago, in fact, that the Big Ten Player of the Year smacked this eighth-inning, go-ahead home run against rival Indiana in the Big Ten tourney title game featured here. Plawecki was up to his late-inning magic again Monday night, hitting his second career pro home run to tie the score in the ninth. Watch the home run here.

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Jordan Taylor picks Atlanta, not Milwaukee

Late last week, it looked like former Wisconsin point guard Jordan Taylor, who went undrafted in Thursday’s NBA draft, would sign with the Milwaukee Bucks. There’s been a change of plans, according Wisconsin State Journal’s Jim Polzin, as Taylor has signed with the Atlanta Hawks. Polzin reports the decision had to do with Atlanta’s more favorable summer league schedule.

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Four ex-Big Ten stars taken in 2012 NBA Draft

Meyers Leonard

Meyers Leonard's Journey to the NBA Draft

Illinois’ Meyers Leonard (No. 11, Portland), Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger (No. 21, Boston), Michigan State’s Draymond Green (No. 32, Golden State) and Purdue’s Robbie Hummel (No. 58, Minnesota) were all selected in the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Relive all the selections with FoxSports.com’s Draft Tracker. Dive inside and see all the Big Ten picks, plus get the latest relevant tweets and school releases.

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NBA Draft: Where will ex-Big Ten players land?

Ohio State Buckeyes forward Jared Sullinger thumbnail

Jared Sullinger on NBA Draft

Thursday night is the night several former Big Ten basketball players have dreamed about their entire lives. In a matter of hours, guys like Meyers Leonard, Jared Sullinger and Draymond Green, among others, will hear their name called at the 2012 NBA Draft. When will they get picked? And by which teams? Dive inside this post for all of the latest mock drafts from around the web. And don’t forget to watch BTN.com’s NBA draft interviews and features before the event starts.

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Big Ten products up for 2012 ESPY Awards

Drew Brees

Keith Nichol on Michigan State's Hail Mary Victory

It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years, huh? The 2012 ESPY Awards will mark the 20th installment of ESPN’s annual awards show. It all happens Wednesday, July 11 at 9 p.m. ET in Los Angeles. As is the case every year, Big Ten products are up for their share of awards. See all of the Big Ten nominees in this post. Also, you can vote on the ESPY Awards here.

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2012 NBA Draft: A fun mock draft and mock links

Purdue's Robbie Hummel

Draymond Green on NBA Draft

What if the NBA drafted solely on NCAA production and didn’t stress potential or what a player could become? According to ESPN.com’s Eamonn Brennan, the Big Ten would dominate Thurday’s NBA draft lottery. After the obvious choice, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis at No. 1, Brennan has a Big Ten player making up the rest of his production-based mock top 5. See Brennan’s list in this post, plus get all your links to mock drafts.

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Kirk Ferentz buys "Stanzi" print, complete with quote

It’s been a few years since Ricky Stanzi became a cult hero. If you don’t remember the exact moment, it happened when the former Iowa QB gave Fox’s Chris Meyers this quote following the 2010 Orange Bowl: “There is nothing better than being American. This is the greatest feeling. If you don’t love it, leave it. USA, No. 1.” The quote reads great, but it’s even better when you hear it.

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Howard, Rose celebrate in Miami locker room

Juwan Howard and Jalen Rose came so close to winning the ultimate prize as members of the Fab Five at Michigan. On Thursday night, Howard, an 18-year NBA veteran, finally got to raise the championship hardware as his Miami Heat won the NBA Finals. Where does Rose fit into all of this? He’s an analyst for ESPN, so he was able to congratulate his former teammate and celebrate with him in the locker room. Watch video of it, courtesy of BigTenTracker’s YouTube page in this post.

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WSJ: Which colleges produced most NBA minutes?

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article that breaks down which colleges produced the most minutes in the NBA during this strike-shortened campaign. Duke, to no surprise, landed at No. 1, with 21,609 minutes. But what about Big Ten teams? Ohio State (7,903 minutes) came in 13th to lead 10 Big Ten teams. See the breakdown and the players who contributed the minutes in this post.

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Did You See This? Tyler Sash's Birthday Cake

Who doesn’t like a pair of Air Jordan’s? One former Big Ten football player is such a fan, the shoe makes up his birthday cake. Ex-Hawkeye Tyler Sash may have celebrated his birthday late last month, but we’re just now seeing his birthday cake, thanks to a tweet from NFL teammate and former Buckeye Jake Ballard (@NYG_J_Ballard85). See the cake in this post.

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Behind-the-scenes with MSU's Trenton Robinson

Michigan State safety Trenton Robinson didn’t expect to last until the final rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft. That’s what happened, though, and it made for some frustration and tense moments at his draft watching party. Eventually, Robinson heard his name — in the sixth round, to be exact. And while it came later than expected, Robinson is thrilled to be a San Francisco 49er. Watch a YouTube video of his draft watching party in this post.

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Which undrafted B1G players signed free-agent deals?

Immediately following the 2012 NFL Draft on Saturday night, undrafted players began inking free-agent deals. The list of players continues to grow, but see the Big Ten products who have signed and check out some of their tweets in this post. Here’s the official list from NFL.com. And don’t forget about the 41 Big Ten players who were drafted during the three-day event.

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All-Access: Whitney Mercilus on NFL draft day

Whitney Mercilus

Whitney Mercilus Feature

Former Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called during the 2012 NFL Draft. With the 26th pick of Thursday night’s first round, the Houston Texans selected Mercilus, the first of four Illinois players taken in the opening 48 picks. Check out all the Big Ten draft picks and see who inked free-agent contracts. BTN cameras were at Mercilus’ family draft watching party in Akron, Ohio, to capture the nerves and jubilation of the memorable night. Watch the behind-the-scenes feature now.

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41 Big Ten Products selected in 2012 NFL Draft

Whitney Mercilus

Nick and Al Toon Interview - Wisconsin Spring Football Game

The 2012 NFL Draft came to a close Saturday night. Forty-one former Big Ten stars were selected during the three-day event in New York, including four first-rounders: Iowa’s Riley Reiff, Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus, Wisconsin Kevin Zeitler and Illinois’ A.J. Jenkins. Mercilus and Jenkins were the first of four Illini drafted in the first 48 picks. Even more impressive, four of the Big Ten’s first six players off the board were Illini. Catch up on the entire draft with FoxSports.com’s Draft Tracker and see all the Big Ten picks in this post.

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Big Ten Products on MLB Rosters

The MLB season opens Wednesday, so it’s time to find out which Big Ten products are on MLB active rosters. See the entire list in this post. Forgetting a name? Send it in as a comment at the bottom.

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Ex-Badger Butch wins weekly NBDL honor

Former Wisconsin basketball player Brian Butch was one of two guys named NBA Development League Co-Performers of the Week for games played March 12-18. The former BTN contributor — yes, he can blog, too — averaged 19 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in leading the Bakersfield Jam to two wins. As you might guess from the stats, Butch posted a pair of double-doubles. On the season, in eight games, he is averaging 18.4 points and 12 rebounds.

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Spartan product proposes after Super Bowl win

Former Michigan State star linebacker Greg Jones won a ring and handed one out Sunday night in Indianapolis. That’s right, the New York Giants’ rookie proposed to his girlfriend, Mandy Piechowski, as confetti fell from the rafters of Lucas Oil Stadium following Super Bowl XLVI. Evidently, Jones had practice squad tight end Christian Hopkins hold the ring during the game and give it to him after the final play. Piechowski said yes, of course (see pictures of the proposal!). And here’s a picture of the proud groom-to-be, courtesy of teammate Mark Herzlich’s Twitter account.

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Fourteen Big Ten products win Super Bowl rings

Fourteen former Big Ten players will be fitted for rings after the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots, 21-17, Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVI (AP recap). Ex-Michigan WR Mario Manningham highlighted the group with five receptions for 73 yards, including a ridiculous 38-yard grab (watch the catch!) that helped set up New York’s game-winning score in the final minute. See how all Big Ten products did in the Super Bowl in this post.

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Big Ten well represented in Super Bowl XLVI

As many as 20 Big Ten products will participate in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, headlined by New England QB Tom Brady (Michigan), a three-time Super Bowl winner and two-time Super Bowl MVP. Brady is the biggest name, by far, but it’s the New York Giants who have the most Big Ten players (14 players to six). See all the Big Ten products in the Super Bowl in this post.

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Former Wolverine Larkin makes MLB HOF

Former Michigan baseball player Barry Larkin, who went on to star for the Cincinnati Reds, was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame on Monday. Larkin hit .295 and totaled 2,340 hits, 198 home runs and 960 RBI in his 19-year career, all with the Reds. A 12-time All-Star, Larkin won one World Series (1990), one NL MVP (1995) and three Gold Gloves.

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Nine Big Ten products make NFL Pro Bowl

Nine Big Ten products were named to the NFL Pro Bowl on Tuesday, highlighted by quarterbacks Tom Brady (Michigan) and Drew Brees (Purdue). Brees, of course, broke Dan Marino’s 27-year-old record for passing yards in a season Monday night (read more about the record!). The other former Big Ten players joining the QB’s include: T Joe Thomas (Wisconsin), T Jake Long (Michigan), C Nick Mangold (Ohio State), G Marshal Yanda (Iowa), LB Tamba Hali (Penn State), G Carl Nicks (Nebraska) and DB Charles Woodson (Michigan). See the Pro Bowl rosters.

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Week 16 Big Ten NFL Stats

Week 16 of the NFL season is in the books, and Big Ten products compiled impressive numbers. All season long, use our Big Ten NFL Stat Tracker to see how ex-Big Ten stars perform. Simply click on a player’s name, and the link will lead you to his NFL.com game log. Every Tuesday, Brent Yarina singles out the best offensive, defensive and special teams performances, plus links to their NFL.com highlights. See Brent’s Week 16 winners in this post.

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Brees breaks NFL passing record

As a quarterback at Purdue, Drew Brees became the Boilermakers’ and the Big Ten Conference career leader in passing attempts (1,678), passing completions (1,026), passing yards (11,792), passing touchdowns (90) and total offense (12,692). On Monday night Brees added another record to his impressive resume: He broke Dan Marino’s 27-year-old single-season passing yard mark.

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