In his first NFL season, former Michigan QB Jim Harbaugh turned the San Francisco 49ers from a 6-10 team into a unit that was one game away from the Super Bowl. The success shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering what he accomplished at his previous stop: Stanford. So what does the reigning NFL coach of the year do when he finally has free time? Well, when your brother-in-law is Tom Crean and you’re visiting Assembly Hall — which he was Wednesday — you sit in on huddles and run the players’ stools on and off the floor during timeouts. Watch Harbaugh work as a team manager now.
Brandon Richardson isn’t the first player to go into the expensive seats at Mackey Arena this season, and he might not be the last. In the first half of Nebraska’s game at Purdue on Wednesday night, Richardson went to save a ball near the sideline and had to jump the Huskers bench in the process. Once in the air, Richardson realized he had nowhere to land and finally came down on a railing. It looked painful, but luckily he was OK. Watch Richardson’s hard landing now. Earlier in the season, Terone Johnson went into the seats, as did Dru Antrhop.
By now, every Big Ten team knows that Ohio State’s Sam Thompson is a highlight waiting to happen. And yet, the freshman seems to consistently find open spaces around the rim, which, more times than not, leads to a jaw-dropping alley-oop. Thompson struck again in Tuesday night’s win over Illinois. This time, the pass came from Shannon Scott, not the usual Aaron Craft, but it was just as nice. And for good measure, Thompson also had a great block in the revenge win. Watch Thompson’s alley-oop now and see the terrific block in this post.
At halftime of Sunday’s game against Penn State, Wisconsin celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its 2002 Big Ten title team. The team, of course, was Bo Ryan’s first in Madison, Wis., and it wasn’t expected to compete for the Big Ten crown. The Badgers entered Big Ten play with a mediocre 7-6 clip, although they did upset Dwyane Wade and Marquette. Wisconsin figured things out, though, and went on to split the title with Illinois, Indiana and Ohio State, its first Big Ten crown since 1947. Watch the WisconsinAthletics YouTube video tribute in this post.
Throughout the 2011-12 Big Ten men’s basketball season, we’re spotlighting Gus Johnson’s best calls. The popular play-by-play announcer is calling men’s hoops for BTN all winter long, and we’ll clip and post his best calls and archive them here. Feel free to bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Right now, watch Johnson’s call of Melsahn Basabe’s thunderous putback and get all of the announcer’s best calls from Sunday night’s Indiana-Iowa game in this post.
There are few Big Ten players more exciting in the open floor than Michigan State’s Branden Dawson. The freshman doesn’t get a clear lane to the hoop very often, but he makes the most of the opportunity when it presents itself. With his athleticism and repertoire of slams, it’s anyone’s guess what dunk he’ll pick in the open court. Well, the opportunity presented itself in Sunday afternoon’s win at Purdue, and Dawson delighted with a powerful windmill slam. The dunk wasn’t his only highlight, however, as he also posted his third double-double of the season. Watch the windmill slam now.
Sitting just 17 points behind Billy McKinney on Northwestern’s all-time scoring list, John Shurna was a great bet to make history Saturday night against Minnesota. The senior star did just that in the double-digit victory, hitting a 3-pointer midway through the second half to put his name atop the program’s scoring list. Watch Shurna set the record and see the reaction from the Welsh-Ryan Arena faithful now. From all of us at BTN.com: Congratulations, John!
For a day, Nebraska did it all and showed what kind of team it can be when everything comes together. It came in Saturday’s decisive victory over struggling Illinois, and Caleb Walker’s ridiculous one-handed alley-oop highlighted it all. The thunderous second-half jam — listen to the rim! — was a thing of beauty.
If you missed the nightcap of our BTN Super Wednesday doubleheader, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, you missed quite the display from Illinois’ Joseph Bertrand. On a few occasions, it was as if he was putting on his own dunk contest. Two of Bertrand’s better dunks can be seen in this post. As for the one posted here, well, let’s just say the Illinois sophomore nearly jumped out of the gym. BTN announcer Gus Johnson loved it so much, he was going crazy during the replays. It was that good – even though it came in a 67-62 home loss. Don’t miss Bertrand’s other nice slam, a putback of a missed jumper, in this post.
Just as we did during 2010-2011 hoops season, we’re archiving Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season. Johnson is calling men’s basketball for BTN all winter long. We clip and post his best calls and archive them here during games, so bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Right now, watch Johnson’s call on one of D.J. Byrd’s three 3-pointers and get all of the annonuncer’s best calls from Wednesday night’s Purdue-Illinois game in this post.
It came in a losing effort, but Minnesota high-flyer Rodney Williams struck again Tuesday night. The Gopher junior put back a Julian Welch missed 3-pointer in a way only Rodney Williams can in Minnesota’s 78-68 defeat against No. 6 Ohio State. The left-handed rebound-throwdown came in the final minute with Ohio State up 11 points, so it’s very possible Williams caught the Buckeyes thinking about everything but boxing out on a late trey.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson has a love song: “I Love You Denard.” Seriously. The song was written by Pat Stansik and performed by Ann Arbor band Mind’s Eyes. Robinson has endured his share of struggles during his time in Ann Arbor, from losing records to injuries to passing struggles, but this proves how much Michigan fans adore their exciting quarterback. Hear the song and see the lyrics in this post.
Just as we did during 2010-2011 hoops season, we’re archiving Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season. Johnson is calling men’s basketball for BTN all winter long. We clip and post his best calls and archive them here during games, so bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Right now, watch Johnson call Drew Crawford’s powerful one-handed slam and get all of his best calls from Sunday night’s Northwestern-Purdue game in this post.
Purdue’s Matt Painter has been challenging his players to show more effort. Terone Johnson exhibited just the kind of hustle his coach is seeking Sunday night. On one particular play, Johnson went into the crowd to save a loose ball and suffered a pretty nasty spill in the process. After a few seconds on the ground, Johnson got up and found his way back on the court. Making the play even better, Johnson got the ball back, drove the lane and hit a teardrop. It was quite a sequence. Watch it here. If you’re thinking you’ve seen a Boiler make a similar play, you’re right. Dru Anthrop put on a balancing act there in December.
In one of the biggest tests of his career, Adreian Payne played his best game as No. 12 Michigan State upset No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday at Value City Arena (AP recap). The sophomore big man scored a career-high 15 points, including 11 in the first half, went a perfect 6 of 6 from the field and frustrated Ohio State star Jared Sullinger. The 15-point night marked Payne’s first consecutive double-digit games — he tallied 12, which matched a career-high, Wednesday against Penn State. Watch two of Payne’s most impressive points, as he slams home Draymond Green’s missed shot. Speaking of Payne, he had a nice alley-oop in the aforementioned Penn State win.
We archive Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season during the games Johnson calls for BTN, and you can watch them all here. Right now, watch Johnson’s best calls from Thursday’s Indiana-Illinois game, including some very nice shots and a celebrity (pssst! It’s Joe Buck) spotted in the crowd.
The 1988-89 Big Ten basketball season was one for the ages and the league was stacked with great teams and players. Indiana was a powerhouse and Illinois would wind up in the Final Four. As the Hoosiers and Illini prepare to play tonight, (8 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go) look back at this incredible moment from their 1989 game at Indiana.
Michigan State’s Adreian Payne is as long as any player in the Big Ten. That length really comes in handy when his teammates decide to loft a pass his way in the paint. Keith Appling knows that as well as any Spartan. The first-year Michigan State point guard found Payne open around the rim in the first half of Wednesday night’s game against Penn State, and the result was pretty obvious. Two easy points. Watch the Appling-to-Payne alley right here.
Blessed with unreal athleticism and great genes, Purdue’s Kelsey Barlow is no stranger to making his way onto the highlight shows. The junior has his frustrating moments, no doubt, but he can drop a lot of jaws if given the opportunity. Barlow did just that Tuesday night when he posterized preseason Big Ten player of the year Jared Sullinger in a narrow loss at No. 3 Ohio State. The dunk drew rave reviews from the ESPN crew, with Mike Tirico saying in amazement, “That is pretty special.” Indeed. Watch the dunk now and see Barlow’s other big slam in this post.
Purdue’s Jacob Lawson has experienced the highs and lows that come with being a freshman in the Big Ten. In Saturday night’s rivalry game against No. 20 Indiana, however, the young big man provided the highlight of his young career. It all started on the defensive end, too, as Lawson stole a pass intended for Cody Zeller, another freshman, and took it the length of the court for a powerful slam dunk. Watch Lawson’s play now and track the action from Mackey Arena.
Wisconsin big man Jared Berggren displayed his footwork and acrobatic ability against No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday. Early in the first half of Wisconsin’s 58-52 loss, Berggren backed his way into the lane against star Jared Sullinger, did a half spin and, with his back to the basket, flipped it in for two points. ESPN color analyst Dan Dakich thought there may have been a travel on the play, but either way, it was a nimble and impressive bucket for the big man. Watch the play now.
It was another action-packed week in the Big Ten as proven by the number of videos our readers watched on these very pages. With some amazing plays punctuating some fantastic finishes, we posted a number of clips since last Friday. Below in this post is the list of the five most-watched videos over the past seven days.
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In a conference that boasts Indiana’s Cody Zeller and Michigan’s Trey Burke, sometimes Iowa’s Aaron White flies under the radar when it comes to the Big Ten’s top freshmen. A few more plays like the one White made in Wednesday’s win against Minnesota, and his name will be up there with Zeller and Burke. Watch White’s impressive And-1 off of a missed shot now and check out Devyn Marble posterize Minnesota’s 6-foot-11 center Ralph Sampson III in this post.