Everyone’s heard of Alcatraz, but have you ever toured the San Francisco landmark? Illinois football players did just that while in California preparing for Saturday afternoon’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl versus UCLA. Go behind the scenes with the Illini as they tour the famous military prison in an IlliniProductionsHD YouTube video in this post.
Michigan State sophomore Keith Appling compiled the greatest game of his young career Wednesday night, tallying a career-high 25 points, six rebounds and seven assists in No. 17 Michigan State’s 80-65 victory over previously undefeated No. 15 Indiana. In addition to the across-the-board excellence, Appling had a couple highlight-reel plays. Watch the guard finish a ridiculous, off-balance and-1 now and check out his emphatic block in this post.
Illinois sophomore Meyers Leonard has been turning heads all season long, but now that the Big Ten season underway, the rest of the Big Ten is about to see what this guy is all about. In Tuesday night’s Big Ten opener against Minnesota, the athletic 7-footer flashed his unusual skills on a highlight-reel alley-oop. Leonard set a pick, rolled to the hoop, and threw down a perfect pass from guard Brandon Paul with relative ease. Watch the play now.
Prior to Tuesday night’s Big Ten opener at Assembly Hall, Illinois coach Bruce Weber allowed BTN cameras inside the Illini locker room for his pregame speech. The behind-the-scenes access resulted in some terrific footage. Watch Weber’s motivational words moments before Illinois took the court against Minnesota in the first Big Ten game of the season. As for the game, the Illini topped the Gophers in double overtime.
Everything Aaron Craft does, it seems, begins on the defensive end. The sophomore guard led the Big Ten in steals (2.9) entering Thursday night’s game against Miami (OH), and he only added to his total in the game on BTN. Early in the second half, Craft turned one of his latest steals into an impressive and-1 opportunity. Watch Craft get the steal, drive the floor and finish despite the contact now.
Night in and night out, Indiana’s Cody Zeller continues to dazzle and show why he was so highly recruited. The talented freshman entered Thursday night’s game against UMBC averaging 15.3 points, 7.4 rebounds 2.3 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. Those numbers may get better following Thursday’s action. One thing’s for sure: Zeller added two more highlight-reel plays to his first-year resume tape. Watch his powerful jam, set up by a terrific pass from Victor Oladipo, and see his breakaway jam in this post.
During halftime of Thursday’s Bradley-Michigan game on BTN, our cameras were given behind-the-scenes access to the Wolverines’ locker room. It wasn’t as jovial of a place as John Beilein would have like, as Bradley hit a buzzer-beating 3 to tie the score, but it’s great video nonetheless. Watch Beilein address his team and check out the entire halftime period in this video now. Also, you can watch assistant Bacari Alexander’s passionate pregame speech that focused on team unity 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 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Right now you can watch Johnson’s best calls from Thursday’s Bradley-Michigan game, including one involving the opponent. See his other calls in this post.
Tim Frazier stands all of 6-foot-1. So when the Penn State point guard elevates to swat an opposing big man, it’s kind of a big deal. The Nittany Lions’ do-it-all star emphatically blocked Cornell’s 6-foot-9 Deion Giddens’ layup in Wednesday night’s 74-67 home victory. The block was quite the highlight, no matter how many inches (8) Frazier was giving up. It was so good, in fact, BTN play-by-play man Eric Collins had this to say: “Blocked away by Frazier! How did he get up there?” Find out in this video now.
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 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Right now you can watch Johnson’s best calls from Tuesday’s Lamar-Ohio State, including this one that helped fans at Value City Arena get free fries.
It was garbage time, there was little reason to watch, and then little-used Purdue reserve Dru Anthrop gave us some excitement in the final seconds of Purdue’s 81-56 victory over IPFW. Anthrop had just saved the ball from going out of bounds, when his momentum took him off the floor and would have put him into the expensive seats, if not for some serious athleticism and balance. Anthrop jumped onto a scorer’s table, kept going toward the fans and landed on a railing, where he somehow gained his balance. Tony Hawk would have been impressed.
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Have any doubts whether Purdue senior Robbie Hummel is healthy from his two major knee surgeries? Yeah, um, Hummel showed just how good he’s feeling with an athletic play to end the first half of Tuesday’s game against IPFW. It looked as though Kelsey Barlow was going to end the half with a running layup, but the ball caromed off the rim, and Hummel, who never gave up on the play, was there for the thunderous putback, milliseconds before the buzzer sounded. The refs reviewed the play, but as you can tell, it was good. Watch the putback now.
Just as we did during 2010-2011 hoops season, we’re archiving Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season. Johnson called the Big Ten Football Championship for Fox and 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 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Right now you can watch Johnson call Jordan Hulls’ lefty 3 to beat the shot clock last night at Indiana. Check out the rest of his Howard-Indiana calls in this post.
Like big dunks? You’re in luck, because Michigan State’s Branden Dawson got up and threw one down with authority during Monday night’s game against UMKC at the Breslin Center. The freshman, you could say, wasn’t all that intimated by Kangaroos big man Brad Reid, all 6-foot-11 of him. No, instead Dawson posterized the poor guy. Watch the athletic freshman’s powerful dunk now.
On a day where Northwestern’s John Shurna came within one 3-pointer of tying the Big Ten record (10), it was one of his buckets near the rim that everyone buzzing. With the game well in control in the final minutes, Shurna made a backdoor cut and hammered home an alley-oop pass from junior Drew Crawford. Shurna, a dunk contest winner during his high school career, exhibited his ups and hang time on this play, because Crawford’s pass was a little short, forcing him to readjust in midair before throwing it down. Watch it for yourself now.
Have you seen the inside of the new Iowa basketball practice facility? In a world where you almost need the latest, greatest facilities to stay alive in the recruiting game, the Hawkeyes are more than doing their part. The $47-million facility looks terrific. Iowa SIDs gave BTN cameras access to the facility prior to Saturday night’s game against Drake. BTN color analyst Keno Davis, the son of legendary Dr. Tom Davis, was a fan, saying, “It’s great for the student-athletes at Iowa.” Watch the quick video tour now.
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Michigan State freshman Travis Trice knows a golden opportunity when he sees one. In Saturday night’s game against Bowling Green at the Breslin Center, Trice proved exactly that when 5-foot-6 BGSU guard Jordon Crawford appeared to have an easy breakaway layup. Trice, of course, had other ideas. He trailed Crawford, closed the gap at the last second and emphatically swatted the would-be layup from behind. To make the play even better, BGSU grabbed the rebound, only to have the ensuing putback blocked by Brandon Wood. Typical Tom Izzo defense. Watch the block now.
BTN lead basketball analyst Jim Jackson needs no introduction. The former Ohio State star and two-time Big Ten Player of the Year has his number retired in the Value City Arena rafters, after all. He also had a long and successful NBA career. Oh, and he has a son, Traevon, who is a freshman basketball player at Wisconsin. Prior to Wisconsin’s game Wednesday night against Savannah State, Jim went one-on-one with his son at the Kohl Center. Watch the feature now.
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Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft has plenty of brains to go along with his skills on the hardwood. As it’s been reported recently, the sophomore sensation received the first “B” of his academic career last year. And it was a B-plus in chemistry, so it’s not like he should feel bad. On Tuesday, Craft was caught doing a Rubik’s Cube with one hand while conducting a phone interview with CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman. So, naturally, BTN asked Craft to give the Rubik’s Cube a try in front of one of our cameras Wednesday. He succeeded. In just more than a minute, too. Watch the video now.
Any way you define it, Ohio State’s Sam Thompson is an athlete. In fact, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta has been quoted as saying the freshman is the most athletic player he’s ever coached. Thompson hasn’t had many opportunities to showcase his talents in the Buckeyes’ first nine games, but he more than made up for it Wednesday night. In an easy win over South Carolina-Upstate, Thompson started things off by coming from behind and swatting a would-be breakaway layup. After that, he put on a dunk contest, prompting Jim Jackson to say: “He’s a highlight package waiting to happen.” Watch the block now and see his dunking ability inside.
It’s the Holiday season, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a Christmas song or two to get you feeling all festive? A cast of Illinois athletes might change your view on Christmas music. In a recent IlliniProductionHD YouTube video, quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, breakout basketball player Meyers Leonard and a group of other Illini combine to sing Jingle Bells. Watch and hear their rendition in this post. So, what do you think?
Here’s a great play for you. At first glance, you might say, “That’s a pretty nice buzzer-beater.” Then, if you watch the play again, you can’t help but miss the powerful – and, let it be known, legal – pick set by Blake McLimans to make the terrific last-second shot possible. Watch McLimans’ leveling pick and freshman Trey Burke’s buzzer-beater to end the first half against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday night at Crisler Arena now.
On Tuesday night’s latest edition of the Big Ten Pulse, our crew kicked around some of their favorite buzzer-beating moments, this coming off Indiana’s dramatic last-second win over top-ranked Kentucky on Saturday at Assembly Hall. Watch now as Rick Pizzo, Derek Rackley and Tim Doyle discuss Indiana’s memorable win over Kentucky now and see our collection of several recent Big Ten buzzer-beaters in this post.
We have a new feature at BTN.com, and it’s called “Did You See This?” Throughout the seasons, the staff of BTN.com will watch all the Big Ten action for the best highlights, whether it’s an incredible catch, an unbelievable dunk or a can’t-miss feature, and immediately publish them here as a post. Check out our Did You See This? archive. Watch one of our latest postings right now.
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