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It’s the summer, so that means there’s no shortage of countdowns for your consumption. Today, thebiglead.com released its 50 best players in college basketball. The Big Ten was all over the list, with six players included.
The 2014 NBA Draft is hardly in the rearview mirror, but now it’s time to take a super-early look at the Big Ten’s top 2015 draft prospects. Who is the top prospect? BTN analysts Stephen Bardo and Shon Morris have different answers.
Now that the 2013-14 college hoops season has come to a close, people are already beginning to take a look at what’s to come in 2014-15. ESPN college basketball insider Jeff Goodman recently released a list of the most likely 2014-15 All-Americans, followed by a ranking of the 15 next-best players.
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Three Big Ten players have announced they are going pro, including Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross. Other Big Ten stars have a decision looming, and the deadline is April 27. Who will stay, and who will go? I asked NBA draft analyst Ed Isaacson for his Big Ten draft thoughts.
If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday TV show #BTNLive weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. On tonight’s #BTNLive show, our experts discuss this question: Who is the mid-season Big Ten Men’s Basketball MVP? Our candidates for this poll: Keith Appling (#BTNAppling), Sam Dekker (#BTNDekker), Roy Devyn Marble (#BTNMarble), Nik Stauskas (#BTNStauskas), or Aaron Craft (#BTNCraft).
Sam Dekker is one of the Big Ten’s top players. Did you know he also really likes to rap? On Sunday night’s premiere of “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2014,” Nigel Hayes told us this about his star teammate: “I really believe he’d rather be Eminem than LeBron James, if he could pick.” Watch one of our show’s segments on Dekker in this post.
Find out more about: Sam Dekker
Sam Dekker is no stranger to making highlight-reel plays, and he added another jaw-dropper in Wisconsin’s 80-43 win over Prairie View A&M on Saturday afternoon. This time, Dekker soared for a crowd-pleasing one-handed transition alley-oop. Plain and simple, Dekker got up. And his Wisconsin teammates loved the play. Watch the alley-oop and reaction to it in this post.
Wisconsin continued to roll, with a win over Marquette on Saturday. For whatever reason, the Golden Eagles have been an annual root canal for the Badgers. Entering the game on Saturday, Bo Ryan was 6-6 against Marquette, despite the fact that Wisconsin has clearly been the better team on balance over those seasons.
Find out more about: Sam Dekker
If opponents aren’t careful, Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker has shown he’s more than willing to put them on a poster. The sophomore sensation showcased his leaping ability and power on an impressive two-handed slam in the first half of Saturday’s 70-64 win over Marquette at the Kohl Center. Watch Dekker delight the Badger faithful in this post.
Find out more about: Gone Viral, Sam Dekker
Most of the Big Ten cruised to easy wins over cupcakes—with one notable exception—but the Wisconsin Badgers faced a formidable challenge against St. John’s. The Red Storm was mediocre last year, but the team returned everyone, including a healthy dose of rising sophomores. The team is expected to be much-improved, much like Wisconsin’s offense.
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A total of four Big Ten players were selected in the first round of this past June’s 2013 NBA Draft, and it looks like that number could go up the following year. SI.com recently released a list of the top 20 prospects for the 2014 NBA Draft and four Big Ten products appeared on the big board.
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I’ll admit—I’ve never truly forgiven Minnesota for 2010. Back in those days, when the internet was over, it was my opinion that the Gophers should have been contending for a Big Ten championship. I wasn’t even close, as Minnesota finished the season at 9-9, and squeaked into the NCAA Tournament (the Gophers barely had enough time to check into their hotel before Xavier dispatched of them in the first round).
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Continuing the discussion of what each team could use this holiday season. Part one here.
Find out more about: Alex Olah, Anthony Johnson, Ben Brust, D.J. Byrd, Deshaun Thomas, Drew Crawford, Jared Swopshire, Ronnie Johnson, Ryan Evans, Sam Dekker, Terone Johnson