Following a two-year wait due to injury, Illini guard Tracy Abrams is eager to make his mark on what I predict will be a remarkable turnaround for Illinois.
Illinois senior point guard Tracy Abrams suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during a preseason skill workout and will be forced to miss the entire 2014-15 season, the school announced Thursday. Abrams will redshirt this year and return to action for his final year of eligibility in 2015-16. “Tracy worked hard in the offseason to put himself in great position heading into his senior year, so he’s obviously disappointed and we are for him as well,” Head Coach John Groce said. “But Tracy personifies toughness; he has the heart of a champion and I know that he will
If you’re a fan of college basketball, then you have to appreciate how entertaining Day One of the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament was. Four games were decided by a total of 24 points, with No. 11 Northwestern closing out Thursday’s session with a memorable 67-62 upset victory over No. 6 Iowa. With four games in the book, there were plenty of outstanding individual performances as well. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman provide their all-Thursday team from Day One of the Big Ten Tournament. [ MORE: Get all of our Big Ten tournament coverage
Weekends like this one have me considering whether it’s just better to disregard the non-conference season entirely. Because despite the last three months, there was a lot of reverting to preseason expectations. In turn… Wisconsin’s Defense is a Concern Last year the Badgers were an elite defensive unit that couldn’t score. A big reason for that was the team adopted the personalities of its two senior leaders, Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren. Both players were fantastic defenders, but they also struggled to put the ball in the basket. With those offensive anchors removed—and replaced by personnel with loads of offensive
The Big Ten had a relatively bad weekend, dropping marquee games against other high-major conference teams. The main event was a battle between two top-10 teams when Kansas visited Columbus. Given that the game was on the Buckeyes’ floor, Ohio State should have won this game, and probably by more than just a point or two. Instead, Kansas ended up with a relatively comfortable 8-point win. The Jayhawks led most of the way, and started pulling away with about ten minutes left. There was no great mystery as to why OSU lost—they were terrible shooting the ball, both inside and
When talking most improved player, the Big Ten boasts plenty of candidates. There are proven guys who have taken their game to another level, such as Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, and there are previously unproven guys who have made the most of extra playing time, such as Ohio State’s Shannon Scott. See my All-Big Ten most improved teams in the photo gallery below. About Brent Yarina BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read
Aaron Craft is a very good defensive player. Let’s get that out of the way. Whatever you think of the next few paragraphs, remember that we all agree that Craft’s defense would improve just about any collegiate basketball team. But the sophomore guard just earned some hardware that bestowed loftier praise than just being “very good.” Indeed, it is the opinion of Big Ten coaches that Craft is the conference’s best defensive player. At the risk of dismissing the opinions of 12 men who know a lot about basketball, I think they got this one wrong. Measuring defense is not