The midseason John Wooden Award watch Top 25 list is out. This is a big deal, as the Wooden often is considered to be the premier national player of the year honor.
Big game tonight, Hoop Heads: Iowa at Michigan. And the Hawkeyes’ Roy Devyn Marble has some extra motivation. “I’m trying to knock a couple of teams off the bucket list,” said Marble, a senior and Michigan native who has never won at Michigan or Michigan State during his Iowa career. “I got both of them at home. I want to get them (on the road). It’s an important game because it’s the next one. Each game is important when you’re in the race to win a Big Ten championship.”
Fifteen Big Ten players will participate in the annual Senior Bowl on Saturday. Our team, Lisa Byington, Gerry DiNardo and Russ Lande, is in Mobile, Ala., to cover the Big Ten contingent. On Tuesday, they took a look a close look at Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland and Northwestern quarterback-turned-receiver Kain Colter, in addition to a few other Big Ten products.
Matt Painter addressed Tuesday’s tragedy at Purdue following the team’s frustrating double-overtime loss at Northwestern, and he put the wild day in perspective. Painter said: “I don’t think basketball really is that important when something that tragic happens. We weren’t on campus, we weren’t there. But it’s, you know, it’s really senseless. It makes absolute no sense.”
Purdue had plenty of support on the road Tuesday in Evanston, and it wasn’t just from Boilermaker fans. That’s because members of The Wildside, Northwestern’s student section, wrote “Stand With Purdue” on their chests to show support for the visitors (see photo below), who had a fatal shooting at their school earlier in the day. The Wildcats also held a moment of silence prior to the tip. Talk about classy!
Northwestern received great news Tuesday, as running back Venric Mark was granted a medical hardship for a fifth season of eligibility. Mark’s return bolsters what will be a strong collection of running backs in the Big Ten in 2014. Here’s my ranking of the conference’s Top 10 backs for next season.