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.
Illinois released a statement Tuesday announcing that sophomore guard Crandall Head has left the Illinois basketball program. Head played in 26 career games with the Illini, averaging 1.2 points. Last season he played in 17 games and nine games this season. “We are disappointed with Crandall’s decision not to continue his career at Illinois, but ultimately we want what is best for him,” Illinois coach Bruce Weber said in the statement.
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In Big Ten men’s basketball, the Wisconsin Badgers beat Mississippi Valley State 79-45. ordan Taylor sparked the Badgers, as he scored 17 points and knocked down 5-of-9 shot attempts in the win. Jared Berggren had a quality shooting game, nailing 4-of-7 shots from the field and scoring 15 points. All teams are off Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Get caught up on both leagues via the men’s stats and men’s standings as well as the women’s stats and standings.
On January 10, BTN will debut a powerful new original series called Impact the World, which shifts the focus from the playing field to the world stage, where Big Ten professors and students are making their presence known. Impact will take viewers on a journey around the world to illustrate how breakthroughs at all 12 Big Ten universities are improving lives. The actor Dennis Haysbert is hosting the series. Watch a promo for the series right here and learn more in this post.
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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.