Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, April 4, 2013

Michigan's Trey Burke continues to show why he?s the best college basketball player in America. His next stop: The Final Four. Let?s begin daily links there. I wonder how Ohio State fans feel about a Columbus, Ohio, kid leading rival Michigan to the summit of college hoops. Kinda weird. Oh, well.

While discussing Michigan, don?t you wonder how freshman big man Mitch McGary is dealing with his new-found fame? Quite well, thank you. But, if he ever starts to let all of the adulation go to his head, he remembers what his father told him.

"My dad always said stay level-headed, stay humble, stay hungry — and if I get cocky, he's going to teach me a lesson when I get home," McGary told

"A lot of people want pictures and autographs, but I just try to stay level-headed, modest, humble. That's the way I was raised. I'm not going to be flashy, try to show out, like, 'Hey, I'm Mitch McGary.' Try to stay low key — try to stay incognito, I guess."

And Michigan?s Final Four run tastes a bit sweeter knowing signee Zak Irvin has been named Indiana Mr. BasketballMichigan State?s Gary Harris won the award last season.


Minnesota has its man, announcing the hiring of Richard Pitino as head coach. And some aren?t too thrilled, including St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Tom Powers, who calls the hire a ?reach.?

Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press says the fingerprints of Florida coach Bill Donovan are all over this hire. You see, Donovan played and coached for Rick Pitino. He also had Rich Pitino on his Gator staff. So, you know Donovan was in the ear of A.D. Norwood Teague. A big key for Pitino will be the staff he hires.

Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune thinks the hiring of a kid coach was a leap of faith the Gophers had to take. And, I agree.

Did Minnesota approach Nebraska?s Tim Miles for the job? Husker Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst told The Omaha World-Herald on Wednesday that Minnesota never asked for permission to talk to Miles.


We all knew Iowa?s Roy Devyn Marble had it in him. Now, we are seeing the junior come into full blossom in the NIT. He?ll look to have one more big game tonight vs. Baylor in the NIT title game.

Mike Hlas notes that Marble is averaging 24.3 points in the NIT after averaging 12.6 in Big Ten action. The guy is on fire.


Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis recently wrestled with the question of where Indiana should be ranked in the preseason next year.

Much will depend on if Victor Oladipo and/or Cody Zeller turn pro. If both return, Indiana could be preseason No. 1 like it was entering 2012-13. If one or both leaves, the Hoosiers still should be a fringe Top 25 team squad, I think.


Mel Kiper and his world-famous hair recently offered up some thoughts on where some Penn State players may go in the draft.

LB Gerald Hodges and DT Jordan Hill are expected to be the first Nittany Lions off the board. But where will LB Michael Mauti go? He may have been a first-round pick prior to his injury issues. I?d still take the guy.


Enduring the ups and downs of last season gives Michigan State?s Andrew Maxwell an edge in the race to win the job in 2013, says Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal.

Maybe. But you only benefit from adversity if you prosper and learn from it. And, we won?t know that until we see Maxwell under fire this fall. Of course, his cause would be helped greatly by an improved receiving corps and the emergence of a top back with Le?Veon Bell gone.


Here?s a quick video glimpse of a recent Iowa spring practice. All eyes are on the battle to find a quarterback with James Vandenberg gone.

Sophomore Jake Rudock looks at it as his position to winIowa goes into 2013 with a three-man race at quarterback, none of whom have taken a snap in a game. A QB hasn?t started a game at Iowa without a previous snap since Jon Beutjer made his debut at Indiana in 2000.


And here is a nice photo gallery from a recent Wisconsin spring practiceYou excited yet, Bucky?



He would take over for Ricky Wagner at this key spot protecting the quarterback?s blind side.

Good thing, since he?ll likely carry a big load in the fall.

This is what they call a ?sign of the times.?

Feel free to laugh. It?s a good one!

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the next Indiana superstar.

No doubt, his staff will be key. Pitino will need some veteran voices and some who know the Minnesota/Midwest recruiting scene.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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