Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, July 11, 2014
I have discussed the possibility of a 10-game Big Ten schedule before on these pages. And, it looks like Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen is on board with the concept.
?It?s hard to get home games here,? Andersen said. ?It?s not as easy as people think it is. There are not a lot of people jumping up and down for joy to come here and play.
?If you play 10 games, you play 10 games and away you go,? he said. ?There are pros and cons. You can sit here and debate it all day long, but if it goes that way, I?m OK with it. If it doesn?t, I?m OK with that, too.?
That was a difficult blow for Illinois to lose offensive line coach A.J. Ricker to Missouri. It?s very late in the process to be looking for a coach, putting pressure on Tim Beckman to make a good hire. Ricker was considered to be a rising star in the ranks.
OK, Iowa fans: Who would be on your Mount Rushmore of quarterbacks? Tough call, huh? Well, the gang at the Cedar Rapids Gazette recently took a stab at it. Some good signal-callers didn?t make it, like Drew Tate and Matt Rodgers. Still, this is an impressive foursome, led by my all-time fav Hawkeye: Chuck Long.
Last season, Caris LeVert emerged as a key player for Michigan. Now, as a junior, he?ll be looking to take his game to another level. Heck, let?s just go ahead and say it: The guy could be one of the Big Ten?s brightest stars in 2014-15.
Once an unheralded recruit without any other high-major scholarship offers, LeVert is now the cornerstone of Michigan?s 2014-15 season and a projected first-round NBA draft pick in 2015. Mlive.com points out that LeVert?s surprise productivity was arguably the biggest key to Michigan?s success. Between Mitch McGary?s injury and Glenn Robinson III?s inconsistency, it was LeVert who stepped up last season. His biggest key: shooting.
When it comes to tight ends, few Big Ten schools can match the quality of depth that Penn State possesses.
Jesse James and Kyle Carter lead the pack. And don?t forget about young Adam Breneman, Brent Wilkerson and Mike Gesicki.
?The tight ends always give you the ability to get in and out of formations,? new offensive coordinator John Donovan said during his stop in Wilkes-Barre with the Coaches Caravan in May. ?That?s what makes it fun to coach those guys. You can be in tight, you can be out wide, you can shift, you can motion."
The offseason approach for Michigan State basketball has changed, according to captains Denzel Valentine and Travis Trice.
Valentine and Trice take over after a year in which the Spartans had no captains. They?ll look to lead a team that is bringing in three incoming freshmen and two transfers.
Minnesota fans will be happy to know Richard Pitino is working hard this summer. Nice summer-time feature from Ameila Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune on young Gophers? coach.
The Michigan basketball assistants are getting raises. This is well-deserved. Two Big Ten titles, a national title game appearance and an Elite Eight in the past three seasons are pretty impressive.
"We have been fortunate to have Jeff (Meyer), LaVall (Jordan) and Bacari (Alexander) be part of the Michigan basketball program and family," Michigan coach John Beilein said in a statement. "Not only have they been instrumental in the achievements we have had in recent years, they have been crucial in the development of our young men on and off the court. That continuity has been significant in building the foundation for our success."
Well look who turned 50 on Thursday: Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. Cleveland.com took a look at how Meyer compares to other Buckeyes coaches at the same age.
This is pretty neat: Andrew Luck recently was at Purdue for a camp. It wasn?t his first time in West Lafayette, as Luck was recruited and offered by former Boilermakers coach Joe Tiller back in 2006. Imagine if Tiller had landed Luck. He still may be coaching Purdue. Luck visited Indiana earlier in the week.
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, 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.|