Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 6, 2015
The win last night at Minnesota gave Wisconsin the outright Big Ten title. It couldn?t have gone any other way, right? The preseason favorites wrap up the championship for themselves on the home court of their rival. Perfect.
?It?s been a crazy ride,? Frank Kaminsky said after finishing with 25 points and seven assists in the No. 6 Badgers? 76-63 victory over Minnesota at Williams Arena. ?It?s been fun. To win it in a rivalry game, on Minnesota?s court with so many of our own fans here, is just something pretty special.?
Surely, the practicing how to fall off Minnesota's court helped, too.
Great story by Chad Leistikow of HawkCentral.com on how Aaron White became an unlikely star who has helped revive Iowa.
If White isn?t one of your favorite players, than I feel sorry for you. Leistikow tells how nothing has come easy for White, but he always plowed ahead - and along the way this under-recruited kid from the Cleveland suburbs revived a Big Ten Conference program and became one of the Hawkeyes' all-time greats.
He will end up as a top-three scorer and rebounder in Iowa's 114-year basketball history. Incredible. In White, McCaffery saw a special combination of work ethic, basketball IQ and athleticism harnessed in a 6-foot-9 frame. But few others saw that four years ago. No other major-college program offered him a scholarship.
D?Angelo Russell has had some nice games as a freshman. But Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com wonders if maybe Russell had his best game yet vs. Penn State on Wednesday.
The stats were impressive. Russell scored 28 points – 17 in the second half – and was the reason for a Buckeyes rally in consecutive games. The freshman scored 19 of his 28 points vs. Purdue on Sunday in the second half while Ohio State erased another large deficit. But Wasserman says this was Russell?s most impressive showing because he took over the game like he was the only player on the floor. Yep.
New Nebraska coach Mike Riley is 61. But, he?s showing he?s still adaptable by utilizing a dual-practice plan to manage a bigger roster than he ever has had to manage. It?s the most efficient way for Riley to get a grasp on the talent on hand. He never had a roster this big at Oregon State.
Jerry Kill says the players he redshirted last year should begin to help. Well, that?s typically the idea/plan.
Kill told the great Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune: ?Well, there?s no question Isaiah Gentry and Desmond Gant, those guys, and I just think that Melvin Holland is a guy that people have forgotten, those are three redshirt freshman [wide receivers] that all have length and speed, and I can?t wait to see them on Tuesday,? Kill said. ?I?m also anxious to see Jeff Jones [a four-star running back recruit from Minneapolis Washburn], like everybody else is. He has had good workouts. He was behind because he had to get himself in shape, but anxious to see him and Rodney Smith in the backfield. Both those guys were redshirted.?
I can?t wait to see this Minnesota program continue to evolve.
Check this out: Mostert ran a 4.32 40. Hunt had a 4.38. I bet both get drafted. And this is funny: DE Ryan Russell said at the Combine he was asked: If you were a piece of furniture, what piece would you be? Russell?s answer: a TV. Is a TV a piece of furniture? Regardless, it was a funny revelation.
Former Nebraska DE Randy Gregory made quite an impact at a recent shoot for the ?Sports Science? show, knocking the head off a tackling dummy. A prelude of things to come in the NFL?
Here?s a nice Q&A with Northwestern OC Mick McCall from InsideNU.com. McCall?s unit has some pressure to improve in 2015. He?s trying to sort through a quarterback situation that needs some clarity.
Christian Hackenberg is still the most indispensable player on Penn State's roster, even coming off a down season in which he threw more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (12). Behind him? There is no experience. Redshirt freshman Trace McSorley and true freshman Tommy Stevens both enter the spring having never taken a snap. Ideally, Stevens would redshirt. Stay tuned. If Hackenberg gets hurt, things could get interesting.
Brendan F. Quinn of Mlive.com posted a mailbag. Among the topics discussed: Michigan?s NIT hopes.
Quinn thinks if an NIT bid comes, the Wolverines should take it. I agree. Why not get the seasoning, even though some probably wish for this ?long? season to come to an end?
|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.|
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