Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 31, 2015
Final Four analyses is flying off Internet browsers faster than I can type this. You name it, it has been or will be analyzed in coming days. ? Frank Kaminsky?s jumper ? Branden Dawson?s attitude ? Tom Izzo?s facial expressions.
Here is a nice video from FOX Sports Live along those lines that looks at how the Badgers can be mighty Kentucky.
The key Badger? It?s not Frank Kaminsky, so this video says. It?s Sam Dekker, right? Right.
Michigan State has a tall task in its semifinal game vs. Duke. I think Branden Dawson hit it on the head here when he said containing Blue Devil big man Jahlil Okafor will be vital.
How do the Spartans' plan to contain the 6-11, 270-pound freshman, who figures to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft?
"I'd just say playing solid, just throwing different looks at him," Dawson said. "Kind of how we played (Frank) Kaminsky and (Montrezl) Harrell, just throwing different guys at them on defense and just trying to distract him a little bit. I think that would help us out a lot."
Now hear this, Indiana fans: A.D. Fred Glass is behind Tom Crean. But he expects more from the hoop program. And, he should.
"My goals for this program are to perennially contend for and to win multiple Big Ten championships, regularly go deep in the NCAA tournament and win our next national championship," Glass said. "Be elite, if you will. As a lifelong Hoosier and IU basketball fan, alumnus and current AD, nobody wants that more than me.
"Coach Crean's status should be based on his ability to achieve those goals going forward, not what he has or hasn't done in the past. Because I believe in the team he has assembled and is assembling, his leadership of it and their ability to start achieving our program goals, I continue to support Tom Crean as our coach."
So, there is that. Move along ? nothing else to see here.
Spring is in the air. That means March Madness, football and ? basketball transfers. They are starting to roll in, people. Purdue?s Bryson Scott is one of the latest to bolt.
Oh, more are coming. Bank on it.
Don?t you love it when players exceed expectations? That?s what Ohio State LB Darron Lee has done, going from a 3-star recruit to a potential NFL player.
Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com says that at this time a year ago, Lee was getting reps with Ohio State's first-team defense in spring practice and everyone who saw it was at a loss. By January, Lee was one of the Buckeyes' most impactful players on a defense that led them to a national championship. Now a redshirt sophomore, Lee has all of a sudden become one of the best players in the Big Ten. Not bad for a guy who was a high school quarterback.
With spring practice rolling at Penn State, the race to fill the key left offensive tackle spot looms with Donovan Smith gone. James Franklin breaks it all down for us.
"We're kind of force-feeding Paris (Palmer) and Chance Sorrell right now, on the position," Franklin said. "Albert's (Hall) still doing some nice things but we feel like we need to force-feed those two guys and get them as many reps as possible.
"The other positions (along the line) I feel like, for the most part, guys are taking control of some spots."
News of Jim Harbaugh holding more satellite camps seems to break daily.
Michigan will be at a satellite camp in Prattville, Ala., on June 5 and Dallas on June 9. Per Scout.com's Sam Webb, Michigan will also be at satellite camps in Tampa (June 6), Houston (June 8) and California (June 10). And Harbaugh and Michigan will be guest speakers and instructors at a one-day satellite camp on the campus of Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., on June 7. Harbaugh and Michigan are like a rock band on tour.
Here is some nice video of Northwestern?s Ibraheim Campbell?s pro day.
Campbell is one of NU?s top NFL prospects in recent memory, projected by most experts as a 3rd-5th round pick in the NFL Draft, which begins April 31 in Chicago.
Chad Leistikow of HawkCentral.com has 10 things that should be on Kirk Ferentz?s spring to-do list.
The search for wideout help intrigues me. The last guy who, in my mind, was a cut-above was Marvin McNutt. Senior Jacob Hillyer and junior Matt VandeBerg are the de facto opening options for 206.
"Jake Hillyer, to me, is a guy that we probably don't talk enough about," Ferentz said. "He's done a lot of really good things and, very quietly I think, has improved."
Jonathan Parker will get looks at receiver after specializing in the jet sweep a year ago as a running back. In bowl prep, Iowa players marveled at the progress of senior Andrew Stone. And Ferentz mentioned sophomore Andre Harris as an up-and-comer.
Stay tuned. This team has lots to sort out on offense.
|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.|