Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 8, 2016
This upcoming Big Ten tourney looks to be a wide-open affair ? so says Tom Izzo.
"Do I think we're good enough to be one of the teams considered? One hundred percent," Izzo said. "Do I feel comfortable? Zero percent. I just don't."
Izzo is correct. This looks to be an open race in Indy. MSU, IU, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland and Iowa all have legit chances to win.
Jarrod Uthoff is Iowa?s first All-American in 19 years. How about that?!
Uthoff was named a third-team all-American by USA TODAY on Monday, the first of many honors expected to be rolled out by national organizations. The last time Iowa had any player exceed honorable-mention all-American status was when Andre Woolridge was a Basketball Times first-teamer and AP third-teamer in 1997. Before that, you have to go back to Ronnie Lester in 1980.
That is a long time ago.
?I?m just thrilled for him,? Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.
Purdue?s A.J. Hammons also is starting to pull in the awards. He has had an interesting career. You wondered if he ever would put it all together back when he was a freshman. Did he have a good work ethic? Hammons buckled down and will leave campus as an all-time great. Credit the Purdue staff for developing the big fella.
Because potential conference shifting always in interesting, Dennis Dodd has a good story that says the Big 12 has no choice and that it has to do something soon. In fact, expansion could take place this summer.
As you would suspect, this is about money. And lots of it. Big 12 commish Bob Bowlsby summed it up this way when asked about the financial gap between his league and the SEC, a number that currently stands at about $9 million per year in rights fee revenue.
?If we do nothing, 12 years from now, we'll be $20 million per school behind the SEC and the Big Ten,? he said.
?Success isn't all tied to the money, but it certainly isn't unrelated,? Bowlsby added.
If you are a Northwestern fan, then you care about NIT bracketology.
But getting a bid may not be easy for the Wildcats, whose resume has some holes in it.
Who is Pete Najarian? Well, he might have what it takes be the next A.D. at Minnesota.
He would be a non-traditional choice coming with no athletic administration experience but possessing a vast business background.
Michigan expects Jabrill Peppers to ?kill it? in his new role as a hyper-athletic linebacker.
?Hyper-athletic linebacker?? Sounds like a strong safety moving to an outside linebacker spot. That?s what it is. Regardless, Peppers will do fine no matter where he is needed to play. Mlive.com says that if all goes according to plan, Peppers' home will be in the box. He'll be close to the line of scrimmage as much as possible. He'll blitz more. He'll be asked to make plays in the opposing backfield more. He'll still cover slot receivers, of course. He'll still play corner from time to time, too — especially if a team goes heavy and tries to pound the ball. I am curious to see if J Pepp has a role on offense in 2016.
Illinois officially introduced Lovie Smith as head coach on Monday. And, as you?d suspect, Smith was met with great enthusiasm. But the great Loren Tate of the Champaign News-Gazette is here to offer some perspective on the challenge that awaits Smith.
For me, the top two areas to watch are the trenches on both sides of the ball. If those don?t develop, nothing else really will matter in Lincoln. There are some big holes on both sides of the line. Oh, and QB Tommy Armstrong also must cut down on those interceptions.
Nice video from Cleveland.com on three things to watch on Ohio State?s defense in spring drills.
Remember Joey Bosa? And Darron Lee? And Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Tyvis Powell, Joshua Perry, Adolphus Washington, Tommy Schutt and Joel Hale? They're gone, the website notes. One guy we all are watching for the Buckeyes is big Sam Hubbard at DE. How good is this guy gonna be? He looks like he could be a reasonable facsimile of Bosa ? maybe.
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