1/21/2011 4:29 PM
Season 34 Big 10 Predictions

After spending some time with the crystal ball, Tanzetti is ready to deliver his predictions for the upcoming season of Big 10 basketball.

East 
1) Michigan State - With Damiano leading the way, small ball brings the Spartans a conference title.
2) Wisconsin - Luke Adams leads the Badgers to their sixth straight NCAA tournament, but they fall short in their bid for a third straight Big 10 title.
3) Michigan - The sleeper in the East, watch out for the inside duo of George Boes and Stanley Wilson, who should take the Wolverines back to the NCAA tourney after missing it last season.
4) Notre Dame - Watch out for Todd Thompson as a potential POY candidate in South Bend.
5) Iowa - With a new coach Hawkeye fans are excited about the future of the program.
6) Minnesota - Like Iowa, a rebuilding project, but fans think they have their coach and a great future ahead of them.

West
1) Penn State - This is a typical Goodyr team, experienced, balanced, and underrated.  Look for them to be a factor come tourney time this year.
2) Ohio State - The national runners up return everyone, but I'm expecting a little hangover until March Madness rolls around in Columbus.
3) Illinois - A dangerous team that will be as good as Stanley Crawford is.  If he can adapt quickly to the college game this team could be in the Final Four this season.
4) Indiana - This is Tanzett's most talented team since he's been at Bloomington, but are they tough enough to win in the Big 10?
5) Purdue - On paper the Boilermakers appear to be the fifth best team in the West, but don't sleep on them as they will be in most games and typically find ways to win the close ones.
6) Northwestern - Their run as the SIM Cinderella is over, and the conference hopes to land a solid coach in Evanston sooner rather than later.

POY - Damiano - MSU
COY - Goodyr - PSU
FOY - Crawford - ILL

1st Team All B10
PG - Damiano - MSU
SG - Haydel - PSU
SF - Gamble - PUR
PF - Adams - WIS
C - Thompson - ND

2nd Team All Big 10
PG - Madewell - IU
SG - Denney - ILL
SF - Boyd - MSU
PF - Varghese - PUR
C - Wilson - MICH







1/22/2011 12:12 AM

MINNESOTA RECRUITING RECAP

It sucks being in a crappy area of the country with no recruits, and a C- prestige.  That is about all I can say.  Had about $100K to start and scouted every state surrounding MN.  

Initially went for 5 frosh and 1 JUCO guy, i think the highest was a two star. All had decent potential but were project players.  Should have been a decent foundation to get into the PI.  Anyway Had about 70K left after being the only team on all 6 going into signing day but Iowa State stole 2 bigs and Wisconsin stole the other guard I was after.  Thought I could hold off Wisconsin as I was leading even on day the last day of signings but couldnt hold on.  Anyway the 3 guys I signed will be ok as upperclassman but right now they are bad.   Just hoping to win a few non-conference games this year, dont think I will win a conference game.  Long term rebuild here for sure.

2/10/2011 7:07 AM
Michigan State Spartans Season 34 recap

The end of the campaign offers a small amount of vindication for a tough regular season by winning the PIT.  The early entry of Dwight Horner to the NBA and the recruiting fiasco that led to running a 'small ball' lineup presented coach netgymrat numerous challenges and frustrations.  The initial setback was in scheduling as MSU finished the non-conference schedule with a 6-4 record and a strength of schedule in the mid 100's which did not bode well for conference play.  Peering closer at the numbers, the record was 1-4 against RPI top 100 teams and 5-0 against the weaker teams.  The resulting RPI meant that a lot of ground was needed to be made up if this squad was going to make the National Tournament.

The always tough Big Ten conference schedule proved challenging for a team that had been expected to contend for a conference title.  The Spartans ended up being swept in heartbreaking fashion by conference leader Wisconsin, once going to overtime.  Positive signs for this team could be found in upset wins against ranked Indiana at home and Purdue and Penn St. on the road, while cruising to solid victories against rebuilding Notre Dame, Iowa and Minnesota.  On the discouraging side, top recruit George Lang found himself ineligible for most of the conference season after failing to hit the books as a freshman.  

Even with the successful PIT run, the school administration is less than pleased with the status of the program.  Although stating that the program is still 'meeting their expectations', it is clearly a thinly-veiled threat that they expect an annual appearance in the Big Dance.  

As for the individual players on the team, a mixed bag as mirrors the season as a whole.  On the positive side, Michael Damianio was once again named to the conference First team and became the school's all-time leading scorer.  Two younger players Jimmy Vosburgh and Michael Krause were named to the All-conference second team.  On a less positive note, Ryan Fuller made the decision to leave the team at the end of the season after being unhappy with his lack of playing time.  The coaching staff has made it clear to freshman power forward Dalton Perkins that they were somewhat disappointed in his development during the season, probably due to his poor work ethic.  His future on the team seems cloudy at best.
2/10/2011 2:38 PM (edited)
                           Illinios Season 34 Recap

The fighting illini made another strong showing in the National Tournament under the direction of Coach Brown. Casey Denney and Frank White helped the illini reach their second Final Four in school history. With the emergence of Stanley Crawford at point the Big Three helped the illini reach another milestone in having the most wins in a season, with 29. After starting the season off to a 10-0 start the season looked very promising until conference play started, where the illini lost at Indiana. Then lost back to back games against Penn State who hit a buzzer beater to win in OT and the at Purdue. Brown was a little skeptical on the season outlook after a rough 2-3 start to conference play. However, the illini rebounded nicely to win 10 out of their next 11 games including two monumental games against Ohio State to decide the Conference Champion of the West.

Getting the one seed in the conference tourny looked great at first until Coach Brown saw the matchups against Penn State, Indiana, and Ohio State, but somehow found a way to win their second straight Conference Tourny Title. All that earned them a one seed in the National Tourny where they knocked off Mississippi Valley State, DePaul, Arizona State, and Texas Tech. Until they finally met their makers against a strong Texas A&M squad.

Coach Brown was very pleased with the play of his team this season and is most happy that he returns all three members of the Big Three. The backcourt will be loaded but was very suprised when he heard Larry Robbins was taking his talents to the next level. The illini will need another big recruiting class with a need for a backup point guard, a Small Forward has to be a very high priority with not having a single one on the team and a Power Forward to help fill the loss of Robbins. If Coach Brown can bring in a few elite players the illini could make an even deeper run in the National Tourny come next season. 
2/13/2011 9:33 AM
Purdue Boilermakers Season 34 WrapUp

Fans and administration are buzzing in West Lafayette after the most successful season in program history.  Despite some prognosticators predicting a fifth place finish, the Boilermakers tore up the conference season on the way to a FOURTH-PLACE finish that led into a strong postseason showing.

Because of some recruiting issues, depth looked to be a problem at Purdue this year, but Arthur Gamble stepped up in his senior season to be first-team all conference and, Peter Varghese, despite not being tabbed for conference honors, scored 13 points and pulled down 7 boards per game while shooting almost 55% from the floor and carrying the team with 25 points in wins over Illinois and Wisconsin.

After a blowout loss to Wisconsin in the conference tournament, the postseason looked like a question mark, but after drawing a favorable first round matchup as an "underdog" 9 seed against Illinois State, regular season and conference tournament champion from the Missouri Valley Conference.   The Boilermakers pulled out a thrilling win that featured numerous lead changes down the stretch and neither team holding a lead of greater than 6 points over the last 8 minutes of the game. 

That led to a second round matchup against the Number 1 seed, Kansas, who came in 26-4.   Despite being behind on the scoreboard in the last minute, Arthur Gamble and Peter Varghese asserted themselves and made big buckets and were reliable from the FT line and the biggest upset of the opening weekend of the tournament was complete.

Another close win over Dayton, 68-66, got the Boilermakers into the Elite Eight where despite trailing by only 2 at the half, the superior Orange talent pulled away in the second half to move onto the Final Four.

Coach McAuley couldn't have been happier with his team's performance.   While he hoped that Varghese would come back, the E8 appearance made that unlikely and now he has a lot of talent to replace for next season including Varghese, Gamble, starting PG Rex Retherford and backup PF Andres Rizzo.  There are also the two open spots from the walkons from last season that, along with the Big Ten postseason money gives the Boilermakers a lot of recruiting dollars, but there will be a lot of expectations with solid talent returning in the form of point guard, Smith, small forward Maurice Evans and rapidly-improving bigs Christopher Penrose (who may be better at SF given his low rebounding) and Lloyd Munsell.  

Hopefully the taste of postseason success will make the returning players hungry and will rub off on the new kids and this season will have been the catalyst for a successful run in West Lafayette.
2/13/2011 2:50 PM
Indiana Hoosiers Season 34 Recap

Coming off a disappointing season a year ago, there were questions as to whether Coach Tanzetti was the man for the job.  Following an NCAA tourney berth in year one, his Hoosiers missed the Big Dance the last two seasons leaving the critics to wonder if he was better suited to run a mid-major program.  But those who'd seen the work put in by seniors Jay York and Robert Speece thought this year could be different.  The air was different this past fall in Bloomington and this team was eager to prove the doubters wrong.

They opened the season 10-0 against a weaker schedule when compared to the big boys of the Big 10, but that gave this team confidence they could play with anyone.  Their confidence hit a high when they opened the Big 10 schedule by knocking off a talented Illinois squad.  They followed up that win with impressive victories on the road at Penn State and Ohio State which many around this program believe helped this team realize they would get back to the Big Dance.  After struggling during the middle of conference play, they closed strong winning four of their last five including a big win over Wisconsin.  The win against Wisconsin sealed their invite to the NCAA tourney.  

The Hoosiers opened the tourney with a win in the first round, but then had to play the future national champion Colorado and lost in the second round.  The best news for the Hoosier though was that conference DPOY, and second team All American Stanley Madewell decided to come back to school for his senior year.  After seeing Madewell return, first team all conference center Peter Bush decided to return as well giving Tanzetti a great inside out combination for this upcoming season.

With four scholarships to fill, Tanzetti is looking to bring in a solid class to Bloomington.  There will be a need to grab some bigs after losing three solid players from this past season, but there is optimism that if they can land the right players then this team could become real dangerous come March.  
2/13/2011 3:03 PM
Big 10 News Network
by Ray Finkle

Preseason Q&A 

As we head into another year of Big 10 basketball I decided to meet with Coach Brown, from Illinois, to get his take on three big questions heading into season 35.  I've posted my questions here, but will wait for him to reveal his answers in a later post.

1) How will the departure of Coach Lhhr from Ohio State effect Big 10 recruiting this season?  (Especially considering they currently would be sim coached)

2) Purdue was the surprise team in the NCAA tourney last year from this conference.  Who will that team be this year?

3) With the Big 3 returning to Illinois, is the expectation National Title or bust in Champaign?
2/14/2011 11:35 AM (edited)
1) How will the departure of Coach Lhhr from Ohio State effect Big 10 recruiting this season?  (Especially considering they currently would be sim coached)

First and foremost I want to wish the best of luck to LH, he was an outstanding coach who had the Buckeyes thriving. He made a cinderella run just two years ago to the National Title game, where he came up just short but he put the Buckeyes back on the map after that. Coach LH is now taking his coaching skills to Lexington to revitalize the Wildcats, it won't be an easy task but I believe he's the man for the job. He will be missed and until last night at 11pm it appeared his former Buckeyes were going to be run by the Simmy, but CPKung came out of nowhere, and now is the new leader in Columbus. CP has 7 spots to fill and will benefit from being an A prestige and having several talented recruits within the Columbus area. With a strong recruiting class and Roosevelt Rodger leading the charge the Buckeyes have a chance to be good again. CP has a strong resume and did a fantastic job at USC, and I fully expect him to translate those coaching abilites into the Bucks. It's good to have another strong coach in the Big Ten and look forward to playing him twice a year.

2) Purdue was the surprise team in the NCAA tourney last year from this conference.  Who will that team be this year?

What a year Purdue had it was one to remember that's for sure. I think Mcauley is still a little bitter that I picked him 5th in the pre-season thread I created. To clear the air the only reason I did so was the West had three ranked teams to start the season in illinios, Indiana, and OSU. Then I picked Penn State ahead of them because they were the highest rated team in the conference. None the less Mcauley really coached up his kids and made a heck of run through conference play where he took down my illini squad twice and led his team to to the Elite Eight in the National Tourny. 

If I had to pick a suprise team in the conference this year I think I would go with Michigan. Goofy has assembled a pretty solid team that has several upperclassman and a balanced attack. He has a solid backcourt with Robert Fuller and Stan Campbell. Then at the small forward position he has Culpepper whose a top tier athlete and then in the front court George Boes is a monster. If goofy can get his guys to play together this could be a dangerous team in conference play and has shot to make the National Tourny.  If Michigan can land a few solid recruits during the offseason I think they can address their depth, which may be their only downfall right now.

3) With the Big 3 returning to Illinois, is the expectation National Title or bust in Champaign?

As the coach of the illini, our ultimate goal is to always win a National Championship, but we have several other goals as well. We want to win the Conference Title and Conference Tourny every year, but so does everyone else in the league. I don't want my guys to feel like anything less than a National Title is a Bust, that's just unfair to my guys. Only one team can win it all and our group realizes that. Do we have the talent to compete with anyone in the country I believe so, but a lot of pressure will be on the Big Three night in and night out. If the Frontcourt can hold their weight the entire season we will have a very balanced team. The frontcourt must be addressed in a BIG way in recruiting to provide the depth that we need to compete among the Elite teams.   
2/18/2011 4:34 PM
Iowa Recruiting Recap

After a horrendous first season, the establishment here at Iowa is desperately hoping that the team will show some improvement after both a season of practice and experience with the new offense/defense and a season of growth for B. Rad's first recruiting class.  This year's recruiting was marked by a departure from the traditional scouring of Iowa natives.

The Hawkeyes began by setting their sights on finding a couple of backcourt contributors.  Looking at the talent that was available in the Midwest, there was a clear drop off between the elite (who were fought over pretty heavily by higher prestige programs) and the mid-range prospects.  We set out to find two guards who had a good work ethic and the potential to be solid players in a couple of years.  We at Iowa feel that we found exactly that. 

First, out of Indiana, comes the athletic Robert Russell.  With the lack of speed and athleticism currently in the Iowa backcourt, he will be a much-needed presence.  He projects to be a solid shooting guard by the time he adjusts to the college game and realizes his potential.  He should be a great defender, which is sorely needed in this conference.

Second, out of Minnesota, comes the project player Robert Nam.  While he has great potential, it will be at least a year before he sees decent playing time.  He should also be a very solid defender by his junior year.

Now, to the bigs.  Iowa made these a priority this year.  We set our sights on two good-looking bigs, John Caruso and Brandon Strauss.  We roped John Caruso right away and never really received much competition for him, but Strauss was another matter entirely.  After spending nearly 3/4 of our budget trying to steal him away from Minnesota, we eventually gave up and watched him sign with the Gophers.  Kudos to mbalding, you must have dumped a ton of money there to keep him.  We know Caruso will be good, and projects very well.  One out of two isn't bad.  We cut PF Anthony Dunklin, who barely developed at all, and at the last minute grabbed James James.  While his amusing name first attracted our attention, he's another player who probably won't see the court here but the coaching staff is waiting to see his projections before counting him out of the long term plans.  He'll spend a year redshirting while his progress is evaluated.

All-in-all, not a terrible class for my prestige level.  I was hoping for better, but I can make do.  Hats off to Minnesota, I really liked the look of Strauss.  Cheers to some out of conference wins this year!
2/18/2011 7:05 PM (edited)
                                  Illinois Recruiting Recap

Heading into the offseason the illini had a few holes to fill especially in the frontcourt. With the surprise departure of Larry Robbins to the NBA and losing Donald Bush and Nicholas Newman to graduation, Coach Brown had to find two bigs who could come in and play a backup role. Luckily, the state and region had several serviceable big men. After some intense evaluation Coach Brown, decided that Dustin Duckworth and Todd Cassity were the two players the illini needed to patrol the paint and were fortunate enough to have both in their backyard. Duckworth the number four rated player in the country will come in as superior athlete with the ability to be a force inside and out before his career is done. His role will likely be the backup small forward and possibly fill in as a backup power forward. Cassity the lesser ranked of the two big men, has the potential to be better than his counterpart. Coach Brown doesn't for see him playing a large role this season but will be called upon next year for some serious minutes.

As important as it was for Coach Brown to bring in two big men, the need for a point guard may have been the biggest need of all. Vernon Thurman is the exact player Brown was looking for, he has all the tools and potential to run the team next season. Thurman even though he is the lowest rated member of this highly talented class, he has the most potential. He has all the potential but his biggest problem will be his work ethic, hopefully when he gets to Champaign, Coach Brown can straighten him out. Coach mentioned the idea of trying to redshirt Thurman and call upon him the following season, but if not he will likely play the backup point for the illini. 

Michael Payne was the final member of the class, and even though he's listed at a small forward he may see time at shooting guard. LIke the other freshman his role will be a backup this year and will not really be looked upon to be a scoring threat this year. Coach Brown had targeted Payne early but decided not to go for him immediately because the Midwest had several teams with lots of open schollies and a lot more money than the illini. After Coach Brown had secured his three main targets, he went back and wooed Mr. Payne to play closer to home rather than traveling to play at Oklahoma State.

This may be the most talented class Coach Brown has brought into Champaign, with three five star players and one three star. The future looks bright and Coach Brown has to be happy with the way his team has taken shape. This will be the first year with all Brown's players and the illini will look to build upon the past two years postseason success. 

2/19/2011 10:30 PM

Indiana Recruiting Recap

After making the tournament last season the Hoosiers were hoping to use that momentum in recruiting to lure some talented players to Bloomington.  After losing three solid big men to graduation, Coach Tanzetti knew he had to find some help on the interior if IU was going to be strong once again in conference next year.  There was a lot of talent in the midwest this year, but with many regional powers having to fill many spots Tanzetti knew that recruiting this year could be difficult.  

The focus during recruiting was Michael Mooring, the standout PF from Muncie, Indiana.  Mooring was a five star talent that the Hoosier desperately wanted in Bloomington.  They also had targeted a few other big men in the region, but as recruiting got under way, the amount of battles they found themselves in forced them to focus on Mooring.  That focus paid off as they landed Mooring, but that also meant they would be bringing in three weaker players to fill their remaining schollies.

So with recruiting finished, lets meet the newest additions to the Hoosier family.

Michael Mooring - PF
Mooring will be counted on to contribute right away for Indiana.  He is a great athlete who already defends and rebounds the ball well.  He will start the season alongside Peter Bush in the frontcourt and his play will have a big barring on how well this Indiana team is this year.  The exciting part about Mooring's game is that he is just scratching the surface of his offensive potential.  If he stays in Bloomington for a few years he could potentially be one the best players in this programs proud history.


Fred Lambrecht - C
Fred is a project.  He has decent cores for a big man, but lacks the athleticism and speed to be effective this season.  Tanzetti is hoping to redshirt him or John Pica, but hopefully whichever one plays they will provide a few decent minutes for the Hoosiers.  


John Pica - C
Pica, like his buddy Fred is a project.  He comes in as a decent rebounder, but will really struggle against the more athletic and experience Big 10 post players.  If he doesn't redshirt the staff at IU will hope to get a few minutes out of him a game.  But much like Lambrecht, you probably can't count on him for much until he becomes an upperclassmen.


Michael Guillen - SF
Guillen is an interesting prospect for Coach Tanzetti.  He currently lacks the grades to be eligible this year, but if he makes it to campus could become a solid contributor later on in his career.  Guillen grew up as a rugby player and didn't start playing basketball until his junior year of high school, but he has the potential to improve many facets of his game.  If he hasn't lost too many brain cells from his rugby days and can get eligible at IU, he will be the surprise of this class when its all said and done.  

All in all, not the type of class Tanzetti envisioned when recruiting began, but there is talk that by adding Mooring to the squad that IU could be good enough for a deep run in the NCAA tourney this season.  
2/19/2011 11:46 PM

Michigan State Recruiting Summary

The primary priority entering the season for the cagers from East Lansing was to bolster the frontcourt.  At the center position, the Spartans are very happy to welcome Justin Patnode into the fold.   Justin possesses elite athleticism and solid defense, rebounding and shot blocking abilities.  He has a long way to go in his low-post moves, but the coaching staff is confident that he will be able to pick up the necessary moves to hold his own in the very tough Big Ten.  Joining Justin in the frontcourt will be Andrew Newton from Ohio.  Andrew does not ‘Wow’ in any particular facet of his game, but should be a solid backup to Michael Krause at the PF for the green and white. 

Taking Ryan Fuller’s open scholarship is Nicholas Poirier from Ottawa, Canada.  Again, not someone who has a particular area of his game that stands out, he should be a solid cog in the rotation someday.  However, with Vosburgh and Boyd ahead of him at the 3 spot it is difficult to see him getting many minutes in the next two seasons.  On a positive note, the coaching staff was pleased to see the WCAA waive the long standing unwritten rule of not allowing intra-conference transfers as Mr. Fuller found a new home at Ohio State.  

2/20/2011 10:21 AM
MICHIGAN WOLVERINES RECRUITING RECAP
After a disappointing end to last season, coach Goofypook had one recruiting priority, and that was to replace All Big Ten Center Stanley Wilson! There was no doubt who the Wolverine fans wanted, and it was home town product Andrew Perryman! Since Perry man was a young boy his destiny was set for the Maize and Blue! Both of his parents attend Michigan, so it was obvious he intended on carrying the tradition! Coach Parker expect the usual growing pains from the freshman center, but he also states its up to the upperclassman to make the game easy for him!
2/20/2011 12:37 PM (edited)
                 TBrown's 2nd Annual Conference Predictions

A year ago the Big Ten was loaded in the West having five of the six teams make the Big Dance and had the Boilermakers reach the Elite Eight and the illini to the Final Four. In the East the Badgers made it back to the dance and the Spartans won the PIT. It was a very successful year for the conference as a whole and provided each team with a nice sum of cash for recruiting. With several teams having a lot of open scholarships and not a ton of talent in the Midwest it made for a difficult recruiting season for everyone. Battles were popping up everywhere and most teams had to settle for lesser talent or take on a few walk-ons. Last year in our region was the year of the Big Men, where there were several solid Big's but a lack of guards except for near the Columbus area, where I wanted to steer clear of and try to avoid any battles. This year the Buckeye state again has a few solid guards but the region as a whole is all Guards and no Big's, making it nice for me having to fill guard spots this season. The only problem right now is all the ones in IL are currently Ineligible, but that's neither here nor there so to the predictions.

East   
1. Michigan- This year in the East there are really three teams that have a chance to take the Conference Crown and to be honest this is just a guess, but I really like the starting 5 for the Wolverines and the addition of Perryman, really helped bolster the Michigan frontcourt. If Goofy can get his team to play together I think they have a chance to take the conference by surprise and find themselves back in the National Tourny.

2. Wisconsin- The Badgers brought in a very good recruiting class with Felix and Wysong and have depth that a lot of teams in the conference just don't have. Cyric will have his boys playing hard and if Quillen can get hot the Badgers could be very dangerous and easily take the East Title. They will have a balanced attack with Mr. Quillen running the point and Mr. Azure down low drawing double teams. It will be a two man show in Madison that will be tough to stop and should once again make the tourny.

3. Michigan State- The Spartans made a promising run to win the PIT last season and will look to carry that momentum over to this season. Netgym addressed the need for the lack of Big's and found a few gems but they will need some time to develop. No doubt his guards can play and if the Spartans can find a way to rebound with the top teams then they could take the crown and make it back to the National Tournament. Netgym's team may have the most talent but with the new rebounding matchups taking place it will be interesting to see how the Spartans will do with only one rebounder in the 80's and the rest 60's or lower.

4. Notre Dame- The Fighting Irish are the lowest rated team in the conference but that's a little deceiving having three walk-ons. They have nine players that can play but the lack of Defense and Rebounding could really cause some matchup problems for Coach Gordon. The team will most likely heavily rely on George Banks the start PG for the Irish. It will be up to him to keep them in games. 

5. Minnesota- Mbalding managed to pull out three wins last season which was a step in the right direction. He brought in a very talented class that in a few years could help the Gophers make a postseason tournament. Anyone of the bottom three teams in the East could breakout and take the fourth place finish, but it will be interesting to see the progress of Minnesota as Mbalding continues to resurrect the Gophers, and maybe they shoot for 8-10 wins this season. 

6. Iowa- Last but not least the Hawkeyes, they are actually a higher rated team than the Gophers or Irish but with only winning two games last year I put them in the cellar. With that being said Coach Brad could easily have them finish fourth. The team does have balance and has a decent inside and outside attack but until coach Brad can get all of his type of guys into the program the Hawkeyes will continue to hover around the bottom four teams in the conference. With what appears to be a fairly easy out of conference schedule the Hawkeyes have a very good chance at 10 wins this year. 

West
1. Illinois- After reaching the Final Four last year the Illini look poised to make another run. I was very surprised that all three members of the Big Three returned. The Illini have the deepest team in the conference as well as the highest rated team, it will be interesting to see how the youngsters mesh with the upperclassmen. Four of the five starters return from a season ago and Coach Brown hopes that the talented freshman can quickly learn the Flex and Zone Defenses to help make solid contributions in their rookie seasons. It will be up to the four seniors to decide how far this team goes and Captain Casey Denney wants to make it a memorable year in Champaign.  

2. Indiana- The Hoosiers have a stud in Stanley Madewell, he is the heart and soul of the team. On any given night he has the ability to go for 35 the Hoosiers are a scary team. To go along with Madewell, Mr. Bush patrols the inside and is a beast. The Hoosiers had to get another post in the offseason and landed a really good one in Mooring, he will most likely start from day one. If the Hoosiers can rebound and get the ball to their playmakers they have a chance to make another run to the National Tourny.

3. Penn State- The Nittany Lions and Coach Goodyr have another solid team. One that is led by their two guards Gorrel and Lema, the tandem can really fill it up from deep. The lions have several solid shooters and when they get hot can be a real threat. The two big boys inside will most likely be Flood and Carter who are both Soph looking to make an impact. The team has the talent to make it back the tourny and will look to fair better than last year at the Big Dance. 

4. Ohio State- The Buckeyes are going to be led by Roosevelt Rodger who was my pick last year for Player of the Year. He didn't have a bad year but not quite what I was expecting, if CPkung can get him to look to score more, he could be very dangerous. The team was able to bring in a stud in Haust but had to battle UNC to get him, which may have cost him a few other recruits. The Buckeyes have talent but not a lot of depth in the front court, so they will need to stay out of foul trouble and rely heavily on their experienced guard play. I think the Bucks have an outside shot at the National Tourny, it will be interesting to see how Cp does in his rookie season.

5. Purdue- I once again have the Boilermakers in the fifth spot, and it will be up to Mcauley to once again prove me wrong. Last year was an unbelievable run and one that I did not see coming but it as awesome for the conference. Depth could be the main issue with the Boilermakers as they have four walk-ons. They have seven players that can really play but I don't know if seven is enough. So Mcauley will most definitely be playing his slow down ball and with that the scores will be low giving them a chance. Swan the freshman small forward looks to be a stud and a player that he can rely on this year and in the future. I will say they have a chance at the PIT and anything more than that is a great job of coaching by Mcauley. 

6. Northwestern- The Wildacts are terrible, what a fall they have taken from their improbable Final Four run a few years ago. They are a glorified Division two team now, and until another coach comes in and takes over they will continue to fall and be the laughing stock of the conference and a team that is an RPI killer. 

Well these are my predictions and even though last year they were pretty accurate outside the Boilermakers making that run, this year may be really off because of the parity in the conference. Picking both sides was very difficult and a few teams were simply toss ups but it looks to be another fun year in the Big Ten, so good luck to everyone in OOC play and lets bring home a lot of cash come tourny time. 

2/20/2011 1:22 PM
Minnesota Recruiting recap

Went for 5 guys initially and threw about 6K at each, I knew they were all developmental players so i *should* be the only team going after them. 
Turned out i was the only team on each of them so I was in good shape.  Iowa made a run at one of the guys but with 80K left to battle, i knew i was going to win as long as no one else jumped in on anyone else. 

Realizing I had a bunch of money leftover I knew i could get a 6th player so I went after a guard who should end up with 80+ ATH 80+ SPD 80+ LP 80+ BH and 80+ P, but mid 20's PER.  I am curious to see how he does.

Anyway, none of my recruits are great, but all should be solid players capable of making a postseason run in a few years.
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