Big Ten Morning Five: 03.10.12 EditionPosted by jnowak on March 10th, 2012
- The Bruce Weber era at Illinois is over. So what comes next for the Fighting Illini? As Loren Tate points out, In a lot of ways this group is in trouble next year. Everything from a depleted up-and-coming junior class to this group’s 3-point shooting talent leaves a lot of doubt for the 2012-13 season. The job should draw the attention of some high-profile names, but the new head coach will have a tough hill to climb.
- Speaking of Weber’s fate, there’s one big-name coach in the conference who isn’t pleased about how it all went down. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo held nothing back when voicing his displeasure about Weber’s firing after the Spartans’ win over Iowa on Saturday. “My wife and I shed a tear this morning over it,” Izzo said. “And it was half for Bruce and half for my profession.”
- Bruce Weber was not the conference’s only casualty on this Black Friday. Nebraska‘s Doc Sadler was fired on Friday, after Nebraska finished tied with Penn State for last place in the conference this year. It was the Cornhusker’s debut season in the Big Ten, but athletic director Tom Osborne made it clear he wants to see the program head in a different direction.
- One positive that really emerged at the end of Iowa‘s season was the strong play of senior Matt Gatens, whose career came to an end on Friday in Indianapolis. Gatens scored just 10 points in the game, after being bothered by the Spartans’ defense throughout and not taking his first shot until 10 minutes and 37 seconds were left in the first half. He finishes sixth all-time on Iowa’s scoring list with 1,621 points after averaging 15.7 PPG this year.
- If you’re drawing up a game plan to beat Wisconsin, how much energy would you typically pour into defending Rob Wilson? From this point forward, probably a little bit more than before. The senior, who averaged 3.1 points per game entering Friday’s quarterfinal, dropped a cool 30 against Indiana to power the Badgers to the semifinals. “Needless to say we had a player who was in a zone,” said coach Bo Ryan. Ya think?