Big Ten Morning Five: 03.13.12 Edition
Posted by Deepak Jayanti on March 13th, 2012
- Tom Izzo‘s mood over the last year and a half has been all over the place. Over a year ago, Izzo was struggling with discipline issues on his team as he suspended Kory Lucious for the season. This season however, team chemistry has been the strongest asset of Michigan State. Izzo describes Michigan State’s success this year as the “power of chemistry.” Losing Branden Dawson did not derail his team’s spirits because everybody else held themselves accountable and played their way to a Big Ten Tournament title.
- Illinois’ interim coach and former assistant coach of Bruce Weber, Jerrance Howard will not be coaching his first collegiate game this season. The Fighting Illini were not invited to the National Invitational Tournament even though Iowa got invited with 17 wins. The Illinois Athletic Director, Mike Thomas will try to make sure that missing the NIT or the NCAA Tournament does not become a habit for the Illini fan base.
- Michigan head coach John Beilein is happy with the Big Ten regular season title, but definitely not satisfied. He knows there is more to come and Wolverine basketball has to become consistent again. He compares Michigan’s consistency to programs such as Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State. Beilein knows Michigan has more room to improve and it can only get better if Tim Hardaway Jr. came back to play along with Trey Burke and incoming freshman Mitch McGary.
- Everybody is aware of the Illinois coaching vacancy, but what about Nebraska’s coaching position? It will be tough for Nebraska to make a sell at the top coaching candidates such as Shaka Smart or other coaches with consistent coaching records such as Greg Marshall of Wichita State. They don’t have the history of their football program to lure a promising young coach. But being in the Big Ten and a healthy budget in their athletic department should help them bring some talent to Lincoln to run a decent basketball program.
- It is only fitting that Robbie Hummel will end his career during the NCAA Tournament. One of the greatest players in Purdue history has not been back to the postseason in over two years due to injuries. Purdue is matched up with St. Mary’s. Hummel made an excellent recovery from the injuries as he averaged 16.3 points per game this season and continues to be the go-to guy for the Boilermakers. He is just happy to lead his team back to the NCAA Tournament before wrapping up his career.