Big Ten Morning Five: 03.19.12 EditionPosted by Deepak Jayanti on March 19th, 2012
- Purdue forward Robbie Hummel went out with a bang last night against Kansas in the NCAA Tournament. He was red-hot from the from the floor to begin the game and ended up with 26 points for the night as Purdue lost a close one to Kansas. The Boilermakers led for most of the game but let the game slip away during the final minute. The win could have capped off a perfect weekend for the Big Ten teams in the Tournament.
- Sunday’s game between St. Louis and Michigan State featured two coaches who believe in the grinding it out on the court. St. Louis coach Rick Majerus has a mutual respect for Tom Izzo and considers him to be a “throwback” coach. Majerus could easily coach in the Big Ten based on his basketball philosophy which emphasizes tough, physical play on the court. Sunday’s game had a B1G “feel” to it as Michigan State out-muscled St. Louis to a 65-61 victory.
- The Shaka Smart watch officially started on Sunday after VCU‘s loss to Indiana over the weekend. The rumor mill accelerated after Steve Lavin mentioned during the post-game analysis that he is “quite confident” that Smart will end up as the next Illinois coach over the next few days. The Illinois head coaching position has been open for over a week now and Smart is rumored to be the top candidate to follow Bruce Weber‘s footsteps in Champaign.
- Tom Crean has more to prove as the turnaround season continues for the Hoosiers. First it was, winning during the non-conference season. Then it was making it to the Tournament. During the Tournament, he had to lead his team to win without senior Verdell Jones III. The coach’s relentless positive attitude encourages his players to have a consistent work ethic to get through every obstacle. Indiana continues to reach new milestones after the Kelvin Sampson era ended, as Crean guides them to the first Sweet 16 appearance since 2002.
- Michigan‘s loss to Ohio on Friday night was painful. But despite the loss, the Wolverine faithful are still satisfied with the season that resulted in a Big Ten regular season championship. The biggest question on their minds now, is the future of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke. Neither of them are projected lottery picks but they have to enter the NBA draft by April 10th, if they choose to test the waters as underclassmen. Their comments after the Tournament loss has not indicated any interest in entering the draft, but the Wolverine fans will be relieved once they make their return to Ann Arbor official.