Big Ten Weekly Five: 04.25.12 EditionPosted by jnowak on April 25th, 2012
- Wisconsin has been in the news quite a bit over the last week or two, and it’s not good offseason publicity for coach Bo Ryan’s program. Ryan and Jarrod Uthoff became embroiled in a very public and heated controversy about Uthoff’s options after a transfer from Wisconsin. After Ryan tried to place a number of restrictions on Uthoff’s transfer, he made a few important gaffes over the airwaves and via social media, and eventually the coach lifted all restrictions except for schools in the Big Ten. Think Wisconsin fans are ready for games to start already?
- Tom Izzo is another coach who has seen some ugly offseason incidents over the last few years, and there’s already been a hiccup this year in East Lansing. Derrick Nix, who became a big contributor in the post this year and figured to be a prominent leader for the Spartans next season, pleaded guilty to impaired driving and had a marijuana possession charge dropped in East Lansing. Nix and his coach addressed the media after the incident and Izzo — after suspending Nix indefinitely — said the center would be reinstated to the team under some specific to-be-determined guidelines. Stay tuned.
- There will be no surprises this year — Jared Sullinger will not return to Ohio State for his junior year. What does that mean for the Buckeyes? We’re not entirely sure, but we know what it will mean for Amir Williams, who is likely to eat up a lot of Sullinger’s minutes in the post. The former McDonald’s All-American averaged just 1.7 PPG and 2.1 RPG in 6.6 MPG as a freshman, but says he’s ready to make that leap to becoming a big-time contributor.
- Tubby Smith has a new boss at Minnesota and that could mean huge improvements for the Golden Gophers’ program. Smith has long said that the university needs to have Big Ten-type facilities to keep up with the conference’s elite such as Ohio State and Michigan State, two programs that boast some of the very best in the country. Norwood Teague said he recognizes the importance of those facilities and, coming from VCU where basketball was ever-important, his word could go a long way toward helping Smith’s recruiting pitch.
- Things are moving a mile a minute for new Nebraska head coach Tim Miles, who is doing all he can to catch up and progress in Lincoln at the same time. He’s been spending time with his family in Colorado, getting acquainted with folks in Nebraska, and burning hours upon hours recruiting all over the road. Miles seems excited, and he feels that the Nebraska fan base equally shares his enthusiasm. “The response has been incredible,” he told the World Herald. “People are hungry. This is how you play the game, being out there. Putting the program in the forefront. But the talking part is easy.”