Big Ten Weekly Five: 05.03.12 EditionPosted by Deepak Jayanti on May 3rd, 2012
- Illinois head coach John Groce is wasting no time on the recruiting trail as he recently lured Champaign native Rayvonte Rice away from Drake. Rice will sit out one season but will become eligible in the fall of 2013 and have available playing time after senior guards Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson graduate. Rice led Drake by scoring 16.8 points per game last season as a sophomore and put up solid rebounding numbers for a guard by averaging 5.8 boards per game.
- Most college hoops fans believe that conference expansion will only hurt traditional rivalries in football but not necessarily basketball due to the longer non-conference schedule. But the Indiana – Kentucky rivalry may be in jeopardy as the SEC has expanded with the addition of Missouri for the upcoming season, as Tom Crean and John Calipari have been in discussions about keeping the annual game on their schedules despite all the changes. The key issue seems to be whether the game will continue to be a home-and-home or will revert back to a neutral court situation as it was for many years. Regardless of the venue, college basketball fans should not be deprived of a great regional game every season.
- One of the most underrated coaches in the nation, Bo Ryan, was recently rewarded with a contract extension at Wisconsin through 2017. The terms were undisclosed but the Badger fans will be happy to see him scowling on the sidelines for another several seasons. Ryan has been in Madison for 11 seasons already and has obviously turned Wisconsin into a perennial Big Ten contender.
- Michigan basketball fans would love to skip the next six months and get the new season started. Why wouldn’t they? Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr., are back in Ann Arbor in addition to freshmen studs Mitch McGary and Glen Robinson, III. Robinson and McGary have played together in the past and can’t wait to begin a new chapter of Michigan basketball. With Burke returning, John Beilein has a legitimate contender for another Big Ten title and a Final Four appearance next season.
- Tom Izzo’s players continue to face legal trouble during the offseason. First it was Derrick Nix and now it is Brandon Wood. Wood faces misdemeanor charges after being arrested recently in Chicago. Izzo will need to replace Wood’s spot because he has already graduated and will look forward to Travis Trice to mature into a consistent guard in addition to Keith Appling. The last couple seasons have been unusual off the court for Michigan State, but Izzo has made it clear that discipline will not be compromised as he suspended Nix and also let go of Korie Lucious for off-court issues.