Big Ten Weekly Five: 08.20.12 EditionPosted by jnowak on August 20th, 2012
- Do you want the good news or the bad news first, Indiana fans? The good news is that a solution has presented itself for the problem Tom Crean was going to have this fall with 14 players trying to fill out 13 scholarships by the first day of classes. The bad news is that means incoming freshman Ron Patterson‘s ineligibility is what led to that solution. According to the Indianapolis Star, the local product — a three-star recruit out of nearby Indianapolis — did not meet the academic requirements to earn admission. According to the Star‘s report, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound shooting guard will consider attending prep school or a different four-year school. He will have immediate eligibility wherever he goes since his letter of intent has been voided. Still, though, the Hoosiers have the top recruiting class in the Big Ten and one of the best nationally — to go along with a likely preseason No. 1 distinction.
- Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis is at it again with his big ideas and, this time, he’s got more than just the Spartans involved. Hollis is the brainchild of yet another large-scale event, with plans to include 16 elite basketball programs — including Big Ten squads Michigan State and Ohio State — in a blockbuster event (broken into a pair of eight-team tournaments) for November 2017 in Portland, Oregon, celebrating the 80th birthday of Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Given the list of schools involved, this could be better than most NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteens. It should be an exceptionally tough ticket, but a real treat for hoops fans five years from now.
- According to the Gazette columnist Mike Hlas, Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery has been telling reporters he intends to schedule tougher non-conference foes when the program is ready for it. Now, evidently, is not that time. As Hlas points out, the Hawkeyes have three teams on the 2012-13 slate from the MEAC, the 30th-strongest conference of 32, according to the Sagarin Ratings from last year. And if Iowa plays Wichita State instead of DePaul in Cancun, the cumulative 2011-12 record of the Hawkeyes’ non-conference opponents will be 181-234 (88-124 in their respective conferences). If it is DePaul, those records drop to 166-247 and 75-137, respectively. Those figures certainly won’t help Iowa’s strength of schedule. But if they can’t beat those squads, something will really be amiss.
- Fans in Michigan are passionately divided between Michigan and Michigan State allegiances, but with both teams now excelling, it’s a great time to be a basketball fan in the Mitten State. And how about this projection for an NCAA Tournament first-round site? The Spartans and Wolverines are both slotted by ESPN.com‘s Joe Lunardi in a very early version of Bracketology as No. 2 seeds playing at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit. You’re not likely to get Michigan and Michigan State fans also cheering for their rivals in those games, but it would be one heck of an atmosphere at the Palace. Lunardi has seven Big Ten teams in the dance, including Indiana (No. 1 seed), Ohio State (No. 4 seed), Minnesota (No. 7 seed), Wisconsin (No. 3 seed) and Purdue (No. 12 seed).
- Purdue is taking the early stages of its non-conference schedule way out of the conference. Way out of the country, even. The Boilermakers just wrapped up a 3-1 exhibition tour in Italy, capping the trip off with a 108-72 victory against Amici del Campetto. It’s given coach Matt Painter an early opportunity to see what he’ll be working with this season, with many new faces expected to be in the mix. The Boilermakers’ only loss on the trip was to a professional team from Lithuania. D.J. Byrd, one of the few returning contributors, was 5-for-7 from 3-point range for 16 points in the latest victory.