Big Ten M5: 12.12.12 Edition
Posted by Deepak Jayanti on December 12th, 2012
- The timing couldn’t be more perfect for Tom Crean. As the Hoosiers lose sophomore forward Austin Etheringon to a season ending injury, they gain back two of their incoming freshmen – Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin – back from suspensions to add depth to the roster. Both of the forwards will be eligible to play on Saturday against Butler. Crean said that he would “ease the players” into his lineup but they should add some additional depth to the frontcourt. The addition of the forwards will also allow Cody Zeller (27.6 MPG) to get some rest during some of the lighter competition at home. Perea seems to have recovered from his foot injury over the summer and has been practicing with the team during the suspension.
- Former Michigan State coaching legend Jud Heathcote will not participate in this weekend’s reunion game festivities at the Jenison Field House. Heathcote was supposed to coach alongside Spartans football coach Mike Dantonio, basketball legend Magic Johnson, and former coach Gus Ganakas, but he had to cancel because he slipped on the ice and fell on the pavement over the weekend. He has a replaced hip which will prevent him from traveling due to the incident and the MSU athletic department has not announced his replacement for the game yet. The former coaching legend was in East Lansing from 1976-95 and ended up with a 336-221 record to go alongside his 1979 national title. Tom Izzo was an assistant on his coaching staff upon his retirement and Heathcote strongly urged the school to name Izzo as his replacement.
- Minnesota’s backup point guard, Maverick Ahanmisi, has earned his playing time this season under Tubby Smith. Last season, there was speculation that he might transfer out of the program, but with all of the rumors put aside, he has provided valuable minutes to the Gophers. He has averaged 4.9 PPG in just 11.1 MPG to back up Andre Hollins as the primary ball-handler in the Gophers’ half-court sets. Smith has been very impressed with his defensive effort and his composure on the court. The junior guard may not average more than 15 MPG this season because of the depth on the roster but his 52% shooting from the field has been extremely efficient and lets Smith rotate in guards frequently to keep them fresh on the defensive end.
- We are over a month into the season and Ohio State head coach Thad Matta is still challenging his team to step up its intensity. Matta discussed Shannon Scott and Sam Thompson as the Buckeyes prepare for their upcoming match-up against Savannah State. Thompson was described as the “ultimate team guy” by his head coach, and Matta wishes that he was a bit more “selfish” on the offensive end — Thompson has been averaging 7.1 PPG and 4.7 RPG at the small forward position so far. Scott, on the other hand, has dished out 4.7 dimes per game in just 19.6 MPG as a backup to Aaron Craft. The sophomore guard said that he is “seeing the court a lot better” this season and provides a good spark off the bench. Matta has depth at the guard position this year, but believes that his players can raise their production another notch, and that’s a good problem to have for a top 10 team.
- There is no such thing as too much news about the high school phenom Jabari Parker. The Chicago native is going for his fourth prep state title and has recovered quickly from a foot injury over the summer. ESPN’s Scoop Jackson talks about Parker’s toughness and maturity as he prepares for his senior season. Parker is still pondering over his decision about which college to attend between Florida, Duke, Michigan State and BYU, and when asked about his important decision, Parker said, “the pressure doesn’t affect me.” The forward supposedly added 20 pounds of muscle during the offseason which has drawn some comparisons to former Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger rather than a “more athletic Tim Duncan,” but Parker is so talented that he will form his own identity and shed any comparisons aside once he steps foot on a college campus.
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