Posted by Deepak Jayanti on January 23rd, 2013
- The Purdue Boilermakers will likely not make the NCAA Tournament this season because they are rebuilding with a young core of players. But would they have a better shot at making the postseason if they had landed Michigan freshman Glenn Robinson III on the recruiting trail? The 6’6″ wing could have followed the footsteps of his famous father and Purdue legend, Glenn Robinson, but Matt Painter did not have any scholarships left to offer him. Robinson came into his own in high school after committing verbally to John Beilein, rising up the rankings by the time he graduated. He was a three-star prospect at the time of his verbal commitment but finished his prep career ranked #11 by Rivals during his senior year in high school. While his team’s prospects wouldn’t have been as promising, his scoring average would probably be higher than 12.1 PPG if he were playing in West Lafayette this season as a primary scoring option on a younger team.
- Speaking of Purdue, long time assistant and Indiana native Bob King passed away this week at the age of 92. King was an assistant coach for the Boilermakers from 1960-74 and was inducted into the Indiana basketball Hall of Fame in 1986. He was an assistant and associate athletics director from 1974-93 and oversaw one of the best stretches of basketball in West Lafayette under former head coach Gene Keady. Current Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke added, “He coached, mentored, listened and held people accountable — all with a sense of compassion.”
- It is never too early to look ahead to a game that could potentially be a classic match-up when it occurs. The Wolverines head to Bloomington on February 2 and if both Michigan and Indiana continue to play well, the game could feature two top five teams battling for Big Ten supremacy. Hoosier State of Mind provides a very premature preview of the game between the two best teams in the Big Ten so far. Nik Stauskas (12.6 PPG) is described as a player that “could shoot as well as Jordan Hulls but can also drive to the hoop with some power.” Stauskas needs to be pull himself out of his current mini-slump before traveling to Indiana in order to help John Beilein’s squad notch a quality win on the road.
- Michigan has already proven that it can win in a tough road environment by beating Minnesota in Minneapolis. Star-Tribune‘s Amelia Rayno addresses the Gophers’ loss to the Wolverines and other questions about Tubby Smith’s team in her weekly mailbag. She credits last season’s run to the NIT championship game as a key factor in helping these young Gophers gain some confidence before this season started. Rayno believes that Andre Hollins and Joe Coleman grew during the process as mature leaders and adds, “It allowed the Gophers to go into their offseason with immediate memories of success, but also a reminder that they had not suddenly become perfect, they still had flaws and there was still much work to be done.” Hollins has averaged 14.3 PPG and 3.7 APG and is arguably the best guard in the Big Ten this season after Michigan’s Trey Burke.
- Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo is never satisfied despite having won five straight Big Ten games heading into Madison last night. Before the game Izzo said, “We’re not as solid as we were last year,” when asked about the Spartans’ performance so far this season. Izzo has tried numerous lineups with Derrick Nix, Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson rotating role players around them, but he hasn’t found a combination that has worked consistently so far. He certainly has the flexibility of playing a big lineup with those three players and bringing Travis Trice off the bench along with freshman Denzel Valentine. After a tough win on the road against the Badgers last night (49-47), the Spartans are continuing to improve and may change their coach’s mind over time.