Posted by jnowak on July 18th, 2012
- Who doesn’t love a good list? We all do. The Big Lead takes a crack at the putting together a compilation of the 50 best players in college basketball heading into the 2012-13 campaign. It’s an early prognosis, sure, but which Big Ten players would you have on that list? Indiana’s Cody Zeller and Michigan’s Trey Burke are likely choices, right? Who, if anyone, from the other defending Big Ten co-champions Ohio State or Michigan State should be on the list? How about Christian Watford? Trevor Mbakwe? Deshaun Thomas? See for yourself and debate amongst yourselves.
- Michigan coach John Beilein says he’s not out to recruit one-and-done players and it seems one of his best players is backing him up. Tim Hardaway, Jr. told the Detroit Free Press he’d like to model his game after former Michigan State star and rival Draymond Green. The former Spartan was, of course, one of the most versatile players in recent Big Ten memory, but he was also a four-year player who had a steady progression over his time in East Lansing and put together a remarkable career that has also led to the NBA.
- Speaking of Green, replacing him will be one of the toughest tasks for the defending conference champion Spartans. They certainly won’t have one player who can step in and do it, so it will fall on the shoulders of an ensemble cast that includes centers Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix. The two have tremendous skill sets, but on entirely different ends of the spectrum. Payne is a taller, leaner and much more athletic big man, while Nix is a more big-bodied traditional frontcourt player. Their different styles gave teams fit last season, and Payne especially says he’s looking to step up to fill Michigan State’s frontcourt void.
- After a 2011-12 season that saw him foul out of seven games and rack up four or more fouls in 19 contests, Iowa’s Zach McCabe is hoping to put those bruising days behind him this year. The rising junior played out of position last year, banging down low with players in the conference who were bigger than him and he paid the price. He started 30 contests for the Hawkeyes and is hoping to combine that experience with some offseason work that will allow him to succeed in that same position next year while incorporating some of his own game and making opponents come to him.
- This time comes but just once every four years — the Olympics. One of the biggest draws of the summer games is basketball, and of course Team USA. We’ve heard plenty over the last few years about the Dream Team, the Redeem Team and so on and so forth, but which Big Ten players would fill out an Olympic basketball roster from the Big Ten Network era (2007-12)? Brent Yarina at BTN.com takes a crack at it. You might be surprised.