Michigan graduate transfer Max Bielfeldt has eliminated one school from his list and will take the weekend to make his decision, according to multiple reports.
Bielfeldt told Brendan F. Quinn of MLive.com that he’s no longer considering DePaul, which means he’ll choose from a final three of Indiana, Iowa State and Nebraska. He visited each of those schools.
The 6-foot-8, 245-pound forward averaged 5.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game last season for the Wolverines and will be eligible immediately. He was granted his release from Michigan in late April after it was announced that Caris LeVert would return for his senior season.
Indiana has two open scholarships for next season following the dismissals of Devin Davis and Hanner Mosquera-Perea.
Unbalanced scheduling is one of the challenges accompanying conference expansion. With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers last season, the Big Ten was forced to move to an eight single play, five home-and-home scheduling format.
It was a dramatic change from the previous 12-team scheduling format, which allowed for seven home-and-home pairings and four single plays across the league. Last season, it didn’t matter much in determining the regular season champ as Wisconsin was the clear class of the conference and finished 16-2, which was the best record since Ohio State in 2011.
That is not likely to be the case next winter as the conference appears to have eight or nine teams with legitimate NCAA tournament aspirations and several of those programs are showing up consistently in preseason top 25s.
So how might scheduling determine next season’s regular season Big Ten champion? Using the top seven teams in John Gasaway’s conference power rankings published earlier this month over on ESPN Insider, we ranked the schedule difficulty (from most difficult to easiest) of the top half of the league for next season:
Home: Illinois, Iowa, Penn State, Rutgers
Away: Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska
Home/Away: Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Comment: If the Terrapins win the Big Ten, it won’t be due to a favorable schedule. Of Gasaway’s projected top six behind Maryland in the standings, the Terps get four of them twice. And the other two, Indiana and Michigan State, will be road games.
Indiana has been tabbed as a preseason top 15 team in most of the early rankings for the 2015-2016 season and in new odds released Thursday, the Hoosiers are being viewed as a legitimate title contender next season.
Oddsmaker Bovada released updated national championship odds for next season earlier this afternoon and lists the Hoosiers at 25/1 to win the 2016 title.
Indiana is tied with Gonzaga, Villanova and Wichita State for the 11th best shot to win the title next season, according to Bovada.
Maryland is the favorite to win the title at 9/1 and another Big Ten team, Michigan State, is not far behind at 16/1.
Just behind the Terrapins are Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina at 10/1.
Indiana basketball’s multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) added a fifth consecutive score of 1,000 under Tom Crean, according to data released Wednesday afternoon by the NCAA.
The program also received an APR Public Recognition Award for the third straight year.
Here’s the full release issued by IU:
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – For the third straight year, Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean will see his program earn an APR Public Recognition Award which is given to high-performing teams that posted multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in their particular sports. Thirty-nine institutions were honored.
“Our staff and Marni Mooney keeps all involved on task, the players understand our commitment to their education, and everyone in the program takes tremendous pride in our academic success,” said IU coach Tom Crean. “Our players consistently exceed their own expectations and reach new heights that are as rewarding an achievement as they experience.”
It’s May and more than five months separate us from the opening of the 2015-2016 season, but it’s never a bad time to check in on the Big Ten landscape.
Here’s our first stab at forecasting next season’s conference standings with last season’s records in parenthesis:
14. Rutgers (10-22, 2-16)
· Arriving: Corey Sanders (247Composite top 100), Deshawn Freeman, Jonathan Laurent, Justin Goode, Kejuan Johnson
· Departing: Junior Etou (transfer), Kadeem Jack (graduation), Kerwin Okoro (transfer), Malick Kone (graduation), Myles Mack (graduation)
Outlook: Eddie Jordan knew it would be a long process to build Rutgers into a respectable program when he took the job and as he enters year three at the helm, there’s still plenty of work to be done. The Scarlet Knights did manage to sign a top 100 recruit in point guard Corey Sanders. But in a loaded Big Ten, any optimism for a move up the league standings in Piscataway should be guarded.
13. Minnesota (18-15, 6-12)
· Arriving: Dupree McBrayer, Jarvis Johnson, J.R. Gilbert, Jordan Murphy, Kevin Dorsey
· Departing: Andre Hollins (graduation), Deandre Mathieu (graduation), Elliott Eliason (graduation), Maurice Walker (graduation)
Outlook: Count me as a skeptic of Gophers coach Richard Pitino, who enters his third season in Minneapolis and was mentioned for several jobs across the country despite never reaching the NCAA tournament in three seasons as a head coach. Minnesota underachieved last season, lost its three best players and this is one of the league’s weakest rosters in terms of talent.
· The recent dismissals of Devin Davis and Hanner Mosquera-Perea
· 2015 recruiting and how Indiana may fill the two available scholarships
· X-factors for success next season
· Potential roles for Emmitt Holt, Juwan Morgan and O.G. Anunony
· A look at how the Big Ten is shaping up next season
And plenty more, so tune in and enjoy. As always, feel free to drop the show a note at email@example.com.
Former Indiana guard Stanford Robinson will continue his college career at Rhode Island. Robinson announced the news today on his Instagram account.
Robinson averaged 3 points and 1.9 rebounds for the Hoosiers last season and chose the Rams over VCU. As a freshman, he averaged 6.4 points per game and had a career-high 17 points in IU’s win over Iowa at Assembly Hall and 13 in IU’s win over No. 3 Wisconsin.
However, after his playing time diminished this past season, Robinson cited playing time and location as the factors for his departure from Bloomington.
“I hope to find something that is closer to family and where I can have more of an impact on the court,” he said in late March in a release. “I’ve loved everything about being at IU and am thankful for the support of Hoosier Nation.”
The Landover (Md.) native was a member of IU’s 2013 recruiting class that also included Collin Hartman, Devin Davis, Luke Fischer, Noah Vonleh and Troy Williams.