The Big Ten held its weekly coaches teleconference on Monday morning to review the final week of conference play and to look ahead to this week’s Big Ten tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Here are some notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s appearance:
· Prior to the call, the conference announced that Indiana’s Troy Williams was named the league’s freshman of the week and Nebraska’s Shavon Shields and Michigan’s Nik Stauskas were named the league’s co-players of the week.
· Opening comments: ”We’re getting ready right now full-tilt for Illinois. We have great respect for them and really, with the exception of their game with Michigan last week, they have been playing great basketball over the last month. I don’t think there’s any question that they are playing with excellent confidence. Their defense is at a high level and they are really, really playing with tremendous energy. We’re going to have our work cut out for us at any point in time with anybody in this league, but certainly going into this game, we have great respect for what they are doing and how they are progressing and that’s where we sit.”
· On what Illinois is doing so well on the defensive end towards the end of the season: ”I think they are just trying to control tempo. They are much like Ohio State in that they create a lot of turnovers with the way if you’re loose with the basketball. If you drive it into traffic, they make you pay for that. They are very strong defensively. They are opportunistic with their running game. The bottom line is that they are making it hard for you to get good looks and they expose you if you over-handle. And they are rebounding at a high rate. Those are the things that stand out the most to me.”
The Big Ten will announce its All-Big Ten teams and awards later tonight, but here’s the Inside the Hall staff’s selections for the various honors that will be handed out:
All-Big Ten freshman team
· Noah Vonleh, Indiana; Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin; Derrick Walton, Michigan; Kendrick Nunn, Illinois; Zak Irvin, Michigan
Comment: The first four selections were no-brainers, but the last slot went to Irvin over Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson and Purdue’s Kendall Stephens because he played valuable minutes on a team that finished 15-3 and he made 42.6 percent of his 3s in league play. Irvin was also the fourth most efficient freshman.
All-Big Ten defensive team
· Aaron Craft, Ohio State; Jordan Morgan, Michigan; Gary Harris, Michigan State; Shannon Scott, Ohio State; A.J. Hammons, Purdue
Comment: The Buckeyes land two players on our all-defensive team for anchoring the Big Ten’s best defense. Morgan hasn’t received enough credit for helping hold things together in the post for the Wolverines after the loss of Mitch McGary. Despite playing for last place Purdue, Hammons led the conference in blocks.
All-Big Ten teams
· Third team: Aaron Craft, Ohio State; D.J. Newbill, Penn State; Aaron White, Iowa; Noah Vonleh, Indiana; Deandre Mathieu, Minnesota
Check out 19 photos by Dustin Johnson of UMHoops.com from Indiana’s 84-80 loss to Michigan at the Crisler Center in the embedded photo gallery after the jump.
Rules are here, for those unfamiliar.
- Yogi Ferrell was the pick to click winner for Illinois (game one), Michigan State (game one), Penn State (game one), Wisconsin (game one), Illinois (game two), Michigan, Penn State (game two), Purdue and Wisconsin (game two).
- Noah Vonleh was the winner for Northwestern (game one), Michigan State (game two), Minnesota , Northwestern (game two).
- Will Sheehey was the winner for Nebraska (game one), Iowa and Ohio State.
- Troy Williams was the winner for Nebraska (game two, won tiebreaker with Ferrell due to more made free throws in game).
The leaders through 17 games are available here.
Pool for Michigan: All players are eligible to be picked.
Picks are due by 5:45 PM ET on Saturday.
A few reminders:
· State the name of the player (not a nickname) that you’re picking. If you use a nickname for a player, your pick will not be counted. Also, please state who you are picking as the first thing in your comment. We’re tracking hundreds of picks per game. It’s more difficult to keep track of everyone’s pick if it’s not the first thing in your comment.
· Please make sure you are using a valid e-mail address if you are not registered.
· Please make sure you are using the same name each time to pick if you are not registered. We are tracking wins by the name you use to submit your pick. If your name changes on a game-to-game basis, credit for your pick will be given to the name used to submit the pick.
Indiana has teamed up with adidas and will debut new uniforms for Big Ten tournament play beginning next Thursday in Indianapolis.
Here are the full details:
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – IU Athletics and adidas have partnered to pay tribute to the unique history of IU basketball with special edition “Hurryin’ Hoosiers” Made In March basketball uniforms that will be worn at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis on March 13th. These uniforms feature IU’s traditional cream and crimson color scheme, with the fabled “Hurryin’ Hoosiers” nickname placed on the inside collar of each jersey and on the back of the shorts. These Made in March uniforms will be worn exclusively during the Big Ten Tournament.
“Our players are excited to have something that will be unique to their time at Indiana,” said IU Coach Tom Crean. “Great traditions like the candy stripe pants, the script Indiana, and the names not being on the back of their jerseys, are timeless and we are proud to uphold those every day.”
The collection was created to provide the Hoosiers with adidas’ most advanced uniform system and basketball apparel technology so they can take on the challenges of the intense play of March.
Watch the 2014 Indiana senior night speeches of Taylor Wayer, Jeff Howard, Evan Gordon and Will Sheehey in the media player below. Video provided by IU Athletics on YouTube:
A video tribute to the 2014 senior class from IU Athletics is also available after the jump.
Check out 24 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 70-60 loss to Nebraska at Assembly Hall in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. Purchase prints from J. Scott Sports.