Big Ten Media Day: Verdell Jones and Maurice Creek

Here’s my two quick chats with Verdell Jones and Maurice Creek from Big Ten Media Day. Come for the latest on their injuries, stay for my stammering and finger being in front of the lens.

Big Ten Media Day: Tom Crean

Video of Tom Crean’s press conference this morning at Big Ten Media Day at the Crowne Plaza in Rosemont, IL:

Indiana picked to finish 8th in Sun Times Big Ten poll

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 12:  Head coach Tom Crean of the Indiana Hoosiers looks on agaisnt the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 12, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

As you saw in the previous post, the Big Ten only announces the media’s top three teams in its preseason rankings.

Herb Gould of The Chicago Sun-Times conducted his own poll, which includes one media representative from each school, for a complete rundown of the conference. There’s a shift in the top three when comparing the Sun Times poll to the official media poll.

The Sun Times poll has MSU-Ohio State-Illinois while the official media poll has MSU-Ohio State-Purdue. (The injury to Robbie Hummel likely dictated this shift.)

Here’s the complete Sun Times poll:

School, Pts., Last year

1. Michigan State (10) 120 T-1st

2. Ohio State (1) 110 T-1st

3. Illinois 90 5th

4. Purdue 88 T-1st

5. Wisconsin 77 4th

T-6. Minnesota 62 6th

T-6. Northwestern 62 T-7th

8. Indiana 44 T-9th

9. Penn State 32 11th

10. Michigan 28 T-7th

11. Iowa 11 T-9th

Surprise, Surprise: Michigan State picked to win Big Ten

INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 02: Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans holds up one finger during practice prior to the 2010 Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 2, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Per the Big Ten:

Park Ridge, Ill.– Coming off its second consecutive Final Four appearance, Michigan State was selected to finish first in the Big Ten, as voted upon by a panel of conference media. Ohio State and Purdue were picked to finish second and third, respectively. Spartan senior Kalin Lucas was named the Preseason Player of the Year for the second straight season and was joined on the Preseason All-Conference team by Illinois’ Demetri McCamey, Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore and Wisconsin’s Jon Leuer.

Michigan State returns three starters and nine letterwinners from last year’s squad that went 28-9 and tied for the Big Ten Championship with a 14-4 conference record. Head Coach Tom Izzo took the Spartans to their second straight Final Four, marking the team’s sixth appearance in the event in the last 12 years.

Ohio State brings back four starters and six letterwinners from last year’s squad that tied for the Big Ten title with a 14-4 conference mark, won the conference tournament advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. The Buckeyes finished the 2009-10 season with a 29-8 overall record, giving the Buckeyes 20 or more wins in each of their six seasons under head coach Thad Matta.

Two starters and 10 letterwinners return for Purdue, who tied for the Big Ten title and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2010. The Boilermakers finished the season with a 29-6 mark and advanced to their fourth straight NCAA Tournament under the guidance of head coach Matt Painter.

Lucas earns his second straight Preseason Player of the Year honor after earning first-team All-Big Ten recognition following the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. The Big Ten Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2009, Lucas enters the season as the conference’s third-leading active scorer, with 1,418 career points. The guard is one of 10 Big Ten players named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List.

The 2010-11 Preseason All-Big Ten team includes three first-team All-Big Ten honorees from last season in McCamey, Lucas and Moore. Johnson was named first-team honoree following the 2008-09 season and earned a spot on the second team last year. Leuer was an honorable mention selection a season ago.

2010-2011 Player Profile: Daniel Moore

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 12:  Daniel Moore #3 of the Indiana Hoosiers reacts against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 12, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)It’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2010-2011 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Daniel Moore.

We will tarry not long on young Daniel Moore, for there is much to be said about the coming of Cody Zeller-palooza (and also Halloween) to the shores of Bloomington at week’s end. But in keeping with — and, now, ending our player profile series — it seemed fitting to include Moore, a walk-on, with the rest of Indiana’s scholarship players.

Like most of the faces that popped up seemingly from nowhere in the 2008 media guide, Moore’s story is well known. He played at Carmel, Indiana All-Star, too small for the Big Ten but plays tough, rugged basketball and has been a spark plug at points during his career.

Of course, last year saw Moore’s minutes dwindle by a full 10 per game, as Indiana gained more depth at Moore’s preferred position of point guard. The coming of Victor Oladipo, coupled with the expected usage of Maurice Creek and Verdell Jones at the point more this season, assuming they’re healthy, seems likely to bump young Daniel even further down the bench.

But it wouldn’t be fair to demean or ignore what Moore gave to Indiana over the last two years, or what he will presumably give them for the next two. Statistics aren’t his strong point, but Moore’s style of play is one that personifies what people consider “Indiana” basketball: toughness, hard work, willingness to do whatever is asked of him.

That 6-25 first season under Tom Crean was rough, and no one was immune to scrutiny. And Moore — because he played 17.2 minutes per night, was often asked to handle the ball and isn’t the most prolific scorer at a position often reserved for scorers — took his share of the criticism. He was too small, we said, too slow and weak offensively. And there was that maddening thing he did, dribbling the ball under the basket and then kicking it out to a teammate who may or may not be open, like a child running the same play over and over again in Madden 2009 because he figured out somewhere along the way that the computer couldn’t defend it.

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Video: Weekend visitors

Three of Indiana’s top recruiting targets, Cody Zeller, Hanner Perea and Yogi Ferrell, are expected to be in Bloomington this weekend for Friday’s “Night of the Living Red” scrimmage. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7PM with Trick or Treating and the scrimmage will begin at 8PM. Zeller will be on his official visit (as will commit Austin Etherington) and Perea and Ferrell will both be on unofficial trips.

Here’s some YouTube-age from each player to get you ready for one of the biggest weekends for IU recruiting in recent memory:

2010-2011 Player Profile: Will Sheehey

It’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2010-2011 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Will Sheehey.

Like fellow freshman Victor Oladipo and junior college transfer Guy-Marc Michel, Will Sheehey arrives with the expectation, from both himself and from Tom Crean, that he’ll compete for significant minutes in the IU rotation from day one.

Crean, as has been mentioned in this space and also elsewhere, says he has no interest in this group of newcomers waiting their turn and easing into the rotation.

Sheehey hails from a basketball background. His father, Mike, played at St. Bonaventure and Syracuse and his uncle, Tom, played at Virginia and was drafted by the Boston Celtics and played professionally in Spain.

At 6-6 and 195 pounds, Sheehey’s bread and butter offensively seems to be a combination of a solid mid-range game, setting up teammates and finishing at the rim. If given space, he doesn’t hesitate to consistently stick the 15 to 18-foot jump shot. And if he’s defended too closely, Sheehey will use the dribble to get past defenders. His versatility with the ball should afford him the luxury of playing in the backcourt and also on the wing.

Like Oladipo, Sheehey should help Indiana on the offensive glass and if he’s able to establish himself early in that regard, that should increase his likelihood for playing time. (Crean is placing a big emphasis on improved rebounding this season.) He appears to have improved upon his physical stature from the time he first met with the media in late July to Hoosier Hysteria earlier this month. But as is the case with most first-year players, continued improvement of strength and conditioning is a necessity to compete in physical conference games. Sheehey is also continuing to work on his 3-point range, which has been, to this point, one inconsistent part of his game.

Bottom Line: Sheehey should compete for minutes in a rotation that will be much more difficult to crack than the previous two seasons. He will likely get plenty of opportunities in the early out of conference slate. And if he rebounds well, defends and limits his mistakes, Sheehey should be in the mix come Big Ten play in late December.

Quotable: “People talk about the tradition, but it really is one of a kind. With all the other schools recruiting me, I felt this one was the one that if you turn this place around it will be one of the stories of basketball history.” – Will Sheehey

Previous Player Profiles: Matt Roth, Bobby Capobianco, Victor Oladipo, Tom Pritchard, Jeremiah RiversChristian WatfordVerdell Jones, Maurice Creek, Derek Elston, Jordan Hulls, Guy-Marc Michel

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