April 4, 2010
[ONE // michigan state falls in final four]
Michigan State concluded its men's basketball season Saturday night, falling 52-50 to Butler in the national semifinals of the NCAA Championship. The Spartans were competing Saturday in their six Final Four in the last 12 years and celebrating the 10th anniversary of their 2000 NCAA title when the Spartans defeated Florida, 89-76, on April 3, 2000. In the loss, MSU was led by Durrell Summers with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
[TWO // conference stars compete in final four festivities]
Two Big Ten standouts, two current conference coaches, and a former league leader participated this past Friday in the 2010 Reese's College All-Star Game. Earlier in the week, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) named Purdue's Chris Kramer and Wisconsin's Trevon Hughes to the Reese's All-Stars, which was coached by legendary Purdue head coach Gene Keady. His assistant coaches were two of his former assistants in West Lafayette - current Boilermaker head coach Matt Painter and Illinois mentor Bruce Weber. In the game, Hughes scored 12 points, dished out four assists and had six rebounds in 21 minutes. Kramer added four points, grabbed four rebounds and had two assists in 24 minutes of action.
[THREE // hello to a new hawkeye]
Congratulations and a big Big Ten welcome to new Iowa head men's basketball coach Fran McCaffery, who was named Monday by UI Athletics Director Gary Barta as the 22nd coach in the school's history. McCaffery comes to the Hawkeyes after guiding Siena to 112-51 mark in five seasons, including the last three in which he helped the Saints capture the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles. He has a 14-year coaching record of 251-177 with stops at Lehigh (49-39 in three seasons), North Carolina-Greensboro (90-87 in six seasons) and Siena.
[FOUR // osu standout tabbed ap all-american]
The awards keep coming for Ohio State standout and Big Ten Player of the Year Evan Turner. On Monday, Turner was named to The Associated Press' All-America team, receiving all but one first-team vote from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Two weeks ago Turner was awarded the Oscar Robertson Trophy, signifying the National Player of the Year. In 2009-10, Turner became the first conference player to finish in the top two in average points (1st, 20.4), rebounds (2nd, 9.2) and assists (2nd, 6.0).
[FIVE // another buckeye earns all-america accolade]
Another Ohio State standout was named a first-team All-American this past week. Jantel Lavender, the Buckeyes' junior center, was one of five members on The Associated Press All-America first team which was announced Tuesday, and was one of 10 players named Wednesday to the USBWA All-America team. A second team AP All-American last season, Lavender averaged 21.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and shot 51.4 percent from the field in leading Ohio State to a record 31 wins, a sixth straight Big Ten regular season and second straight tournament title. In addition, four other conference standouts earned honorable mention All-America honors by the AP. Congrats to Iowa's Kachine Alexander, Michigan State's Alyssa DeHaan, Ohio State's Samantha Prahalis and Penn State's Tyra Grant.
[SIX // michigan concludes season in wnit]
Michigan's season came to an end on Wednesday evening with a loss to Miami in the semifinals of the Postseason WNIT. The Wolverines finished the season with a 21-14 record, marking the third 20-win campaign in program history and the first since 1999-00. Dayeesha Hollins led Michigan with 15 points, while Veronica Hicks tallied 13 points and three assists, and Carmen Reynolds tallied 10 points and seven rebounds.
[SEVEN // illinois captures big ten men's gymnastics crown]
Trailing heading into its final rotation, the Illinois men's gymnastics team scored a 63.250 on the vault to win its second straight Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championship, and 25th in team history, Friday night during the first session of the 2010 Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships, hosted by Ohio State. Illinois finished with a team score of 359.700, narrowly edging 2009 co-champion Michigan, which finished second with a score of 358.150. Third place went to Penn State with 347.300 points, the host Buckeyes were fourth with 346.960 points, Minnesota finished fifth with 346.500 points and Iowa was sixth with 337.800 points. On Saturday, individual event honors were awarded along with postseason honors. For a complete recap of the night, click here.
[EIGHT // women's gymnastics set for regional competition]
All seven Big Ten women's gymnastics teams were awarded bids Monday to regional competitions of the 2010 NCAA Gymnastics Championships, which will take place on April 10 at various sites around the country. Big Ten Champion Michigan will be the No. 2 seed in the Morgantown Regional, hosted by West Virginia, while Illinois and Michigan State will compete together in the Lexington Regional, hosted by Kentucky. Conference runner-up Penn State will serve as the host for the University Park Regional and will be the No. 3 seed. The final Big Ten teams to receive berths were Minnesota and Iowa, who will compete at the Columbia Regional on the University of Missouri campus.
[NINE // honored in the classroom]
As the winter term of the 2009-10 school year comes to a close, the Big Ten recognized Wednesday a total of 536 winter sports athletes who have been named to the Academic All-Conference Team. The list of honored student-athletes features 33 men's and 53 women's basketball players, 42 men's and 54 women's gymnasts, 112 men's and 181 women's swimming and diving athletes and 61 wrestlers. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. At least five Big Ten student-athletes have maintained unblemished GPAs.
[TEN // pair of softball stars at the head of the class]
A pair of Big Ten softball stars were among 10 national players named Monday as finalists for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Michigan's Nikki Nemitz and Northwestern's Nicole Pauly were recognized as finalists after notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. The 10 finalists will be placed on the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award softball ballot for a nationwide vote that continues until May 17. Fan balloting is available on the award's official Web site, http://www.seniorCLASSaward.com, as well as through text messaging. Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS AwardTM winner in late May at the NCAA Women's College World Series® in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
[ELEVEN // for the football fanatic]
The Big Ten Network will be the home for the best Big Ten spring football coverage anywhere, with studio shows twice each week beginning April 14 and telecasts of six Big Ten spring games. In all, the network will dedicate more than 15 hours to Big Ten spring football coverage, it was announced Monday. The network will produce five episodes of Big Ten Tonight: Spring Football Report on Wednesday and Saturday nights from April 14 through April 28. Dave Revsine will host the shows alongside analysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith.