Big Ten Men's Basketball Weekly Release - Nov. 8, 2010

Nov. 8, 2010

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The 106th season of Big Ten men’s basketball tips off this week with all 11 conference squads in action. Illinois begins the season on Monday evening, hosting UC-Irvine in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN3. Click the link at the top of the story to view the complete Big Ten men’s basketball weekly release, or read below for notes.

Jarryd Cole, Iowa
Sr., F, Kansas City, Mo./Winnetonka
Jarryd Cole is a three-time captain for the University of Iowa men’s basketball team.  He was Iowa’s men’s basketball Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree and led the Hawkeyes in field goal percentage and ranked second in rebounding in the 2009-10 season. During his spare time, Cole enjoys community service activities such as visiting hospitals and campers at Iowa’s Camp Courageous, and reading books to elementary school children. Cole is an English major and would like to become a teacher. The native of Kansas City, Mo., is also taking acting classes with ambitions to be an actor.

Time to Tip:
The 106th season of Big Ten men's basketball tips off on Monday as Illinois hosts UC-Irvine at 8 p.m. ET in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN3. Monday's matchup marks one of three contests this week for the Illini, who will also welcome Toledo and Southern Illinois. Indiana will play two games this week, while the rest of the conference squads will have one contest each. Thirteen of this week's 14 games will be played on Big Ten courts with every home contest being broadcast and distributed live to a national audience.

Welcome Back:
The Big Ten welcomes back 17 members of the 2009-10 All-Conference teams, including five players that have earned first-team honors over the last two seasons and a previous Big Ten Player of the Year.

Michigan State's Kalin Lucas was the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2009 and received first-team All-Conference accolades each of the last two seasons. Lucas was joined on the 2009-10 first team by returnees Demetri McCamey of Illinois and E'Twaun Moore of Purdue. Penn State's Talor Battle and the Boilermakers' JaJuan Johnson were second-team honorees in 2010 after earning first-team recognition in 2009. Purdue's Robbie Hummel also earned first-team status following last season, but will miss this year with an injury.

Also returning from last year's All-Big Ten teams are Illinois' Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale, Indiana's Verdell Jones III, Iowa's Matt Gatens, Michigan State's Draymond Green, Northwestern's Drew Crawford, John Shurna and Michael Thompson, Ohio State's William Buford, Jon Diebler and David Lighty and Wisconsin's Jon Leuer.

Where They Rank:
Big Ten teams enter the 2010-11 season ranked as some of the best in the nation in various preseason polls. The Big Ten is tied for the lead among all conferences with five teams ranked in the USA Today/ESPN Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Big Ten leads all conferences with three top-10 squads in No. 2 Michigan State, No. 5 Ohio State and No. 8 Purdue. Rounding out the ranked Big Ten contingent are Illinois, who is tied for 16th, and No. 24 Wisconsin. Minnesota and Northwestern are also receiving at least one vote outside the top 25. The Big Ten is also tied for the national lead with four teams ranked in the Associated Press (AP) Preseason Top 25. The Big Ten is the only conference with two top-five squads in No. 2 Michigan State and No. 4 Ohio State. Also ranked by the AP are No. 13 Illinois and No. 14 Purdue, while Wisconsin and Minnesota are receiving votes outside the top 25.

Leaders of the Pack:
The Big Ten returns eight players who have scored 1,000 or more points in their careers, including two with over 1,500 career tallies. Penn State's Talor Battle is the conference's leading returning scorer with 1,526, while Purdue's E'Twaun Moore has 1,524. The current Big Ten century club also includes Michigan State's Kalin Lucas (1,418), Purdue's JaJuan Johnson (1,221), Illinois' Demetri McCamey (1,220), Northwestern's Michael Thompson (1,136) and Ohio State's Jon Diebler (1,068) and David Lighty (1,012).

Topping the Charts:
Also back on Big Ten courts in 2010-11 are eight players that led the conference in a statistical category last season for all games played. Illinois' Mike Davis paced the conference with 9.2 rebounds per game, while Mike Tisdale led the Big Ten in field goal percentage (58.5%) and Demetri McCamey paced the Big Ten in assists (7.06 apg). Minnesota's Blake Hoffarber was the conference leader in three-point field-goal percentage (46.7%), while Ohio State's Jon Diebler led in most three-pointers made per game (3.14). The Buckeyes' Dallas Lauderdale was last year's leader in blocked shots (2.14 bpg), and Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor led in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.03). Northwestern's Michael Thompson led the way in playing time, averaging 37.68 minutes per contest.

Returning Firepower:
The Big Ten welcomes back 14 of its top scorers and rebounders in all games played from last season, including five that ranked in the top 10 of each category. Penn State's Talor Battle ranked second in the conference with 18.5 points per game, while Northwestern's John Shurna was close behind at 18.2 points per outing. Purdue's E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson ranked sixth and eighth in the Big Ten, respectively, averaging 16.4 and 15.5 points per contest. Illinois' Demetri McCamey was 10th with 15.1 points per game. On the glass, Illinois' Mike Davis led the Big Ten with 9.2 boards per game, while Michigan State's Draymond Green was third (7.7 rpg), Johnson was fifth (7.1), Shurna was seventh (6.4), followed by Indiana's Christian Watford who was tied for 10th (6.0).

Making Predictions:
Prior to Big Ten Basketball Media Day, a panel of conference media selected a Preseason All-Big Ten Team, Player of the Year and top three teams in the conference. The results of the poll are below.

Preseason All-Big Ten Team
Demetri McCamey, Illinois
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
JaJuan Johnson, Purdue
E'Twaun Moore, Purdue
Jon Leuer, Wisconsin

Preseason Player of the Year
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State

Preseason Rankings
1. Michigan State
2. Ohio State
3. Purdue

American Boy:
Purdue's JaJuan Johnson was named to the five-player Associated Press Preseason All-America team, which is chosen by a 65-member national media panel. A two-time All-Big Ten selection, Johnson led the Boilermakers in rebounding (7.1 rpg) and ranked third in scoring (15.5 ppg) last year.

You'd Better Watch Out:
The Big Ten leads all conferences with 10 players named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List, which was announced on Oct. 4. Illinois' Demetri McCamey, Michigan State's Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers, Northwestern's John Shurna, Ohio State's William Buford, Penn State's Talor Battle, Purdue's Robbie Hummel, JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore and Wisconsin's Jon Leuer were all tabbed as early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor. Purdue was the only school in the nation with three players on the list, while Michigan State was one of just five programs with two players named.

Stay CLASSy:
The Big Ten leads all conferences with four players, Minnesota's Blake Hoffarber, Ohio State's David Lighty, Purdue's E'Twaun Moore and Wisconsin's Jon Leuer, named candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

Three is the Magic Number:
Michigan State has advanced to the last two NCAA Final Fours and is looking to become the first program since UCLA in 2006-08 to make three consecutive Final Four appearances. Prior to the Bruins, the Spartans are the only other program to have advanced to three straight Final Fours since 1999, having made the event from 1999-2001.

More on the Final Four:
Michigan State's appearance in the 2010 Final Four was the 41st in conference history, tying the Big Ten with the ACC for the lead among all conferences. It was also the Big Ten's fifth appearance in the last six years, tying the conference with the Big East for most appearances over that time span. Since 2005, Michigan State has made three Final Fours, while Illinois and Ohio State have each made one. The Big Ten has sent five different programs to the Final Four since 2000, trailing only the Big East, which has sent six different teams over the past decade. In addition to the Illini, Spartans and Buckeyes, Indiana and Wisconsin have each been to a Final Four in the past decade.

Packing the House:
Big Ten schools welcomed over 2.3 million fans through the turnstiles during the 2009-10 season for an average of 12,491 fans per game. The Big Ten's average attendance led the NCAA for the 34th consecutive year. The Big Ten's overall attendance figure also marked the 18th straight season that the conference welcomed more than two million fans in a season. With over 1.3 million fans attending conference games last year, the conference cracked the one-million mark in Big Ten games for the 33rd consecutive year.

Life on the Big Stage:
ESPN's College GameDay Driven by State Farm will make two appearances on Big Ten campuses in 2011. The show will feature the Jan. 22 matchup between Michigan State and Purdue at West Lafayette and the Feb. 19 contest between the Spartans and Illinois in East Lansing. Both games will tip at 9 p.m. ET. This marks the second consecutive season that GameDay has originated from a Michigan State vs. Illinois contest, having featured the game last season in Champaign.

But That's Not All:
This season, every Big Ten home game will be produced and distributed to a live national audience. The Big Ten Network, which is available in more than 75 million homes in the U.S. and Canada, will broadcast over 100 events on its linear channel or on More than 75 games will be broadcast by an ESPN platform - ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3, and CBS Sports will carry 15 games.

March is (Almost) On:
The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to Indianapolis in 2011 for the fourth year of a five-year agreement that puts both the men's and women's events in the Circle City. Every game of the tournament will be broadcast to a national audience with contests appearing on the Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS Sports. Every tournament game since the event's inception in 1998 has reached a live national television audience.

All-session tickets for the 2011 Big Ten Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments are on sale now. For more information, visit

The Challenge Continues:
The 12th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge will be held Monday, Nov. 29 through Wednesday, Dec. 1 with all games set to appear on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. The Big Ten won last year's Challenge, 6-5, with victories from Illinois, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin. The complete 2010 Challenge schedule follows:

Monday, Nov. 29
Virginia at MINNESOTA - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Tuesday, Nov. 30
IOWA at Wake Forest - 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Georgia Tech at NORTHWESTERN - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2
OHIO STATE at Florida State - 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
MICHIGAN at Clemson - 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2
North Carolina at ILLINOIS - 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Wednesday, Dec. 1
INDIANA at Boston College - 7:15 p.m. ET, ESPNU
NC State at WISCONSIN - 7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2
PURDUE at Virginia Tech - 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Maryland at PENN STATE - 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2
MICHIGAN STATE at Duke - 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN