Big Ten Weekly Men's Basketball Release - Week 1




Nov. 9, 2009

Complete release in PDF format: Week 1

FACES of the BIG TEN

Jarryd Cole, iowa junior forward

Jarryd Cole is a two-time captain for the University of Iowa men’s basketball team.  Last year, he led the Black and Gold in field goal percentage (67.6%), starting nine of 32 games, after overcoming a torn ACL suffered midway through his freshman campaign. During his spare time, Cole enjoys community service activities such as visiting hospitals and campers at Iowa’s Camp Courageous. 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.

BIG TEN. BIG NOTES.

105 AND COUNTING: The 105th season of Big Ten men’s basketball tips off on Nov. 9 when Ohio State hosts Alcorn State in the 2K Sports Hoops Classic. All 11 teams open the 2009-10 season on their home courts. Seven teams get underway on Friday, Nov. 13 in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue. Michigan begins its season on Nov. 14 and Wisconsin and Iowa both tip off on Nov. 15. Every contest of opening week play will be broadcast live either on Big Ten Network, BigTenNetwork.com, ESPN360.com or ESPNU.

THE VOTES ARE IN: The Big Ten was well represented in the preseason Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls with six teams among the top 25. In the AP poll, the Big Ten holds the national lead with six teams among the top 25. The Big East is second with five teams and the ACC ranks third with four teams. Michigan State led the way for the Big Ten in both polls, ranking No. 2 in each. Purdue followed at No. 7 in both polls, while Michigan (No. 15/15), Ohio State (No. 16/17) and Minnesota (No. 25/18) rounded out the top 25. Illinois garnered a No. 23 ranking in the AP poll and is receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.


 

 

SWEET SIX: For the first time in two decades, the Big Ten has six teams ranked in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll to set a new conference record for most teams ranked in the preseason. Prior to Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Purdue all being among this year’s preseason top 25, the conference had only seen five teams earn preseason accolades in the same season. The Big Ten has placed five teams in the preseason AP rankings on two different occasions—1994-95 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Purdue) and 1993-94 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin). The AP poll has ranked the top 25 teams since the 1989-90 season. Prior to that, the poll originally consisted of a top 20 and went to a top 10 for a few years.

WELCOME BACK: The Big Ten welcomes back 18 members of the 2008-09 All-Conference teams, including all five members of the first-team. Four second-team, two third-team and seven honorable mention All-Big Ten members return. Also back on the hardwood this season is the reigning Player and Freshman of the Year. Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas was named the conference’s Player of the Year by the coaches and media last season. Ohio State’s William Buford was named the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year. Lucas was a unanimous selection to last year’s All-Big Ten team along with OSU’s Evan Turner.  Also returning from last year’s All-Big Ten teams are: Illinois’ Mike Davis, Demetri McCamey and Mike Tisdale, Michigan’s Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims, Michigan State’s Raymar Morgan, Minnesota’s Lawrence Westbrook, Northwestern’s Kevin Coble, Ohio State’s Jon Diebler, Penn State’s Talor Battle, Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, Robbie Hummel and Chris Kramer and Wisconsin’s Trévon Hughes.

A LOOK INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL: Defending Big Ten Champion and national runner-up Michigan State was selected as the preseason conference favorite for the 2009-10 men’s basketball season, as voted upon by a 24-member media panel. Purdue and Ohio State were chosen to finish second and third, respectively. In addition, after five sophomores were named to the All-Big Ten first team last season, five juniors were selected for the 2009-10 Preseason All-Big Ten Team. Reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas of the Spartans was tabbed as the Preseason Player of the Year. The other four juniors earning preseason accolades are Michigan’s Manny Harris, Ohio State’s Evan Turner, Penn State’s Talor Battle and Purdue’s Robbie Hummel.

LUCAS AIMING FOR RARE DOUBLE: Michigan State junior Kalin Lucas could accomplish a rare feat this season as he strives to earn Big Ten Player of the Year honors for a second consecutive year. Only two conference players have claimed back-to-back Player of the Year accolades in Big Ten history. Michigan State’s Mateen Cleaves won consecutive accolades in 1998 and 1999, while Ohio State’s Jim Jackson was honored in 1991 and 1992.

PLAYING THE BEST: Big Ten teams have once again scheduled some of the nation’s toughest teams for non-conference play, including eight teams listed in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today preseason polls. Ohio State looks to have the most arduous schedule, facing No. 6/4 North Carolina, No. 11/10 Butler and No. 8/9 West Virginia in the non-conference. The Buckeyes could also face No. 13/12 California in the finals of the 2K Sports Hoops Classic. Other Big Ten programs will face No. 24/24 Clemson (Illinois), No. 4/5 Kentucky (Indiana), No. 1/1 Kansas (Michigan), No. 12/14 Connecticut (Michigan), No. 3/3 Texas (Michigan State) and No. 9/8 Duke (Wisconsin). In addition, Michigan State will also meet North Carolina this season, while Minnesota and Northwestern will both clash with Butler. Purdue will challenge West Virginia later in the season.

MAJORITY RULES: For the second consecutive season, the majority of the conference’s top scorers return. The top six scorers are all back for 2009-10, including Ohio State’s Evan Turner (17.3), Michigan’s Manny Harris (16.9), Penn State’s Talor Battle (16.7), Northwestern's Kevin Coble (15.5), Michigan’s DeShawn Sims (15.4) and Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas (14.7).  Purdue’s E’Twaun Moore (13.8) and JaJuan Johnson (13.4) also return after finishing as the conference’s ninth and 10th leading scorers a year ago.

CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARDS: The Big Ten returns four of its top five rebounders and seven of the top 10 from a year ago. Illinois’ Mike Davis leads the charge after averaging 8.1 boards per contest last season good for second in the conference. Ohio State’s Evan Turner was third last season, averaging 7.1 caroms per game. Purdue’s Robbie Hummel (7.0) and Michigan’s DeShawn Sims (6.8) are also back as threats on the glass.

EYE ON YOU: The Big Ten placed eight players on the 2009-10 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Preseason Top 50 List announced in late August. Candidates from the Big Ten are: Michigan’s Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims, Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas and Raymar Morgan, Ohio State’s Evan Turner, Penn State’s Talor Battle and Purdue’s Robbie Hummel and E’Twaun Moore.

HEAVY MEDAL: Several Big Ten players and coaches spent the summer representing the United States in the U19 World Championships and World University Games and brought home hardware to prove it. The U.S. Under 19 men’s team defeated Greece, 88-80, in the finals to take home the USA's first FIBA U19 World Championship gold medal since 1981—before the entire team was born. Purdue’s Matt Painter served as an assistant coach and Northwestern’s John Shurna earned a spot on the national team. Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan guided a talented group of players, including Big Ten standouts Talor Battle (PSU), Evan Turner (OSU) and Robbie Hummel (PUR) to the bronze medal in the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia.

NATIONAL EXPOSURE: In 2008-09, 97 percent of Big Ten men’s basketball games, including home, away and neutral contests and exhibition games, were featured on CBS Sports, an ESPN platform or a Big Ten Network platform. The Big Ten had only eight contests that did not receive live coverage in 2008-09 compared to the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Pac-10 and SEC which each had at least 48 games not covered. The conference will again enjoy vast national exposure in 2009-10.