Nebraska fans weigh in on Big 10 Realignment

nebraska fans

TSB Submission from Nebraska fans

So here’s what some Nebraska fans sent me: their ideas on how a new Big Ten landscape would look. I’ve noted that they seemed to be somewhat influenced by Teddy Greenstein’s Sunday Chicago Tribune piece on the topic.

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Entire list of Big Ten players taken in NFL Draft


The Big Ten’s total of 34 draft picks ranked second among all conferences and was the most for the conference since 41 Big Ten players were chosen during the 2006 NFL Draft. The Big Ten and SEC were the only conferences in which every school featured at least one selection during the seven rounds.

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Midwest Swing: Championship & Selection Sunday Edition

evan turner big ten title

By Paul M. Banks

CHICAGO- I’m back in my hometown and I’ve now had a whole day to take in all that transpired on Championship/Selection Sunday. “The Chi” is also home to Kansas’ Sherron Collins and Ohio State’s Evan Turner, two of the five members of the United States Basketball Writers Association All-America Team. Just announced today. I voted for both in my USBWA ballot.

Turner absolutely took over the Big Ten Tournament this past weekend, and we were treated to the greatest individual performance in tournament history. On Friday, in the Big Ten quarterfinals, his 40-foot buzzer beater to eliminate Michigan was the lead national story in almost every sports outlet.

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Big Ten Power Rankings 2-25

By Paul M. Banks

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Big 10 Power Rankings 2-18

By Paul M. Banks

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Big Ten Power Rankings 12-30

By Paul M. Banks

1. Purdue (12-0, 1-0)
Now that conference play has started for what seems like the earliest point in history, it’s time to decide who the conference favorite is, and it’s pretty obvious as the Boilers are off to their best start since the Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson era

2. Michigan State (9-3)
They are a tad overrated. Even in this specific power rankings, I probably gave them to much credit. But I have a feeling Izzo’s benching of Kalin Lucas might wake them up. By the way, backup (sometimes starting) F/C Derrick Nix is shooting 3-28 from the charity stripe this season. No, that’s not a typo.

3. Northwestern (10-1)
Ranked in the Associated Press poll for the first time in 41 years and winners of nine straight, the #25 Wildcats have done it all without injured star Kevin Coble. That’s got to make Bill Carmody the Coach of the Year award front-runner so far

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2010 NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Mike Davis


By Paul M. Banks,

Mike Davis (6-9, 210, F) was one of the most improved players in the Big Ten Conference last season. He was second on the Illini in scoring and third in the Big Ten in rebounding last winter. He led the conference with nine double-doubles and 11 double-digit rebounding performances on the season.

The second-team All-Big Ten selection by coaches (Third-team pick by media) also made the Big Ten All-Tournament Team and improved his scoring average by about nine points this past year.

Davis will need to make similar strides this year if he hopes to consider leaving school after his junior year. Currently, he looks like a solid middle second-rounder in 2011.

However, the potential is certainly there for Davis’ stock to shoot up. Critics claim he lives and dies by the baseline jumper, but his shot selection and offensive decision-making are some of his best qualities, evidenced by his finishing third in the Big Ten in field-goal shooting at 53.3 percent (171-321).


If he can continue to develop a triple-threat game, he will be able to beat more opposing defenders with his little half-hooks and turnaround jump shots. His defense isn’t bad either, and this upcoming season will give him a chance to showcase it for “Association” scouts.

The Illini were a surprisingly good team last year, but they lost their best (and one of the league’s best) defenders in Chester Frazier. Coach Bruce Weber has spoken about Davis being a go-to-guy in the future, especially on the defensive end, and someone will have to step up and guard the opposing team’s best scorer like Frazier did last season. Davis will need to be that guy.

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Big Ten 2010 Draft Prospects


By Paul M. Banks

Kalin Lucas and Robbie Hummel

It seems like every college basketball season, there’s one player in the game who can move so swiftly, he’s on a level all his own. That player’s speed just jumps out at you so much that it appears unfair. In past years, Illinois’ Dee Brown and Texas’ T.J. Ford come to mind. Michigan State junior Kalin Lucas is this year’s model – except he’s a more consistent scorer and better distributor than Brown, and possesses a better jumper than Ford.

Illinois head coach Bruce Weber coached against Lucas four times in the Big Ten and described him thusly: “He’s as quick a player as anyone in the country. From top of the key to top of the key, he gets there really quick, and it puts you in a bind, puts you on your heels, he might be quicker than Eric Snow or Mateen Cleaves, he seems like one of those little bugs that just flies down. And they work at it.”

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Robbie Hummel

Purdue’s Robbie Hummel is a “point forward,” a very nice euphemism for a “tweener.” In the Big Ten game, he’s a big, tall point guard who can run the floor with decisive a height advantage over other point guards like Magic Johnson at Michigan State or Anfernee Hardaway at Memphis.

“Because I’m taller, when I bring the ball up I think it’s a huge advantage to how I can see the floor,” Hummel said during my exclusive interview with him. “When I was little, I always played guard. I wasn’t very big, but then I grew a lot between my eighth grade and freshman year, so with that I kind of kept my guard skills and tried to add some big man skills, but I’m kind of used to playing the point.”

The 20-year-old junior is 6-8 but just 208 pounds and projects to more of a tweener in the NBA; not big and strong enough to guard twos and way too skinny and weak to bang down low with the fours. So, he would most likely play the three in the NBA. He’s quick enough to play the one in college, but likely doesn’t have the same speed burst to keep up with point guards at the next level.

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