Coaches Rock Upon the Mic Right at Big 10 Media Day


bruce weber erin andrews

Many college basketball experts believe the Big Ten will be the best conference in the nation this year. And on paper, it certainly looks that way, as they have a first team all conference squad of players who have ruled the Big Ten since they were sophomores. Now they have reached their prime.

And when it comes to coaches, the Big Ten has a fine a pedigree as any. Minnesota’s Tubby Smith was at Big Ten Media Day yesterday, and we discussed the current media landscape, where credibility and lack of credibility lies within it, social media, the meta of social media, the human nature of communication, the meaning behind medium of communication.

Just like I did with Michigan State’s Tom Izzo. But those are separate posts for another occasion. For now, let’s highlight what was said at the podium by the other coaches. And we’ll actually talk basketball here. Really, I promise.

By Paul M. Banks

As you can see from the video above, and this link here, Wisconsin Head Man Bo Ryan is a very talented man in the world of song and dance. He can do both the Soulja Boy and the hambone.

Ryan made a joke about what’s been dubbed here the “Chi-clone,” the strongest winds the Midwest region in 70 years.

Anybody that drove yesterday to arrive here in Chicago, it was quite an experience.  They had to get one of the bellhops to come out to my car when I arrived and they peeled my fingers off one at a time from the steering wheel.

I’ve never seen or experienced anything like that.  There was a truck that went up on all its wheels on the left side.  Thank goodness it wasn’t a unicycle car.  But it actually came up and tilted.  It was about 100 yards in front of me.

So just to arrive here and be here to talk Big Ten basketball, I’m pretty excited, as you can tell.

Any time you hear this, you know something interesting is being said:

COACH MATTA:  I think that may be the greatest question I’ve ever been asked.

The question came from our buddy Travis Miller, who run’s SB Nation’s Purdue blog, Hammer and Rails.

Here’s what he asked, about the popular sports blog Club Trillion:

Seemed like you guys were very successful last year when you were very loose.  And one of the guys that kept everybody loose was, of course, blogger extraordinaire Mark Titus.  How are you keeping that attitude coming out of the season, especially with all the competition you’re facing?

And Matta’s response:

Everybody’s been asking me how do you replace Evan Turner.  I’m not concerned about replacing Evan; I’m concerned about replacing Mark Titus.  No, I think that Mark is very unique.  He’s still in Columbus.

I never read the blog.  But I always tell our players to use this opportunity at Ohio State to help yourself be successful for the rest of your life.  And I really believe this, I think Mark did that.

But he still ?? he was in the gym the other day watching practice.  And it’s always good for me to see him, because he makes me laugh like nobody I’ve ever met before.

I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean, well I do know, but I’d rather not. And it’s funny nonetheless.

Northwestern Coach Bill Carmody describing his super sophomore Drew Crawford

And he just looks better.  I’ve had guys in the past when they take their shirt off I don’t enjoy seeing it.  But he went to work in the spring, the summer, he looks good.

bruce weber

One of the reasons Illinois is ranked in the top 13 of many polls is their 3rd ranked recruiting class of incoming freshmen. Here’s Bruce Weber’s synopsis of the big three freshmen:

Luther Head’s brother Crandall Head. Very, very athletic.  Almost a clone of Luther.  It’s just amazing the body movements, the athleticism, the way he plays.  He suffered an ACL a year ago, sat out the whole season.  So he’s kind of recovering from that.  But I think he’s a little further along than we thought.

Jereme Richmond had a great year at Waukegan High School, led them to two different Final Fours in our state, Mr. Basketball, U.S.A. Basketball, McDonald’s, the whole gamut throughout his career.  Wanted to commit to us as an eighth grader.  We didn’t take the commitment until he was a ninth grader.  We’ve had a close association with him.

Meyers Leonard, I think, may be the surprise kid out of Robinson, Illinois.  Seven foot.  Two and a half, three years ago he was 6’5″.  And just continued to grow.  He’s got great athleticism.  Just trying to figure out how to play and how to be a seven?footer.  I think that’s the biggest thing.  But a big upside for us.

It’ll be fun to get the season started! Illinois gets it going Nov 8th versus UC-Irvine and the 10th versus Toledo. On the 12th, and a majority of the Big Ten teams will get going.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports , a Midwest webzine. He is also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter, Yardbarker Network, and Fox

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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