Around the Big Ten: June 21st, 2011

Dylan Burkhardt

big-ten-logo-pentagram[1]Off-season news and notes from around the conference.

Illinois: Illinois picked up a late commitment from a 6-foot-8 240lb center, Ibrahima Djimde, but he’s still waiting to find out whether he’s been cleared. Meyers Leonard made the USA U19 World Championship team along with Tim Hardaway Jr.

Indiana: The Hoosiers hired Calbert Cheaney as their new Director of Basketball Operations. 2012 commitment Hanner Perea is also very good at dunking. The Hoosiers also picked up a late commitment from combo guard Remy Abell.

Iowa: Freshman sensation Melsahn Basabe was cut from the U19 World Championship team. The Hawkeyes also announced their non-conference schedule, highlighted Clemson, Drake and Iowa State.

brandonwoodvalpo-thumb-250x155-329579[1]Michigan State: The two big additions in East Lansing were Valpo 5th-year transfer Brandon Wood and assistant coach Dane Fife. Delvon Roe will miss six weeks this off season with a severe ankle sprain. This is the second major MSU injury this season as Russell Byrd is sidelined until fall with a third ankle surgery. Draymond Green will try out for the USA team that will travel China in August to participate in the 2011 World University Games, Keith Appling is trying out for the U19 squad with Tim Hardaway Jr. The MSU-UNC game on an aircraft carrier will be played on the same boat that buried Osama bin Laden at sea. Michigan is getting a new scoreboard this summer and apparently Michigan State is too.

Minnesota: Tubby Smith was diagnosed with prostate cancer but is now “cancer free” after treatment. Trevor Mbakwe will try out for the USA World University Games squad. Ralph Sampson III is returning to school despite odd NBA rumors.

Nebraska: Nebraska is revamping its “hoops environment” in Lincoln but don’t expect this to be Michigan’s toughest road Big Ten game by any measure.

Northwestern: John Shurna will try out for the USA World University Games squad. The Wildcats hired former Rutgers coach Fred Hill, as an assistant coach and also added a transfer from TCU,

Ohio State: Assistant coach Brandon Miller resigned and the 32 year old head man wants his next job to be away from basketball. The Buckeyes also hired Greg Paulus as a video coordinator. Amir Williams was late to campus at Ohio State with what appears to be an issue with standardized test timing at this point and should be resolved.

Penn State: Ed DeChellis packed his bags and went to Navy and now it’s all about Pat Chambers in State College and PSU fans are excited about their new head man. Chambers also wants to revive the PSU-Pitt rivalry on the hardwood. He also was stabbed.

Purdue: Ronnie Johnson, a PG rated in the 2012 top-100, committed to Purdue. Patrick Bade left the program, making the switch to football. The Boilermakers also hired a pair of new assistant coaches in Micah Shrewsberry and Greg Gary. Purdue also released its non-conference schedule.

Wisconsin: Jordan Taylor will try out for the USA World University Games squad. Mike Miller notes that Taylor could be headed for a monster season, I ask how he would define last year.

Don’t hesitate to post any updates that we may have missed in the comments.

  • D-Train

    Thanks Dylan — I like these updates.  Any chance we could do something like this for the Michigan roster with what they’re up to in the off season (where they’re working out, what they’re working on, etc.)?

  • Anonymous

    Not sure how Tom Crean does it, but from 2009-2012, Indiana has received 17 commits. A few of the bench-warmers just seem to disappear from the scholarship count after every year, amazingly leaving two scholarships still available between the 2013 and 2014 classes, yet they already have two commits in each! Not sure how they are planning to fit Gary Harris in there as well while they continue to recruit Derrick Walton and other 2013 PGs despite having  Yogi Ferrell in the 2012 class.

    • Rob

       Crean is a scum bag, pure and simple…..and he can’t coach worth a crap, to boot.  There is a reason that to be “Creaned” is used by people that have followed him at Marquette and Indiana.  Think SEC football tactics.  He just finds a way to shove players out the door if they don’t turn out good or he finds someone he thinks is better.

      He is a first class jerk….and I don’t understand all of the accolades he gets.  No Wade and no Final Four.  IU fans love him here and he gets amazing slack for his horrific record here.  Last season there is no reason to have the record they did in his third year.  And now they think Zeller will turn it all around himself.  They are NIT at best this season and it will be due to his lack of coaching acumen.

      Not to mention he is the most annoying coach in basketball on the sidelines.  I was in fourth row behind IU bench for Purdue game and I can tell you he doesn’t say much to the players and or say anything different thru out the game.  he just claps and moves around and everything thinks he’s a great coach.  he just doesn’t seem to have much game.  It’s just recruiting for him.  And the players sure seem to tune him out on the sidelines and the entire team lacked confidence…and it starts with the staff IMO.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. He is definitely a jerk from all accounts I have heard and his coaching isn’t worth a damn. I know I’ll get flak for this, but he comes from the Izzo school of coaching and, to me, really mirrors Izzo in a lot of ways. He thinks he is a hell of a coach, can get hot-headed quickly, likes to constantly yap at the refs, fairly unsportsmanlike, and is overall a recruiter who just throws his players out there and sees what they can do without much guidance. Complete opposite of Beilein.

        • Mattski

          To Izzo’s credit, I think he has mellowed. The question is–with the screamers–whether they can still motivate players when they calm down (or their doctor orders it). Start with a calm smart guy, I say. . . 

          And to be fair, you gotta have some chops, a vision. Izzo’s style of hoop may have been ugly, and ruined the rep of the B10 for decades, but it worked–MSU would outwrestle your butt for the ball. Again, whether that’s a formula that wins year in, and year out. . .  Great shooters who know the game and can play from any spot on the floor sounds more appealing to me.

        • Rob

          Izzo is ten times the coach that Crean is.  You can learn and emulate the top guys but it rarely means you can do it on your own.  Look at all the Coach K assistants.  The top guys have that quality and ability to have “it” and be an elite coach.  I sort of laugh at all the schools that keep hiring Izzo or Coach K guys.

          List of Izzo guys isn’t impressive.  Boylen, Wojzik Crean, etc

  • Guest

    Perea=Brent Petway?

  • YpsiTuckyBoy

    Word has it, according to Rivals, that Zak Irvin is close to committing to UM for 2013.

    • DingoBlue

      That would be surprising if he does commit soon.  Not that I’m displeased by it, but I did think it would take him more time on his decision.  He has a lot of schools showing interest it seems.

      I wonder if this would put any more pressure on the PG offers should he commit.  Maybe not since at that point we really could only accept a PG in the class.

  • jim-e-p

    One area where Izzo is poor, I think, that never seems to get discussed is in player development. He is almost Amakerian here. His real talents have left early as possible – i.e. Richardson and Randolph. His players seem to plateau by soph or jr. year and don’t get much better. Think of the following – Neutzel, Paul Davis, Summers, Lucas (yeah his injuries played a role),etc. Green has leveled off it seems. In addition, Beilein would never tolerate the fitness (or lack of it) level for Green and Nix. All one has to do is compare the trajectories of Nix vs. Jordan Morgan to see the differences in player development. My feeling is that players can only be yelled at for so long by a little man who looks on the verge of tears before they tune him out.

    • DD34

      It’s not said because it’s not true. Izzo has had some guys who peaked early, sure.  But he’s also had guys like Suton, Peterson, Alan Anderson, and many others who came a million miles to be very good players. Peterson was so bad he was nearly asked to leave as a sophomore and he became an All-American and 10+ year NBA player. And coaches don’t develop players on their own.  Much of that’s on the player.  Does JB get all the credit for Morris getting better?  No, and JB has said that publicly.  This is a tired meme used by UM people who hate Izzo.  And by your logic, JB wouldn’t get credit for Morris because he split early.  Nonsense.  Izzo isn’t perfect, but saying he can’t help players get better (again, no coach “develops” players by himself) is short-sighted at best and ignorant at worst.  Hate him all you want, but the guy is a hell of a coach.  

      • Anonymous

        While I agree that a lot of player improvement rests on the actual player’s willingness to improve, coaching cannot be over-stated. And while Izzo has had some players get better, he has had a hell of a lot of busts. Marquise Gray, Idong Ibok, Tom Herzog, and Drew Naymick (just to name a few big men) were all fairly highly rated (Gray was a 5 star) and didn’t turn out to be much. Naymick was serviceable by his senior year, but Gray really seemed to regress year after year. Look at Beilein’s track record at Michigan so far and it is very hard to find an example of a guy that got worse as time went on. Yes, I am a Michigan fan and am looking at it probably with a shade of Maize and Blue in my glasses, but it’s not that hard to see. Just look at last seasons expectations and how those turned out for both coaches. Watch a game and really pay attention to the offensive sets and tell me who is really coaching players out there and who is throwing players out there and seeing what they can do.

        • KRN

          How Payne and Dawson do over the next couple of years should be telling. Those are elite recruits and there should be no excuse for them to be second round/undrafted 4 year players (Delvon Roe gets excused for injuries). So far, things aren’t looking promising for Payne.

        • dd34

          You’re biased, which is understandable.  But to deny Izzo’s coaching ability or to say he’s not coaching during games is laughable.  The guy is reputed within the coaching profession as one of the best for a reason.  Ibok wasn’t highly rated, and big men are the hardest to project.  I could throw out numerous bigs who didn’t meet expectations at North Carolina and Duke, too.  And Izzo runs more offensive sets than most any coach, which isn’t always a good thing. Obviously, this is a UM site and there’s going to be anti-Izzo sentiment, but saying the guy doesn’t coach and just yells is just incorrect.  Expectations are tough for everyone-ask Michigan in 09-10.