Dec 11, 2012
Big Ten Coaches Call Conference A Powerhouse

Detroit Free Press

http://www.freep.com/article/20121211/SPORTS07/312110079/Big-Ten-basketball-coaches-praise-lament-strength-of-conference?odyssey=nav|head

They talked about the best Big Ten in years, maybe decades, before Illinois and Minnesota spent a month making modest preseason expectations look silly.

Now Big Ten coaches are talking about really big things. Big and scary.

“It’s going to be a monster year, no doubt about it, said Ohio State’s Thad Matta of a league that has a nation-high six ranked teams and, as of Monday, four in the top 10 — No. 1 Indiana, No. 3 Michigan, No. 7 Ohio State and the upstart, unbeaten No. 10 Illinois.

The Fighting Ilini replaced former No. 10, Gonzaga, after beating the Bulldogs, 85-74, on the road Saturday.

The league is so good and so tough, you try not to get overwhelmed, Nebraska first-year coach Tim Miles said. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So we’re just going to take each opponent as their own.”

The 10-1 Golden Gophers check in at No. 13, and 8-2 Michigan State is ranked No. 19. The Big Ten is No. 1 in the RPI through a month of play, and Iowa, Northwestern and Wisconsin all will be pursuing NCAA bids this winter.

“This league definitely has to be the best it’s been in my era, said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who joined it as an MSU assistant for Jud Heathcote in 1983.

The Big Ten enjoyed an uptick last season, with MSU a No. 1 seed and Ohio State advancing to the Final Four. The league appears to have several Final Four contenders now, and the Hoosiers, Wolverines and Buckeyes have one loss between them — a hard-fought OSU loss at No. 2 Duke.

Izzo said he thinks Indiana has the best combination of everything” with depth, experience, perimeter shooting and an elite big man in Cody Zeller. But he also said U-M and Ohio State have played like top-10 teams.

Big Ten Coaches Call Conference A Powerhouse

Detroit Free Press

http://www.freep.com/article/20121211/SPORTS07/312110079/Big-Ten-basketball-coaches-praise-lament-strength-of-conference?odyssey=nav|head

They talked about the best Big Ten in years, maybe decades, before Illinois and Minnesota spent a month making modest preseason expectations look silly.

Now Big Ten coaches are talking about really big things. Big and scary.

“It’s going to be a monster year, no doubt about it, said Ohio State’s Thad Matta of a league that has a nation-high six ranked teams and, as of Monday, four in the top 10 — No. 1 Indiana, No. 3 Michigan, No. 7 Ohio State and the upstart, unbeaten No. 10 Illinois.

The Fighting Ilini replaced former No. 10, Gonzaga, after beating the Bulldogs, 85-74, on the road Saturday.

The league is so good and so tough, you try not to get overwhelmed, Nebraska first-year coach Tim Miles said. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So we’re just going to take each opponent as their own.”

The 10-1 Golden Gophers check in at No. 13, and 8-2 Michigan State is ranked No. 19. The Big Ten is No. 1 in the RPI through a month of play, and Iowa, Northwestern and Wisconsin all will be pursuing NCAA bids this winter.

“This league definitely has to be the best it’s been in my era, said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who joined it as an MSU assistant for Jud Heathcote in 1983.

The Big Ten enjoyed an uptick last season, with MSU a No. 1 seed and Ohio State advancing to the Final Four. The league appears to have several Final Four contenders now, and the Hoosiers, Wolverines and Buckeyes have one loss between them — a hard-fought OSU loss at No. 2 Duke.

Izzo said he thinks Indiana has the best combination of everything” with depth, experience, perimeter shooting and an elite big man in Cody Zeller. But he also said U-M and Ohio State have played like top-10 teams.






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