1. Northwestern players know a thing about marketing at Media Day. Kendall Hackney and Allison Mocchi selected a few recipes from a Wildcat Cookbook and made the best Oreo Balls I’ve ever tasted. Everyone visited their round table. Coach Joe McKeown’s daughter Megan was the only guard in the Big Ten with 0 turnovers last year!
2. A Freshman Point Guard can make the difference according to Minnesota Head Coach Pam Borton. Minnesota lost 5 games by 5 points or less in conference play last year and Coach Borton is relying on the playmaking skills of Rachel Banham to be the difference in late game.
3. Former Michigan State alum Lauren Aitch creates custom made business suits. Coach Suzy Merchant is a regular customer. Aitch held a fund raiser and raised $15,000 for Pediatric Cancer and Coach Merchant walked the runway as a model to support.
4. Illinois returns everyone including Big Ten preseason first teamer Karisma Penn. That should tell you expectations are high for Coach Jolette Law’s team.
5. Penn State is picked to win the Big Ten by media and coaches. Coach Coquese Washington’s point guard Alex Bentley is the pick to be player of the year. Backcourt mate Maggie Lucas made 100,000 shots this summer to avoid the 1-11 performance in the NCAA Tournament last season. I predict Maggie won’t repeat that kind of shooting night since she made 112 3 pointers last season, Big Ten and Penn State single season records.
6. Nebraska’s Head Coach Connie Yori missed her first Big Ten Media day. Good news on her health after complications from knee surgery! She is down to one crutch. The bad news is the other crutch is used to measure a level for her team to defensive slide under! Not really but I bet she has thought of it! Watch out for Connie on that little red scooter on campus! She doesn’t have a horn!
7. The Ohio State University has won the last 7 consecutive Players of the Year in the Big Ten. Their style of play has been to the post, not thru the post. Expect a different team this year. According to Coach Foster, a more “European” style of play featuring Sam Prahalis and Tayler Hill. They did win 11 of last 12 games last season. All is not lost at Ohio State!
8. The Big Ten has a media vote and a coach’s vote for the top 3 spots only. That’s the way they have done it for years. Both polls have Penn State at one and Purdue at two. Media has Michigan State as 3 and coaches have Iowa at 3.
9. Purdue welcomes back a strong nucleus with 6 seniors. KK Houser is back from injury and ready to share point guard responsibilities with Courtney Moses. There are only 4 coaches in the history of the game that have taken them alma mater to the Final Four. Will Coach Versyp have enough to get there? They play the toughest three-game swing in college basketball. At duke, at Texas A&M, Notre Dame. All three will be in the top ten. No one lines up that schedule back to back to back unless you believe that this might be the year. Now must pull together with the Drew Mingo injury. How much more can that kid take? Enough is enough.
Iowa is healthy! This better not be the jinx or Head Coach Lisa Bluder will take me off her Christmas Card list. Wahlin, Printy and Johnson are veterans who allow Iowa to contend in the Big Ten race.