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Big Ten Basketball Media Day

See what Izzo and the other coaches across the league had to say about the upcoming Big Ten basketball season

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday October 15 is media day where the B1G coaches gave the media some of their thoughts. Also, click here for a player survey at

Tom Izzo, Michigan State:

  • He think it's one of his best shooting teams and one of his most athletic teams.
  • "...Top to bottom, last four or five years, [the Big Ten has] been the best league in the country."
  • "Maryland is definitely the cream of the crop... I see Indiana taking a major jump and everybody else is going to be fighting for those next spots, at least early on."
  • On Eron Harris' fit with the team: "I think he'll fit in well. He can really shoot the ball. He's very athletic. I think the two things he had to work on is finding a shot he didn't like, that was one, and I think he's made some progress. And guarding somebody, and I think he's made some progress in that area. I really like Eron. He's worked hard. He's a gym rat."
  • Added that "we have a lot of guys who have turned into gym rats."
  • He likes the 30 second shot-clock and wishes some of the rules would head more to NBA style rules.
  • When asked about the rules regarding practice time limits during the summer, he replied "it's a joke" and went on to say "We're not going to beat a kid to death, you know?" He added, "We've got guys driven to be great. They want to be in the gym. They want to be practice. I mean, I don't think I always have to be there. But I think we make too big a deal about this."
  • He also somewhat took a shot at former UConn Husky Shabazz Napier when he said "It was like when we said somebody is starving and didn't get to eat dinner, and all of a sudden we change all the rules. You know, who's kidding who? I struggle with that a little bit."
(Full transcript of Izzo's press conference here)

Going off of Matt Hoeppner's timeline on twitter with some more comments Izzo and the team

  • Both Costello and Izzo commenting on Deyonta Davis' talent while also agreeing he needs to get his motor running.
  • Forbes reiterated what Izzo said on it being a great shooting team and that there are few missed shots in practice.
  • Valentine and Izzo again harped on the scoring ability and versatility of this team.

Around the league

Bo Ryan, Wisconsin

  • Considering doing a press to counter the 30 second shot-clock but also knows good passing can beat it.
  • Doesn't think 5 fewer seconds on the shot clock will change much in terms of scoring.
  • Wants to see freedom of movement emphasized especially with cutting players behind the scenes.
  • Is really a vampire.
(Full transcript of Ryan's press conference here)

Eddie Jordan, Rutgers

  • Says his team is deeper, more athletic and their talent level has gotten better (I'm not sure I believe him).
  • Hoping to score more and have more balance in the scoring with 6 or 7 guys who average close to double digits.
  • Be more perimeter-oriented and somewhat go away from his usual Princeton style offense.
  • Doesn't think clock will be an issue.
  • Like Bishop Daniels as his penetrator with Mike Williams, Justin Goode, and Corey Sanders as his 3pt shooters.

(Full transcript of Jordan's press conference here)

Matt Painter, Purdue

  • Biggest thing for AJ Hammons is keeping his motor going.
  • Wants more consistency in officiating on how the game is called.
  • Thinks Vince Edwards can make a good jump due to his versatile game and increased athleticism.
  • 7 or 8 teams in the discussion for NCAA tournament (a lot of coach speak in there).

(Full transcript of Painter's press conference here)

Pat Chambers, Penn State

  • Going to share the ball more with no DJ Newbill/Tim Frazier type of player on the team.
  • Like the incoming recruiting class and the one following it.
  • Brandon Taylor might be take on a bigger scoring load and they have a very big team.
  • Practicing with 20 second shot-clocks to get used to the switch to the new 30 second shot-clocks.
  • No singular leader but 4 or 5 guys that are doing well showing the young guys the ropes.

(Full transcript of Chambers' press conference here)

Thad Matta, Ohio State

  • Has a really young team, just 1 junior and the rest are freshmen and sophomores.
  • When asked if it's a rebuilding year, he says there's some truth to that but it's also a compliment because that means they're usually at such a high-level.
  • Has had to slow the process/practices down for all the new incoming freshmen.
  • Likes the fierce competitor aspect of Jae'Sean Tate.

(Full transcript of Matta's press conference here)

Chris Collins, Northwestern

  • Likes the continuity he has and feels good about what point guard Bryant McIntosh is going to do in his second year.
  • Alex Olah has made  a big jump since his freshman year and he's become more of a vocal leader.
  • Jordan Ash (guard) and Aaron Falzon (6-8 shooter) could make a solid impact for his team.
  • Asked about making the NCAA tournament, he said he just wants to keep making forward progress and keep getting better.
  • Likes the international trips because they allow teams to experiment more with lineups and roles.

(Full transcript of Collins' press conference here)

Tim Miles, Nebraska

  • The best games he's been apart of have been the most physical. Agrees with earlier coaches that shot clock won't change much.
  • Says Shavon Shields has a chance to be an NBA player and he's going to improve his outside shot where they were bad as a team last year.
  • Was surprised Shields wasn't picked as one of the league's top ten players but says Shields will be fine and "he's going to go out and do his job, and you're going to be surprised how great he's going to be."

(Full transcript of Miles' press conference here)

Richard Pitino, Minnesota

  • Biggest thing from the Spain trip was the young guys learned how they operate on a day-to-day basis.
  • Carlos Morris is working on shot selection and is going to have a much better year.
  • Don't think shot-clock will be an issue for them on offense. "I don't think 30 seconds is going to change a whole lot. I really don't."
  • On his young team struggling, said he had an old team last year and that wasn't easy either.

(Full transcript of Pitino's press conference here)

John Beilein, Michigan

  • Singled out Caris LeVert as "a spectacular talent" in opening statement.
  • Close losses and difficult year with injuries will be beneficial for the team as a whole.
  • Still figuring out how many minutes everyone gets and it evolves as the season goes on anyway.
  • Kam Chatman's shooting and athleticism has improved as well as his general understanding of the game.

(Full transcript of Beilein's press conference here)

Mark Turgeon, Mayland

  • "We have an unbelievably tough schedule." (they really do have a difficult conference schedule)
  • Didn't think he was going to win as many games as he did last year and get Diamond Stone and Rasheed Sulaimon but it all came together.
  • Diamond Stone offensively is "already there" but like most young big men, "he's going to really have to improve". He adds "he's a talent, and he's going to help us win a lot of games."
  • The biggest difference from the shot-clock change is the different defenses they'll see due to the changes. Using a 24 second shot-clock in practice.
  • Trimble will distribute more and be a more complete player rather than just a scorer.

(Full transcript of Turgeon's press conference here)

Fran McCaffery, Iowa

  • Has four starters along with Anthony Clemmons back but almost everyone else is new and you need more than 5 guys in the B1G.
  • Adam Woodbury is a lot better shape because he's no longer splitting time at center with Olaseni.
  • Last year was clearly Aaron White's team but they have different leaders this year in that Mike Gesell is the point guard, Woodbury is the most verbal, and Jarrod Uthoff is probably the best player.
  • Shot-clock changes won't affect them because they play fast anyway.
  • Not sure which of the freshmen are going to contribute but expects some from sophomore Dom Uhl.

(Full transcript of McCaffery's press conference here)

Tom Crean, Indiana

  • Thomas Bryant increased his vertical by 9 inches and Troy Williams is jumping higher than ever.
  • Wants to have a true two deep at every position and needs improvement from young guys to get there.
  • Consistency will be key for getting into the top half of the standings.
  • Cody Zeller was big in terms of affecting the team as a freshman and Bryant might have the same type of effect with the energy he brings.
  • Agrees with Izzo about how the good the league is from top to bottom.
(Full transcript of Crean's press conference here)
John Groce, Illinois

  • Has had a lot of injuries (Abrams, Coleman-Lands, Nunn, Black)
  • Not sure on Kendrick Nunn's status right now with an injured hand. Leron Black is doing well after his meniscus tear surgery. Jalen Coleman-Lands should be back soon
  • Transfer Mike Thorne Jr. is almost the opposite of Nnanna Egwu in that he's good offensively but has a lot to work defensively.
  • Like his versatility and wants to keep adding talent through recruiting.
(Full transcript of Groce's press conference here)