That’s the same year that Big Ten teams go to a nine-game conference slate. [Read more…]
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Braxton Miller is shifting from quarterback to receiver, whittling Ohio State’s QB competition to two star passers.
Miller told SI.com on Thursday night that he plans to start the season in the H-back position and also hopes to return punts. He had surgery to repair of torn labrum in his throwing shoulder before the start of last season and sat out while J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones led the Buckeyes to their first national title since 2002.
Barrett led Ohio State to an 11-1 record before breaking his ankle. Jones then guided the Buckeyes to victories in the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin, the national semifinal against Alabama and the championship game against Oregon.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Miller was Big Ten player of the year in 2012 and 2013.
Rosemont, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference led the nation in men’s basketball attendance for the 39th consecutive season according to figures released by the NCAA. The Big Ten recorded an average attendance of 12,781 patrons per game, including regular season home games and all seven sessions of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament. In addition, the Big Ten led all conferences with a home and conference tournament total of 3,195,137 fans, the second-highest total of any conference in NCAA history.
The Big Ten set conference records for total attendance (3,076,641) and attendance in conference games only (1,677,589) at its home arenas this season. It marks the first time in history that the Big Ten has eclipsed the three-million mark in total attendance.
Eleven conference schools ranked among the top 32 in average attendance. Wisconsin led the Big Ten and ranked fifth nationally with an average of 17,279 fans per game. Indiana (16,288) ranked eighth, followed by No. 10 Nebraska (15,569), No. 14 Michigan State (14,797), No. 15 Illinois (14,652), No. 16 Ohio State (14,648), No. 20 Iowa (14,101), No. 25 Maryland (12,695), No. 28 Michigan (12,316), No. 29 Minnesota (12,188) and No. 32 Purdue (11,523).
Penn State saw its average attendance increase by 1,787 fans per home game, the fifth-largest increase in the nation last season. In its first season in the Big Ten, Rutgers’ average attendance increased by 1,345 patrons per home game, which ranked 15th among all schools.
Ryan made the surprising announcement on Monday. Ryan says he considered retiring after the Badgers lost in the national championship game to Duke, but athletic director Barry Alvarez told him to take some time to think about it.
After mulling his future for a few months, the 67-year-old Ryan says he has decided to coach one more season. He also says he hopes longtime assistant Greg Gard will be chosen to replace him.
Ryan has coached the Badgers for 14 years. He led them to the Final Four in each of the past two seasons.
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Big Ten athletic directors believe commissioner Jim Delany succeeded in one key area when he introduced the idea of a so-called year of readiness.
He helped fuel the conversation about the imbalance between athletics and academics.
Iowa AD Gary Barta says it has created a national dialogue about improving “the student-athlete experience.”
Delany pitched the idea of a year of readiness in February. He followed that up last month with a 12-page letter titled, “Education First, Athletics Second: The Time for a National Discussion is Upon Us,” outlining a plan to make football and men’s basketball players sit out their freshman seasons without losing a year of eligibility.
The odds of it becoming a reality are slim.
Trueblood, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard, comes to Nebraska after a decorated career at Elkhorn South playing for Coach Alex Bahe. Trueblood finished his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer (1,213 points), as well as holding single-game (42) and single-season (598) scoring marks at the school.
As a senior, he led the Storm to a 21-5 record and the school’s first Class B state title. He led Class B by averaging 23.0 points per game, while also adding 5.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game to garner first-team Super-State
honors from the Lincoln Journal Star and second-team All-Nebraska honors from the Omaha World-Herald. A first-team Class B all-state performer from both publications, Trueblood averaged 19.6 points per game in three state tournament games, including a 17-point effort while playing with a sprained in a 60-51 win over Sidney in the state championship at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
As a junior, he earned first-team Class B accolades from both major papers, averaging 15.4 points, 3.7 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game as Elkhorn South finished the regular season unbeaten and placed third in the state. In his three-year varsity career, Trueblood helped Elkhorn South to a three straight state semifinal appearances in Class B and a 66-13 record. In addition to his high school career, he played AAU basketball for the Omaha Sports Academy and Head Coach Bob Franzese.
Trueblood, who becomes the first Husker basketball player from Elkhorn South since the school opened five years ago, is the son of Tom and Sheila Trueblood.
Player of the Week
David Kerian, Illinois
Sr., 1B, Dakota Dunes, S.D. – Bishop Heelan Catholic
• Helped Illinois remain atop the conference standings and extend the nation’s longest-active winning streak to 21 games, batting .636 (7-for-11) in a series sweep of nationally ranked Ohio State
• Recorded multi-hit games and scored a run in all four games, including three hits, three RBI and a pair of runs in the series finale versus the Buckeyes
• Tallied a .625 on-base percentage and 1.000 slugging percentage for the week
• Earns his first Big Ten Player of the Week award
• Last Illinois Big Ten Player of the Week: Casey Fletcher (April 27, 2015)
Pitcher of the Week
Matt Portland, Northwestern
LHP, Jr., Victor, N.Y. – Victor
• Pitched his first career complete-game shutout against Nebraska
• Recorded a career-best eight strikeouts, walking only one batter
• Tossed 132 pitches in his 12th start this season
• Records his first Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honor
• Last Northwestern Big Ten Pitcher of the Week: Jack Quigley (April 21, 2014)
Freshman of the Week
Luis Alvarado, Nebraska
OF, Salinas, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
• Hit .571 (4-for-7) with a pair of multi-hit games in a series win over Northwestern
• Batted 2-for-3, including a three-run double with two outs in the series finale against the Wildcats
• Recorded a .625 on-base percentage and a .714 slugging percentage in Big Ten play
• Claims his first Big Ten Freshman of the Week award
• Last Nebraska Big Ten Freshman of the Week: Garrett King (April 7, 2015)
2015 Big Ten Baseball Players of the Week
PL: Nick Ramos, Jr., IND
P: Rob McDonnell, Sr., ILL
F: Austin Guzzo, IOWA
PL: Ryan Boldt, So., NEB
P: Mike Shawaryn, So., MD
F: Kevin Smith, MD
PL: Jackson Glines, Sr., MICH
P: Brett Adcock, So., MICH
F: Logan Sowers, IND
PL: Kyle Wood, Jr., PUR
P: Tyler Jay, Jr., ILL
F: Logan Sowers, IND
F: Alex Troop, MSU
PL: Austin Cangelosi, So., IND
P: Mike Shawaryn, So., MD
F: Brian Hobbie, IND
PL: Brandon Lowe, So., MD
P: Kevin Duchene, Jr., ILL
F: Sal Biasi, PSU
F: Milo Freeman, RU
PL: Eric Toole, Sr., IOWA
P: Kyle Kubat, Sr., NEB
F: Ryan Nutof, MICH
F: Elijah Dilday, NEB
PL: Jason Goldstein, Jr., ILL
P: Kevin Duchene, Jr., ILL
P: Tanner Tully, So., OSU
F: Garrett King, NEB
PL: Ryan Krill, Sr., MSU
P: Mike Shawaryn, So., MD
F: Logan Sowers, IND
PL: Carmen Benedetti, So., MICH
P: Mike Shawaryn, So., MD
F: Ryan Nutof, MICH
F: Tre’ Gantt, OSU
PL: Casey Fletcher, Sr., ILL
PL: Jimmy Frankos, Jr., IOWA
P: Mick VanVossen, Sr., MSU
F: Jake Bivens, MICH
PL: David Kerian, Sr., ILL
P: Matt Portland, Jr., NU
F: Luis Alvarado, NEB
PL: Player of the Week
P: Pitcher of the Week
F: Freshman of the Week
Evanston, Ill. – With the chance to win its first Big Ten road series of the year on the line, the Nebraska baseball team (33-17, 8-10 Big Ten) delivered an 11-0 shutout against the Northwestern Wildcats (15-31, 5-13 Big Ten) on Sunday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park. Sophomore Derek Burkamper started and went 7.0 strong innings, while all nine of Nebraska’s starters tallied a hit, including three each from Ryan Boldt and Tanner Lubach. Nebraska scored in sixth different innings on the afternoon, including multiple runs in four innings.
After not making it through the fifth inning in each of his last three starts, Burkamper put together one of his best outings of the season on Sunday. The right hander improved to 5-2 on the year with his worked at least 7.0 innings for the third time this season. Burkamper set a new career high with seven strikeouts, while allowing six hits and three walks. He stranded eight Wildcats on the afternoon.
A day after Northwestern starter Matt Portland tossed a complete-game shutout against the Huskers, starter Reed Mason lasted just 3.0 innings. The lefty gave up five runs on six hits and two walks, while notching just one strikeout.
Boldt went 3-for-6 on the day with two runs scored and RBIs. Blake Headley also added two runs, while freshman Luis Alvarado led the way with three RBIs on two hits.
The Huskers gave Burkamper a 2-0 lead in the second with four singles, including a two-out single by Boldt that scored Scott Schreiber for the second run of the inning.
After Burkamper stranded a pair of runners in the bottom of the second, the Huskers added three runs in the third. Ben Miller nearly notched his fourth homer of the season to start the inning, but the deep fly ball was hauled in at the wall in left-center field. Lubach got the Huskers started with a single and was soon in scoring position following a walk to Headley. Mason then got Austin Darby to ground out before loading the bases with a walk to Schreiber. Alvarado stepped in and facing a 1-2 count the freshman ripped a bases-clearing double down the left-field line that gave the Huskers a 5-0 lead.
Northwestern tried to answer in the bottom of the third when it had its first two batters of the inning reach. With one out, Jack Mitchel looked to have a single, but shortstop Jake Placzek climbed the ladder and snagged the liner. The Wildcats still had runners on the corners and Burkamper kept them there with a fly out to Alvarado in left field off the bat of Reid Hunter.
Nebraska added a run for the third straight inning in the fourth, with the run coming in on a two-out hit. Boldt led off the frame with a single and was at third with two outs for Lubach. The Husker catcher roped a 1-0 pitch from reliever Tommy Bordignon to left field that extended Nebraska’s lead to 6-0. Bordignon then loaded the bases with back-to-back walks to Headley and Darby, but denied the Huskers a big inning with a 4-3 groundout off the bat of Schreiber.
Burkamper retired his seventh straight Wildcat to start the fifth before Scott Heelan snapped the streak with a single. Zach Jones then worked a walk and the Wildcats had two on with one out, but Burkamper quickly ended the threat with a 5-3 double play off Mitchell.
Even through Burkamper didn’t need it, the Husker offense tagged on two more runs in the seventh and one in the eighth. Schleppenbach and Boldt each picked up their second RBIs of the day in the seventh to give Nebraska a 8-0 lead. Miller then led off the eighth with his fourth home run of the season and the Huskers took a 9-0 lead to the bottom of the eighth.
Freshman Garett King took over for Burkamper in the eighth and faced the minimum to keep the shutout intact. Nebraska kept the runs coming in the top of the ninth with a RBI double from Placzek and a RBI groundout from Miller.
Jake Meyers polished off the shutout with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, including Nebraska’s eighth strikeout of the day.
The Huskers will be off for the next five days as they take final exams. Nebraska gets back to action next weekend when they host Purdue for the final home series of the year. The series runs Saturday-Sunday-Monday, with the opener set for 2:05 p.m. and it will be shown statewide on NET.
ROSEMONT, Ill. – For the first time in conference history, Big Ten volleyball student-athletes from all 14 schools will travel overseas to take part in a foreign tour to feature not just competition on the court, but also community service initiatives and the opportunity to experience new cultures in some of the world’s greatest cities. The Big Ten Volleyball Foreign Tour Team will travel to Slovenia, Croatia and Italy from June 13-25.
Northwestern’s Keylor Chan will serve as the head coach of the Big Ten Volleyball Foreign Tour Team. Indiana’s Paul Koncir and Rutgers Phuong Louong will travel as assistant coaches, while Michigan State athletic trainer Lianna Hadden will also accompany the team.
“The Big Ten Volleyball Foreign Tour Team will have a great opportunity this summer to come together and compete against some of the best players in the world,” said Chan. “These tours provide student-athletes and coaches with the ability to visit different places, meet new people and experience new cultures through the game that we all love. I’m really looking forward to representing Northwestern University and the Big Ten Conference overseas in June.”
The first stop for the Big Ten Foreign Tour Team is Maribor, Slovenia, where matches with four national teams will take place. The squad will then travel to several cities in Croatia to play in two contests versus the Istrian Select team. The final leg of the tour will be in Italy, where the team will play the Italian National Team.
In addition to competition on the court, the 14 student-athletes will have the opportunity to partake in community service initiatives, study foreign languages with local students and visit some of Europe’s most historic cities, including Ljubljana in Slovenia, Istra, Pula, Rovinj and Porec in Croatia, and Padova and Venice in Italy.
The complete Big Ten Foreign Tour Team and final schedule will be announced at a later date.
CHICAGO – BTN’s 2015 primetime football schedule will feature the conference’s 2014 West Division Champion Wisconsin Badgers, Cotton Bowl Champion Michigan State and Michigan in its first year under new head coach Jim Harbaugh among its contests on six key Saturday nights.
Twelve of the 14 Big Ten schools will play in primetime on BTN, and four of the games are conference contests, including Minnesota at Iowa in the first-ever primetime battle for the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy at Kinnick Stadium.
“Since BTN launched, there has never been more anticipation leading into the football season,” said BTN President Mark Silverman.
The first of BTN’s conference matchups in primetime features Rutgers at Penn State on Sept. 19. Last season in the Scarlet Knights’ Big Ten debut, the Nittany Lions played the spoiler and left Piscataway victorious after a late touchdown drive. This year at Beaver Stadium, Rutgers will look to even the score in this budding rivalry of neighboring state schools.
On Oct. 3, Michigan visits Maryland in a Big Ten East Division clash. The Terrapins defeated the Wolverines 23-16 last year, but with a new regime in place, Michigan has high hopes of returning to the top of the pack. Maryland impressed in its first Big Ten season, finishing the season with a 7-6 record, including 4-4 in conference play.
Michigan State, which ended last season ranked No. 5 in the country after its dramatic comeback victory over Baylor in the Cotton Bowl, visits Rutgers on Oct. 10. The Spartans, a preseason top-10 squad, return quarterback Connor Cook and a number of key cogs on the defensive side who are intent on earning a spot in this year’s College Football Playoff.
BTN closes out its primetime slate on Nov. 14 with the Floyd of Rosedale rivalry game, when the Hawkeyes host the Gophers. Iowa has won six of the last 10, but Minnesota looks to capture the trophy for the second straight season after its impressive 51-14 victory last year.
BTN’s other primetime selections include Pittsburgh at Iowa on Sept. 19, when former Michigan State defensive coordinator and now Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi makes his return to the conference. Also on the schedule are Hawaii at Wisconsin and Ball State at Northwestern.
In all, BTN will televise at least 40 football games this fall. Start times and television arrangements for other early season games will be announced at a later date.
BTN’s Primetime Schedule
Saturday, Sept. 12
South Alabama at Nebraska
Saturday, Sept. 19
Rutgers at Penn State
Saturday, September 26
Hawaii at Wisconsin
Saturday, October 3
Michigan at Maryland
Saturday, October 10
Michigan State at Rutgers
Saturday, November 14
Minnesota at Iowa
*Kent State at Illinois on Friday, Sept. 4 previously announced
*Florida International at Indiana on Sept. 12, Pittsburgh at Iowa on Sept. 19 and Ball State at Northwestern on Sept. 26 will also appear in primetime in the Big Ten team’s home market and on Extra Football Game Channels and BTN2Go elsewhere.