- Will Stein
The Twin Cities Tip-off of Big 10 Basketball.
MINNEAPOLIS-The Big 10 Basketball season began this week as all 14 schools have their head coaches and key players showcased for the upcoming season. From fresh blood to historic tenure, the Big 10 has it all. The 2022-2023 season has officially tipped off for all 14 schools. The Big 10 is loaded with talent from top to bottom.
Coming off the Elite 8 from both the Men's and Women's teams, Michigan is hoping to take momentum into the upcoming season for a potential Final Four appearance. With Juwan Howard and Kim Barnes Arico gaining more experience in their coaching roles, this could be a historic season for both Michigan basketball programs. Jace Howard and Hunter Dickinson the Mens squad has a bunch of Talent and leadership as they start the upcoming season. Princeton transfer Jaelin Llewellin is definitely a smart player coming from the Ivy League. We’ll see how they perform on the court this upcoming season.
Tom Izzo and Suzy Merchant from Michigan State are two of the more tenured coaches in the Big 10 over in East Lansing. When Tom Izzo was asked about the legacy of Coach K and how he compared Coach K’s career and his, Izzo isn’t ready to hang up the towel just yet. Izzo stated that there are many things he still wants to accomplish. Could there be a National Championship in store for Izzo in East Lansing? You can never count a Tom Izzo led team out of anything in the world of College Basketball.
Penn State Womens Coach Carolyn Kieger, a Minnesota Native, is anticipating her Nittany Lions to compete in the Big 10 Womens Championship in March. She stated there will be many Kiegers watching her coach in that upcoming Big 10 Tournament. Will the fans at Happy Valley travel well with Penn State during their trip to Minneapolis?
With Purdue, Head Womens Coach Katie Gearlds stated that she was in a good mood because the Kansas City Chiefs won on Monday Night Football the night before. She stated that Andy Reid was near and dear to her heart. Will she create a championship culture in her second year we shall see. On the mens side Matt Painter emphasized how last year wasn’t good enough despite reaching the Sweet 16. With 29 wins last year Purdue was expecting more than just a Sweet 16. Zach Edey is one of the best big men in the country as he will be tough to stop. Will Zach Edey and his supporting cast go further than the Sweet 16? We’ll see.
Replacing Coach Stringer at Rutgers is going to be an extremely tough task for Coquse Washington. New blood will definitely bring a different taste to the program. Will we see more Final Four appearances in the future at Rutgers? Steve Pikell is ready to bring the Mens program to another level. Rutgers has loyal fans as they sell out regularly, but we’ll see what happens next. Mike Woodson returns to his alma meter to coach at Indiana. Having played under a legend in Bob Knight, he knows what it takes to be successful at Indiana. At the same time, he needs to establish his own identity entering his second year. Coming off 21 wins last year Indiana is hopeful to build off that to get back into the NCAA Tournament.
Caitlin Clark is one of the best women’s basketball players in the country for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Her ability to shoot the 3 is unbelievable. The Lady Hawkeyes have Top 5 expectations. Can Lisa Bluder lead the Lady Hawks to the Final Four with those Top 5 expectations? Across the Missouri River you have the University of Nebraska. Amy Williams led the Lady Cornhuskers to the Big Dance. 22-7 for the Cornhuskers definitely has Nebraska fans starting to get into Basketball again. Nebraska is a football state starting to get into Basketball. Fred Hoiberg played against Nebraska as a player at Iowa State, now finds himself leading the Cornhuskers in a new era of Nebraska Basketball. From Tennessee Transfer Derrick Walker to Homegrown kid Sam Griesel, there will definitely be improvement in the basketball program in Lincoln.
Can Chris Collins be as good of a coach as his father Doug? Northwestern has their eyes on Chris Collins as he continues his coaching career. Father Doug coached a young Michael Jordan in Chicago. What will Chris do in Chicago with showcasing Student Athlete talent. Joe McKeown has been with Northwestern since 2008, can he find the magic from 3 years ago when Northwestern went 26-4 before COVID cancelled a potential postseason run? Illinois has new blood in Shauna Green as their new Womens head basketball coach. From the Dayton Flyers to the Fight Illini, Green has her hands full to get the Illini back on track. Brad Underwood is hoping to make 3 straight NCAA tournament appearances. Can the Illini make it to the Sweet 16? They have the Talent to do so.
Brenda Frese has established an identity at Maryland. Since the transition over to the Big 10, Coach Frese seems like a lock to make it to the NCAA Tournament, she’s won National Championships before with multiple Final Four appearances. How will they do this year? We will soon find out. Kevin Willard is hoping to find that Identity at Maryland. He better learn how to eat Maryland Blue Crabs and Crab Cakes first.
Wisconsin is known for well coached teams with Greg Gard. One of the biggest things that Coach Gard is excited about is playing at American Family Field also known as Miller Park in November. The matchup I’m watching for Wisconsin is the matchup against Michigan on Valentine's Day 2023. Apparently, Gard and Howard have put that altercation behind them as a new season is upon us in Madison.
Ohio State has always been a football school first however Chris Holtmann is quietly putting Ohio State on the map for basketball too. He’s made it to the Big Dance every year since he came to Ohio State. The Buckeyes are looking for at least a Sweet 16 appearance to build off last year. They’ve made it to the Round of 32 during Holtmanns tenure but nothing more to date. He is looking to change that.
The Host city of Big 10 Media Days showcases the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Ben Johnson and Lindsey Whalen are both coaching their alma meters. Lindsey’s success in the WNBA being a Champion for the Lynx and receiving a basketball for her induction to the Naismith Basketball of Fame. Hopefully she can become a champion head coach too, but you have to start with a NCAA Tournament appearance. Ben Johnson is becoming more familiar with his role as head coach as he enters his second year in the Twin Cities.