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The Big Ten’s 14-team structure has made for some unwieldy scheduling with unbalanced schedules and long-time rivalries relegated to a single matchup in some seasons.
The conference’s move to a 20-game league schedule is being made in part to alleviate those issues. Teams will play seven opponents home-and-away and the remaining six in one-off meetings – half on the road and half at home.
“The new schedules ensure that all three of the Big Ten’s in-state rivals – Illinois/Northwestern, Indiana/Purdue, and Michigan/Michigan State-will play twice on an annual basis,” Big Ten assistant commissioner Kerry Kenny said in a statement. “Additionally, there will be regional rotations in both the east and in the west. Rather than protecting a single opponent on a yearly basis for the remaining eight teams, annual rotations involving the four eastern teams (Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers) and the four western teams (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin) have been strategically developed to optimize travel, academic and recovery impacts while encouraging increased competition among institutions that are near each other geographically.
“Increasing the frequency of conference competition allows the Big Ten to compete across a larger footprint, while respecting history and balancing the needs of our students, coaches and fans.”
The Big Ten released the scheduling matrix Thursday (see below) while the full schedule will be released at a later date.
2018-19 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Opponents
Home: Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers
Away: Iowa, Maryland, Purdue
Home/Away: Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin
Home: Nebraska, Ohio State, Wisconsin
Away: Maryland, Minnesota, Penn State
Home/Away: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers
Home: Illinois, Maryland, Michigan
Away: Minnesota, Penn State, Purdue
Home/Away: Indiana, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Rutgers, Wisconsin
Home: Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern
Away: Iowa, Michigan State, Rutgers
Home/Away: Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Home: Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue
Away: Illinois, Iowa, Rutgers
Home/Away: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State, Wisconsin
Home: Maryland, Minnesota, Northwestern
Away: Illinois, Penn State, Wisconsin
Home/Away: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers
Home: Indiana, Iowa, Penn State
Away: Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State
Home/Away: Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin
Home: Northwestern, Ohio State, Wisconsin
Away: Indiana, Michigan, Rutgers
Home/Away: Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State, Purdue
Home: Minnesota, Penn State, Purdue
Away: Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska
Home/Away: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers, Wisconsin
Home: Minnesota, Penn State, Wisconsin
Away: Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska
Home/Away: Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers
Home: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State
Away: Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State
Home/Away: Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin
Home: Illinois, Iowa, Rutgers
Away: Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin
Home/Away: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State
Home: Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska
Away: Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin
Home/Away: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State
Home: Michigan State, Purdue, Rutgers
Away: Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio State
Home/Away: Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State
Chris McNeal is heading to his fourth school in four years.
The New Mexico guard has asked for and received his release from the school to transfer, the Lobos announced Thursday.
“Chris has truly been a great person to have in our program,” head coach Paul Weir said in a statement. “We wish him nothing but the best in his future.”
McNeal began his career in 2015 at Western Kentucky, where he played one season and set the freshman assist record, before heading to Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Ia., becoming a junior-college All-American on his way to New Mexico.
In his one season with the Lobos, McNeal started 19 games and averaged 9.5 points per game.He shot 37.2 percent from the floor and 31.5 percent from 3-point range. He had three games of at least 20 points, including 29 against Tennessee Tech in which he connected on 7 of 11 3-pointers.
New Mexico went 19-15 and finished third in the Mountain West.
McNeal will have one year remaining of eligibility and also has a redshirt year still available to him after his stop at Indian Hills.
Bryce Drew’s already sterling group of 2018 newcomers got even better Thursday.
Matthew Moyer, a former top-100 recruit, committed to transfer from Syracuse to Vanderbilt to add to an impressive haul of talent Drew has brought to Nashville.
“I am so blessed to announce that the next step in my academic and athletic journey is to Vanderbilt to play for Coach Drew!!” Moyer wrote on social media.
Moyer was a four-star recruit in 2016 and redshirted his first season with the Orange. Last year, his first on the court, he played just 16.8 minutes per game, averaging 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-8 Ohio native chose Vanderbilt over the likes of Texas and Xavier.
While Moyer will be expected to sit out the upcoming season under transfer rules, he’ll still be part of a major transfer infusion for the Commodores. Drew already has two five-star recruits in top-15 prospects Simisola Shittu and Darius Garland, plus four-star recruit Aaron Nesmith, a top-60 prospect. They’re also still in the running for Romeo Langford, a top-10 player in 2018.
Vanderbilt took a significant dip last year in Drew’s second season after an NCAA tournament appearance in Year 1, but their work on the recruiting trail looks to be ensuring that’ll be a momentary drop in performance. Vanderbilt moved on from Kevin Stallings to Drew in large part because of languishing results, but Drew looks to be reinvigorating the program in the best way possible – with serious success on the recruiting trail that seems likely to be followed by wins on the floor.
The pilot of the plane that was scheduled to carry the Michigan basketball team from Detroit to Washington D.C. for the 2017 Big Ten tournament broke protocol by aborting takeoff and, in the process, potentially saved the lives of everyone on board the plane.
Here’s what happened, according to a transcript of the cockpit recorder that was obtained by The Detroit News: The mechanism that an airplane uses to take-off is called an elevator, and one of the two elevators on the plane that the Michigan team was on was stuck in a position that would not have allowed the plane to get into the air the way it needed to.
By the time the pilot of the plane realized this, the plane was already past the speed that would have allowed them to abort the takeoff without damaging the plane. Generally speaking, when that happens, the protocol is to get into the air and then find a way to land safely. The pilot on this flight slammed on the brakes, reverse-thrusted the engines and hoped for the best.
What eventually happened was that the plane skidded to a stop off of the back-end of the runway, leaving the people on board with bumps, bruises, scratches and, in the case of Derrick Walton Jr., stitches in his leg.
Well, we don’t have to think about that.
Because the pilot of that plane, Mark Radloff, went against what he was taught to do.
I’d suggest you read the entire story here. It’s wild and frightening.
The Ohio State men’s basketball program has been hit with some of the stupidest recruiting violations I’ve ever heard of.
According to a report from The Lantern, three basketball recruits and one football recruit were on campus on September 9th and, during the visit, took a trip to the set of ESPN Gameday, which was in town for the Ohio State-Oklahoma football game.
During that trip to set, the recruits all met former Ohio State players Kirk Herbstreit, who works for ESPN, and Eddie George, who was a guest picker that day, as well as two other ESPN personalities. Recruits are allowed to meet former players on their visit to campus. They aren’t, however, allowed to meet with the media, and since ESPN’s Gameday staff is considered to be media, Ohio State technically committed a recruiting violation.
Now this is where things get a little bit messy.
According to the story from the Lantern, the football staff self-reported the violation, ended their recruitment of the football player involved and suspended the staff member responsible for the violation for one game. The basketball program, however, very likely landed commitments from two of the recruits. While Ohio State will not confirm which players were specifically involved, reports from the websites that track these things list just three players — USC commit Elijah Weaver and two Ohio State commits, JaeDon Lee and Luther Muhammad — as being on a visit that weekend.
As a result, the NCAA has reportedly ruled the three basketball players ineligible pending an appeal — which, I would bet the naming rights of my second-born son on, they will win even if it costs them a game or two — while ruling that Scoonie Penn, who coordinated the violation, to be suspended for a game.
All because the recruits had a chance to visit the set of College Gameday and got a chance to meet some ESPN TV personalities who probably could not have cared less about the kids they were meeting.