Date & Time: Thursday, October 15th 9-11 AM
Where: Chicago, Illinois
Rutgers Attendees: Head coach Eddie Jordan, senior center Greg Lewis, senior guard Bishop Daniels
Five Things to Watch For
Writers that cover the Big Ten will vote on their season predictions for projected order of finish. Expect Maryland to get the most votes for 1st place, with Michigan State, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Purdue to be selected in some order 2nd through 6th places. Iowa, Ohio State Northwestern and Illinois should round out the middle group. The last four spots should go to Minnesota, Penn State, Nebraska and Rutgers, most likely in that order.
All-Big Ten Teams
There will also be a writers vote for the all-conference teams that is announced later today. Expect Indiana point guard Yogi Ferrell and Maryland point guard Melo Trimble to battle for preseason Player of the Year. They should be joined on the first team by Michigan guard Caris LaVert, Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes and either Purdue center A.J Hammons or Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine.
The names you will hear the most about are Purdue's Caleb Swanigan, a 5-star forward who spurned Michigan State for the Boilermakers, and two from Maryland, Diamond Stone and Rasheed Sulaimon. Stone is a 5-star forward and will start immediately for the Terrapins. Duke transfer Sulaimon never lived up to expectations for the Blue Devils but has another great opportunity at Maryland. Other top freshman sure to be mentioned will be 4-star forward Thomas Bryant of Indiana and Ohio State's 4-star guard JaQuan Lyle. Call me biased but Rutgers 4-star freshman guard Corey Sanders will not be talked about enough.
NCAA Tournament hopefuls
Maryland, Michigan State, and Indiana all enter the season with conference title and Final Four aspirations. Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin and Iowa are expected at a minimum, to make it to March madness. Ohio State is a young team but definitely has the talent to make it to an eighth straight NCAA tournament. Northwestern is the trendy sleeper pick, with head coach Chris Collins entering his third season there. The Wildcats have never made the NCAA tournament and the expectation is this is their best shot in years. Illinois has aspirations as well but are already experiencing significant injury issues and could be a real disappointment this season.
Eddie Jordan Press Conference
I'm interested in how Eddie addresses the media tomorrow regarding his team's expectations. At last year's media day, he took the "happy to be here" approach, as it was Rutgers first season in the Big Ten and not much was expected of them. This year, while again Rutgers will be expected to be a non-factor, I expect Eddie to be more confident. The team is no doubt still developing in the middle of training camp, but he is decidedly more positive, stating to Tom Luicci ""We're definitely more athletic. We have a better talent base than previous teams. But we're young," said Jordan. "But I like our depth and we have more size. This team still needs to go through a maturation process because it's essentially a new team. But I like our talent base. I like our athletic base." A Michigan beat writer already questioned whether Rutgers would win a conference game all season, proving respect around the league remains low. I expect Eddie to give off an excited and optimistic vibe tomorrow.
Tomorrow I will have a recap on the men's team and Kelly will have a recap on the women's team.
For live updates, below is information from the Big Ten:
Beginning at 9 a.m. ET/8 a.m. CT, BTN and BTN2Go will provide live coverage of the men’s coaches’ press conferences, while the women’s coaches’ press conferences will air live on BTN2Go.
Fans can also follow @B1GMBBall and @B1GWBBall on Twitter, or the hash tag #B1GMediaDay, for highlights of the event. Updates from the event can also be found on Facebook (Facebook.com/BigTenConference), through Instagram (Instagram.com/bigtenconf) and on the Big Ten’s new Snapchat account, which can be accessed by searching for "bigtenconf" on the Snapchat app.