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Wisconsin men’s basketball: B1G Media Day coach speak

What did each of the coaches have to say at conference media day?

CHICAGO - Crowding the media ballroom of a Hilton hotel just outside of Chicago, B5Q heard from Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and each of the 14 Big Ten head coaches Wednesday morning.

Here is a breakdown of what they each had to say:

Jim Delany

  • Jim Delany spent the most time at the podium of anyone today. In his opening remarks, he specifically looked back at the past few years under his watch in the conference, and he noted the growth of the conference over that time.

In looking to the future, Delany is obviously retiring at the start of the 2020. He has developed a great rapport with incoming commissioner Kevin Warren, and they have already begun discussions to prepare him for the new role. Delany believes Warren’s insight as a former player and the parent of division one athletes will be a nice addition as a great leader for the conference.

On the topic of California’s name, image and likeness (NIL) bill, Delany believes the bill is just the start to a national solution. He doesn’t feel that 50 state statutes will be feasible; it will need to be normalized across the NCAA and nationwide.

Greg Gard (Wisconsin)

  • First up from the coaches was Wisconsin’s very own, Greg Gard. He started by mentioning the tragedy in the off-season with assistant coach Howard Moore and his family. He believes that the team has done a great job of coming together and helping one another through the experience.

Gard likes the way the team looks; he sees a lot of players coming along in new roles. On the outlook of the future, Gard also likes the direction of recruiting and the work that the staff has done. Gard specifically called out that coaches Joe Krabbenhoft and Alando Tucker have stepped up in the absence of Moore.

Richard Pitino (Minnesota)

Middle Tennessee v Minnesota Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images
  • Minnesota Head Coach Richard Pitino spent his opening remarks discussing the excitement of entering his seventh year. Minnesota lost a lot of players, but Pitino doesn’t believe that means that they need to take a step back. He likes the incoming transfers especially the way in which they have helped the young team learn how to prepare and play.

Fred Hoiberg (Nebraska)

  • Up next was Nebraska’s Fred Hoiberg. Hoiberg has brought sweeping change to the Nebraska basketball program entering his first season at the helm. Nebraska only returns two players from the team a year ago, but the program has generated a lot of optimism from fans. He enjoys being back in the state, and he learned a lot from spending time with Tom Izzo since being let go by Chicago last December.

Steve Pikiell (Rutgers)

  • Rutgers head man Steve Pikiell likes the new 117 million dollar new practice facility. He took the team to Spain as well and has higher expectations for his fourth season at Rutgers. Pikiell really likes new freshman 6-foot-6 guard Paul Mulcahy out of New Jersey and thinks that he could make an impact right away. He said the team is good and very versatile.

Pat Chambers (Penn State)

  • Pat Chambers, the Penn State coach, talked primarily about the depth and experience that his team returns. Chambers is very matter-of-fact in his delivery, but he believes that the conference slate gives Penn State opportunities to improve as the season progresses. Chamber stated that he thinks the B1G conference is the best league top to bottom.

Mark Turgeon (Maryland)

  • Stuck in the middle, Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon covered the depth and strength of the conference, and the successes of his team last year. He thinks this year's team is talented and needs the younger players to develop. He loves that Jalen Smith and Anthony Cowan earned preseason All-Big Ten honors. He believes that Cowan will cut down on turnovers.

Tom Izzo (Michigan State)

Minnesota v Michigan State Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
  • Two-time national champ Tom Izzo of Michigan State addressed starting a week earlier than the NBA, saying that it was exciting. Izzo spoke at length about the new law put in place in California. He said that he has read a lot of differing opinions on the matter. The Michigan State coach also spoke about having a very talented team lead by Cassius Winston (Big Ten preseason player of the year), Xavier Tillman and others.

Fran McCaffery (Iowa)

  • Fran McCaffery discussed being excited for the challenge of the new season with a team that he likes. The Iowa head coach thinks that the new three-point line could result in more teams playing zone and a drop in shooting percentage behind the arc, but it also open up the post a little bit.

Chris Holtmann (Ohio State)

  • Ohio State Head Coach Chris Holtmann is “anxiously anticipating consistent work with his team.” Holtmann believes that freshman EJ Liddell, while he is dealing with an injury right now, is “wired to score.” He needs to get healthy, but he is a mismatch problem. Holtmann compared him to Penn State stud Lamar Stevens in terms of his ability and versatility.

Juwan Howard (Michigan)

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  • One of the newest members of the head coaching fraternity in the B1G, Michigan’s Juwan Howard said that “my walk has been special” to this point. Since Howard began coaching, he has a better understanding now how good Zavier Simpson is. Howard called him a great person and player. Howard is embracing this opportunity and thanked Erik Spoelstra for his help prepare him for this day.

Matt Painter (Purdue)

  • Matt Painter, the Purdue head coach, spoke at length about losing some special talent, but he said Purdue needs to have “some new guys come in and adapt to our system.” Painter said that the team will need to be very different in terms of scoring the basketball now that Carsen Edwards is gone. He doesn’t want this year’s team to try and be the same team as last year.

Brad Underwood (Illinois)

  • Up next, Illinois Head Coach Brad Underwood said that he is excited to have some carry-over from last year's team. Ayo Dosunmu, Trent Frazier and others got a lot of experience last season. Underwood thinks that this group could be a very solid nucleus. He said that the team has really worked on rebounding and hopes to improve in that area.

Chris Collins (Northwestern)

  • Chris Collins of Northwestern mentioned that he feels good about the young talent, but he noted that, on paper, the roster has a lot of unknowns. They have three returning veterans that NU will lean on, but there is also some youthful excitement. “We just need to grow,” Collins said.

Archie Miller (Indiana)

  • Up last was Indiana’s Archie Miller. Donning a red suit jacket, he wrapped things up by talking about his pair of freshman who have both been “fantastic” so far. McDonald’s All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis is a newcomer that Miller particularly spoke in-depth about, and Miller expects him to contribute right away.

Continue following B5Q to keep up-to-date with all the ongoings at media day.