Good morning! This is going to be a daily(ish) post that discusses the goings on of the rest of the Big Ten Conference, and the country as needed. Much like the European Union, the Big Ten is a loosely confederated group of entities that sometimes have the same goals (like free movement of people between countries or not winning national titles in football or basketball) and sometimes accept new members that they later regret (Estonia or Rutgers).
We hope that you will use this post to comment on things happening around the conference and also as a sort of daily open thread to discuss breaking news or argue about Spotted Cow (which we NO LONGER DO).
- There have been a lot of questions about whether or not any of this year’s seniors will take advantage of the “free year” of eligibility and return to play for the Badgers next season.
#Badgers S Collin Wilder, who has graduated, says he is using option to return to UW in 2021. Says his goal before season was to have great year and give NFL a shot. Says this season, with COVID, has led him to reconsider. He wants to help UW in 2021.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) December 15, 2020
So far, S Collin Wilder is the only player who has definitely said they’re coming back, but offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph was asked about WRs Danny Davis III and Kendric Pryor earlier this week and had this to say, “I think there’s probably a pretty good chance. I would think that those two want to take advantage of another year.”
- Speaking of Davis and Pryor!
Paul Chryst was asked about the status of receivers Danny Davis and Kendric Pryor for the game against Minnesota. Chryst: "They haven’t done a ton. So they’re not ruled out, but haven’t done a ton." Could be another game with a bunch of younger guys asked to contribute.— Jesse Temple (@jessetemple) December 17, 2020
- And one last item on potential roster changes for next season...could S Reggie Pearson be back in a Badgers uniform? This tweet from Pearson’s father seems to suggest that...well...I have no idea what it suggests, but it’s a strong maybe.
Not done yet! ✊ He puts his strongest Warriors through the toughest situations. pic.twitter.com/NUTZ2qngDL— Coach Pearson (@ReggiePearson4) December 17, 2020
- Top 2021 women’s basketball commit Maty Wilke tore her ACL on Tuesday in Beaver Dam’s win over Madison Edgewood. Wilke is the crown jewel of Wisconsin’s 2021 class and will miss the rest of her senior season. We wish Wilke a speedy and healthy recovery and can’t wait to see her back on the court in cardinal and white.
I am so blessed to have such great people in my life to help me through this tough time. Thank you for the prayers and the uplifting words.❤️Minor setback, major comeback.— maty wilke (@MatyWilke) December 16, 2020
As a high school career ended today for @MatyWilke nothing will change in the legacy she leaves for Wisconsin High School Girls Basketball. It has been a privilege to watch you inspire younger players, just like you will for @BadgerWBB for the next 4 years!— Jonathan Tsipis (@BadgerCoachTsip) December 16, 2020
- After shutting down the first half of their schedule a few weeks ago, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team now has their second half schedule set up. The only team they’ll play twice is...the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Should be a great two months of hockey once it gets started just after the New Year.
- With the World Juniors starting up shortly, all eyes will be on American, and Badger, Cole Caufield to see if he can turn in a better performance than last year.
- Speaking of the men’s hockey team, they also signed nine new players for their 2021 class this week. I will not even begin to pretend that I know anything about how hockey recruiting works or how good any of these players are, but here are their names, positions and hometowns!
F Caden Brown (St. Louis, Missouri)
D Corson Ceulemans (Beaumont, Alberta)
G Noah Grannan (Germantown, Wisconsin)
D Daniel Laatsch (Altoona, Wisconsin)
F Liam Malmquist (Edina, Minnesota)
D Jacob Martin (Eagle River, Wisconsin)
F Brayden Morrison (Calgary, Alberta)
F Robby Newton (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
F Zach Urdahl (Eau Claire, Wisconsin)
It looks like Ceulemans is the top prospect in the class as NHL’s Central Scouting gave him an “A” grade for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, making him a potential first-round selection. Brown and Martin were also rated by Central Scouting, but not nearly as high and are only listed as “possible” draft picks.
- The Badgers did not have any representation on the all-Big Ten special teams, uh, teams, however former Badger Aron Cruickshank is still playing pretty well for Rutgers. I know he left Wisconsin to be closer to home but he was also frustrated with his playing time and with all of the injuries that Wisconsin WR corps has suffered this year, Cruickshank would have ended up on the field a lot I’d guess.
- If you’ve tuned all the cancellation information out, I understand, however it is worth noting that three Big Ten games have already been canceled for this weekend: Iowa/Michigan; Purdue/Indiana; and Maryland/Michigan State.
- Purdue defensive coordinator Bob Diaco is gone after only one season with the Boilermakers.
- If Northwestern beats Ohio State on Saturday is Pat Fitzgerald one of the greatest coaches of all time?
- There are rumors of a small COVID-19 outbreak on Ohio State, but nothing confirmed. Maybe by the time you read this the B1G Title game will have been canceled too!
- A nice, succinct roundup of recruiting happenings from around the conference.
- The Wolverines are going to need to hit up the transfer portal to fill out their roster for next season.
- Is Jim Harbaugh getting a new contract? He and Warde Manuel are apparently meeting about it now that the season is over...but after the early signing period where they lost a couple of players. I don’t get it!
- Illinois WR Josh Imatorbhebhe is entering the NFL Draft.
- Indiana head coach Tom Allen was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
- Michigan State has already been diving into the transfer market, securing commitments from former Temple QB Anthony Russo and former Auburn RB Harold Joiner III which would make the Spartans more talented on offense.