B1G Teleconference: Bracing for the Battle Royal in Chicago

By Patrick Maks on March 9, 2015 at 11:58 am

After suffering its worst loss of the season, Ohio State enters the Big Ten Tournament as the sixth seed. On Monday morning, coach Thad Matta met with the media on the league's weekly teleconference.

Following a 72-48 defeat to No. 6 Wisconsin on senior day, Matta was asked if he thought the Buckeyes were shellshocked heading into the postseason.

"We’re going to find out," Matta said. "I just said, 'Hey we had a bad day.' Give them credit, they had a lot to do with it."

Matta added: "Just looking at it, we had some opportunities early that just didn’t go down for us."

Ohio State earned a first-round bye and will play either Rutgers or Minnesota Thursday night. "We’re going into situation now where you lose and you go home," Matta said. "We’ll get them back up with a couple good practices and get them ready to go."

Matta reiterated he’d like to see the sport move toward a 30-second shot clock.

Matta said he couldn’t offer a reason for why sophomore Marc Loving has struggled since his three-game suspension. "I don't know, I've tried a lot of different things."

"I hope that he can get a couple shots here and get himself going because we definitely need Marc going at the level that he was."

Tom Crean (Indiana)

Once regarded as one of the Big Ten’s better teams, the Hoosiers lost eight of their final 12 games. Crean, who has drawn the ire of some of the Indiana fan base, defended point guard Yogi Ferrell, who has struggled down the stretch. “I wouldn't trade him for anybody.”

Fran McCaffery (Iowa)

After finishing the regular season on a six-game win streak, the Hawkeyes enter the Big Ten Tournament with considerable momentum and a first-round bye. Asked if there was anything he could change about the NCAA Tournament, McCaffery said he’d allow more teams in the postseason.

Jon Groce (Illinois)

Groce said Illinois and Michigan have “sustained the most roster change” this season because of injuries. The two teams will face off in the Big Ten Tournament next week. “I think teams change … I do think there’s something to be said about this time of year .. when you’re in March, you are who you are.”

Chris Collins (Northwestern)

After 10-straight losses in Big Ten play, the Wildcats won five of their final seven games and earned the 10th seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament. “I’m really proud of the way we found ways to win … I feel really good about how we played the last month of the season.” Collins said “it was a positive step in the direction we want the program to go … it’s a step forward from where we were last year.”

Mark Turgeon (Maryland)

The Terrapins won their final seven games and emerged as the second-best team in the Big Ten behind Wisconsin. Turgeon said, “it’s been a fun regular season.” Maryland made school history by winning 26 regular-season games. Turgeon largely deflected speculation that he might be named the conference’s Coach of the Year.

Matt Painter (Purdue)

After a strong second half to the regular season, Purdue enters the Big Ten Tournament with the fourth seed and double bye. There is a likely chance the Boilermakers might ultimately face Iowa, the fifth seed. “It’s going to be difficult.” He added: “It’s going to be a really tough matchup for us.”

Pat Chambers (Penn State)

After a six-game losing streak, Penn State notched its first conference road win of the season. “Now we get a clean slate!” Chambers said. “Head to Chicago and let’s see if we can make some noise.” Otherwise, the Nittany Lions won’t be heading to the NCAA Tournament.

Tom Izzo (Michigan State)

Without star forward Branden Dawson, the Spartans knocked down two critical wins over Indiana and Purdue last week. “We thought that was really important for us.” Michigan State enters the Big Ten Tournament as the third seed, but Dawson’s status remains uncertain.

Eddie Jordan (Rutgers)

After losing its last 14 games, the Scarlet Knights landed the last seed in the Big Ten Tournament. “Whatever happens, we just want to play well.” Rutgers finished the regular season 10-21 and 2-16 in conference play with a win over Wisconsin. “It’s a new season for us, we have new life.”

Bo Ryan (Wisconsin)

After obliterating Ohio State, 72-48, Sunday afternoon, the Badgers enter the Big Ten Tournament as the conference’s regular-season champions and the top seed.  Asked about the health of Traevon Jackson and whether he’d be ready to play in the tournament, Ryan said, “No idea, absolutely (nothing) right now.”

John Beilein (Michigan)

In a season marred by injuries, Michigan earned the conference tournament's ninth seed and will play Illinois. The Wolverines notched a 10-point win over Rutgers last weekend and Beilein said he hopes his club will carry such momentum into the postseason.

Tim Miles (Nebraska)

Miles said, if there's a correlation between the time coaches speak on the teleconference and the league standings, then he wants to speak earlier next year. He also added he was watching a pack of squirrels in his backyard. "This is like a brawl. I'm thinking about calling the animal cops."

View 15 Comments