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PURDUE MENS BASKETBALL:
The Big Ten...A Look Behind and Beyond




Date: 9/24/97
Author: Rufus Talladega
Rufus Talladega

    The Big Ten vs. "Them Others"...
    The Big Ten vs. Itself ...
    a Look Behind and Beyond.
    
    The word is out that the Big Ten conference just isn't what it used to be 
    when it comes to basketball. It must be true because you hear it from all 
    over the place, right?
    
    Oh, I don't know ... if I believed things just due to popular opinion 
    then I'd be wasting my time searching for Elvis in the nearest Wal-mart. 
    And I'm not, by the way. 
    
    Personally, I don't think the Big Ten has been as strong in basketball 
    over the last few seasons as they were in 1994 (With Michigan's Fab Five, 
    Purdue's Glenn Robinson and etc.). I believe the Big Ten was stronger 
    last season than they were in the 1995-96 season. And I expect the Big 
    Ten to be stronger this season than they were last. That really doesn't 
    mean much by itself though- until you know how the Big Ten compares (or 
    compared) with the other conferences in basketball.
    
    And that's really difficult to determine without the use of spirit 
    mediums.
    
    Oh, I could use a lot of 'maybe's and 'if's and shoot from the hip if I 
    wanted to, but I don't know how useful or entertaining that would be. In 
    my opinion, the most useful information for comparing conferences to one 
    another is looking at their head-to-head match-ups. And it just so 
    happens that I have that information from last season (as far as pre-
    conference season goes). So let's compare the Big Ten's performance 
    against other conferences and see how they did. And if I have any 
    additional information on post-season match-ups between the two 
    conferences, I'll add that - though I know I won't catch everything.
    
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    A Look Behind ...
    
    I think you'll agree, regardless of your conference allegiance, that the 
    Big Ten held its own against most of the conferences last season, and 
    remains a respectable conference for basketball. If you don't, then maybe 
    you should take a gander at the following ... 
    
    Big Ten vs. Atlantic 10	Pre-conference Result: Big Ten, 5-0 
    
    Pre-conference 96-97:
    
    LaSalle			beat by Iowa
    Rhode Island		beat by Minnesota
    St. Bonaventure		beat by Wisconsin
    Temple			beat by Wisconsin
    Virginia Tech		beat by Illinois
    
    Post-play: I know that Purdue beat Rhode Island in a close game in the 
    1st round of the Big Dance. I believe that Michigan beat Miami (Fla.) in 
    the NIT. I'm not aware of any other match-ups, off hand. A 7-0 match-up 
    between the Big Ten and Atlantic 10 last year probably doesn't surprise 
    too many people.
    
    Big Ten vs. Big East		Pre-conference Result: Big Ten, 6-3
    
    Pre-conference 96-97:
    
    Notre Dame		beat by Indiana
    Pittsburgh		defeated Northwestern
    			defeated Michigan
    Providence		defeated Wisconsin
    Seton Hall		beat by Ohio State
    St. John's		beat by Michigan and Minnesota
    UConn			beat by Indiana
    West Virginia		beat by Minnesota
    
    Post-play: Michigan beat Notre Dame in the NIT. There are no other 
    match-ups that I'm aware of. Certainly not enough to overcome a four
    game deficit at 7-3. Again, this skewed record probably doesn't surprise
    many people. Last season wasn't the Big East at its finest.
    
    Big Ten vs. Big 12		Pre-conference Result: Big Ten, 4-2
    
    Pre-conference 96-97:
    
    Iowa State		defeated Iowa
    Kansas State		beat by Michigan State
    Missouri		beat by Iowa and Illinois
    Nebraska		beat by Minnesota
    Oklahoma		defeated Purdue
    
    Post-play: Kansas beat Purdue in the 2nd round of the Big Dance, bumping
    it to 4-3. I believe Colorado is in the Big 12, and they beat Indiana in
    the first round of the Big Dance- making it 4-4. I believe Michigan 
    defeated Oklahoma in the NIT, making it 5-4. I'm not aware of any other 
    match-ups. The Big Ten didn't dominate in this match-up by any means, but
    I feel they held their own.
    
    Big Ten vs. Conf. USA		Pre-conference Result: Conf. USA, 5-4
    
    Pre-conference 96-97:
    
    DePaul			beat by Northwestern and Indiana
    Louisville		defeated Illinois and Purdue
    Marquette		defeated Wisconsin
    Memphis			beat by Wisconsin, defeated Michigan
    South Florida		defeated Ohio State
    
    Post-play: I'm not aware of any post-play match-ups. Some commentators
    seemed to believe that the Conference USA was weak last season, but 
    you don't see that from the Big Ten perspective. At least I don't.
    
    Big Ten vs. ACC			Pre-conference Result: Big Ten, 3-1
    
    Pre-conference 96-97:
    
    Clemson			beat by Minnesota
    Duke			beat by Indiana and Michigan
    North Carolina St.	defeated Penn St.
    
    Post-play: Minnesota beat Clemson again in the Big Dance, which surprised
    some people. And I believe Virginia and Iowa played each other for the 
    honor of taking on Kentucky and that Iowa won that honor. That would make
    it 4-1 or 5-1, overall. Michigan beat Florida State in the NIT finals, 
    making it 5-1 or 6-1, overall. Both conferences had one representative 
    make it to the Final Four (Minnesota and North Carolina) and NIT Finals 
    (Michigan and Florida State) and both conferences had comparable records 
    in the Big Dance last season, despite the fact that the Big Ten had worse
    seeds (overall). This may surprise quite a few people, for many consider 
    the ACC as the top conference last season. The Big Ten can't be doing too 
    badly if it can hold its own against the ACC ...
    
    Big Ten vs. PAC-10		Pre-conference Result: PAC-10, 5-3
    
    Pre-conference 96-97:
    
    Arizona			beat by Michigan
    California		defeated Iowa, Illinois, and Penn St.
    Southern California	defeated Ohio State
    UCLA			beat by Illinois
    Washington State	beat by Michigan
    			defeated Northwestern
    
    Post-play: Not aware of any. California ready did a job on the Big Ten, 
    with a 3-0 record. The Big Ten retaliated by beating Arizona and UCLA.
    
    Big Ten vs. SEC			Pre-conference Result: SEC, 5-2
    
    Alabama			defeated Minnesota
    Kentucky		defeated Purdue, Indiana, and Ohio State
    LSU			defeated Iowa, beat by Michigan
    Tennessee		beat by Penn State
    
    Post-play: Kentucky beat both Iowa and Minnesota before losing to Arizona
    in the Big Dance last season. Michigan beat Arkansas in NIT play. I'm not
    aware of any other match-ups- making it a slaughtering of 7-3. Kentucky
    went 5-0 against the Big Ten last season, decimating the Big Ten's 
    chances to even get close to .500 against the SEC conference in head-to-
    head match-ups.
    
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    
    But I think you'll agree that the Big Ten weren't slouches last season at
    all. Their head-to-head records show they're competitive (and even 
    dangerous) to other major basketball conferences.
    
    So who cares, you say? What about this season? Is the Big Ten stronger or
    weaker than last season?
    
    Well, let's take a look at the talent the Big Ten lost from last season. 
    While we're at it, let's take a look at what the Big Ten has gained.
    
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    A Look Beyond ...
    
    From team to team, here's the information I've collected. If you have 
    some additional information you wish to share, drop me a line.
    
    Illinois
    
    Lost			Graduate/Ineligible/Transfer	In NBA?
    
    Kiwane Garris 	(PG)	Graduate			No
    Chris Gandy	(PF/C)	Graduate			No
    Herb Caldwell	(PF)	Graduate			No
    Bryant Notree 	(WF)	Transfer			N/A
    
    Found			Recruit/JUCO/Transfer		Can play?
    
    Corey Bradford	(PG)	Recruit				No
    Arias Davis	(SG)	JUCO				Yes
    Jerry Hester	(WG)	Injured last year.		Yes
    Sergio McClain 	(WG)	Recruit				Yes
    Awvee Storey	(SF)	Recruit				Yes
    Rich Beyers	(WF)	Recruit				Yes
    Carvell Ammons	(PF)	Transfer			No
    
    Note:
    
    Illinois' Recruiting class was rated 4th in the nation by Hoop Scoop, but
    that included recruits Marcus Griffin and possibly Leighton Nash- but 
    both did not qualify academically to attend Illinois. However, I do not 
    believe Awvee Storey was included in Hoop Scoop's assessment, as he was a
    late addition to the class.
    
    Head of the Class:
    
    Most scouts liked Sergio McClain's abilities and would probably consider 
    him the best addition in the Illini class. However, JUCO Arias Davis was 
    an Honorable Mention JUCO All-American and is a three point specialist. 
    One Illini fan who saw the recruits play together thought that point 
    guard Corey Bradford outshined them all. However, Bradford is only a 
    partial qualifier and isn't allowed to play this season.
    
    Indiana
    
    Lost			Graduate/Ineligible/Transfer	In NBA?
    
    Neil Reed	  (PG)	Transfer			N/A
    Haris Mujezinovic (C)	Graduate			No
    
    Found			Recruit/JUCO/Transfer	Can play?
    
    Antwaan Randle El (PG)	Recruit (Walk-on)		No
    Rob Turner	  (SG)	JUCO				Yes
    Luke Recker	  (WG)	Recruit				Yes
    Tom Geyer	  (PF)	Recruit (Walk-on)		Yes
    William Gladness  (PF)	JUCO				Yes
    Kirk Haston	  (C)	Recruit				Yes
    
    Note:
    
    Rated the 6th best recruiting class in the nation by Hoop Scoop.
    
    Head of the Class:
    
    Luke Recker is probably the most talented basketball player recruited 
    into the Big Ten this season. Rob Turner may be able to provide valuable
    minutes this season as an offensive threat. Haston also may be able to 
    spell Collier from time to time.
    
    Iowa
    
    Lost			Graduate/Ineligible/Transfer	In NBA? 
    
    Andre Woolridge	(PG)	Graduate			No
    Jeff Walker	(SG)	Transfer			N/A
    
    Found			Recruit/JUCO/Transfer	Can play?
    
    Dean Oliver	   (PG)	Recruit				Yes
    Ricky Davis	   (WG)	Recruit				Yes
    John Carl Williams (F)	Recruit (walk-on)		Yes
    Kyle Galloway	   (F)	Recruit (walk-on)		Yes
    Jess Settles	   (WF)	Injured last year.		Yes
    Marcelo Gomes	   (PF)	Red-shirted last year.		Yes
    
    Note:
    
    Just based on Oliver and Davis alone, Hoop Scoop rated Iowa as the 45th 
    best recruiting class in the country. The "loss" of Jeff Walker is only
    one on paper as well, since Walker never played one game in an Iowa 
    jersey.
    
    Head of the Class:
    
    Both Oliver and Davis are considered Top 50 recruits. And all the Iowa 
    fans already know what Jess Settles can do when he's healthy.
    
    Michigan
    
    Lost			Graduate/Ineligible/Transfer	In NBA?
    
    Brandun Hughes	(G)	Dismissed from program.		N/A
    Maurice Taylor	(SF)	Left program.			Yes
    
    Found			Recruit/JUCO/Transfer		Can play?
    
    Robbie Reid	(PG)	Transfer			Yes
    Brandon Smith	(SF)	Recruit				Yes
    Josh Asselin	(C)	Recruit				Yes
    
    Note:
    
    Hoop Scoop rated Michigan's class as 75th in the nation. I don't believe
    that included Robbie Reid.
    
    Head of the Class:
    
    Brandon Smith is considered a Top 100 recruit.
    
    Michigan State
    
    Lost			Graduate/Ineligible/Transfer	In NBA?
    
    Mike Respert	 (PG)	Graduate			No
    Ray Weathers	 (G)	Graduate			No
    Anthony Mull	 (G)	Graduate			No
    Steve Polonowski (PF)	Graduate			No
    Jon Garavaglia	 (PF/C)	Graduate			No
    
    Found			Recruit/JUCO/Transfer		Can play?
    
    Lorenzo Guess	(G)	Recruit	 (Walk-on)		Yes
    Doug Davis	(G)	Recruit				Yes
    Charlie Bell	(SG)	Recruit				Yes
    Andre Hutson	(PF/C)	Recruit				Yes
    
    Note:
    
    Hoop Scoop rated the Michigan State class as 30th in the nation.
    
    Head of the Class:
    
    All of the recruits are considered Top 100 recruits by one source or 
    another (including walk-on Guess- the only reason he isn't on scholarship
    is because he already has a football scholarship at MSU). However, 
    Charlie Bell seems to be rated higher by most sources.
    
    Minnesota
    
    Lost			Graduate/Ineligible/Transfer	In NBA?
    
    Bobby Jackson	(G)	Graduate			Yes
    Mark Jones	(SG)	Graduate			No
    Charles Thomas	(SG)	Transfer			N/A
    Aaron Stauber	(F)	Transfer			N/A
    Courtney James	(PF)	Suspended for investigation.	N/A
    Kevin Loge	(PF/C)	Transfer			N/A
    John Thomas	(PF/C)	Graduate			Yes
    Trevor Winter	(PF/C)	Graduate			No
    
    Found			Recruit/JUCO/Transfer		Can play?
    
    Kevin Clark	(G)	JUCO				Yes
    Kevin Nathaniel	(WG)	Recruit				Yes
    Dusty Rychart	(SF)	Recruit (Walk-on)		Yes
    Kyle Sanden	(PF/C)	Red-shirt			Yes
    Antoine Broxsie	(PF/C)	Recruit				Yes
    
    Note:
    
    Power Forward Courtney James is a "loss" at least for fall semester due to
    an internal Minnesota investigation on him. Also note that Kevin Loge is 
    only a "loss" on paper because he was red-shirted last year- his only year
    at Minnesota. Hoop Scoop rated the Minnesota class as 47th in the nation.
    I don't believe that included late-signer Antoine Broxsie.
    
    Head of the Class:
    
    Kevin Clark. He was rated the 11th best JUCO in the country by Prep Stars.
    
    Northwestern
    
    Lost			Graduate/Ineligible/Transfer	In NBA?
    
    Geno Carlisle	(SG)	Transfer			N/A
    Jevon Johnson	(WG)	Graduate			No
    Carvell Ammons	(PF)	Transfer			N/A
    Head Coach Byrdsong
    
    Found			Recruit/JUCO/Transfer		Can play?
    
    Jonah Batambuze	(G)	Recruit				Yes
    Sean Wink	(G)	Recruit				Yes
    Terrence Avery	(C)	Recruit				Yes
    Head Coach Kevin O'Neill
    
    Note:
    
    Not rated by Hoop Scoop. They stopped at 126th, I believe.
    
    Head of the Class:
    
    Unknown. Relatively little is known by me about the NW recruits.
    
    Ohio State
    
    Lost			Graduate/Ineligible/Transfer	In NBA?
    
    Don Jantonio	(SG)	Graduate			No
    Trent Jackson	(SG)	Dismissed from program.		N/A
    Shaun Stonerook	(PF)	Academically ineligible.	N/A
    Jermaine Tate	(PF)	Not medically cleared.		N/A
    Ed Jenkins	(C)	JUCO acad. ineligible		N/A
    Head Coach Randy Ayers
    
    Found			Recruit/JUCO/Transfer		Can play?
    
    Scoonie Penn    (PG)	Transfer			No
    Michael Redd	(SG)	Recruit				Yes
    Jon Sanderson	(F)	Recruit				Yes
    Shamar Herron	(C)	Recruit				Yes
    Ken Johnson	(C)	Prop 48 Recruit			Yes
    Head Coach Jim O'Brien
    
    Note:
    
    Ed Jenkins is only a "loss" on paper for OSU. He never played one game in
    an OSU jersey for them. Tate may be medically able to play in the future.
    But from comments made by Tate's family and OSU staff, it doesn't look 
    like he'll ever play again for OSU. Stonerook is still on campus, as far
    as I know, and so may become academically eligible for the spring. Recruit
    Jon Sanderson and OSU captain Damon Stringer, like the dismissed Trent 
    Jackson, also had some entanglements with the law. However, both Sanderson
    and Stringer are expected to remain on the team (so long as no further 
    incidents occur). Head Coach O'Brien has mentioned that Damon Stringer 
    will not be team captain this season. The recruiting class was rated 100th
    in the nation by Hoop Scoop and it did not include Penn (or Johnson, I 
    believe).
    
    Head of the Class:
    
    Michael Redd. Considered by most to be a Top 100 recruit. However, I don't
    know much about Ken Johnson's HS career. Penn has impressive credentials
    but, of course, he isn't allowed to play this season.
    
    Penn State
    
    Lost			Graduate/Ineligible/Transfer	In NBA?
    
    Dana Fritz	(PG)	Graduate			No
    Bryan Machamer	(F)	Graduate			No
    Aaron Jack	(F)	Transfer			N/A
    Phil Williams	(PF)	Graduate			No
    Rashaan Carlton	(PF)	Graduate			No
    Jeremy Metzger	(PF/C)	Graduate			No
    
    Found			Recruit/JUCO/Transfer		Can play?
    
    Joe Crispin	  (PG)	Recruit				Yes
    Greg Grays	  (SG)	Recruit				Yes
    Gyasi Cline-Heard (PF)	Recruit				Yes
    Scott Witkowski	  (C)	Recruit				Yes
    
    Note:
    
    Hoop Scoop rated the class 91st in the nation. I don't know whether it 
    included Cline-Heard and Crispin or not.
    
    Head of the Class:
    
    I don't have much information on Cline-Heard and Crispin. Both Witkowski 
    and Grays are considered projects by some recruiting sources.
    
    Purdue
    
    Lost			Graduate/Ineligible/Transfer	In NBA?
    
    David Lesmond	(WF)	Left college for Europe Ball.	No
    Luther Clay	(PF)	Transfer			N/A
    Paul Gilvydis	(PF/C)	Graduate			No
    Matt ten Dam	(C)	Graduate			No
    
    Found			Recruit/JUCO/Transfer		Can play?
    
    Mosi Barnes	  (PG)	Injured last season.		Yes
    Tony Mayfield	  (PG)	JUCO				Yes
    Carson Cunningham (G)	Transfer			No
    B.J. Carretta	  (G)	Red-shirt (Walk-on)		Yes
    Cameron Stephens  (WF)	Recruit				Unknown
    
    Note:
    
    Hoop Scoop rated Purdue's class as 43rd in the nation. However, that 
    rating didn't include any of the four listed above and DID include Jamaal
    Davis and Cameron Stephens, two recruits who were both found academically
    ineligible to play basketball and are currently enrolled at Purdue as 
    Prop 48 recruits. At the time this article was submitted, it looked like
    Cameron Stephens might at least be a partial qualifier (able to practice,
    not to play) and that an outside chance existed that Stephens could become
    a full qualifier. No official information about this situation has been 
    released by Purdue yet.
    
    Head of the Class:
    
    Cameron Stephens, if he's eligible to play this season. He's a Top 50 
    recruit according to most polls. If not Stephens, the honor goes to Tony
    Mayfield. Mayfield is a point guard who averaged 8.1 assists a game for 
    his JUCO team which Dick Vitale rated as #1 in the country last year (in
    pre-season).
    
    Wisconsin
    
    Lost			Graduate/Ineligible/Transfer	In NBA?
    
    Mosezell Peterson (SF)	Transfer			N/A
    Paul Grant	  (C)	Graduate			Yes
    
    Found			Recruit/JUCO/Transfer		Can play?
    
    Mike Kelley	(PG)	Recruit				Yes
    Maurice Linton	(WF)	Recruit				Yes
    Charlie Wills	(WF)	Recruit				Yes
    Andy Kowske	(PF)	Recruit				Yes
    Mark Vershaw	(PF/C)	Recruit				Yes
    
    Note:
    
    Wisconsin's class was rated 56th in the nation by Hoop Scoop.
    
    Head of the Class:
    
    Mark Vershaw. Considered a Top 50 recruit (if borderline Top 50) by most =
    sources.
    
    Looking at the conference as a whole, I believe the Big Ten has increased
    its talent levels from last season.
    
    Well, I hope I've quelled any fears about the Big Ten fading into the 
    background and that I've introduced you to most of the new faces that will
    be popping up in the Big Ten this year.
    
    Until Next Time,
    
    Rufus Talladega
    

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