CHICAGO- You know that basketball season is right around the corner as the calendar has turned to October, the air is getting colder, we’re several weeks into the football season, and baseball season is wrapping up. The NBA season is just about to get started while college basketball teams around the country have just started practicing. The beginning of the college basketball season is quite evident in Chicago as this week the Big Ten Conference will have it’s annual tipoff event, Big Ten Basketball Media Day. While the conference’s 14 teams have already begun preseason practices, preparations for the 2018-2019 season will get into full swing after media day concludes this coming Thursday in Rosemont, Illinois.
Media day is where the coaches -and select players- of all 14 teams converge on one part of the country. Tons of sports media personnel attend as coaches and players meet with credentialed press covering the event to preview the season, discuss offseason events, talk about the major stories within college basketball, go deep into recruiting, and get the latest news from each team. Every head coach has a press conference followed by individual media sessions. The select players that are on hand are made available as well. This event is similar to football media days except that this event concludes in one day where as football takes two days to complete.
For this year, basketball media day returns to the Chicago area. The 2016 edition was held in Washington, D.C., and last year’s event was held in New York City. Big Ten Basketball Media Day was last held in Chicago back in 2015. For me personally, this will be my third time covering this event. My first media day was back in 2014.
This will be a star studded event as each Big Ten institution will send some of it’s top stars to meet the press. Here are the players who will be in attendance…..
Illinois will send sophomore guard Trent Frazier and senior guard Aaron Jordan; Indiana will send a pair of seniors in guard Zach McRoberts and forward Juwan Morgan, while Iowa will have a strong presence with senior forward Nicholas Baer, junior guard Jordan Bohannon, junior forward Tyler Cook, and junior guard Isaiah Moss. Maryland will be represented by junior guard Anthony Cowan and sophomore forward Bruno Fernando, Michigan sends their guard tandem of senior Charles Matthews and junior Zavier Simpson, and Michigan State will have a large contingent with junior’s Joshua Langford (guard), Nick Ward (forward), and Cassius Winston (guard), along with senior Matt McQuaid (guard).
Minnesota will be headlined senior forward Jordan Murphy and senior guard Dupree McBrayer. Representing Nebraska will be senior forward Issac Copeland Jr., senior guard James Palmer Jr., senior guard Glynn Watson Jr., and junior forward Isaiah Roby. Part of Northwestern’s senior class makes the short trip from Evanston with forward Vic Law and center Dererk Pardon, while a couple of Ohio State upperclassmen in senior guard C.J. Jackson and junior forward Andre Wesson will be on hand as well. Then Penn State will be represented by senior guard Josh Reaves and junior forward Lamar Stevens.
The rest of the group is rounded out by the following; Purdue guards Ryan Cline (senior) and Carsen Edwards (junior), along with forward Grady Eifert (senior). Rutgers sophomore guard Geo Baker along with fifth-year senior center Shaquille Doorson, and junior forward Eugene Omoruyi. Finally, Wisconsin sends along sophomore guard Brad Davison and senior forward Ethan Happ. Last year was an excellent year for the Big Ten as five teams went to the postseason; three played in the NCAA Tournament, two played in the NIT, and it was capped off with Michigan reaching last seasons national title game. This year the conference could send more teams to March as it has plenty of postseason contenders and it should be another exciting year.