Chat Archive: Big Ten Basketball Chat

We were joined by four basketball panelists today for a special hoops chat. Bucknuts reporter Kyle Lamb joined up with John Brumbaugh of IlliniNation, John Decker of HoosierNation and Sam Webb of to talk about the state of things in the Big Ten. We have a transcript below.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:14:31 PM)
OK folks, everyone fire their questions away!

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:15:20 PM)
We have John Decker of HoosierNation and Brumby of IlliniBoards with us, and Sam Webb of might be joining us soon

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 3:15:32 PM)
Hello...ready for the Mike Davis firestorm!

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:15:58 PM)
Feel free to ask any of these guys questions, they are good at what they do ;)

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:16:51 PM)
Mr. Decker, let's start with you as the popular question is... tell us what's happening with Mike Davis right now. There are several reports about a pending resignation within 48 hours, what's the latest?

buckem (Feb 14, 2006 3:17:16 PM)
John, whats the latest feeling from Hoosierland about Davis, is he out before the season ends, or after the season?

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 3:18:48 PM)
The 48-hour story surfaced in the St. Paul, Minn., paper, and I don't think there's anything to it. Davis was at practice today and is going to Penn State. That said, it's been an ugly couple of days, ,and he won't survive at season's end.

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 3:19:35 PM)
As for whether he's out before the season is over, the only way I see that happening is if he continues to say things like he did Monday on the BT Teleconference. If he continues to publicly chastise the fans, he may wind up forcing the AD to do something before the season is over.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:19:49 PM)
Brumby, I'll let you take this one...

bw1954 (Feb 14, 2006 3:19:51 PM)
Who do you guys like to win the conference and what will be their record ?

Brumby ( (Feb 14, 2006 3:22:38 PM)
Unfortunately, I don't have the schedules in front of me to know how plays who and where, but right now I like Michigan State to be the team that gets through the pack and wins the conference with a 12-4 record. If they end up getting knocked off, I see Michigan State, Iowa, and Ohio State all being tied at 11-5 for the Conference title, much like what happened in 2001 when it seemed like half the conference won the title

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:24:09 PM)
I will add too that I think 11-5 is proabably the record that wins it. If that's the case, I think those three teams would make the most sense as of today.

Guest (Feb 14, 2006 3:24:09 PM)
Mr. Decker, who do you want to replace Davis if you could pick of the available coaches?

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:25:19 PM)
John, the question is who would you want to see IU replace Davis with of the coaches that have been rumored

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 3:26:05 PM)
Michigan State and Iowa is a huge game tonight - if MSU wins, they might run the table and finish 12-4. Ohio STate's game at Wisconsin is equally critical.

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 3:27:40 PM)
I'm intrigued by Scott Skiles with the Bulls. He's from Plymouth, Ind., and he has a home in Bloomington. I've heard he has some interest in getting into the college game as well. If that's the case, he's a possibility. Otherwise, I think Alford is a longer shot than most people do...

MJ (Feb 14, 2006 3:29:18 PM)
What kind of impact will Greg Oden have next year in the Big 10?

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:30:16 PM)
MJ, I think Oden will make a very large impact. All across the Big Ten you see post players that will be gone next year (James Augustine, Marco Killingsworth, Paul Davis, etc)... I think the combination of Oden being a special player and having very few dominating post players around means he could make a big splash

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 3:30:37 PM)
Randy Wittman is a name that gets kicked around, but there really aren't many people with IU ties that are real possibilities. I don't think they'll go after Pearl b/c of his track record. If Thad Matta has an out in his contract for IU (does he?), I think they'd see if he would talk.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:31:06 PM)
Matta does not, but as a matter of fact, I will see that for myself later this afternoon as I've made an FOIA request to see his contract details

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:31:25 PM)
Brumby, what's your take on Illinois situation right now?

Brumby ( (Feb 14, 2006 3:34:19 PM)
I don't really think there is that much of a situation. Outside of the loss to Penn State in Champaign, none of the other losses are that shocking. When Illinois headed into the season there were questions that no one knew the answers to like who would be the third scoring option, and would Augustine be able to stay out of foul trouble. When a third scoring option shows up, Illinois normally wins. When Augustine stays out of foul trouble, Illinois wins. When both of these don't happen, Illinois loses. I think a lot of people were expecting last year to repeat, but when you lose five key players you can't expect a magical season like happened last year. ...

Brumby ( (Feb 14, 2006 3:35:16 PM)
They need to regroup, and they have the perfect opportunity with two home games, including a big game on Sunday against Indiana.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:35:27 PM)
(We welcome Sam Webb who has just joined us!) Thanks Sam!

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:35:53 PM)
No problem

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:35:55 PM)
sorry I'm late

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:36:07 PM)
Here's your first question Sam...

kleintime16 (Feb 14, 2006 3:36:11 PM)
Question for Sam Webb ... I know the michigan boards must be lving the recent success of the team up north but honestly how long do you think it will last. I am not trying to be a jerk buckeye fan eventhough I am coming off as one, but it seems Thad Matta is recruiting his behind off for years in advance and while the michigan program is doing well this year how long is it expected to last?

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:37:35 PM)
I think that Amaker's first two classes in AA were pretty good despite the sanctions

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:37:54 PM)
he had to replenish the roster after booting 6 of Ellerbe's players of the team over the course of his first year

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:38:07 PM)
classes 3 and 4 were the setbacks

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:38:09 PM)
those were the ones that hurt

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:38:21 PM)
the Al Horford and Joe Crawford de-commits

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:38:45 PM)
Horford hurt really badly because he is a beast now

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:39:25 PM)
but he has picked things up recently landing the top players in the state of 06 and 07 (Deshawn Sims and Alex Legion)

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:39:53 PM)
and they're in great shape to get (Patrick) Beverley

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:40:10 PM)
I'm more worried about whether they can get healthy for this season than I am recruiting

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:40:24 PM)
Here's a question for the entire panel...

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:40:34 PM)
John, Brumby, Sam

buckmark (Feb 14, 2006 3:40:40 PM)
Does everybody still see 7 teams from the Big Ten geting in the dance?

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:41:06 PM)
My answer is that as long as some unforseen collapse by Indiana doesn't take place, and Michigan is able to get healthy, the conference should place 7 teams easily

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:41:48 PM)
Still very possible

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 3:41:52 PM)
I think Indiana is in trouble. IU has to win at least four more games (including the BT tourney), and they play four of their last six on the road.

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 3:42:11 PM)
IU has been terrible on the road as well, losing by 14, 13, 19 and 18.

Brumby ( (Feb 14, 2006 3:42:57 PM)
Right now I see 4 locks: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, and Ohio State. Assuming Michigan can get healthy, they are in. Indiana and Wisconsin are sitting on the bubble, and I think Indiana is the most likely of the seven to not make it to the Tournament.

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:43:12 PM)
Michigan is the team to worry about

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:43:14 PM)
can they get healthy?

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:43:22 PM)
Abram won't be back until MAYBE OSU

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:43:46 PM)
Harris...they're trying to work a miracle and get him ready for tomorrow...but I don't think he'll be back for another week

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:43:53 PM)
Who knows with Jerret Smith

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:44:11 PM)
he could be back this week, or miss the rest of the season.

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:44:19 PM)
You never know with mono

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:44:21 PM)
then there are Petway's bruised ribs

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:44:47 PM)
(Mr. Webb has apparently needed to consult doctors now as part of his job covering UofM basketball)

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 3:44:53 PM)
The Indiana at Michigan game will be big - Indiana has played well at Michigan lately, and a second win over Michigan would make it difficult for the committee to take Michigan and pass on Indiana.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:45:16 PM)
Brumby, I'll let you handle this one...

buckmark (Feb 14, 2006 3:45:19 PM)
Big East vs. Big Ten.... who really does have the stronger conference this year?

Brumby ( (Feb 14, 2006 3:48:37 PM)
I haven't watched enough Big East basketball to say for sure top to bottom. I do know there is no team in the Big Ten this year that is anywhere close to either Villanova or UConn. After those two teams, probably the Big Ten is more balanced. I figure both conferences will have close to the same amount of teams in the Sweet 16, but I figure the Big East ends up with UConn and NOVA in the Final Four, and I don't know who from the Big Ten can sneak in there right now

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:48:50 PM)
Anyone on the panel can chime in on this one if they would like...

bw1954 (Feb 14, 2006 3:48:57 PM)
Guys , right now I say Foster and Butler are the best guard tandem in the conference , especially defensively !!!! Whats your thoughts ?

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:49:54 PM)
Defensively, I would say that's probably the case, although Dee Brown and Rich McBride are pretty good most of the time too. But offensively, when Maurice Ager and Shannon Brown are on, they are the best tandem in the conference in my opinion. Foster and Butler have probably been playing better the last few weeks, but my vote as a whole would go to Ager and Brown

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 3:50:15 PM)
I still love MSU's Brown and Ager plus Neitzel. I think the athleticism of Brown and Ager might be unmatched in college basketball.

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 3:52:37 PM)
Gotta go with the MSU guys myself

Brumby ( (Feb 14, 2006 3:52:56 PM)
Defensively, I think people are overlooking Iowa's backcourt. Illinois' is very good defensively, the three point barrage that Ohio State put on on Sunday afternoon withstanding. As far as saying whose is the best overall, probably Michigan State's.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 3:53:31 PM)
Brumby, what is your take on the recruiting for Illinois of the CPL. It's my opinion that those coaches aren't giving Bruce Weber a fair shake... but is it a perception issue or what?

Brumby ( (Feb 14, 2006 3:58:54 PM)
Jeez, I thought I was going to get away without answering this one. Recruiting in the CPL is something that Illinois will have to do no matter who is the coach, and Weber is seeing the same things that have been seen since Lou Henson left, and even Lou saw. There are some coaches who won't like you, and others that will. The recent craze about the CPL is over Sherron Collins and Patrick Beverley. Collins chose Kansas, can't blame a guy for going to Kansas. Beverley' was asked to supply his transcript to Illinois, and he didn't. As far as in general, Weber has already landed one player from the CPL in former CPL Player of the Year Calvin Brock, and he is still recruiting the CPL with Derrick Rose. Illinois and Simeon have a history going back to Lou Henson's days. I think the whole recruiting in the CPL is an overblown issue, and Weber has proven he will go where the talent is (Indianapolis, Peoria, Ohio, etc.) and if the players don't want to come to Illinois, he will find ones that do. Why isn't a si

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:00:24 PM)
Question for John....

BSUCUBSFAN (Feb 14, 2006 4:00:29 PM)
Do you think Mike Davis is sayin all the negative comments about the fans to persuade Vaden and White to follow him. IU \fans at home have been nothing but loud. You are always gonna have critics.

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 4:02:27 PM)
I don't think he's trying to motivate players to leave with him. I think he's fed up with not being accepted by a segment of the fan base, and he's decided he's going to speak out about it. At this point, he sees no reason not to. He's always been someone who has spoken his mind, so I suppose this was to be expected. I don't necessarily think this will be the last of it, either. Time will tell in that regard.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:02:34 PM)
Sam, you're on the clock...

NatiBuckeye (Feb 14, 2006 4:02:49 PM)
Sam, How short of a leash do you think that Amaker has currently.? Personally, I believe that he hasn't been given any favors, with the slew of injuries he has had. But, I would have to believe that the natives are growing more than restless. In your honest opinion, do you think that the lack of an NCAA berth this year would spell curtains for him?

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 4:04:17 PM)
Tommy's contract goes until something like 2011

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 4:04:17 PM)
he got additional years for each year of probation

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 4:04:17 PM)
Michigan would have to spend some money to get rid of him

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 4:04:24 PM)
and I don't think that's something they want ot do at this point

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 4:04:44 PM)
I'm not saying they'd be interested in letting him go if money wasn't an issue

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 4:04:51 PM)
I'm just saying that factor makes it even less likely

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:05:08 PM)
Another question for the panel...

Schaumbuck (Feb 14, 2006 4:05:12 PM)
Who's the most improved player in the conference?

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:05:34 PM)
Chalk my vote up to Kammron Taylor of Wisconsin. Runner-up is Je'Kel Foster.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:06:14 PM)
(Couldn't resist posting Sam's additional comments to the previous question...)

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 4:06:19 PM)
besides, he has done a good job rebuilding a program that was in the absolute toilet

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 4:06:20 PM)
toilet doesn't even begin to describe the state of the program when he got it

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 4:06:22 PM)
How about sewer...or septic tank

BlueSam (Feb 14, 2006 4:06:30 PM)
I agree Taylor

Brumby ( (Feb 14, 2006 4:07:00 PM)
It has to go to either Je'Kel Foster of Ohio State or Brian Butch of Wisconsin. Kammron Taylor comes in third on my ballot.

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 4:07:06 PM)
How about McBride?

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:07:34 PM)
RIchard McBride is honorable mention for me. Inconsistency is the only thing keeping him from being right there with those others

Schaumbuck (Feb 14, 2006 4:07:47 PM)
No Jamar Butler?

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:08:11 PM)
The way Butler is playing the last 2 weeks, he would also be mentioned, but he is more of a recent surge.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:09:03 PM)
OK Panel... let's go with your first team All-Big Ten selections, POY and Coach of the Year as of today. Name 5 players for your first team.

Brumby ( (Feb 14, 2006 4:09:13 PM)
I think Rich is underrated for what he does for Illinois, but in terms of improvement, I think it is more a case of more minutes played than anything else.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:11:53 PM)
As of today, I would go with Daniel Horton, Dee Brown, Maurice Ager, Greg Brunner and Marco Killingsworth, but boy there are so many guys I don't want to leave out... Je'Kel Foster, Paul Davis, Shannon Brown, Brian Butch, James Augustine, Jeff Horner... the list goes on. Player of the Year for me is Killingsworth. Coach of the Year as of today is Bruce Weber for me

Brumby ( (Feb 14, 2006 4:12:23 PM)
First Team: Vedran Vukusic, Paul Davis, Je'Kel Foster, Shannon Brown, Dee Brown.

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 4:12:31 PM)
Alando Tucker, Maurice Ager, Dee Brown, Greg Brunner, Shannon Brown.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:14:30 PM)
Thanks for joining Brumby!

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 4:14:39 PM)
I'll go coach of the year is Matta.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:15:50 PM)
OK everyone... well Sam also has to get running

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:16:07 PM)
So I suppose now is a good time to wrap the chat up. I'll take one last question for John or myself (or both)

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:18:12 PM)
John, I'll put you on the spot... when it's all said and done, is Steve Alford the head coach of IU next season?

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 4:21:01 PM)
I don't think so. I'm not ruling it out, but he has a losing overall record in the Big Ten games at Iowa, and Davis has a winning record in Big Ten games at Indiana. Alford has been on the hot seat as recently as last year at Iowa. In my opinion, they will get candidates with more impressive resumes. Now, if IU is absolutely determined to get an IU guy, then maybe that's the way they'll go. But I doubt it, personally.

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:21:28 PM)
Thanks to John Decker, Brumby and Sam Webb for joining us. Also thanks to Jon Miller of Hawkeye Nation who was unable to attende due to work issues. Check out the latest news on Indiana at, Illinois news over at and Michigan news at Thanks again gentlemen for joining us, and I will be back on Tuesday with a basketball chat for Ohio State fans and every Tuesday through the remainder of the season!

John Decker (Hoosier Nation) (Feb 14, 2006 4:22:17 PM)
Glad to be here!

Kyle S. Lamb (Feb 14, 2006 4:22:33 PM)
It's been fun. I'll be back Tuesday with the next chat. Take care everyone.

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