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Wednesday Powerlinks: Northwestern Media Day

Northwestern held their media day, James Blackmon pushed back his decision date and Wisconsin announces changes to Kohl Center on today's edition of Powerlinks.


Well in more interesting news, rumors started circulating over the possibility of Wisconsin replacing their banners in Kohl Center with virtual counterparts. Wisconsin has came out denying said rumors, but still removed the original banners. This of course led to what is being called 'Bannergate '13.'

On a more serious note, Northwestern held their media day as new coach Chris Collins looks to be the guy to finally lead the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament. Also, James Blackmon has pushed back his decision date from October 22nd until a later date not yet determined.

Northwestern is the latest Big Ten school to hold their media day

Northwestern is the latest school from the Big Ten to hold their basketball media day. The Wildcats carry the unfortunate burden of being the only Big Ten school to never make the NCAA Tournament. After numerous near misses and seasons that finished south of expectations under Bill Carmody, the school finally moved in another direction and hired long time Duke assistant Chris Collins. Collins will look to rebuild Northwestern and shape the team into a NCAA contender,

While most people don't expect the Wildcats to get to the NCAA tourney this season, Collins will benefit from the return of Drew Crawford, who missed most of last season due to an injury to his shoulder. The Wildcats will be in for a tough test this season, but things already look promising for 2014 as Collins has already built a strong 2014 recruiting class currently highlighted by four star small forward Victor Law.

Collins talked to the media commenting on a variety of issues, including the build-up of his teams roster:

Well, I want to have everyone be able to help us out on the court...We have 10 scholarship players that are currently with us and I feel like all 10 of them can help us. It's my job, as a coach, to figure out who's going to be the best group to start a game, how do we want to put our rotations together...I told the guys from day one that no one had anything set in stone, in terms starting, coming off the bench or whatever role they were going to play. They would all earn their positions on this team.

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James Blackmon Jr. pushes back decision date

When Blackmon announced his plans to announce his decision on the 22nd, it was noted that it could change down the line. Well it looks like the highly touted recruit plans on making his decision later on now:

Blackmon originally committed to the Hoosiers before reopening his recruitment. While he shied away from his original commitment to the program, Blackmon is still a major target for Indiana. After reopening his commitment Blackmon has seen quite a bit of interest from Kentucky and Michigan and has created one of the more interesting recruiting stories.

SB Nation starts their Top 100 college players of 2013-14 series

College basketball's top 100 players for 2013-14: No. 100-81
College basketball's top 100 players for 2013-14: No. 80-61

So far SB Nation has posted the first two parts of their top 100 list, rating players #61-100 on their list. As of now six Big Ten players have appeared on the list:

Wisconsin to remove banners from Kohl Center

Well it appears Wisconsin plans to remove their championship banners from Kohl Center. Originally there were rumors circulating online that they would be replaced with virtual banners, though that isn't happening according to the Badgers. Instead of the virtual banners Wisconsin will instead utilize the second level concrete ring to dedicate space to honor their previous teams:

We have been working for months to try and find a way to recognize the NCAA titles, conference regular-season and tournament titles, Final/Frozen Fours, etc. each with their own banner in the Kohl Center. It's well over 50 banners. We've looked at situating them at all angles and there are just too many. We could certainly stay with what we've had, but we want to give more substantial recognition to each championship rather than have one banner listing multiple years on it. In other words, we want each year to be more visible. We also want to have the hockey years highlighted during a hockey game and basketball during basketball games.

The second level façade of the Kohl Center is mostly gray concrete. We decided to look at using that to recognize the championship years I've mentioned above. We think we have a system designed that will display the hockey years during a hockey game and the basketball years during basketball games. We think it will add a lot to the look of the facility (replacing the concrete with some color and championship recognition) as well as giving a lot of championship years much more visibility than they've had. This will be physical signage, not virtual or LED signage.

It has taken a while to get to this point. We didn't know if it would work, which is why we haven't said anything. Obviously had hoped to have it up by now, but it'll be a few more weeks. If you still think this is stupid, then you are certainly free to your opinion. But I did want you to have the whole, accurate story. Thanks.

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