Even though practice started for most teams earlier this week, today is the unofficial start of college basketball for the Big Ten. Media Day 2014 for the Big Ten was held out by the airport here in Chicago, well, technically not Chicago. Big Ten Media Day was held in beautiful Rosemont, Illinois where, luck should have it, the conference is headquartered!
Today was a chance for members of the media to pepper head coaches and players of all 14 Big Ten teams with questions, ranging in difficulty from the softball to also softball. Tim Miles must have a second career as a stand-up comedian because he stepped up to the dais with both guns blazing. Miles suggested that they move Media Day next year to later so it become more of a Big Ten Happy Hour. Tom Izzo didn't wear a tie! Pat Chambers, much like his football counterpart at Penn State, was recruiting the room the entire time he was up. Bo Ryan already seemed wary of talking about his team's preseason hype.
All of the coaches were on their A-game in terms of making minor offseason adjustments sound like they'd discovered a way to make cold fusion a reality. Many players are in the best shape of their lives and many teams are going to be able to run a little more because of it. No one is looking too far into the future, but everyone has a goal of making the NCAA Tournament.
The players were a little more forthcoming with their answers, but most gave boilerplate responses like "we've just been hitting the weight room hard" and "we're working on defense" and "no, I don't want any of your candy bar, you weirdo" when asked questions. It's strange, I seemed to be the only one there who heard the third one.
I've got some quotes and pictures that I'll be sharing with you guys later today and tomorrow. I forgot my mini-basketball hoop, so unfortunately there is no Vine of me dunking on Tom Izzo. I totally could have though. That guy doesn't play any interior defense.