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Morning Power Bar: Juwan Howard To The NBA; Key Big Ten Returns

We look at this week in college basketball.

Syndication: The News-Press Landon Bost/Naples Daily News/USA TODAY Network-Florida / USA TODAY NETWORK

This is a weekly column for BTPowerhouse that will cover a variety of Big Ten topics that might not deserve a detailed breakdown, but deserve mention. It will be similar to a news roundup with more thoughts and analysis.

So, let’s jump into our Morning Power Bar.

1. Juwan Howard heading to the Lakers?

The drama never seems to end in Ann Arbor these days. After falling to Villanova in the Sweet 16 last month, most Wolverine fans figured we wouldn’t hear much about the team until next season. Well, that doesn’t appear to be the case:

Whether Howard would seriously consider the position remains to be seen, but there are a number of things making him a reasonable pick. To start, he fits the mold of recent NBA coaching successes. He’s a young coach who fits the modern game. Add in his past experience with LeBron James and it makes even more sense. We’ll have to wait and see what ends up happening. My bet is he ends up staying in Ann Arbor.

2. Race Thompson returns to Iowa.

During his first season in Bloomington, Mike Woodson had a pretty productive year. He got the Hoosiers back to the NCAA Tournament and competing for relevant things in March. The question is now whether he can continue that growth into next season. Fortunately, he got some good news on that front this week:

Thompson was a key part of Indiana’s effort last season and should be one of the team’s leaders next fall. All eyes will now turn to Trayce Jackson-Davis, who’s still weighing his professional options.

3. Iowa joins the Emerald Coast Classic.

Earlier this week, Iowa announced it would be participating in one of the more intriguing non-conference tournaments next fall. The Hawkeyes join a few other rising programs. Here’s the official release:

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa, California, Clemson, and TCU headline the field for the 2022 Emerald Coast Classic, presented by Global Sports.

The tournament will be held Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 25-26, at Raider Arena on the campus of Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Florida. As part of the tournament, each of the four teams will also play two preliminary home contests prior to traveling to Florida. Game matchups will be announced later this summer.

Iowa and TCU, who competed in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, will both be making their second appearance in the Emerald Coast Classic. The Horned Frogs won the 2017 Emerald Coast Classic title, beating St. Bonaventure in the championship. The Hawkeyes played in the 2016 Emerald Coast Classic.

Iowa captured the 2022 Big Ten Tournament championship, tied for fourth in the conference regular season standings and won 26 overall games, the second most wins in a single season in program history.

Fran McCaffery has coached Iowa to 20-plus wins eight of the last 10 seasons, including four straight years. The Hawkeyes have competed in the last three NCAA Tournaments and have been ranked in the final Associated Press Poll each of the last three years: No. 16 in 2020, No. 8 in 2021 and No. 25 in 2022.

“We’re excited that we continue to attract teams from the premier basketball conferences in the country,” said tournament director Maury Hanks, chief executive officer of Global Sports. “We strive to bring the best college basketball teams possible to the Emerald Coast of Florida.”

TCU finished 21-13 last season, its fourth 20-win season in six years under head coach Jamie Dixon with a program-record five wins over AP Top 25 teams. The Horned Frogs’ second NCAA Tournament invitation under Dixon was their fourth postseason appearance in the five completed seasons, the best in program history.

Clemson won five of its last six games to close out the 2021-22 campaign. Brad Brownell is the winningest coach in Clemson history, earning 218 victories in 12 years while guiding the Tigers to the 2021 NCAA Tournament, 2018 Sweet 16, 2011 NCAA Tournament, and three NIT appearances.

Cal posted a 12-20 overall record in head coach Mark Fox’s third year as head coach. Fox’s teams have averaged nearly 19 wins each year in his 17-year coaching career. In previous stops at Nevada and Georgia, Fox has guided teams to five appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Cal boasts 28 postseason appearances, including 19 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Global Sports has produced 49 multi-team college basketball tournaments since 2007 with two more slated for the 2022-23 season.

For more tournament information visit emeraldcoastclassic.com.

Iowa is 6-4 all-time against California, last playing against the Bears in 1997. The Hawkeyes are 2-1 against both Clemson and TCU. Iowa last faced the Tigers in 2011 and the Horned Frogs in 2017.

We’ll be excited to tune in next fall.

4. Five Big Ten commits to participate in Jordan Brand Classic.

The teams for the 2022 Jordan Brand Classic were recently announced and the Big Ten figures to be well represented. Here are the commits who will be participating:

  • Skyy Clark (Illinois)
  • Jalen Hood-Schifino (Indiana)
  • Jett Howard (Michigan)
  • Tarris Reed (Michigan)
  • Ty Rodgers (Illinois)

The league has had middling recruiting efforts in recent years, so it’s encouraging to see this many players participating. The game tips off on Friday night.

5. Justice Sueing returns to Ohio State.

After an inconsistent 2021-’22 campaign, nobody was sure what to expect out of the Buckeyes heading into next season. The team showed promise, but never seemed able to compete at the highest level when it mattered most. And with some of its key players apparently heading for the pros, the roster is going to be a big question mark. Fortunately, the team got some good news earlier this month:

Sueing effectively missed last season with injury, but was a productive starter beforehand. Buckeye fans will hope he returns to form next year.

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