I'm at Big Ten Media Day today, in part because it's somewhat useful and in part because it's better than Russian class. But by far the best thing about Big Ten Media Day is the coaches' personalities. In football, all the coaches are pretty bland and don't say very much — they're all excited about their "young men," they're excited for the season and they think they have the leadership to compete.
Basketball is different. I've seen Bo Ryan go on rants about kids who go to country clubs. I've seen Tim Miles tell everyone that he knows they picked his team to finish last in the conference, but "I don't think we're gonna finish last." The personalities are just way better.
So with that said, here are some notes from the coaches' press conferences. First is Chris Collins, then I'll continue to update the other quotes below.
- Chris Collins: "I didn't realize I was following Coach Miles, so I won't even try to be funny."
- Collins keeps making note of struggling last November and December. He mentioned that when we sat down with him this summer. He seems to think the brutal non-conference schedule really set NU back. That's part of why the non-conference schedule is so bland this year and probably will remain that way as the program grows.
- Collins said that he thinks they have more offensive firepower this year. His reasoning? They have more "players" and more "athletes."
- Collins said he expects Vic Law to play a lot early on.
- Each coach has eight minutes at the podium. Most of them give a one-or-two-minute opening statement. Tom Crean's was six minutes. He took one question. As our Chris Johnson would tell you, he isn't a fan of questions.
- Maryland coach Mark Turgeon pretty clearly isn't all that excited about going to the Big Ten. He acknowledges they don't really have a rival, but maybe after five years they'll be someone's "second" rival.
- Tom Izzo to the moderator: "Where the hell did you get that bow tie?"
- Moderator: "Good luck this season." Izzo: "Good luck to you."
- Question to Richard Pitino: "Do you plan to run more this year?" Pitino: "I thought we ran a lot last year. Apparently you do not."
- Pitino plays his dad's Louisville team this year. But there are a couple problems: 1) They share all the information about their tams, and 2) He doesn't want to watch film of Louisville losing to prepare (he actually seems dead serious about that).
- Pitino: "Winning the NIT is weird ... nobody knows how to handle it. Do you brag about it? Do you talk about it? They didn't even put it in the notes (at media day)."
- Tim Miles' opening statement was about how sports writers need to give standing ovations to coaches and also that he only wants to answer questions about Nebraska (because that would mean there would be no questions). He didn't say a single thing about his team in the opening statement.
- Miles: "(Nebraska) didn't play very well in the NCAA Tournament ... at least the portion I was there. Don't ask me about that, I'll get fined." (Miles got ejected from that game.)
- How can Nebraska get more rivals? Miles: "If I say enough dumb stuff, we'll get rivalries."
- Pat Chambers: "A lot of kids (in recruiting), especially kids in Philly, thought we were in the Midwest." lol
- Chambers: "Our practices are a la Chip Kelly right now."
- Eddie Jordan: "It's a process. We know where we're coming from." (That is the coaching way to say "we're not very good.")
- What does Bo Ryan think about the unbalanced schedule? "Let's play 26."
- Ryan accidentally said one of the big East Coast recruits he got was from Platteville, Wisconsin. "Err, not Platteville. I wish he was from Platteville."
- Ryan goes to the Jersey shore every summer. #funfacts