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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Big Ten Releases Conference Schedule

With today's release of the Big Ten Conference men's basketball slate, Wisconsin's 2010-11 regular season schedule has been finalized.

We knew several of the big dates when ESPN announced its TV schedule yesterday.

The rivalries renew immediately on Dec. 28 when Minnesota makes its first trip to Madison since the Gophers' shocking comeback at the Kohl Center two seasons ago. Unfortunately, Wisconsin plays Minnesota and Iowa just once during the regular season. With the Hawkeyes expected to be dreadful in year one of Fran McCaffery's tenure, that could be a slight disadvantage for the Badgers when comparing unbalanced league schedules.

Other marquee revelations are Wisconsin's trip to Illinois on Jan. 2 and the Illini's return trip to Madison less than two weeks later, on Jan. 15. Bo Ryan and Co. also welcome Purdue (Feb. 1) and Michigan State (Feb. 6) to the Kohl Center for back-to-back tilts. Wisconsin then heads to West Lafayette, Ind. on Feb. 16. Luckily there are no back-breaking road stretches for Badgers.

The previously released non-conference schedule, which tips off Nov. 14 after two exhibitions, includes true road tests against UNLV (11/20) and Marquette (12/11) in addition to three games in the Old Spice Classic. The Badgers drew the North Carolina State Wolfpack at home on Dec. 1 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Wisconsin will begin the eight-team Old Spice Classic with a game against Manhattan on Nov. 25. Potential opponents in later rounds include Boston College, Texas A&M, California and Notre Dame. [View bracket]

2010-11 Wisconsin Big Ten Schedule
Date - Opponent, Time (TV)
Dec. 28 - Minnesota, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Jan. 2 - @ Illinois, 6 p.m. (BTN)
Jan. 5 - Michigan, 8:30 p.m. (BTN)
Jan. 11 - @ Michigan State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Jan. 15 - Illinois, 3 p.m. (BTN)
Jan. 20 - Indiana, 9 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2)

Jan. 23 - @ Northwestern, 1 p.m. (BTN)
Jan. 29 - @ Penn State, 4 p.m. (BTN)
Feb. 1 - Purdue, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Feb. 6 - Michigan State, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Feb. 9 - @ Iowa, 8:30 p.m. (BTN)
Feb. 12 - Ohio State, 2 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2)
Feb. 16 - @ Purdue, 6:30 p.m. (BTN)
Feb. 20 - Penn State, 6 p.m. (BTN)
Feb. 23 - @ Michigan, 6:30 p.m. (BTN)
Feb. 27 - Northwestern, 6 p.m. (BTN)
Mar. 2/3 - @ Indiana, 8:30/9 p.m. (BTN/ESPN/ESPN2)
Mar. 6 - @ Ohio State, TBD (CBS/ESPN/BTN)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Howard Moore Will Be UIC's Next Head Coach

According to a source cited by the Daily Herald's Lindsey Willhite, Howard Moore will be named the new head coach at the University of Illinois-Chicago as early as Monday. Previous UIC head coach Jimmy Collins announced his retirement last month, effective at the end of August. Some are already hoping the Flames pick up the swing offense.

Let the speculation on Moore's replacement begin. It should be quite a scramble, as Andy Katz speculated earlier this week. Teaching-wise, Bo needs to find someone capable of working with his post players.

Recruiting-wise, Illinois is thought to have a weak crop of 2012 ahead of a loaded (or at least top-heavy) 2013 class. Wisconsin's new assistant who inherits that turf from Moore would have the luxury of a full 2011 class and half of the 2012 class in tow. That means little urgency to land recruits at the start. There's plenty of time to worry about 2013.

Think Mike Finley has an interest in coaching?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Moore Among Six Finalists For UIC Job

The head coaching vacancy is still unfilled at the University of Illinois-Chicago, but the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Wisconsin assistant and Chitown native Howard Moore is one of six finalists for the position. (Ed. note: The Tribune has edited the linked story, stating Tony Barone is no longer a candidate.)

Moore appeared to be one of the top candidates for the position ever since Jimmy Collins announced his retirement last month, but there has been no word on an interview until now. Minnesota assistant Vince Taylor could be one of the front-runners after interviewing this weekend, but apparently all six candidates met with the UIC brass today.

The other four finalists are Mark Montgomery (Michigan State), Willis Wilson (Memphis), Joe Pasternak (New Orleans), and Tony Barone (Memphis Grizzlies' director of player personnel). I think Moore, Taylor and Montgomery are on the short list. Illinois' recruiting savant Jerrance Howard already expressed his desire to stay with the Illini.

Moore's qualifications look good. The natural connection to the loaded talent base is there. Besides the obviously exciting opportunity to get his first head coaching job, though, there are a few reasons why Moore might want to continue solidifying his coaching resume with Bo Ryan and wait for something else down the line.

For starters, it's now the middle of August and the interview process appears to have just kicked off. For comparison, when Rob Jeter left Bo's staff five years ago, he was hired by UW-Milwaukee in April, with plenty of time to build his staff, hit the recruiting path and develop the program's culture. Is it too late in the offseason for UIC's new head coach to be effective in year one?

Not to mention that Tracy Webster, one of the guys who might have been on the short list of replacements for Moore, took a job on the Nebraska bench earlier this month. Don't you think these two former Badger teammates might have discussed whether a position might open up at Wisconsin?

If Moore were to accept a job offer to lead the Flames, his replacement would probably need to possess several characteristics that he and Webster share. Webster and Moore are both 30-something African-American coaches with Chicago roots and a wide range of coaching experience. In addition to his interim head coaching experience at DePaul, Webster has had short stints at some major programs (Purdue, Illinois, Kentucky) after rising quickly from D-III through Ball State at the mid-major level. Moore has been on the grind right from the get-go in 1996, coaching at the high school, D-III, mid-major, and now power-conference levels.

Do you like the NCAA tournament's new 8-team "first-round" format?

What should Wisconsin do with the newly vacated scholarship?

Poll: Who will win the Big Ten?

Poll: Who was Wisconsin's first-half MVP (thru 16 games)?

Poll: How Many Regular Season games will wisconsin win in 2009-10?