5 new coaches enter the scene as Big Ten prepares for the season
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Katie Gearlds, Micah Shrewsberry and Mike Woodson climbed the stairs as day two of the Big Ten media tour began in Indianapolis.
It was a short drive from their high schools and a bit further from their college basketball years.
But now the three new Big Ten coaches are gearing up for their Division I managerial debut.
“There’s a lot of work to be done,” said Woodson, the longtime NBA coach and former Indiana star who accepted the Hoosiers job. “I don’t know if I have an advantage or not. I know I compete with a lot of great college coaches and a lot of great players.
Time will tell if Gearlds, the former Purdue star and handpicked successor to Sharon Versyp, and Shrewsberry, the former Butler and Purdue assistant who succeeds Penn State, are the right choices.
The same goes for the other new coaches in the league – Ben Johnson in Minnesota and former UConn star Marisa Moseley, Wisconsin’s new women’s coach.
This new coaching class has a lot in common. Four in five are people of color. Johnson, like the three Indiana natives, will also make his coaching debut next month and three of the five – Gearlds, Johnson and Woodson – work in their alma maters as all five try to carve out a niche. in the midst of a great group of coaches. .
“I’m still trying to figure out how in the world I am Coach (Tom) Izzo and Coach (Matt) Painter is behind me,” Gearlds joked. “I figured they didn’t want someone to go to the bathroom between breaks, so here I am.”
Purdue hired Gearlds as an associate head coach in May and intended to replace her with Versyp next season. Instead, Versyp retired in September, a month after the school’s institutional equity office began investigating allegations that Versyp had created a “toxic and hostile environment.”
Woodson and his connection to former coach Bob Knight have been warmly received in Bloomington. The Nittany Lions can finally turn the page on Patrick Chambers’ resignation, which came after a former player accused Chambers of making an inappropriate comment.
“Anything that happens to you at one point is a tough challenge, it’s a tough transition,” Shrewsberry said. “But I am learning every day. I’m learning from these guys here what the practice is like. I change my practice in the middle of the practice depending on how they feel.
Johnson and Moseley may face more daunting challenges, however.
Often injured center Eric Curry is the Gophers’ only healthy return from last season, although guard Payton Willis is back for his second stint with the team.
But Johnson is eager to begin the rebuilding process.
“I know I’m new to it, but I’m a kid who grew up watching it,” he said. “I understand the tradition of the league, the coaches who have been here, the players who have played here, the venues, the atmosphere, the whole nine (yards).”
Moseley, meanwhile, is resuming a program that last posted a winning record in 2010-11 and hasn’t reached the NCAA tournament since 2009-10.
“I have had the opportunity to be a part of several winning programs throughout my tenure, and I expect to bring the same mindset and winning culture here in Wisconsin,” she said. declared. “I think it’s no secret we haven’t had a ton of them over the past few years, but we have a great tradition of winning when it comes to our athletic department.”
Northwestern women’s basketball coach Joe McKeown has signed a four-year contract extension.
McKeown, 65, was hired in June 2008 and led the Wildcats to the 2019-20 regular season conference title. He has won 733 games in 35 seasons and is 224-186 with the Wildcats.
“We have a great program and we want people to know that I will be the head coach,” he said.
Painter said first-year forward Trey Kaufman-Renn returned to training after missing part of summer practice with a broken right hand. He was injured in both games of the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star Series, but did not require surgery.
Kaufman-Renn, 6-foot-9, was a finalist for last season’s IndyStar Mr. Basketball award.
Northwestern coach Chris Collins said rookie Brooks Barnhizer also returned to training after missing all summer with a broken foot that required surgery. The 6-6 goaltender was one of Indiana’s top preparation scorers last season with 32.7 points.
“He’s back, he’s been with us all fall,” Collins said. “He’s been cleared, ready to go.”
While most coaches and players chose dark or neutral-colored clothing, Moseley and Indiana point guard Rob Phinisee gave the two-day event a touch of sparkle by dressing in the colors of school.
Phinisee wore a white suit with red shoes and a red handkerchief. Moseley opted for a white blazer, black pants and red heeled shoes.
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