Pa John Fanta
By FOX Sports College Basketball

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s perhaps the most telling sign yet that the season is just around the corner.

From fashion statements to entertaining quotes and everything in between, Day 1 Big Ten Media Days in Minneapolis brought plenty of intrigue. Here are some of the most interesting results from Tuesday at the Target Center.

From one Murray to another: Chris is ready to take over Iowa

Keegan and Chris Murray have played on the same basketball team since the fourth grade … until now. The Twins will face different teams for the first time this fall when Keegan was selected No. 4 overall NBA Draft, laces for The necklaces, and Chris plays in junior high for the Hawkeyes. A year ago at this time, many thought Iowa would take a step back. The Hokies finished the season with 26 wins Luka Garza walked away, leaving a clean hole for whoever would come up.

A year later, the Hawkeyes found themselves in the same spot, picked seventh in the preseason poll despite being the defending Big Ten tournament champions.

With some similar ingredients and a twin brother who seems ready to take the torch, it means Chris Murray was one of the main topics on media day. The 6-foot-8 junior is poised for a big year after trying out for the NBA draft after a season in which he averaged 9.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

Hawkeyes head coach Fran McCaffery praised Chris Murray’s progress:

“I’m really proud of him because I think it’s safe to say he probably could have taken a two-way deal, maybe he was in the league. But he’s betting on himself to come back and be a first-round pick. I have a lot of respect for people who do that, it was his choice.

“It will be the first time in his career that he hasn’t played with his brother. Obviously every team, I saw him play a lot as a kid and they were my son Patrick’s age. I have watched the two of them grow up since the fourth grade. They were always on the same team. Not now.

“We’re thrilled for Keegan, but we’re thrilled for Chris. Chris is going to have an impressive season. He plays with great confidence. His body looks different, much stronger. I really feel like he’s going to end up being a first-round pick.”

Chris Murray has said he won’t play his brother, saying he feels comfortable playing with a returning core that includes Patrick and Connor McCaffery, Tony Perkins, Peyton Sandforth and others.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of pressure because if he (Keegan) didn’t look like me, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Chris Murray said. “Like, Luca (Garza) did the same thing, and no one expected Keegan to make a jump like he did, but it happened. That’s a big difference. However, we have a really balanced team this year and I think we will continue to do so. more balanced.

Chris added that he thought he was more willing to pass than his brother Keegan, and his teammates nodded their approval sarcastically.

“My dad knows that too,” Murray smiled. “I also think I’m a better shooter than him (Keegan).”

Mike Woodson: “You guys didn’t know that. I always came back.”

Indiana be good for college basketball. Even better, the Hoosiers’ coach — Indiana alumnus Mike Woodson — speaks in a way that resembles the man who coached himBob Knight.

Woodson, 64, whose Hoosiers lead the Big Ten preseason poll, was asked what the head coaching job at his alma mater has done for him. He did not hold back:

“It’s a big love because it’s you guys who said, ‘He’s too old.’ He can’t recruit. He was absent for 42 years.” I mean all the negative things you can say about a guy who was so committed to this job. And I was able to beat those odds and get the job. I don’t think I’m too old, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job recruiting. Only time will tell once you start playing and I’ve never been from here. You guys just didn’t know it. I always came back.

“That’s what happens in your career when you have doubts. If you’ve been playing as long as I have and coached as much as I’ve coached, heck, all you have to do is go through New York and they’ll tell you a little bit of everything. If I had to worry about everything that was said about Mike Woodson, I wouldn’t have this job right now, I can tell you that.”

Woodson made headlines Friday night on Hoosier Hysteria when he said Indiana basketball is s—.

He took the opportunity on Tuesday to continue:

“Someone told me, ‘You still have to win the Big Ten title.’ You are right. I do. But that statement was based on what I remembered as a player, and now that I’m a coach, that hasn’t changed. The fan base is still as big as ever and we just have to do our part and win. When you win, it doesn’t get any better than Indiana basketball. In Bloomington, my life path was so good.”

Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year Trace Jackson-Davis praised Woodson and what he has done in a short amount of time to turn the Hoosiers into a conference leader with four returning starters and a top-15 recruiting class:

“It’s crazy because when Coach Woody was first hired, everybody was like, ‘Eh, we don’t know about that. We don’t know about him.” And in one year, we go from “we don’t know about this guy” to a preseason Big Ten favorite. It just says a lot about him. Who he’s bringing in, the caliber of players he’s bringing in, he’s going to put the program in the right place before his time is up.”

How did the relationship between Terence Shannon Jr. and Illinois remained intact

Shannon Jr. never forgot how Illinois responded when he committed to play for Chris Byrd in Texas Tech. Now, the senior transfer and Chicago native is ending his collegiate career with the Illini after three years with the Red Raiders. One of the hottest names on the transfer portal, he ended up in the Illini because his relationship with head coach Brad Underwood and his staff has always been good.

Here’s Shannon on the process:

“When I got into Texas Tech, they all congratulated me on my decision. They never said, “Oh, you should have come here,” or, “Oh, you’re going to regret your decision.” It was all positive, and I was always grateful for it, and I felt that it supported our relationship. When it came time for me to enter the portal, we were on good terms. They never lied to me. They never tried to sell me. They just told me the truth and told me that all I had to do was come and work.”

“I think it’s very hard to win, and if someone doesn’t want to be in your program, I’m not mad,” Underwood said. “I don’t get on anyone’s ass and I don’t wish for failure. It’s not me. I want everyone to succeed, so I wish them well. When the situation changed and we had to welcome him home, he felt it was the right place. Relationships play a big role in recruiting, and I’m glad he felt the relationships were in the right place for him to come back.”

For an Illini team that lost its top five scorers from last year, the addition of Shannon Jr. and Baylor presented by Matthew Mayer and Dine Dainga is a pleasant sight. Underwood talked about the program’s approach to recruiting:

“Winning is really important,” the sixth-year Illini head coach said. “We’ve got two guys from Baylor who won national championships. Terrance came from an Elite Eight program. When there’s an element of winning, there’s usually an element of teamwork. Or does everybody have to find their own niche? Yeah. And I want a little bit of swagger. I want a little grit. We had some grit on the court, but it doesn’t translate to the locker room.”

Some other points…

The Kevin Willard era is over and underway Marylandand at media days, the Terrapins’ new leader talked about what he’s learned during his time at the DMV so far.

Iowa State superstar Kaitlin Clark, one of the faces of women’s basketball, showed off her versatility Tuesday by donning her reporter hat during head coach Lisa Bladers’ press conference.

Follow up Rutgers

The Scarlet Knights are looking to make their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance this season, which has never happened in Rutgers basketball history. Fifth-year senior Caleb McConnell talked about how Steve Pikiel made Rutgers a winner both in the Big Ten and nationally:

“It’s changed the culture. The more you see people work, the more you want to work. That’s what we put into this program. When I first started talking to (Steve) Pikiell, he told me, ‘If Rutgers is an action, buy it now.’ It blew my mind and it spoke for itself. I take a lot of pride in being a part of winning, especially in the Big Ten. It’s not easy to win here.”

Andy Katz is definitely driving the Scarlet Knights bus.

The second day starts on Wednesday morning Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio State, Minnesota, Michigan, State of Michigan and Pension state. Check out the Big Ten Network and FOX Sports programming for live coverage beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Read more:

– Even in a deep Big Ten, Indiana is easily picked to run the hardwood

– Q&A: Gonzaga’s Drew Timm discusses the impact of the NIL and more

– 40 storylines to watch as the 2022-23 season approaches

– Top 15 Team Countdown: No. 11 TCU

John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from hosting games on FS1 to serving as the lead anchor on the BIG EAST Digital Network and providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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