Commissioner Kevin Warren will kick off Big Ten Conference men's and women's basketball media days this week when he steps to the podium at 8 a.m. Tuesday at Target Center.

On Tuesday and Wednesday — with much of it carried on the Big Ten Network— all 28 coaches will conduct news conferences and select members of every team will meet with the media.

Coverage on BTN will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., both days. Gophers men's coach Ben Johnson and women's coach Lindsay Whalen will meet the media ay 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The event is at Target Center because that will be the site of the conference women's tournament this spring, and both men's and women's conference tournaments in 2024.


A familiar first division

Six Big Ten teams made the NCAA tournament last year — co-champions Iowa and Ohio State along with Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska and Indiana. Well, guess how the preseason coaches' picks for the conference went: Iowa, Ohio State, Indiana, Maryland and Michigan as the top five. Which means it will be a challenge for another team to join the mix, especially considering….

Familiar faces

Six of the 10 players named all-conference first-team by the coaches last year are back, as are six of the 10 second-teamers. Leading the way is Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, the reigning conference player of the year and a finalist for the Naismith player of the year award last season. Six of the eight top scorers are back, including Clark (first) and Monika Czinano (third) of Iowa, Marisa McKenna of Penn State (second) and Ohio State's Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Mikesell (sixth and seventh, respectively). Sara Scalia, who was eighth in scoring for the Gophers last year, has transferred to Indiana.

A legend retires

For the first time since 1995, C. Vivian Stringer will not be coaching at Rutgers. After a stellar career that began in 1971 and ended with 1,055 career victories, Stringer has retired and been replaced by Coquese Washington. This is one of only two coaching changes in the conference this season. The other is at Illinois, where the retiring Nancy Fahey was replaced by Shauna Grant, who coached Dayton to four NCAA tournament appearances in her six seasons before joining the Illini.


Hoosier favorite

Indiana is expected to be the preseason pick to win the Big Ten. The Hoosiers, who were projected first in Monday's unofficial poll by conference media, were 21-14 and finished ninth in the Big Ten in Mike Woodson's first season as coach. But All-America Trayce Jackson-Davis and Minnesota native Race Thompson return in the frontcourt. Jackson-Davis was officially named Big Ten preseason player of the year by the conference last week. The Gophers were picked 12th in the unofficial men's Big Ten preseason poll.

Lacking star power

In an unprecedented season for star power for the Big Ten in 2021-22, the league produced three AP All-America first-team selections in Wisconsin's Johnny Davis, Iowa's Keegan Murray and Illinois' Kofi Cockburn. Purdue's Jaden Ivey and Ohio State's E.J. Liddell were second- and third-team picks, respectively. But only three of the 15 players on the three All-Big Ten teams returned this season: Jackson-Davis, Hunter Dickinson and Zach Edey.

Less coaching turnover

There were far fewer coaching changes in the Big Ten men's hoops this offseason than the previous year. Three coaches (Minnesota's Richard Pitino, Indiana's Archie Miller, Penn State's Pat Chambers) lost their jobs after 2020-21. They were replaced by Johnson, Mike Woodson, and Micah Shrewsberry, respectively. But only Maryland's Mark Turgeon was given the boot following last season. The Terrapins hired longtime Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, who went to five NCAA tournaments in his last seven seasons.