CHICAGO — There were very few surprises on the preseason All-Big Ten team that was announced Thursday at the league’s preseason media day.
It certainly wasn’t a shock that former Rockridge High School star Ethan Happ was named to the 10-player team, determined by a panel of media members. Happ, who is entering his fifth year at Wisconsin, was one of two unanimous selections, along with preseason player of the year Carsen Edwards of Purdue.
Also named to the team were Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford of Indiana, Cassius Winston and Nick Ward of Michigan State, James Palmer of Nebraska, Jordan Murphy of Minnesota, Anthony Cowan of Maryland and Charles Mathews of Michigan.
Not selected was Iowa’s Tyler Cook, who responded on Twitter with 10 laughing emojis followed by the words "say less."
"He probably should be upset," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "I always look at those lists and say, ‘Well, yeah, he probably should be on there. No question in my mind he should be on there.’"
McCaffery quickly added that all 10 players who were selected were very deserving.
"I think more importantly, where do you end up?" McCaffery added. "Preseason lists, preseason rankings, don't mean a thing. We have to play the season. For him, I think it's more important that he end up as a first-round draft pick than on any all-conference team."
Back in Chicago: After being held in New York City last year and Washington D.C. the year before, the Big Ten tournament will return to its more familiar Midwest roots this season.
It will be held at the United Center in Chicago from March 13-17. It will return to Indianapolis in 2020, go back to Chicago in 2021 and be in Indy again in 2022.
Commissioner Jim Delany said the league isn’t done holding the event on the east coast, however. He said going forward, it most likely will be in the Midwest 80 percent of the time and will be in the eastern part of the country about once every five years.
He didn’t discount the possibility of it being held in a Midwest venue other than Chicago and Indianapolis. He said other cities will be given an opportunity to compete for the tournament.
Remembering Tex: Northwestern coach Chris Collins and Illinois coach Brad Underwood both paid tribute to Tex Winter, inventor of the triangle offense, who died Thursday at the age of 96.
Underwood played for Winter at Kansas State and Winter later served as an assistant coach under Doug Collins, Chris’ father, with the Chicago Bulls.
"Truly one of the great innovators of the game, one of the creative minds, a guy that had a tremendous amount of success at every level," Underwood said. "I felt I needed to pay my respects to a guy I admire a great deal."
Guest reporter: As Collins was taking his turn at the podium Thursday morning, he got a question from an unexpected source in the back to the room about "this Vic Law guy" he has on his roster.
It was Law, stopping in between interviews elsewhere in the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.
"Well, I just hope he plays some defense," Collins responded.
Styling: Satvik Patel, the associate director of business operations for the Big Ten, was styling in a teal jacket and bow tie as he moderated the morning news conferences, and several of the league’s head coaches took note of his outfit.
"Nice jacket," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said.
"Is this Dancing with the Stars?" Michigan State coach Tom Izzo asked. "You look really good."
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard told Patel: "I almost wore that jacket today. We would have clashed up here."