By JOHN BOHNENKAMP
MINNEAPOLIS — The quotables — some insightful, some humorous — from the Big Ten men’s and women’s basketball media days on Tuesday.
“Coming from me, I don’t really care about rankings and polls. Because at the end of the day, we showed you all what we can do last year, and we’re going to do the same thing again. So there’s your answer.” — Iowa guard Tony Perkins.
“I’m just excited to get to hoop. It’s been a long time. I’m just excited to get to hoop. Like Patrick (McCaffery) said, the schedule, it’s who we wanted. We got it. So we’re just going to … hoop.” — Perkins on Iowa’s schedule.
“Like everybody else: ‘We had a fabulous summer, and we’re excited for the season.’ So I know you guys couldn’t write your articles without an opening statement. Does anybody ever have a bad summer? Like someone has to have a bad summer, right? Somebody has to have some things not go their way. I’ve always wanted to do that, come up and say, ‘We really had a bad summer and things just haven’t been clicking, but we think we’re going to be really good this year.’ — Purdue men’s coach Matt Painter.
“You got to know how to eat crab cakes. I’m learning how to crack crabs and eat crabs. It’s a new thing for me. Very hard. You got to split the middle, take the legs off, go through the whole process.” — First-year Maryland men’s coach Kevin Willard.
“When I was in school as a player, I never bought into the rankings, what the media would say about our ballclub. You still got to go out and play the game. Hell, my senior year we were ranked No. 1 and we didn’t get it done. So at the end of the day I guess it’s kind of nice for our players who haven’t experienced that.” — Indiana men’s coach Mike Woodson on being the preseason favorite.
“I mean, just the energy in the building. It starts way before the game. It starts leading up to the game, the days before. It’s a fan base that’s been very loyal, very passionate. Now we’ve added the elements of the great college students and their creativity, their youth and their enthusiasm. Jersey Mike’s is one of the toughest places I think to play. We love it. Unbelievable home-court advantage there. Keeping these guys around keeps it that way, too.” — Rutgers men’s coach Steve Pikiell.
“For me, I’m just glad to be in a little better mood because if the Chiefs didn’t win last night, I wasn’t going to be very happy. I don’t have much to say to start off, so I’ll answer questions you have. I know the sooner I get out of here, the faster Matt Painter gets up here. I know what it’s like to listen to him talk because I have a notepad every time I walk into his office or practice. We’ll make this short and sweet.” — Purdue women’s coach Katie Gearlds.
“You guys are shocked we signed another 7-footer.” — Painter on new 7-2 center Will Berg.
“I woke up every night last year knowing I had 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds). That’s a pretty good feeling.” — Illinois men’s coach Brad Underwood, talking about Kofi Cockburn when asked if the conference is trending toward more “positionless basketball.”
Photo: Iowa’s Tony Perkins goes to the basket in last season’s game against Michigan State. (Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)