Checking in on… the Big TenPosted by rtmsf on December 28th, 2010
John Templon of Chicago College Basketball is the Rush the Court correspondent for the Big Ten Conference.
A Look Back
Last week the Big Ten was almost able to avoid any bad losses (Penn State’s loss to Maine being the only exception), but it also couldn’t secure any good wins in the final big week of non-conference play. Losses by Michigan State (home against Texas), Illinois (versus Missouri) and Northwestern (versus St. John’s) left the conference behind the eight ball a bit.
A more comprehensive look back on an individual scale can be found at Chicago College Basketball where I named the 1st and 2nd team all-conference performers. Here’s a sneak peak at my first team:
- F Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
- F John Shurna, Northwestern
- C JaJuan Johnson, Purdue
- G Demetri McCamey, Illinois
- G E’Twaun Moore, Purdue
The post has the second team, honorable mentions and an explanation about some of the tougher picks, including why Wisconsin’s Jon Leuer wasn’t included.
- Team of the Week: Iowa. The Hawkeyes beat Louisiana Tech 77-58 and considering the struggles of the rest of the conference last week, especially that of the bottom tier, this was a good win. Plus, this might be the last time I’m able to write something positive about the Hawkeyes as Ken Pomeroy currently projects them for a 6-12 conference record (which seems awfully generous to be honest).
- Player of the Week: Jared Sullinger, F, Ohio State. Sullinger averaged a double-double with 12.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in victories over UNC-Asheville and Oakland last week. He’s won the Newcomer award so many times I thought maybe it’d be good to let these two outstanding freshman split the awards this week.
- Newcomer of the Week: Tim Hardaway Jr., G, Michigan. Hardaway Jr. scored 20 points in the Wolverines’ victory over Bryant this week. He also had five rebounds and two assists.
- Ohio State (12-0) – Jared Sullinger continues to dominate and the Buckeyes had no problems with UNC-Asheville or Oakland last week. Ohio State has a relatively easy start to the Big Ten season playing at Indiana and at Iowa, so it just has to avoid a slip-up early.
- Wisconsin (10-2) – Blasted Coppin State. Who cares?
- Purdue (11-1) – More shrugs, we will actually figure something out on Tuesday when the Boilermakers play Michigan. According to Ken Pomeroy the Wolverines are the third hardest team Purdue has faced all season.
- Minnesota (11-1) – The Golden Gophers beat South Dakota State. Yeah!
- Michigan State (8-4) – It’s officially time to start worrying about the Spartans as they dropped a game at the Breslin Center to Texas last week. Washington is the only elite team that Michigan State has beaten this season.
- Illinois (10-3) – Mike Tisdale’s really poor decision on an intentional foul helped Missouri pull out a 75-64 victory in the rivalry game last week. The Fighting Illini enter Wednesday’s game against Iowa on a two-game losing streak.
- Michigan (10-2) – For a team that wasn’t expected to do much the Wolverines are sitting pretty entering conference play. Can they keep it going as the competition gets tougher? This is a good piece from UM Hoops about that exact topic.
- Northwestern (9-1) – The Wildcats failed their first major test against St. John’s, but also got two victories over lesser opponents. Northwestern now starts a brutal early Big Ten slate: at Purdue, versus Michigan State and at Illinois.
- Indiana (9-5) – The Hoosiers are in a bit of a slide having lost two very winnable games in Las Vegas last week and Monday night’s home game against Penn State.
- Iowa (7-5) – The Hawkeyes’ defense appears to be keying a mini-resurgence here at the end of non-conference play. It’s back to reality in Big Ten play though with Illinois, Ohio State, and at Purdue to start.
- Penn State (8-4) – A double-digit loss at home to Maine gets you sent to the doghouse even with a win on Monday against the Hoosiers in Bloomington.
A Look Ahead (all times EST):
- 12/28 – Purdue at Michigan, 2 p.m., Big Ten Network
- 12/28 – Minnesota at Wisconsin, 7 p.m., ESPN2
- 12/29 – Illinois at Iowa, 9 p.m., Big Ten Network
- 12/31 – Northwestern at Purdue, 12 p.m., ESPN2
- 12/31 – Minnesota at Michigan State, 4 p.m., Big Ten Network
- 1/2 – Wisconsin at Illinois, 6 p.m., Big Ten Network
- 1/3 – Michigan State at Northwestern, 7:30 p.m., Big Ten Network
Fun with Efficiency Margin and KenPom: Big Ten play starts on Monday! Next week this space will get interesting.