Big Ten Morning Five: 02.10.12 Edition

Posted by Ryan Terpstra on February 10th, 2012

  1. For Nebraska, their first foray into Big Ten league play has been a tough one. The Huskers have a 3-9 league record after getting thumped at home by Michigan 62-46 Wednesday night. There is no doubt that the rigors of the Big Ten are much tougher than the Big 12, and Nebraska may be feeling the grind. The team will have to win 6 of their last 7 games to break even in the league, and the lack of success thus far has to be weighing on sixth year head coach Doc Sadler.
  2. It was a good way to begin the week for Northwestern freshman guard Dave Sobolewski, as he picked up co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors. Sobolewski shared the award with Iowa forward Aaron White, and last night the two clashed on the court as the Wildcats and Hawkeyes did battle. While White had a great effort with 17 points and 12 boards, Sobolewski won the battle and the war as he scored a career-high 23 points and dished 7 assists in an 83-64 Northwestern win. The performance was no surprise for the young player who has been playing big minutes for Bill Carmody.
  3. This season has been a roller-coaster of sorts for Illinois and head coach Bruce Weber. They have upset Ohio State and Michigan State, but have also lost at home to some teams they are expected to beat. Illini fans demand a winner, and while the program can boast plenty of successes, since former guard Dee Brown graduated, Illinois is now 49-50 in Big Ten play after last night’s 84-71 loss to Indiana. While there is no simple way to fix things, there is no doubt that expectations remain high for the program.
  4. There are plenty of issues that coaches face every week in the Big Ten, but one that continues to puzzle everyone is how to matchup with Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger. He is a beast down low, so don’t try to put a smaller defender on him. But you can’t guard him with a 7-foot statue either, because Sullinger has great feet and plenty of post moves. Collapse the defense around him and he’ll beat you with his passing. Send him to the line, and he hits 76% of his free throws. You understand the dilemma.
  5. Speaking of Sullinger, he grew up with and was a high school teammate of Michigan freshman point guard Trey Burke. In fact, Burke was coached by Jared’s father Satch Sullinger. The two have a special relationship, and it has been given an interesting twist as Sullinger and Burke now are on opposite sides of the bitter Ohio State – Michigan rivalry. They still remain friends off the court, but on it, there’s no chance they will take it easy on each other.
Ryan Terpstra (28 Posts)

Ryan Terpstra is an on-air personality for ESPN 96.1 FM in Grand Rapids, MI. Follow him on Twitter @TerpHimself

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