Big Ten Morning Five: 03.02.12 Edition

Posted by jnowak on March 2nd, 2012

  1. Because of a couple of injury setbacks, Robbie Hummel isn’t the physical player he once was, or he would likely be challenging Draymond Green and Jared Sullinger for Big Ten Player of the Year honors. But the senior has kept his head up through it all and deserves recognition for the way he has finished his career at Purdue. Hummel has really turned it on the last few games, determined to end his time in West Lafayette with a bang.
  2. For weeks, we have been marveling at all the things that Tom Izzo has his Michigan State squad doing right. Now, we are looking at all the things that must change in order for the Spartans to finish the season undefeated at home with a win against Ohio State this weekend and secure the Big Ten title outright. What a difference a loss makes. True enough, Izzo has been saying all season that this team has a high ceiling, but its margin for error can be quite small. Those errors were at work this week in a 70-55 loss to Indiana. Matt Charboneau asks whether Keith Appling can regain his confidence, Brandon Wood can play consistently, and Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne can defend regularly? And can they do it in time to make it count?
  3. Heading down to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Tournament? Tickets? Check. Hotel? Check. Places nearby to eat and enjoy the game? Check. The Indianapolis Star has the all-important guide to where Big Ten fans can enjoy the tournament (outside of Conseco Fieldhouse, of course) during the Tournament. Make sure you check it out so you don’t accidentally stumble into your rival’s bar.
  4. If only Indiana could play all of its NCAA Tournament games at Assembly Hall, then it would certainly be a favorite to reach the Final Four. Still, Grantland’s Shane Ryan says, the Hoosiers could be difficult to deal with come the Big Dance. Indiana has beaten three Top 5 teams this year (Ohio State, Kentucky, and Michigan State) and Ryan says this group is similar to a past Indiana team that garnered some March success. Can Tom Crean replicate that magic?
  5. If you could become just the fifth player in your program’s history to score 1,000 points, pull down 500 rebounds and register 150 blocks and still have your career be considered “underwhelming,” would you take that? That’s how Chip Scoggins sees Ralph Sampson III‘s career at Minnesota as it comes to a close. Scoggins says that, despite having started 113 games for the Golden Gophers, Sampson’s impact on the program has been minimal. What do you think? Would you have expected or hoped for more?
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