Big Ten M5: 02.08.13 Edition

Posted by Deepak Jayanti on February 8th, 2013

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  1. Tom Izzo‘s teams have traditionally been known for their intensity on the glass but the Spartans head coach is concerned with that aspect of his team this season. The Gophers out-rebounded MSU 38-28 on the glass on Wednesday night during their loss to the Spartans in East Lansing. “It’s a major concern for me,” Izzo said when asked about his thoughts after the game. Branden Dawson is one of the best rebounding wings in the Big Ten with 6.6 RPG but despite this athleticism, the Spartans are only fifth in the Big Ten in terms of rebounding margin.
  2. Speaking of rebounding and presence in the paint, the Wolverines’ best forward may be freshman Mitch McGary. After struggling during the early part of the conference season, McGary has come along very well over the past few games especially after Jordan Morgan’s injury against Illinois two weeks ago. The 6’10” forward is averaging 6.1 PPG and 6.0 RPG but has fit in very well lately in the half-courts sets, primarily being involved with the pick-and-roll plays with Trey Burke. Morgan may not be 100% healthy for a few more days and McGary can take advantage of this time period to further cement himself into John Beilein’s rotation.
  3. It is easy to forget the hill that Indiana head coach Tom Crean had to climb over the last four seasons to bring the Hoosiers to the top ranking in the nation. “As you get better, it is always making sure they appreciate how hard it is to be in a spot like this, and the reason that they are is their work ethic is so strong,” Crean said about this season. Despite Indiana’s loss to Illinois on Thursday night, they are still one of the favorite for the national title and Crean’s positive attitude is one of the main factors behind this turnaround.
  4. Defense is always the main priority of Purdue head coach Matt Painter. After allowing 172 total points during their consecutive losses, the Boilermakers beat Penn State on Tuesday night and await the Michigan State Spartans this weekend as they stay afloat with a 12-11 record. “Any time you’ve struggled just trying to get a win, you want to get the car back on the road,” head coach Matt Painter said. “You need something positive. Hopefully, we can build off it. That’s what you want to do. Freshman center A.J.Hammons has played a huge role in Purdue’s wins during the conference season as he is averaging 11.2 PPG and 6.8 RPG.
  5. Bo Ryan‘s Badgers somehow find a way to keep winning in the Big Ten and they did just that over a gutsy win over Iowa in double overtime on Wednesday night. “You’re up a possession, you’re down a possession, it was crazy,” said junior guard Ben Brust about the hard fought game. Senior forward Jared Berggren almost had a triple double with 16 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. The Hawkeyes, on the other hand, just can’t seem to catch a break as they were very close to beating a quality opponent on the road but fell short to Minnesota on Sunday and to the Badgers for the second consecutive game.
Deepak Jayanti (248 Posts)


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