Big Ten All-Tournament Team: Quarterfinal FridayPosted by Brendan Brody on March 15th, 2014
After the second day of action, the most unpredictable league in the country got kind of predictable. The four semifinalists are the the four teams that we on the microsite picked to finish in the top four of league play this season. It sets up some tremendous match-ups for Saturday, but first, here are five standouts from Friday’s quarterfinals in Indy.
- LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State: Ross makes an appearance on the honor roll for the second day in a row because he had a double-double for the second day in a row. He shot the ball better yesterday, (9-of-18 from the field), snagged 13 rebounds, and also contributed two steals. He also picked up a technical foul for shoving Walter Pitchford at the 14:58 mark in the second half while his team was down 13 points. He scored 16 of his 26 points from that point forward, almost outscoring Nebraska (21 points) all by himself.
- Ben Brust, Wisconsin: If someone had told me that Ben Brust scored 29 points in a game, I would have had to assume that he went nuts from behind the three-point line and hit something like six or seven bombs. His scoring last night, however, was a little more diversified. He hit all nine of his free throws, went 4-of-10 from deep, and was able to get to the basket after some nifty shot fakes. Brust also chipped in a trio of steals, doing a nice job pressuring Minnesota’s guards.
- Branden Dawson, Michigan State: This was the Branden Dawson that Sparty pictured before he got injured earlier this season. Michigan State was +16 on the boards against Northwestern, and Dawson led the way with nine of them. He also brought down six offensive rebounds, as the Wildcats simply didn’t have anyone who could jump with him. He also knocked in a couple of jump shots from the free throw line, which, if he ever developed a consistent stroke there, would make him a threat to get the 16 points he got in this one a regular occurrence.
- Glenn Robinson III, Michigan: Robinson scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half, as he combined with fellow sophomore wings Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert to score 31 of the team’s 38 points at the break. He showed more aggressiveness that he has on a number of occasions this year, and proved that Michigan is even tougher if all of their top three players are clicking. Robinson also led the team with seven rebounds.
- Amedeo Della Valle, Ohio State: Two games ago against Michigan State, Della Valle didn’t even get off of the bench. Two games later, in a Big Ten Tournament game no less, he played 21 minutes and made some vital plays to help the Buckeyes come back from 18 points behind to win the game. He went 4-of-4 from the foul line in the final minute, and hit a key three-pointer at the 2:51 mark that closed the gap to two points. The sophomore from Italy also was a spark defensively, chipping in with two steals and three blocks. Give Thad Matta some credit for sticking with him, but give Della Valle credit for making the plays and the most out of his extended minutes.