Big Ten Feast Week Winners and Losers

Posted by Brendan Brody on November 28th, 2016

After 10 days of games in eight different tournaments, the picture as to how things will play out in this season’s Big Ten has become clearer. It is still somewhat murky and disjointed, but Feast Week gave us some insights as to the ceilings and floors for each squad. Here’s a brief look at which teams helped their cause last week and those that came away looking like they still have considerable work to do.


  • Maryland: While not playing in the most prestigious of events, Maryland was able to pick up wins over Richmond and Kansas State in the Barclays Center Classic. Neither were huge resume boosters, but they should help come March rather than hurt. The Terps pounded the offensive backboards all weekend, snatching an average of 40 percent of their own misses in the two victories. The most significant aspect of Maryland’s performances was that Mark Turgeon’s freshmen trio of Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter and Justin Jackson all played heavy crunch time minutes in a pair of tight games. Their continued improvement will largely determine the arc of the Terrapins’ season.
Justin Jackson helped lead Maryland to two wins in Brooklyn last weekend. (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports).

Justin Jackson helped lead Maryland to two wins in Brooklyn last weekend. (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports).

  • Michigan: The shine from the Wolverines’ two wins at the beginning of Feast Week lost some of its luster when they lost at South Carolina last Wednesday. Concentrating solely on their play in the 2k Classic, however, Michigan looked like it could be a serious threat to finish in the top three of the Big Ten. DJ Wilson’s defensive versatility was on full display, as he successfully guarded almost every position on the floor. The Wolverines held both Marquette and SMU under 1.00 point per possession and under 39 percent shooting from the field. They also hit 22 three-pointers and paired stellar outside shooting with their typical runs that led to easy buckets. Overall, Feast Week was a net plus for John Beilein’s team.

  • Purdue: Purdue didn’t face the greatest competition in the Cancun Classic, but the Boilermakers displayed their potential if they can get any offensive production from their guard corps. Dakota Mathias shot the lights out in Mexico (10-of-14 from deep) and also added 11 assists for good measure. Meanwhile, the previously slumping Carsen Edwards broke out with a 21-point game against Auburn while posting an offensive rating of 144.0. Consistent scoring and shooting from Purdue’s guards are all that will keep Matt Painter’s group from becoming a top 10 team.


  • Illinois: The Illini were looking to shake off the stink of losing a home game to Winthrop a week ago but instead came away worse for the wear after two disappointing efforts against West Virginia and Florida State. The defeats (now three in a row) certainly sting, but the way John Groce’s team performed in those losses is even more discouraging. The Illini committed 24 turnovers in a 32-point loss to the Mountaineers and then followed that up by letting Florida State shoot 60 percent from three-point range. With games remaining on the non-conference schedule against NC State, VCU and BYU, Illinois needs to fix things very quickly.
  • Iowa: We knew Peter Jok was going to score points in bunches this season and he certainly has come through in that regard. The senior scored a career-high 42 points against Memphis, but his team lost by eight points and gave up 1.32 points per possession to a mediocre offense. The Hawkeyes couldn’t do anything right against Virginia in the previous game, taking one of the worst losses (33 points) in the Fran McCaffery era in Iowa City. They really only have two offensive threats on the team and they haven’t yet established a point guard whowon’t turn the ball over. The Hawkeyes also don’t guard anyone. If last week is any indication, it could be a very rough season in Iowa City.
Brendan Brody (307 Posts)

Brendan Brody is in his fourth season covering the Big Ten for RTC. Email him at, or follow him on twitter @berndon4.

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