Who's your team's midway Big Ten MVP?

It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. This week’s rankings feature a new wrinkle, as I offer up my Big Ten MVP for all 12 teams now that we’ve reached the midpoint of the conference season. The stats that go along with each MVP includes conference games only.

1. Ohio State (19-3, 7-2) – In the Buckeyes’ only two Sunday games of the season, Lenzelle Smith Jr. is shooting 67 percent and averaging 22.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. Take away those two games, and he’s averaging 4.5 points and 4.0 rebounds.
MVP: Jared Sullinger – 59 FG%, 18.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg
Last time: No. 1
This week: at Wisconsin (2/4)

2. Michigan State (17-4, 6-2) – Senior Austin Thornton has connected on 9 of 13 treys (69 percent) in Big Ten play, this after hitting only 4 of 17 (24 percent) in nonconference play.
MVP: Draymond Green – 52 FG%, 15.1 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.8 spg, 1 bpg
Last time: No. 2
This week: at Illinois (1/31), vs. Michigan (2/5)

3. Wisconsin (17-5, 6-3) – Every team does better when its shoots well, but Wisconsin is shooting 44 percent in its six wins and 33 percent in its three losses. From 3-point land, the numbers are 39 and 21 percent, respectively.
MVP: Jordan Taylor – 16.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.2 apg, 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio
Last time: No. 4
This week: at Penn State (1/31), vs. Ohio State (2/4)

4. Michigan (16-6, 6-3) – Michigan is 1-5 in true road games, and star sophomore Tim Hardaway Jr. is hitting just 36 percent from the field in those games.
MVP: Trey Burke – 15.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 4.8 apg, 0.9 spg
Last time: No. 3
This week: vs. Indiana (2/1), at Michigan State (2/5)

T-5. Indiana (17-5, 5-5) – Freshman sensation Cody Zeller went for career highs in points (26), field goals made (11), field goal percentage (92 percent), assists (4) and dunks (8) in Indiana’s 103-89 win over Iowa on Sunday.
MVP: Cody Zeller – 66 FG%, 15.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.9 spg, 1.2 bpg
Last time: No. 5
This week: at Michigan (2/1), at Purdue (2/4)

T-5. Minnesota (16-6, 4-5) – In six starts — the last six games — freshman Joe Coleman is averaging 13.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2 steals. In the previous 16 games as a reserve, he averaged 3.7 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.5 steals.
MVP: Rodney Williams – 54 FG%, 11.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.3 bpg
Last time: No. 6
This week: at Iowa (2/1), at Nebraska (2/5)

7. Illinois (15-6, 4-4) – Since hitting 13 of his first 31 3-pointers (42 percent) as an Illini, Bradley transfer Sam Maniscalco is 8 of his last 44 from downtown (18 percent).
MVP: Brandon Paul – 20 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.3 spg, 1.3 bpg
Last time: No. 7
This week: vs. Michigan State (1/31), vs. Northwestern (2/5)

8. Purdue (15-7, 5-4) – Robbie Hummel, a 46-percent career shooter entering the season, is shooting 39.5 percent and hasn’t had a single game of 50 percent since Nov. 29 — a span of 14 games.
MVP: Robbie Hummel – 11.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1 spg, 0.8 bpg
Last time: No. 8
This week: vs. Indiana (2/4)

9. Northwestern (12-8, 2-6) – It took 19 games before freshman point guard Dave Sobolewski had a game with more turnovers than assists — three turnovers, one assist in Jan. 22 loss at Minnesota. Still, Sobolewski owns a shiny 3.3 assist-to-turnover ratio.
MVP: Drew Crawford – 15.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Last time: T-No. 9
This week: vs. Nebraska (2/2), at Illinois (2/5)

10. Nebraska (11-9, 3-6) – In exploding for a career-high 25 points in Thursday’s win at Iowa, Brandon Richardson became the answer to this trivia question: Who was the first Nebraska player to win Big Ten weekly honors?
MVP: Toney McCray – 11 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.4 spg
Last time: No. 11
This week: at Northwestern (2/2), vs. Minnesota (2/5)

11. Iowa (11-11, 3-6) – Thanks in large part to Sunday’s 103-89 defeat at Indiana, Iowa is surrendering a Big Ten’s worst 77 points per game in conference play. That said, the schedule is about to get a little easier.
MVP: Devyn Marble – 12.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.6 bpg
Last time: T-No. 9
This week: vs. Minnesota (2/1), vs. Penn State (2/4)

12. Penn State (10-12, 2-7) – Billy Oliver’s career-high 21 points in a Jan. 5 win over Purdue account for one more point than he has scored in the other five Big Ten games he’s entered.
MVP: Tim Frazier – 19 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.1 apg, 2.2 spg
Last time: No. 12
This week: vs. Wisconsin (1/31), at Iowa (2/4)

Brent Yarina is a web editor and blogger for BTN.com. Find all of his work here and follow him on twitter at @BTNBrentYarina.

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1 Comment

Your Opinion?
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Garth on 1/30/2012 @ 10:35pm EST Said:

Brent,
Purdue has beaten both Illinois and Minnesota and has a better conference record that either of them, yet you put Purdue behind them?