Everyone knew Ohio State’s Braxton Miller was talented and likely headed for a promising college football career. But few thought he’d have a big impact as a true freshman in 2011. Miller was thrust into the starting lineup early in 2011 and proceeded to enjoy the best season of any Big Ten freshman. This is why the precocious Miller, the Big Ten’s Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year, headlines BTN.com’s 2011 All-Freshman Team.
The Big Ten Conference announced its weekly Men’s Basketball Players of the Week on Monday. A pair of forwards shared player of the week, while a standout point guard took home freshman honors. See the winners in this post.
Every Sunday night during the hoops season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina recaps the week that was on the men’s hardwood and hands out his weekly honors. See Brent’s latest installment, for action from Dec. 5-11, in this post. Also, watch Christian Watford’s last-second 3-pointer to stun No. 1 Kentucky and the resulting celebration Saturday at Assembly Hall. And get ready for the coming week of Big Ten action with our Big Ten scoreboard.
(AP) D.J. Richardson scored 20 points to lead four players in double figures and No. 24 Illinois beat Coppin State 80-63 on Sunday night. Illinois (10-0) hung on to remain one of nine undefeated teams in the nation despite the Eagles’ hot shooting and pesky 2-3 zone defense. After Illinois jumped out to a 17-point lead in the opening minutes of the second half, Coppin State went on a 20-5 run to cut the lead to 59-57. From there, Illinois responded with a four-guard lineup that provided enough offense down the stretch to seal the win. Meyers Leonard had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Sam Maniscalco and Brandon Paul each scored 12 points for the Illini. Read the full AP recap and see the boxscore.
Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker announced Sunday that he will retire following the 2011 Insight Bowl. The Hawkeyes (7-5) meet Oklahoma on Friday, Dec. 30 (9 p.m. CT, ESPN) at Arizona State’s Sun Devil Stadium (see our 2011-12 bowl schedule). “I would like to personally thank Gary Barta, Kirk Ferentz, the coaches, and players at Iowa, along with the fantastic fans,” Parker said in a statement. “It has been a great time, one that myself and my entire family greatly appreciate.”
It was a tough day for Big Ten women’s hoops teams Sunday. The conference went 3-3, with losses to Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Drake, and No. 12 Purdue lost for the second time in as many days. On the bright side, No. 17 Penn State took care of business, thumping Maryland-Eastern Shore, 76-51. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and see recaps from all the games in this post. Watch our highlights from Minnesota’s win now.
(AP) Joe Paterno fractured his pelvis again following a fall at his home but will not need surgery, a person close to the family told The Associated Press on Sunday. The former Penn State football coach was expected to make a full recovery after slipping Saturday and was admitted to the hospital the next day, the person added. Paterno, who turns 85 on Dec. 21, is also undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for what his family has said is a treatable form of lung cancer. Son Scott Paterno has said doctors are optimistic his father would make a full recovery. Read the full AP recap.