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Fighting Illini

Surprise, surprise - the Buckeyes are for real

Last night, Ohio State handled a very good Florida team–a squad that at least one astute observer has picked to win the National Championship–with relative ease. After a slow start, the Buckeyes led by as many as 16 points before finally winning by seven. Thad Matta’s team displayed the same strengths as a season ago–namely a high effective field goal percentage and a low turnover rate–but they also showed a new wrinkle: getting to the foul line. It’s extremely early, but Ohio State now has a free throw rate of 72 FTA per 100 FGA. For some perspective, the Buckeyes only eclipsed that number twice all of last season–and both times were against the hacktastic Hoosiers. Perhaps this increase in trips to the foul line shouldn’t be surprising given the players that are being replaced:

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2011-12 Season Preview: Illinois

We continue to work our way up our projected standings, and today we’ve reached our pick for fifth place: the Illinois Fighting Illini. Bruce Weber’s squad may be the biggest wild card in this season’s Big Ten, as it is supremely talented but woefully inexperienced.  What’s a reasonable range of expectations for a team like this? Let’s find out.

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Early Big Ten Hoops Thoughts

Ohio State's William Buford

Jordan Taylor: One-on-One

Every Big Ten men’s hoops team has played at least one game, and in today’s quick-to-judge world, we thought why not offer some initial thoughts on what we’ve seen through the first week of action. See Brent Yarina’s way-too-early Big Ten impressions in this post.

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Catch up on Monday's Hoops Action

Purdue's Anthony Johnson

High Point at Purdue - Men's Basketball Highlights

It was a busy night of Big Ten men’s hoops Monday. There were seven games, including Purdue barely topping High Point on BTN, and the Big Ten won all of them. Use our Big Ten scoreboard to catch up on all of the action and stats and watch all of the video highlights and analysis. Also, check out our feature on the renovations at Mackey Arena and watch our highlights from Purdue’s close scare now.

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Big Ten Teams Unveil New Courts

Mackey Arena

Illinois' New Basketball Court

Every Big Ten basketball court will have a different look for the 2011-12 season, whether it be the new B1G logo, the addition of the semi-circle under the basket or the elimination of the women’s 3-point line, but at least a handful have undergone other makeovers. The floors at Illinois’ Assembly Hall, Carver-Haweye Arena, Crisler Arena, Welsh-Ryan Arena and Mackey Arena will feature new looks when the season tips Friday. Watch a feature on Illinois’ new court now and see all the new designs in this post.

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Watch Men's Hoops Preview Video

Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor

Big Ten Men's Basketball Storylines

Our Men’s Basketball Season Preview: 2011-2012 aired Monday night, and you can watch all the video clips right here. You can find the women’s preview clips here. We’re also tracking all the Big Ten exhibition action before the ball tips for real Friday night. Have you heard the Big Ten Geeks are back with us for another season? Our two Geeks bloggers, Josh Reed and Michael Portscheller, will post their usual statistical brilliance all season long. Check out their first Big Ten team preview: Penn State.

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