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.
There was an iconic Hail Mary pass, a brand new championship game, a new school in the club, Legends and Leaders, a smashing debut by a coach, a touchdown machine named “Ball,” and a sordid off-field scandal the likes we never have seen in the history of college sports. Welcome to Big Ten football 2011.
Tim Beckman is the new Illinois coach and arrives from Toledo, where he forged a 21-16 record (16-6 in the MAC) the past three seasons after taking over for Tom Amstutz. Beckman led the Rockets to an 8-4 mark this season and a spot in the Military Bowl against Air Force, the program’s second bowl under his stewardship. Toledo has gone 7-1 in MAC play in each of the past two seasons.