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Big Ten Geeks: Getting Defensive

We sit mere days away from Big Ten play, so it seems a proper time to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the conference’s defenses. Possibly the best way to do that is through detailed shot data. The best defenses will limit open threes and shots at the rim while forcing opponents to take low value two-point jumpers. Courtesy of Hoop-Math, the following table contains defensive shot data for the teams in the Big Ten, sorted from fewest shots allowed at the rim to most shots allowed at the rim. Team % Shots At Rim % Shots 2pt Jumpers %

Sunday hoops roundup: B1G goes for 5 for 5

The Big Ten went a perfect 5-0 for the second consecutive day Sunday. Indiana (Kennesaw State), Iowa (Ark-Pine Bluff), Northwestern (Brown), Penn State (Mount St. Mary’s) and Purdue (West Virginia) all carded nonconference wins. Catch up on all the stats, scores and select video highlights in this post. INDIANA 90, KENNESAW STATE 66 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Yogi Ferrell had 25 points while Noah Vonleh added 14 points and nine rebounds as Indiana easily defeated Kennesaw State 90-66 on Sunday afternoon. The Hoosiers (10-3), who open Big Ten play on New Year’s Eve at Illinois, shot a

Video: Iowa 7-footer goes behind-the-back on break

How often do you see a 7-footer make a successful behind-the-back pass? It doesn’t happen a lot, but it did Sunday in Iowa City. Iowa sophomore Adam Woodbury got fancy in transition vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and found Aaron White for a powerful dunk. White added even more flair to the play by hanging on the rim and pulling himself up. Watch the highlight in this post. MUST SEE: A 7-footer with a behind the back pass for a dunk? You have to see it to believe it! @IowaHoops. WATCH – http://t.co/sQ4Gf0aOzU — Iowa on BTN (@IowaOnBTN) December 22, 2013 Even

BTN expands studio team of basketball analysts

CHICAGO – BTN will bolster its team of studio analysts to coincide with the start of conference basketball by adding former Maryland and Ohio State head coach Gary Williams and Hall of Fame sportswriters Dick “Hoops” Weiss and Mike DeCourcy, who returns for a third season. In total, BTN will televise 67 men’s conference basketball matchups, including nine straight weeks of “Super Wednesday” doubleheaders, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, and four Big Ten Tournament games. All “Super Wednesday” doubleheaders will begin with the Auto Owner’s Insurance Big Ten Tip-Off Show, hosted by Dave Revsine alongside analyst Jim Jackson. BTN’s lineup

Big Ten Geeks: Early Trends

It’s still early, but it can be instructive to look at how Big Ten teams have performed relative to preseason expectations. With so few games of consequence being played this week, now is as good a time as any to pause and see how things have gone. Courtesy of the ever-useful kenpom.com, here’s how the rankings have evolved for Big Ten teams so far this season: The index on the x-axis is the game number from which the ranking was taken. The first ranking is taken from before the first game (i.e. the preseason ranking), the second ranking is taken

Big Ten Geeks: The kids are alright

As most of the Big Ten pauses for finals, it seems a fitting time to evaluate how the first semester went for the conference’s freshmen. We’ve got a third of the season under our belts, so it feels like we can finally take an initial peek at the numbers. The following table lists every Big Ten freshman that has played at least 10 percent of his team’s minutes, sorted by usage rate. Player Team %Min Ortg %Poss OR% DR% DefensiveSOS Rank Bryson Scott Purdue 44.8 111.1 29.0 4.2 10.2 310 Stanford Robinson Indiana 24.3 94.8 25.1 4.0 16.8 332 Noah

Big Ten Geeks: Contenders or Pretenders?

This was a big weekend for the middle of the Big Ten. So far this season, there have been two teams that clearly look a cut above the rest—Ohio State and Wisconsin—and then there are a lot of teams that haven’t hit their upside. Many of those teams were tested this weekend, and every one of them failed. The action started on Friday, where Iowa established the theme of the weekend—get a lead, and blow it late. The Hawkeyes had a 10-point lead over a tough Cyclones team in the first half, but this was a back-and-forth affair in the

B1G Clicks: Tracking today's Big Ten trends

Did you miss something while you stepped away from your computer? We’re tracking some of the best Big Ten social media happenings and posting them all right here. Check out today’s edition, including this movie trailer-style video for the upcoming 2014 Rose Bowl. Like what you see? We do this every weekday. Visit our Clicks archive. Here are Friday’s B1G Clicks: Our take: Spartan fans will LOVE this! Students lined up from Hilton entrance to behind Johnny's. That's half of the outside of Hilton. #Cyclones pic.twitter.com/LA1LRlFlq7 — Chris Williams (@ChrisMWilliams) December 13, 2013 Our take: When was the last time

Big Ten Geeks: Fun with shot data

You can tell a lot about an offense based on its shot selection. Does it force the ball inside? Does it take a lot of threes? The most efficient offenses will thrive on layups, dunks, and open threes. It’s still early, but we can look at shot distribution data (courtesy of hoop-math.com) to get a feel for a team’s offensive tendencies. Here’s the complete data for the Big Ten, with teams sorted from least jump-shot-happy to most jump-shot-happy. Team %shots at rim %shots 2-pt jumpers %shots 3-pointers Indiana 53.8 19.1 27.1 Michigan St. 45.4 21.2 33.3 Ohio St. 42.1 21.5 36.4

Big Ten Geeks: Surveying the Landscape

It’s hard to believe, but nearly a third of the 2013-14 regular season is already in the books. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the Big Ten, but certain trends and qualities have emerged. With preparation for final exams taking precedence over meaningful basketball games this week, let’s take this opportunity to pause and evaluate what we’ve seen. LaQuinton Ross Has Emerged In our Ohio State preview, we compared LaQuinton Ross’ sophomore conference season to that of Deshaun Thomas with the following table: Poss% Shot% eFG% 3PA/FGA Free Throw Rate Assist% TO% ORtg Deshaun Thomas, sophomore 20 25