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Big Ten Geeks: Season Preview, Part Two

Back to our season preview. Part one can be found here. We left off with the question of whether Matt Painter is in for a rebuilding year at Purdue. Josh: I think Painter’s proven to be a master at squeezing everything he can from the roster, but there’s just not enough Big Ten-ready talent this year in West Lafayette. They’re still playing hard on defense (Jacob Lawson, in particular, is proving to be a very capable defender), but the offense is a mess. The backcourt can’t make a shot, and the team is relying on freshman Ronnie Johnson to run

Big Ten Geeks: What's up with Wisconsin?

In the wake of Wisconsin’s lopsided loss at the hands of Florida, I urged caution. It was early. Florida is really good, and they were playing at home. Surely, it wouldn’t be long before Bo Ryan had his team playing well enough to put any fears about the Badgers missing the NCAA Tournament to rest. But after Wisconsin lost to Creighton, and had to rely on a second-half comeback to beat a mediocre Arkansas team, I wouldn’t begrudge anyone in Madison for doing a bit of hand-wringing. If you wanted to go by resume-building, Creighton was an excellent chance to

Hardaway leads Michigan to Preseason NIT title

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead No. 4 Michigan to the Preseason NIT title Friday with a 71-57 win over Kansas State at Madison Square Garden in New York. Michigan (5-0) was able to carry momentum into the break and sustain it to start the second half. Leading 27-24 late in the first, the Wolverines used a 24-6 spurt to open their cushion to 21 points midway through the second half. Michigan hit 53 percent of its field goals (29-of-55). The Wolverines also got solid contributions from Nik Stauskas and Trey Burke, who each

Tracy Abrams

Hoops roundup: Illinois wins Maui Invitational

Before Thanksgiving arrived, it was time for some Big Ten men’s basketball. There were a handful of games Wednesday night, including perfect Illinois toppling Butler to claim the Maui Invitational title. Catch up on all the action, get recaps and watch select in-game highlights in this post. Use these links to track the action: [ SCORES | BTN CONNECT | RAPID RECAPS | PHOTOS | WATCH B1G DUNKS ] ILLINOIS 78, BUTLER 61: BOX | AP RECAP FINAL: Rotnei Clarke scored 27 points for Butler, but it was not enough as Illinois recorded a 78-61 victory Wednesday to win the

Big Ten Geeks: Indiana can shoot the ball

Thanksgiving week has thus far been kind to the Big Ten, with several squads in position to win their early season tournaments. Let’s hit some of the highlights. Indiana survived its first real test of the season, needing overtime to defeat Georgetown in Brooklyn. The Hoosiers probably should have wrapped up this game in regulation, but the Hoyas used an 8-1 run over the final 64 seconds to force overtime. In that stretch, Yogi Ferrell missed the front end of a one-and-one, then made only one of two on the next trip. Ferrell is now shooting 87 percent from the

Big Ten Geeks: Regarding Rutgers

Yesterday, it was Maryland. Today, it’s Rutgers. With today’s news, the Big Ten is primed to become a 14-team conference starting in 2014-15. While Big Ten basketball fans have at least some familiarity with Maryland’s hoops tradition, not much is known about these Scarlet Knights. Let’s take a look at what Rutgers brings to the conference from a hoops perspective. Clearly, not all (any?) conference expansions are driven by basketball. On the football side of things, the Scarlet Knights have been solid for some time and are currently 18th in the BCS standings. It’s not hard to see why the

Seth Allen

Big Ten Geeks: Regarding Maryland

With the news that Maryland will be joining the Big Ten in 2014, there are all sorts of implications to evaluate. Maintaining our narrow perspective of Big Ten basketball, let’s take a look at what the addition might mean strictly on the hardcourt. Maryland has a proud basketball tradition, with the pinnacle coming in the form of the 2002 national championship squad led by Juan Dixon. Otherwise, Maryland has made only one other Final Four (2001) and hasn’t reached the Sweet Sixteen since 2003. Even making the Big Dance has become a bit of a struggle for the Terrapins, who have

Tim Hardaway Jr.

No. 5 Michigan dominates Cleveland State

 Tim Hardaway Jr. had 17 points and six rebounds, and No. 5 Michigan advanced to the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off with a 77-47 victory over Cleveland State on Tuesday night. It was the third straight victory by at least 30 points for the Wolverines (3-0), who shot 51 percent from the field against a Cleveland State (2-1) team that was coming off an overtime win the day before. Nik Stauskas scored 15 points, and Trey Burke added 12 points and seven assists. Michigan went on a 29-5 run to finish the first half. It was 42-14 at halftime.

Trey Burke

No. 5 Michigan cruises past IUPUI, 91-54

Trey Burke scored 22 points and Glenn Robinson III added 21, leading No. 5 Michigan to a 91-54 victory over IUPUI on Monday night in the NIT Season Tip-Off. Burke equaled a career high with nine assists and Robinson made his first eight shots from the field. Michigan (2-0) has been a model of efficiency on offense so far this season. After beating Slippery Rock 100-62 in their opener, the Wolverines shot 60 percent from the field and went 13 of 21 from 3-point range against IUPUI. Michigan advances to play Cleveland State in the next round Tuesday night. Purdue

Jon Horford

Did You See This? Hardaway Jr. & Horford dunks

There were plenty of highlights during No. 5 Michigan’s 91-54 victory over IUPUI on Monday night at Crisler Center. One would be hard pressed to find two better ones than Tim Hardaway Jr.’s coast-to-coast slam dunk or Jon Horford’s powerful two-handed flush. Watch Hardaway’s dunk now and see Horford’s in this post. Here’s Horford’s powerful jam: