The new year is fast approaching, which means that Big Ten play is just around the corner. A total of six Big Ten teams will hit the hardwood on Saturday, highlighted by a quadruple-header of hoops in store on BTN.
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.
There were five Big Ten hoops games on Saturday and the Big Ten made a huge statement, going a perfect 5-0 on the day. No. 5 Michigan State took down Texas in Austin, Illinois sent Missouri to its first loss, and No. 2 Ohio State made an incredible comeback to drop Notre Dame. Nebraska followed with a blowout win over The Citadel, while Michigan closed out the evening with an impressive victory over Stanford.
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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.
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.
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.