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Most pivotal player for every B1G hoops team

The college basketball season is just past the midway point, and the Big Ten picture is beginning to take shape. With five teams ranked in the latest polls, it’s clear the Big Ten is, once again, one of the nation’s elite conferences. The conference’s terrific star players have a lot to do with the Big Ten’s standing. But what about the players who aren’t household names, the all-important role players or glue guys who better their respective teams? Here is a list of the most pivotal player for every Big Ten hoops team, listed in order of the Big Ten

Big Ten Geeks: Back to square one

Weekends like this one have me considering whether it’s just better to disregard the non-conference season entirely. Because despite the last three months, there was a lot of reverting to preseason expectations. In turn… Wisconsin’s Defense is a Concern Last year the Badgers were an elite defensive unit that couldn’t score. A big reason for that was the team adopted the personalities of its two senior leaders, Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren. Both players were fantastic defenders, but they also struggled to put the ball in the basket. With those offensive anchors removed—and replaced by personnel with loads of offensive

Nebraska gets first Big Ten win, upsets No. 17 Ohio State

(AP) Shavon Shields scored 18 points and Terran Petteway had 13 of his 18 in the second half to lead Nebraska to a 68-62 upset of No. 17 Ohio State on Monday night, the Buckeyes’ fourth straight loss. The Cornhuskers (9-8, 1-5 Big Ten), who ended a five-game losing streak, survived after squandering a 14-point first-half lead. They used a 16-5 run late in the second half to regain control and off the Buckeyes (15-4, 2-4). [ MORE: Enter our Trip to the Big Ten Tournament Sweepstakes! ] NEBRASKA 68, OHIO STATE 62 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY VIDEO: Congrats,

Audio: Listen to your Big Ten coach's teleconference

On Monday, the 12 Big Ten men’s basketball coaches joined the Big Ten teleconference to take questions from the media. We’ve posted the audio for each coach on the call here, and will do so every Monday throughout the basketball season. Listen to coach Tom Crean: Listen to coach Fran McCaffery: Listen to coach John Groce: Listen to coach Chris Collins: Listen to coach Penn State Associate Head Coach Keith Urgo: Listen to coach Matt Painter: Listen to coach Tom Izzo: Listen to coach Bo Ryan: Listen to coach John Beilein: Listen to coach Thad Matta: Listen to coach Richard

B1G Whiteboard: Big week ahead for Michigan

Another week, another raft of games that will go a long way toward shaping the Big Ten race. And this much is becoming clearer: Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa are the teams to beat. Speaking of the Big Ten’s holy trinity, it’s a big week for Michigan. BIG week. Here’s a look at the week that’s on our doorstep. [ MORE: Enter our Trip to the Big Ten Tournament Sweepstakes! ] GAME OF THE WEEK: Michigan at Michigan State, Sat., Jan. 25. A monster showdown between state rivals who enter the week as the lone unbeaten teams in the Big

Saturday's 'Journey' explores PSU's guard tandem

This week’s episode of “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2014” debuts Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go and focuses on several new stories, including how Penn State’s DJ Newbill and Tim Frazier have become one of the nation’s most dynamic backcourts. Also Saturday, learn how Canadian phenom Nik Stauskas was home-schooled in basketball by his father on a court he built. Plus, meet Ohio State junior guard Shannon Scott and learn about his unique and historic basketball lineage. Our show will also have our usual beautifully shot game highlights from Penn State at Michigan and Ohio State at Minnesota.

Early look at NCAA Tournament mock brackets

It’s mid-January. Seems like a good time to start taking a look at some mock NCAA brackets. Things are looking good for Wisconsin and Michigan State, which are primed to be No. 1 seeds. Michigan, Iowa and Ohio State also are solid tourney teams for now. But teams like Minnesota and Indiana may bob in and out of these mock brackets all winter. First, there’s Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com, my personal favorite because he’s a Purdue grad who studied computers and played in the All-American Marching Band. And, I know how smart those guys are, having gone to Purdue myself.

Survey says: Big Ten's toughest player

Toughness. It’s needed in any sport to be successful. And there are many definitions of toughness, which is displayed in various ways. Show me a successful team—and I’ll show you a tough team. Knowing that, I asked some writers who cover Big Ten hoops teams who they felt is the “toughest” player in the conference. [ MORE: Ups and Downs: Reviewing and Previewing Hoops ] Mark Snyder, Detroit Free Press: Aaron Craft. Whether by design or accident, he takes more bumps than a pinball — at both ends. Seth Gruen, Chicago Sun-Times: Keith Appling. Smallest guy on the floor and

Ups & downs: Reviewing & previewing hoops

It’s time for my Big Ten basketball 3-Pointers, my look back at the week that was in the Big Ten—with a sneak peek at what’s to come. It has been a good week to be Minnesota and Indiana. It hasn’t been such a good week to be Ohio State and Illinois. And if you’re Richard Pitno’s jacket from Thursday night, you had a little bit of good and bad this week. Read on, Big Ten fans! Three Stocks to Buy: 1. Minnesota. Dinkytown residents probably woke up this morning to hear chants of “Ski-U-Mah!” Why not? Minnesota looks legit after

Big Ten Geeks: The Gophers arrive

Minnesota picked up a huge resume win over Ohio State, 63-53 in 63 possessions. The story of this game was on the interior, where Elliott Eliason made his presence felt on both ends. The bearded big man went 6-for-8 on twos, leading a Gopher attack that scored a point per trip despite a bad night from the perimeter. Minnesota’s poor three-point shooting and bad turnover rate weren’t a huge surprise, given the defensive strength of the Buckeye backcourt, but the Gophers’ ability to score inside was unexpected. %Shots at rim %Shots 2pt J %Shots 3pt Ohio State 18% 51% 31%