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Purdue's Basil Smotherman posterizes Rider

Purdue’s Basil Smotherman threw down the kind of dunk that drops jaws in the second half of Sunday’s win over Rider. The freshman drove and exploded for a left-handed posterizing dunk that delighted the Mackey Arena faithful. Former Flyin’ Illini star Stephen Bardo, the color commentator for the game, liked what he saw, too, saying: “Putting Rider on a poster. They’re for the sale in the lobby coming up.” WOW! @Boilerball freshman Basil Smotherman posterizes the defender with a HUGE one-handed slam! #orvillemoment – http://t.co/UBmRAwtAbe — Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 18, 2013 Presented by Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn, these video

Week in Review: Looking ahead to Week 12 B1G Games

Week 12 of the Big Ten football season is here. Can you believe it? Here is a rundown of the upcoming games on Saturday and a recap of this week’s news leading up to the big weekend ahead. BTN’s coverage will kick off at noon ET when Purdue travels to Happy Valley to take on Penn State. Immediatly following that, Michigan will take on Northwestern at 3:30 p.m. at Ryan Field. Both games will also be available on BTN2Go. Let’s break down the Big Ten games here. GAMEDAY LINKS: LIVE SCOREBOARD | BTN CONNECT | BTN2GO | STANDINGS | POLLS

Big Ten Geeks: Standing Tall

The Big Ten suffered its first losses over the past couple nights, and we learned just a little bit more about the shape of this conference. Let’s dive in. In a formula that might become common this season, Illinois struggled to score over Valparaiso’s length but did enough on defense to secure the victory. After facing two decidedly smaller teams to open the season, Illinois had trouble converting over Valpo’s big and experienced frontline. In fact, the Illini’s 35.6 effective field goal percentage is the lowest mark of the John Groce era, and last season’s team wasn’t exactly a collection

Top moments from tonight's B1G hoops action

Both Illinois and Purdue notched impressive early season wins Wednesday night. Purdue blew out Central Connecticut 109-73, while Illinois edged out Valparaiso, 64-52. In the third Big Ten game of the evening, Penn State fell to Bucknell, 80-90. Get game recaps, stats and video highlights from all three games in this post. BUCKNELL 90, PENN STATE 80 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Steven Kaspar scored 25 points and Cameron Ayers added 19 as Bucknell defeated Penn State 90-80 in a wild, back-and-forth game between two nearby Pennsylvania rivals Wednesday night. Penn State (1-1), led by D.J. Newbill (18),

Big Ten Geeks: Spartans make a statement

In the night’s top matchup, Michigan State ran out to an early 10-0 lead against a young Kentucky team and did just enough the rest of the way to pick up a very big win. It was a tale of two halves, as the Spartans made the Wildcats look slow and disorganized over the first 20 minutes. Wish I could say MSU's fastbreaking wing attack from '05 is back, but really UK just terrible at getting back on defense. — Josh and Mike (@bigtengeeks) November 13, 2013 Defensively, Michigan State’s man-to-man defense was severely packed in, making it look almost

Big Ten Geeks: Runnin' Badgers & Escapin' Boilermakers

Most of the Big Ten cruised to easy wins over cupcakes—with one notable exception—but the Wisconsin Badgers faced a formidable challenge against St. John’s. The Red Storm was mediocre last year, but the team returned everyone, including a healthy dose of rising sophomores. The team is expected to be much-improved, much like Wisconsin’s offense. And the Badgers definitely were better on the offensive end, scoring 1.32 points per possession, which was very out-of-character for last year’s team. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the defense was just as unrecognizable. Of course, there’s a legitimate point to be

Watch Friday night Big Ten hoops highlights

Nine Big Ten men’s basketball teams opened their 2013-14 seasons Friday night, including No. 2 Michigan State and No. 7 Michigan, and every team emerged victorious. Watch all of the top highlights and get scores, stats and recaps for all of the games in this post. Illinois 80, Alabama State 63 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Rayvonte Rice scored 22 points and had nine rebounds in his debut to lead Illinois to a season-opening 80-63 win over Alabama State on Friday. Rice is a Champaign native but spent two seasons at Drake before transferring to Illinois (1-0). INSTANT

Video: Did you see that wild Purdue finish?

How close was Purdue to possibly dropping its season opener to Northern Kentucky on Friday? Answer: Really close. The Boilermakers denied Northern Kentucky on three potential game-winning buckets in the final seconds to hold on for the 77-76 win. Strong defense, indeed. But, make no mistake, it was closer than any Purdue fans had envisioned. Watch the wild finish in this post. INSTANT HIGHLIGHT: Mad scramble & a frenzied finish for @Boilerball. How close was it? WATCH – http://t.co/5UDAlDHBv5 — Purdue on BTN (@BTN_Purdue) November 9, 2013 Presented by Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn, these video segments are great football moments clipped

Top 10 Plays from B1G exhibition games

Can you feel it ladies and gentlemen? College basketball is officially here. The Big Ten basketball regular season is scheduled to kick off Friday night with a full-slate of action. But let’s not forget how entertaining the past two weeks of exhibition hoops have been. We have seen everything from dunks, to blocks to a freshman guard scoring seven points in a span of 37 seconds. With that said, let’s go ahead and count down the top 10 plays from this year’s Big Ten exhibition games. [ MORE: BTN.com Big Ten hoops mock draft ] 10. Michigan freshman guard Derrick

Big Ten Geeks: Purdue 2013-14 Preview

It was a frustrating and disappointing season for Purdue basketball. For just the second time in the Matt Painter era, the Boilermakers missed the NCAA tournament, and they really weren’t even that close. Will things be better this time around? First, let’s look at our standard preview numbers for the Boilermakers: 2013 Record 16-18 (8-10) Conference Offensive Efficiency 0.98 (9th) Conference Defensive Efficiency 1.04 (9th) Percentage of Conference Minutes Returning 60% Percentage of Conference Minutes Played by Returning Freshmen 40% Purdue returns a middling amount of minutes overall, but that preponderance of minutes going freshman-to-sophomore points to meaningful improvement. Those