For the second consecutive week, Maryland sits atop my Big Ten Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. The Terrapins edged Penn State in their Big Ten opener and cruised to victory at Northwestern to improve to 13-1.
With the stat-stuffing games that dominate the nonconference season now history, it's a lot easier to assemble a weekly Big Ten Player Rankings. The first week of conference play featured no shortage of impressive individual performances.
The Big Ten released its weekly men’s basketball honors Monday, and Maryland freshman Diamond Stone swept the honors. [ MORE: Follow @BTNJonCrispin | Power Rankings | Player Rankings | Best of week that was | Win trip for two to the Big Ten tourney | Polls | Standings | Stats | Scores ] Player and Freshman of the Week: Diamond Stone, Maryland, C – 6-11 – Fr. – Milwaukee, Wis. – Dominican Averaged 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in leading the Terrapins to wins over Penn State and Northwestern For the week, shot 73.7 percent (14-of-19)
On Monday, the 14 Big Ten coaches held a teleconference with reporters from around the country. We posted the audio for each coach on the call here, so jump in and take a listen.
The lid has been taken off Big Ten play, and five schools are off to 2-0 starts. Two of them aren’t a shock, as Maryland and Indiana are out of the gates quickly. But it’s a surprise to see Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa also 2-0 in Big Ten action.
The Illinois-Ohio State men’s basketball game Sunday night featured an exciting finish. The teams traded baskets down the stretch, and the game wasn’t decided until the final shot. Trailing 74-73 after a Malcolm Hill 3-pointer with three seconds left, Illinois fouled Marc Loving, who hit the first free throw and missed the second. Hill grabbed the missed free throw, took a few dribbles and heaved a potential game-winner from the other side of the court. The shot looked like it was on line, but it went to the left the rim, meaning Ohio State survived, 75-73, and moved to 2-0
Purdue point guard Johnny Hill had one of those “are you kidding me” dunks against Iowa on Saturday night. Trailing 55-50 with just under five minutes remaining in the game, Hill drove the lane and threw down a thunderous one-handed dunk over two Iowa defenders. The Mackey Arena crowd rose to their feet and erupted in cheer following the huge flush. Check it out in the video at the top of this post. This has to be up there with the best dunks we have seen this season. Congrats, Mr. Hill. You have officially earned the title of #BTNStandout!
There was a great scene in the visitor’s locker room following No. 1 Michigan State’s 69-61 road win over Minnesota on Saturday afternoon. Injured Michigan State star Denzel Valentine presented Tom Izzo with the game ball, five days after the death of the coach’s father, Carl, 90. The Spartans lost the first game following Carl Izzo’s death, Tuesday night at Iowa, their first loss the season. The presentation would have happened in Iowa City had the Spartans won, but Valentine and the Spartans didn’t have to wait too much longer to recognize their coach. “It was tough to come up
There are good players. There are great players. And then there is Purdue basketball legend Rick Mount. The Boilermakers’ all-time leading scorer was honored at halftime of Saturday’s Purdue vs. Iowa men’s basketball game on BTN. Take a look at the full video at the top of this post. Mount left Purdue as the Big Ten’s all-time scoring leader with 2,323 points through only three varsity seasons. That record was later broken and is currently held by former Indiana standout Calbert Cheaney. The Boilermaker legend led Purdue to a 56-20 overall record during his career. Enjoy, Purdue fans!
Zak Showalter had the kind of day players dream about Saturday afternoon. [ MORE: AP: Showalter, Wisconsin down Rutgers, 79-57 ] The Wisconsin junior and former walk-on scored a career-high 21 points on a perfect 8-of-8 from the field, including 4-of-4 from downtown, in an easy win vs. Rutgers. That’s right, he didn’t miss a single shot en route to becoming the first Big Ten player since 2013 (Indiana’s Will Sheehey) to have a perfect day from the field with at least eight shot attempts. Showalter also played some defense, rising for another highlight-reel block. Watch every one of Showalter’s