The Big Ten announced its first weekly honors for the 2011-12 men’s hoops season Monday. Three players were honored, including a pair of Hoosiers. Sophomore Victor Oladipo took home Player of the Week honors after averaging 18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks in Indiana’s first two games, both easy wins. See all the honorees in this post.
In Big Ten play, Minnesota was better than Michigan State last season. Seriously. And the season started out so well. Through 20 games, the Gophers had 16 wins, including victories over UNC, West Virginia, Michigan, and Purdue. But in January, Minnesota lost Al Nolen and Devoe Joseph, and the backcourt play crumbled. It’s a remarkable feat to finish dead last in the Big Ten in three-point percentage even while carrying Blake Hoffarber on the roster. With defenses focusing on guarding The Hoff, and no other outside threats to speak of, Minnesota finished the year on a 1-10 skid.
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(AP) John Shurna scored a 15 points and Luka Mirkovic added 12 to lead Northwestern to a 60-36 season-opening victory over Texas-Pan American on Sunday night. The Wildcats shook off a sluggish start, using an 11-1 run late in the first half to take control. They steadily extended the advantage behind 11 second-half points from Drew Crawford. Brandon Provost and Jared Maree had 12 points each for the Broncs, who are 0-2 in a season-opening Chicago swing. They lost at DePaul on Friday. Northwestern improved to 8-4 in season openers under head coach Bill Carmody and is 7-0 against Texas-Pan American in a series dating back to 1999. See the box score.
(AP) Victor Oladipo scored a career-high 21 points on Sunday to help Indiana beat Chattanooga 78-53. Jordan Hulls added 18 points and Verdell Jones III 16 for Indiana, which shot 50 percent from the floor and recorded seven blocks. Omar Wattad led Chattanooga, playing its season opener, with 24 points. The Mocs held a 45-36 rebounding advantage. The Hoosiers (2-0) have made 58 percent of their outside shots this season. They were coming off a 65 percent performance in Friday’s opener against Stony Brook. Indiana went on a 25-9 run to extend its lead to 61-33 midway through the second half. See the box score. Watch our interview with former Indiana star and current director of basketball operations Calbert Cheaney inside, plus see our Narrative Science recaps.
In case you didn’t hear, Michigan State played North Carolina on a boat on Friday. Despite that fact, the Spartans couldn’t throw it in the ocean. It doesn’t matter if you thoroughly dominate UNC on the boards if there’s a lid on the basket. Tom Izzo’s team shot just 38 percent inside the arc and a rock-bottom 10 percent beyond it. Maybe there’s a reason you only play to 15 in streetball.
Penn State and Wisconsin’s men’s basketball teams open up the 2011-12 season Saturday afternoon with resounding victories. The Badgers used hot shooting and stifling defense to blast Kennesaw State, 85-31, while Penn State put away Hartford, 70-55, in Tom Chambers’ debut. Watch our video analysis from Wisconsin’s dominant win now and read all about the games in this post.
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In celebration of Veterans Day on Friday night, the Michigan State men’s basketball team played North Carolina on the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego. The top-ranked Tar Heels knocked off the Spartans, 67-55, in front of President Barack Obama. See our photo gallery, courtesy of US Presswire, from the incredible scene in this post.