Every Big Ten men’s hoops team has played at least one game, and in today’s quick-to-judge world, we thought why not offer some initial thoughts on what we’ve seen through the first week of action. See Brent Yarina’s way-too-early Big Ten impressions in this post.
Next up on our previews are the mighty Spartans, who endured a pretty substandard season last year (where “substandard” = still dancing. Must be nice.).
At halftime of Purdue’s victory over High Point on Monday night, we aired a quick feature that gave Big Ten fans a behind-the-scenes look at the newly renovated Mackey Arena. From the court to the weight room to the locker room, among several other things, there have been a number of improvements made to Purdue basketball’s home. Everything looks really good, too. Watch the feature, which also includes Boilers talking about Robbie Hummel’s return, now.
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.
(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.