We’re all set to tip-off conference play on Tuesday, which means it’s time to hand out our final grades for the nonconference season. We’ll do this in alphabetical order.
The calendar is about to flip from 2013 to 2014. And the hoops season is about to flip from non-conference play to Big Ten action. For the most part, that means good-bye to games vs. East Timbuktu State. Thank, goodness. And the first week of full-bore league action features some interesting and intriguing matchups. Here’s what to look for in my first edition of Whiteboard.
The conference hoops season tips off New Year’s Eve. I hope you’re excited, too! Before the games really start to count, here are 14 (random) thoughts I have entering 2014. For the record, no, these thoughts are in no particular order.
With the conference hoops season set to tip, it’s time to consider BTN.com’s top 10 dunks from the nonconference season. See our complete list in this post. Did we miss one? Feel free to leave your favorite dunk in the comment box at the bottom of the post.
The Big Ten went 5-1 on Saturday to close out the nonconference season with a bang. There were plenty of memorable moments early on this year, so how do we go about summing up 12 teams and 153 total nonconference games? Simple — We follow the rules of twitter.
Sam Dekker is no stranger to making highlight-reel plays, and he added another jaw-dropper in Wisconsin’s 80-43 win over Prairie View A&M on Saturday afternoon. This time, Dekker soared for a crowd-pleasing one-handed transition alley-oop. Plain and simple, Dekker got up. And his Wisconsin teammates loved the play. Watch the alley-oop and reaction to it in this post.
Quick! What was your favorite 2013 BTN video? Whatever it was, chances are, it appears on our 2013 top 10 most-watched videos. This list is as objective as any end-of-the-year countdown out there. From 1 to 10, this list represents our videos that Big Ten fans viewed the most. See the complete countdown in this post.
Michigan State junior Branden Dawson is a high-flyer. We’ve known it for a few seasons, but a knee injury late in his freshman campaign has limited his opportunities to show off his athleticism. In Tuesday night’s win over North Florida, Dawson was at his best. And it all started right out of the gate, too. Like, on the opening tip. Watch Dawson’s two ridiculous dunks in this post.
You can tell a lot about an offense based on its shot selection. Does it force the ball inside? Does it take a lot of threes? The most efficient offenses will thrive on layups, dunks, and open threes.
Find out more about: Big Ten's Best Dunks
The 2013 Big Ten Football Championship Game was Saturday night, so Big Ten fans may have missed parts of a busy day on the men’s hardwood. Catch up on all the day’s action here. There was no shortage of highlight-reel dunks from the nine-game slate, and we’ve clipped our favorite ones in this post.
Here’s a random, but accurate, statement: Sam Thompson is the Big Ten’s elite weapon on inbound passes under his own basket. The Ohio State junior boasts a thick scrapbook of flying in for jaw-dropping alley-oops on said plays. Somehow, opponents haven’t accounted for it. Watch Thompson’s latest inbound alley-oop in this post.
Sam Thompson wasn’t shy about showing off his leaping ability Wednesday night in Ohio State’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge game vs. Maryland. The junior forward, in true Sam Thompson form, soared for four impressive alley-oops. Yes, in one game. Watch all four of Thompson’s highlight-reel dunks in this post.
The Big Ten went 4-2 in the second night of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, which led to a 6-6 tie between the two power conferences. No. 1-ranked Michigan State fell to North Carolina, 79-65, while Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue and Nebraska all had impressive victories Wednesday night.
Did you miss something while you stepped away from your computer? We’re tracking some of the best Big Ten social media happenings and posting them all right here. Check out today’s edition, including an awesome image of Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde.
Victor Oladipo and Rodney Williams have moved on, but don’t think for a second that the Big Ten is lacking on highlight-reel dunkers. Sam Thompson is back, after all, as is Glenn Robinson III. Also, there’s plenty of new blood delighting Big Ten fans high above the rim. See Stephen Bardo’s top 5 dunkers in this post.
The past week on the hardwood gave us several highlight-reel dunks. There was the usual suspect, Ohio State’s high-flyer Sam Thompson, but several newcomers showed off their ups, too. Guys like Indiana’s Troy Williams and Purdue’s Basil Smotherman. Enjoy our favorite dunks from the week that was in this post.
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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 of sharpshooters.
So, Michigan State’s Branden Dawson had a powerful pair of back-to-back plays in Friday night’s season-opening 98-56 rout of McNeese State. First he dunked with one hand, then he dunked it with two hands. Watch the dunks in this post.
Michigan State’s Keith Appling brought down the United Center with his one-handed posterizing dunk over Iowa’s Melsahn Basabe in the Big Ten tournament. As impressive as the dunk was, it wasn’t the only one that delighted during the four-day event. Watch the Big Ten tourney dunks in this video.
Find out more about: Big Ten's Best Dunks
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The votes are in, and BTN.com fans have picked Sam Thompson’s inbound alley-oop vs. Michigan State as the 2012-13 Dunk of the Year. The bracket opened with one dunk from every Big Ten team, which fans decided via polls, and it was seeded in accordance with the Big Ten tourney. Thompson’s athletic jam topped D.J. Newbill’s drive and flush at Wisconsin in a contested finals matchup.
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The votes are in, and BTN.com’s 2012-13 Dunk of the Year bracket has reached the finals. The bracket opened with one dunk from every Big Ten team, which fans decided via polls, and it was seeded in accordance with the Big Ten tourney. Now, it’s time decide who had the regular season’s best dunk. Vote for the final winner in this post.
Michigan State’s Keith Appling must be sick of hearing about how great teammates Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne are at dunking, because the point guard threw down his second ridiculous jam in as many games Friday night. Last week, it was this powerful beauty. Appling’s latest dunk may have been even better, as he drove the lane, again, and, this time, posertized Iowa’s Melsahn Basbabe. Watch the dunk here and see Twitter reaction to it in this post.
Victor Oladipo was having a pedestrian day, all things considered, before he loudly announced his presence with a fastbreak 360 slam in the waning moments of Indiana’s win over Illinois in the Big Ten tourney quarterfinals Friday afternoon. Despite finishing the game with a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds), the junior star struggled early and wasn’t much of a factor until the second half. And then, came the dunk. Watch it here and see some of the Twitter reaction to it in this post.
You didn’t think Sam Thompson would return home to Chicago and not put on a show in the Big Ten tourney at the United Center, did you? That’s just silly. The Ohio State sophomore gave fans what they expected with a quartet of dunks, a soaring alley-oop being the best of all. Thompson got so high on the alley-oop, he almost goal-tended the pass that looked more like a shot. Watch the alley-oop now and find Thompson’s other dunks in this post.
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The votes are in, and BTN.com’s 2012-13 Dunk of the Year bracket has reached the semifinals. The bracket opened with one dunk from every Big Ten team, which fans decided via polls, and it was seeded in accordance with the Big Ten tourney. Now, it’s time figure out who’s headed to the Big Ten finals. Vote for each semifinal matchup in this post.