Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
It was a terrible shooting weekend for the title contenders. Collectively, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Michigan were 14 for 76 from three this weekend. Two of those teams nonetheless found a way to win.
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
On Saturday, Iowa defended its home court with a win over Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes raced out to a 30-10 lead before the Badgers finally got something going on offense, though I think that early start for Wisconsin overshadows what kind of game this really was.
Illinois’ weaknesses were exposed in a road loss against a mediocre Purdue team last night. The concerning thing isn’t so much that Illinois lost—Purdue isn’t a terrible team, just a terrible offensive team—it’s that it lost to Purdue despite hitting 10 three-pointers (38% from three on the night). Thus, it appears the “Illinois wins when it shoots well” maxim is incorrect. This team can shoot well, and still lose.
There are plays that fans never forget, and D.J. Byrd came up with one in Wednesday’s 68-61 win over Illinois that the Purdue faithful should have no trouble remembering. With 21.5 seconds left, Purdue leading 63-61 and Jacob Lawson at the free-throw line, Byrd corralled a missed freebie, on his knees, and managed to call a timeout before going out of bounds. Watch the play here.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana was upset in overtime by Butler in the Crossroads Classic on Saturday. IU’s undoing was defense, especially in the second half.
David Banks-US PRESSWIRE
Continuing the discussion of what each team could use this holiday season. Part one here.
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Up until Saturday night, Illinois’ season has been described in strange terms. At that point, it was “surprising” that Illinois was undefeated. The Illini won the Maui Invitational, which was a very “prestigious” early-season tournament. This isn’t normally how one talks about an undefeated team that’s ranked in the top-15.
Purdue basketball fans were treated to a surprise musical performance at Friday night’s Tip-off Before Kick-off. The “performer” was Dirk Hunter. Actually, it was Purdue senior D.J. Byrd, in costume, acting as a fake country artist. Byrd pulled off the alias for about four minutes before he took off his shirt and revealed a No. 21 Purdue jersey. He then took off his cowboy hat and wig, and Purdue fans erupted when they noticed it was Byrd. Watch Byrd entertain the crowd at Mackey Arena now
Name the trick shot, Purdue basketball players D.J. Byrd and Dru Antrhop and former Boiler Ryne Smith made it a recently uploaded DJ Byrd YouTube video. Seriously, these guys got creative in the video that starts with them all hitting halfcourt shots in succession and also includes shots from the Paint Crew and from atop the railing courtside at Mackey Arena. See the video in this post.
Purdue basketball player D.J. Byrd recently shared a trick shot via his Twitter account @djbyrd21 and TwitVid.com with a promise of more to come. Not to be topped, Byrd’s former teammate Ryne Smith used his Twitter account @RyneSmith_ to send out this nifty trick shot. And the shots have continued. See all of them in this post.
Last Tuesday, we watched Illinois and Michigan State fight it out to a 42-41 final. A week later, Ohio State and Purdue matched that point total on the first possession of the second half in an entertaining 87-84 Ohio State win. Both teams used outstanding three-point shooting and minuscule turnover rates to power themselves above 1.30 points per trip, marking a season-high output for both sides.
It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. See Brent’s rankings in this post.
One week of Big Ten play in the books, it’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. See Brent’s rankings in this post.