Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday TV show #BTNLive weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. On Monday’s show we asked: Which player is the biggest omission from the All-Big Ten first team? The answers for this debate are: Yogi Ferrell, Adreian Payne, Caris LeVert, D.J. Newbill or Aaron Craft
Penn State celebrated an early senior night (the Nittany Lions still have another home game remaining, but I guess they didn’t like their chances against Wisconsin) by rallying from an 11-point first half deficit to take down Ohio State. PSU got a big game out of junior guard D.J. Newbill (23 points, 9 shots), who had a better game than LaQuinton Ross (19 points, 12 shots). I mention those two because, outside of them, there was not a lot of offense. Tim Frazier had 16 points, but it took 12 shots to get there and it came with 6 turnovers.
If it’s Friday, it’s time for my survey. This week, I asked Big Ten media members who is the best dunker in the conference. A guy from Ohio State was a popular choice.
The Big Ten office released its latest Big Ten Men’s Basketball Players of the Week on Monday, and three players were honored. Northwestern’s Drew Crawford and Penn State’s D.J. Newbill shared Player of the Week, while Indiana’s Noah Vonleh claimed Freshman of the Week. Read more in this post.
Prediction: D.J. Newbill won’t soon forgot his performance in Wednesday night’s win at No. 23 Ohio State. Not only did Newbill score a game-high 25 points, but he hit the game-winner with 1.9 seconds left in overtime to help the Nittany Lions snap their 18-game losing streak to the Buckeyes. Even better: Newbill beat all-world defender Aaron Craft on the final dagger. Watch the shot in this post.
Find out more about: D.J. Newbill, Gone Viral
In case any doubters remained—Iowa is for real, as proven by its 10-point win in Columbus. Granted, this was probably more like a six- or eight-point win if Ohio State isn’t fouling desperately at the end. But that’s splitting hairs, especially because most teams in that position do the same thing.
The easy narrative for Wisconsin’s win over Iowa is that Fran McCaffrey was hit with a double technical foul when his team held a 2-point lead, and that those four points gave Wisconsin the lead, the momentum, and the margin of victory.
This was a big weekend for the middle of the Big Ten. So far this season, there have been two teams that clearly look a cut above the rest—Ohio State and Wisconsin—and then there are a lot of teams that haven’t hit their upside. Many of those teams were tested this weekend, and every one of them failed.
It was while watching a Purdue team fall to Nebraska in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament last year that I assured my colleague, Tom Dienhart, that the Boilermakers were simply in a rebounding season. They would be back next year, I told him, and I had no reservations about that.
The Big Ten is loaded with talented basketball players, so it’s only natural that some guys to go unnoticed or receive less respect than they deserve. That’s why I compiled my 2012-13 All-Big Ten Underrated Team. Who made the list? Find out in this post. Did I forget anyone? If so, leave it in the comment box at the bottom of the post.
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports
We all know who the superstars are in the Big Ten—Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke, Deshaun Thomas, Brandon Paul, Trevor Mbakwe. This year the list really could go on quite a bite. But who do I think have been some of the most underrated players this season in the conference? Glad you asked.