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Purdue’s Jacob Lawson has experienced the highs and lows that come with being a freshman in the Big Ten. In Saturday night’s rivalry game against No. 20 Indiana, however, the young big man provided the highlight of his young career. It all started on the defensive end, too, as Lawson stole a pass intended for Cody Zeller, another freshman, and took it the length of the court for a powerful slam dunk. Watch Lawson’s play now and track the action from Mackey Arena.
Wisconsin big man Jared Berggren displayed his footwork and acrobatic ability against No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday. Early in the first half of Wisconsin’s 58-52 loss, Berggren backed his way into the lane against star Jared Sullinger, did a half spin and, with his back to the basket, flipped it in for two points. ESPN color analyst Dan Dakich thought there may have been a travel on the play, but either way, it was a nimble and impressive bucket for the big man. Watch the play now.
It was another action-packed week in the Big Ten as proven by the number of videos our readers watched on these very pages. With some amazing plays punctuating some fantastic finishes, we posted a number of clips since last Friday. Below in this post is the list of the five most-watched videos over the past seven days.
In a conference that boasts Indiana’s Cody Zeller and Michigan’s Trey Burke, sometimes Iowa’s Aaron White flies under the radar when it comes to the Big Ten’s top freshmen. A few more plays like the one White made in Wednesday’s win against Minnesota, and his name will be up there with Zeller and Burke. Watch White’s impressive And-1 off of a missed shot now and check out Devyn Marble posterize Minnesota’s 6-foot-11 center Ralph Sampson III in this post.
Our Auto-Owners Insurance Tip-off Show, with Dave Revsine, Jim Jackson and Gary Williams, was live at Crisler Center before No. 22 Michigan hosted No. 20 Indiana on Wednesday night. During the 30-minute show, we had a feature where Michigan senior Zack Novak gave us a tour of Michigan’s new facilities at Crisler Center, formerly Crisler Arena.
Just as we did during 2010-2011 hoops season, we’re archiving Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season. Johnson is calling men’s basketball for BTN all winter long. We clip and post his best calls and archive them here during games, so bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Right now, watch Johnson’s call of Tim Hardaway’s ridiculous alley-oop and get all of the announcer’s best calls from Wednesday’s Indiana-Michigan game.
Tuesday’s Michigan State-Illinois game was far from a thing of beauty. In the final minutes of the first half, in fact, ESPN play-by-play guy Mike Tirico begged, “This half NEEDS to end!” As inept as the offenses were in the 42-41 decision at Assembly Hall, there were a couple highlights: Meyers Leonard’s alley-oop and Brandon Paul’s poke.
Derek Elston averaged 2.6 points per game in Indiana’s first nine Big Ten games. On Sunday night against Iowa, the junior forward erupted for eight points in a 70-second span, hitting a 3-pointer, a deep jumper and another 3 on successive first-half possessions. The scoring spree not only marked Elston’s most points in a game since he totaled eight against Howard on Dec. 19, it also turned a tie game into an eight-point Indiana advantage. Oh, and for good measure, the junior blocked a shot to help create the final bucket of the outburst. Watch Elston’s rare explosion now and see Cody Zeller’s dunk-a-thon in this post.
BTN producers followed around popular broadcaster Gus Johnson during a recent trip to Chicago for Northwestern’s upset victory over Michigan State. From the time he got off the plane to the final whistle at Welsh-Ryan Arena, BTN cameras were there to offer a brief glimpse into the life of one of the nation’s busiest game-callers. Not only is the footage terrific, it’s informative. For example, did you know Gus has a locker room to use to get ready before the game, or that he prefers to steam his gameday attire in the shower? Watch Gus’ arrival into Chicago now and check out a clip of him preparing for the game and another calling the action in this post.
“Chip Armelin is suddenly Steve Nash.” That’s what our resident Big Ten Geeks (@bigtengeeks) tweeted Saturday night following the Minnesota guard’s fancy pass to set up a transition bucket against Illinois. The pass was worthy of the high praise, too. Not only did Armelin fake a behind-the-back pass, he threw the ball right through D.J. Richardson’s arms, hitting Oto Osenieks for an easy bucket. Speaking of the Gophers, Rodney Williams had another huge dunk Saturday, much to the delight of BTN announcer Tom Hart. Watch Armelin’s pass now and Williams’ dunk in this post.
It’s been a struggle from the field much of the season for Purdue senior Robbie Hummel. Entering Saturday’s game at Northwestern, the senior forward was shooting a career-low 39 percent and hadn’t hit 50 percent of his shots in any game since Nov. 29. Hummel was under 50 percent again Saturday (5 of 11; 45 percent), but he was money when it mattered most. With the score tied and less than 10 seconds remaining on the clock, Hummel made something out of nothing, hitting an impressive driving leaner to send Purdue past Northwestern. Watch the game-winning shot now.
Here’s something you don’t see every night, much less twice in the same night: Ohio State’s Aaron Craft and Minnesota’s Julian Welch both hit halfcourt shots on attempted alley-oop passes Wednesday. We kid you not. Craft did it first, as his pass to Sam Thompson went through the rim in Ohio State’s easy win over Penn State. Later, Welch, from just behind the midcourt line, threw a pass in Rodney Williams’ direction and into the bucket in Minnesota’s loss at Michigan State. Watch Craft’s shot here and check out Welch’s in this post.
Just as we did during 2010-2011 hoops season, we’re archiving Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season. Johnson is calling men’s basketball for BTN all winter long. We clip and post his best calls and archive them here during games, so bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Right now, watch Johnson’s call of Draymond Green hitting a jump shot and get all of the announcer’s best calls from Michigan State’s win over Minnesota on Wednesday (recap).
Most teams go an entire season, if not longer, without even attempting an alley-oop on an inbound pass. Then again, most teams don’t have an athlete quite like Ohio State’s Sam Thompson. Only a freshman, Thompson was on the receiving end of his second such play in Big Ten action alone Wednesday night. Which inbound alley-oop was better, though: Tonight’s or the one at Indiana on New Year’s Eve? Watch both incredible plays and vote on the best one in this post.