The Big Ten will lose one of its most unsung, talented and classy players soon, as Northwestern’s Drew Crawford figures to be suiting up for the last time in his Wildcat career in the Big Ten tourney this week. Enjoy every last dribble.
Nebraska secured perhaps the best win ever at Pinnacle Bank Arena when it took down the Badgers last night. The Huskers got 26 points from each of Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway, the latter of which is making a push to be included on the All-Big Ten 1st team.
This week on “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2014,” we learn how and why Ohio State’s Shannon Scott and Sam Thompson traded places in the starting lineup and sparked the Buckeyes. Also, see why Chris Collins’ most important recruiting win at Northwestern so far was keeping senior Drew Crawford in Evanston. We also explore the special family connection between Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine and his brother Drew.
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.
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.
Everyone knows about the talent the Big Ten returns to the hardwood this winter. You know, the Adreian Paynes, the Gary Harrises and the Aaron Crafts of the world. Not everyone, perhaps, is aware of the starpower the conference also welcomes back from season-ending injuries.
Northwestern senior Drew Crawford will remain at Northwestern for his final year of eligibility during the 2013-14 season. Crawford averaged 13.5 points per game earlier this season before missing the rest of it after shoulder surgery. He enters his final season of play ranked 10th in school history with 1,418 career points.
The Big Ten had a relatively bad weekend, dropping marquee games against other high-major conference teams. The main event was a battle between two top-10 teams when Kansas visited Columbus. Given that the game was on the Buckeyes’ floor, Ohio State should have won this game, and probably by more than just a point or two. Instead, Kansas ended up with a relatively comfortable 8-point win. The Jayhawks led most of the way, and started pulling away with about ten minutes left. There was no great mystery as to why OSU lost—they were terrible shooting the ball, both inside and outside the arc. On twos, Ohio State converted just 35 percent, and they were at 26 percent on threes. Kansas, meanwhile, shot 53 and 46 percent, respectively. Otherwise, OSU outplayed the Jayhawks, but shooting trumps all.
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.
Bad news from Northwestern, as the school announced that senior forward Drew Crawford will undergo surgery on his right shoulder and will miss the remainder of the 2012-13 season.
David Banks-US PRESSWIRE
Continuing the discussion of what each team could use this holiday season. Part one here.
BTN.com’s Brent Yarina is in the middle of unveiling his 2012-13 preseason Big Ten Player Rankings one by one. The countdown goes in reverse order, of course, and each installment includes player stats and one video highlight from last season. Once the season starts, Yarina will release a weekly Player Rankings every Monday. Up next: Northwestern’s Drew Crawford.
After the injury to Trevor Mbakwe, I fully expected this to be somewhat of a “what if?” season for the Gophers. And that certainly appeared to be the case through four conference games, as Minnesota stumbled to a 0-4 start in the Big Ten. But Tubby Smith’s team has responded by winning three straight games, most recently in a stomping of Northwestern at The Barn. And although Minnesota had dropped some close games over its losing streak, the turnaround isn’t simply a matter of fortunate ball bounces:
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.
Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games marked the end of non-conference play for many Big Ten members. With the holiday break looming, let’s run down who has been naughty and nice.
It’s Monday, and there are no Big Ten men’s hoops games for the first time since Nov. 10. That means it’s the perfect time to release my latest 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 at that time. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina.
On Monday, the Big Ten Conference handed out its weekly Men’s Basketball Player of the Week honors. See the winners for Nov. 14-20 in this post.
Every Sunday night during the hoops season, Brent Yarina recaps the week that was on the men’s hardwood and hands out his weekly honors. See Brent’s first installment, for action from Nov. 14-20, in this post.