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.
Minnesota’s Rodney Williams loves to show off his athleticism, and for good reason. The junior can jump out of the gym and is blessed with some of the best God-given abilities in the Big Ten. During Sunday afternoon’s game against Northwestern at The Barn, Williams displayed those skills on a few occasions, including a quick, powerful slam and an acrobatic and-one. Watch the latter now and the former in this post.
Michigan State was in command for most of the game against Purdue on Saturday, but late in the second half Branden Dawson threw down an impressive dunk, one of several in the game for the 6-foot-6 Spartans freshman forward. Dawson had a quality shooting game, nailing 6-of-7 shots from the field and scoring 14 points.
With Wednesday night’s game against Northwestern well in hand late in the second half, Wisconsin’s Ryan Evans provided quite the highlight with a powerful alley-oop. On a night when the Badgers did a majority of their damage from downtown (12 of 23; 52 percent), it was Evans and his zero 3-pointers who carried the load. The junior scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in the easy 77-57 victory at the Kohl Center. And then there was that late alley-oop. Also, let’s not forget Jordan Taylor’s perfect pass to make it all possible. Watch it now.
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 Nebraska denying Indiana on the final possession now and get all of his best calls from Wednesday night in this post.
During an early break in the Northwestern-Wisconsin men’s basketball game Wednesday night, Teddy Greenstein, of the Chicago Tribune, presented Badgers star running back and Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball with the Silver Football, awarded annually to the Big Ten’s MVP. Ball is the eighth Badger to win the prestigious award, voted on by the league’s coaches, and the first since Ron Dayne (1999). The junior running back totaled 2,229 yards, including a nation’s best 1,923 on the ground, and a Big Ten record 39 touchdowns. Watch the entire presentation now.
Tuesday night’s Michigan State-Michigan men’s basketball game was exactly what you would expect from a battle between heated instate rivals. The game, featuring two ranked foes, came down to the final possession at Crisler Center – the final second, to be more precise. In the end, the 19th-ranked Wolverines held off the ninth-ranked Spartans, 60-59, to tally their third consecutive victory in the series (recap). Watch the crazy and entertaining final 31.4 seconds now.
During Wisconsin’s game against Nebraska BTN took viewers inside a Wisconsin practice and focused on the various moves taught to the Badgers’ big men. What do former NBA greats Dominique Wilkins, Moses Malone, Jack Sikma, Kevin McHale and Bernard King all have in common? They have fundamental back-to-the-basket moves named after them at Wiscosnin. Watch the video to see each one. Then feel free to use these during your own Nerf basketball games at home, office, or dorm room.
Minnesota’s Joe Coleman goes hard to the rim with a two-handed dunk against Penn State on Sunday, but he wasn’t the only Gopher slamming it home. Rodney Williams, who earlier this season pulled off a 360-degree dunk, added a two-handed dunk of his own against the Nittany Lions. Click down in this post to see it and see all of our “Did You See This?” videos in our archive.
Gus Johnson got the assignment to call Michigan State at Northwestern with BTN’s Jim Jackson on Saturday and it didn’t take him long to dial up the volume. We clip and post Johnson’s best calls for each game he works this season and archive them here during games, so bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney.
Leading Michigan 31-23, the Hawkeyes held the ball or the final shot of the first half on Saturday before Roy Devyn Marble popped in a fade away jumper as the clock expired. And earlier in the first half, Iowa’s Matt Gatens took a pass, made a nifty shot fake, then drove the lane for a slow-rolling shot and drew the foul. Watch it below.
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During Thursday night’s game between Indiana and Minnesota at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana, our BTN cameras caught two celebrities with some pretty good seats. Musician John Mellencamp and actress Meg Ryan were watching the game and BTN announcers Gus Johnson and Jim Jackson discussed it. Jackson: “I’m sure you got some of that John Mellencamp in your iPod, right?” Johnson: “I certainly do.”
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. Johnson and Jim Jackson called Thursday night’s game in Bloomington.
Michigan’s Zack Novak has a knack for making the all-important plays for the Wolverines. Whether it’s taking a charge, throwing his body on the floor for a loose ball or grabbing a rebound, Novak is does all the little things to help Michigan. In Wednesday night’s game against Northwestern, he did all of the usual things, but he also added a not-so-common highlight-reel slam. In transition, Novak saw a hole in the Wildcats’ defense, and he took advantage with a powerful two-handed jam. Watch the big-time dunk now.
Considering the Michigan football team’s struggles the previous three years, no one could have expected a better result from the 2011 season. After all, in Brady Hoke’s first season at the helm, the Wolverines won 11 games, including their first BCS bowl victory since 2000, after going 15-22 the previous three seasons. The Wolverines, of course, beat Virginia Tech, 23-20, in overtime of the Sugar Bowl earlier this month. And during a break in the action of Wednesday’s men’s basketball game against Northwestern, the school honored its Sugar Bowl champions. Watch David Molk and company get honored now.
Jerel Worthy’s tattoo of a Spartan standing over a Wolverine was cool, but it may no longer be the coolest Spartan-themed ink out there. Michigan State running back Nick Hill has a tattoo on his entire right torso that you’ve got to see to believe. See the picture of Hill’s impressive tat in this post.
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Iowa’s men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery got a little upset during Tuesday’s basketball game between Iowa and Michigan State, and it drew a technical foul from the official with his Hawkeyes down 69-41 to the Spartans. Watch McCaffery’s passionate protest following the call and then see his demonstrative address to his team during the subsequent timeout in yet another installment of “Did You See This?”
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