About Brent Yarina BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina. 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
Indiana won the Big Ten championship outright by about half a Newton, as Jordan Morgan’s tip-in attempt was a hair too strong, allowing Indiana to complete a road comeback and dulling the festivities of the rest of the weekend. After a sluggish first half that ended with Michigan leading 33-30 (33 possessions), the two teams combined for 80 points in the second half (32 possessions). However, despite the fact that these two teams played a back-and-forth battle, I think the result raises more concerns about Michigan than Indiana. Don’t get me wrong—this game was literally decided by the bounce of
Indiana reclaimed the top spot in the polls after it held off Michigan in Bloomington. The Hoosiers lit up the Wolverines’ defense to the tune of 1.17 points per possession, the highest mark allowed so far this season by John Beilein’s team. And the reality it that it could have been much worse, as careless turnovers were about the only thing that slowed down the IU offense. Michigan had the opposite problem—while it took care of the ball by only committing 8 turnovers in a 69 possession game, the Wolverines were atypically inaccurate on both twos (49 percent) and threes
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. The fact of the matter is that Illinois is a mediocre defensive team, and especially awful on the defensive glass. Purdue grabbed 44 percent of its misses—including four off of missed
Kansas big man Jeff Withey leads the nation in blocks, averaging 5.4 swats per game entering Saturday’s game at Ohio State. So, as you can imagine, not many players succeed in challenging the stud center near the rim. Unless your name is Lenzelle Smith Jr., apparently. The Ohio State junior went at Withey and hammered home a left-handed slam in the first half of Saturday afternoon’s loss. Watch the dunk here. [ RELATED: Watch all the year’s slams in our Big Ten Dunk Archive ] Not too bad – even though it did come in a losing effort. Speaking of
Ohio State’s Lenzelle Smith Jr. took a shot to the face in Saturday night’s Elite Eight win over Syracuse (AP recap), and the eye looks a lot worse than one that required only three stitches. See a picture of Smith’s swollen eye, courtesy of @OSUADAthComm, plus photos of the injury, in this post. Find more “Did You See This?’ videos, see other Ohio State’s Best videos, and subscribe to our free “Did You See This?” free RSS feeds to get the latest delivered right to you.
It’s certainly been an interesting start to the Big Ten season. Wisconsin looks vulnerable, Indiana looks much improved, and Minnesota is still fighting after losing its star. But what do that numbers say at the one-third mark? Below are the tempo free team statistics for the Big Ten. “PPP” refers to points per possession. Team Offensive PPP Defensive PPP Efficiency Margin Ohio State 1.12 0.87 0.25 Michigan State 1.15 0.98 0.17 Michigan 1.06 0.99 0.07 Purdue 1.06 1.04 0.02 Illinois 1.00 0.98 0.02 Wisconsin 0.99 0.97 0.02 Minnesota 1.02 1.05 -0.03 Northwestern 1.02 1.07