First, a recap of the weekend’s games. But jump to the end for our take on the Big Ten’s best defensive players so far this season. Or as I’ve come to know it—Our Annual Solicitation of Hate Mail from Buckeye Fans. Let’s start things off with Michigan, shall we? The Wolverines took firm control of the conference race by completing their sweep of the in-state rival Spartans. The Wolverine offense—and Nik Stauskas in particular—could not be stopped in the second half. What has to make this loss burn even more is just how well Michigan State played at the other
The Big Ten office released its Big Ten Men’s Basketball Players of the Week on Monday morning. Michigan’s Nik Stauskas claimed Player of the Week and Illinois’ Kendrick Nunn took home Freshman of the Week. See what they did to earn the distinctions in this post. Player of the Week: Nik Stauskas, Michigan, G, So. Poured in a game-high 25 points, handed out five assists and pulled down three rebounds in the win over Michigan State, leading Michigan to sole possession of first place in the Big Ten standings Converted 9-of-13 field goals (.692), including a 3-of-5 effort from three-point
NBA All-Star Weekend is upon us, and the BTN.com team thought it would be fun to choose Big Ten participants for the annual Saturday night events and the All-Star Game. See our picks for who would compete in a mythical Big Ten Skills Challenge, Three-Point Shootout, Slam Dunk Contest and the All-Star Game in this post. Here’s how this worked: We split the league into East (Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State) and West (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin), using the Big Ten’s new football divisional setup, with BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman taking the East
This year’s college basketball season is entering the home stretch, which means the NBA mock drafts are going to begin to appear on a regular basis in the upcoming months. ESPN Insider Jeff Goodman released his initial 2014 NBA Mock Draft 1.0 this morning, and it’s filled with plenty of Big Ten stars. The mock draft is based on information gathered from NBA executives, college coaches and other industry sources. The draft order is based off the current NBA standings. There are a total of five Big Ten players listed in the mock draft. Indiana freshman standout Noah Vonleh highlights
It’s a shame Michigan and Ohio State are guaranteed to meet just once on the hardwood this season. That one time is tonight, as No. 22 Ohio State hosts No. 15 Michigan at 9 p.m. ET. It’s a huge game, both in terms of the rivalry and the Big Ten title race. Our guys offer their game analysis in this post. [ MORE: AP: Michigan at Ohio State preview ] Will Nik Stauskas bust out of his slump? Tom Dienhart: No. Ohio State’s defense will clamp down on him. And I have to think Stauskas’ confidence is wavering a bit,
Another week is in the books, and that means it’s time for my latest Big Ten Player of the Year tracker. Michigan State’s Gary Harris topped my initial list last week, but it’s Iowa’s Devyn Marble on top this week. Agree? Feel free to enter your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post. [ MORE: Tom Dienhart previews the week ahead ] 1. Devyn Marble, Iowa – 42%, 16.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.9 spg. While Gary Harris and Nik Stauskas are struggling from the field, Marble is fresh off an impressive 26-point effort (6-of-10
Watch a conference enough, and you can’t help but notice that every team has a common theme that gets mentioned in every broadcast. Chances are, you know your team’s topic of conversation. But what about the rest of the Big Ten teams? Here’s my recurring subject for every Big Ten team. Illinois. Bruce Weber didn’t recruit Champaign native Rayvonte Rice. Indiana. Yogi Ferrell has a new role now that Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller are in the NBA. Iowa. Depth! Michigan. Tie: Nik Stauskas isn’t just a shooter. And, the Wolverines are without preseason All-America Mitch McGary. Michigan State. Injuries!
If it’s Friday, that means it’s time for my weekly survey. This week, I asked seven Big Ten writers the following question: If you had the first overall pick in a Big Ten draft, who would you select? And, it looks like Michigan State’s Gary Harris is the runaway winner, taking five of seven votes. Surprised? Ben Jones, StateCollege.com: Gary Harris. Key player on a good team. Scoring and playing in an offense for a demanding coach. Being mentally capable is key for No. 1 pick. Mike Pegram, Peegs.com: Gary Harris. Impacts games at both ends. Easy choice. Jeff Svoboda,
Now that all but one team (Nebraska) has officially reached the halfway point of the conference hoops season, it’s time unveil the first installment of my weekly Big Ten Player of the Year tracker. Michigan State’s Gary Harris tops my first list. Agree? Feel free to enter your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post. [ MORE: Tom Dienhart ranks the week’s top Big Ten games ] 1. Gary Harris, So., G – 44%, 18.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.0 spg. Have you heard Michigan State has had an injury-riddled season? Of course, you have.
The arrival of the Super Bowl means many things to many people. Ro-tel and Velveeta dip … the end of the most wonderful time of the year … spring is approaching. For me, it means we basically are at the halfway point of the Big Ten hoop season. And I have some questions—and answers–as we start to head down the backstretch. So, let’s hand it off to the Big Ten Answer Man. [ MORE: View the latest Big Ten basketball standings ] Q: What are the best games in the second half of the season? A: Oh, there are several