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Hours after Indiana’s Hanner Mosquera-Perea slammed home what some called the Big Ten’s top dunk of the season, Illinois’ Rayvonte Rice threw another contender into the mix.
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Illinois gets to retain Braggin’ Rights for the second consecutive season, and they have Rayvonte Rice to thank.
It’s the weekend, so that means it’s time for my weekly survey. This week’s query: Who is the Big Ten’s top newcomer? I’m talking true freshman, redshirt freshman, JC transfers and four-year transfers. There are some good choices. A tough call. I posed the question to seven top-notch scribes who cover the league. Lots of love for Indiana’s Noah Vonleh. Here you go.
This week “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2014” airs Sunday at 5 p.m. ET after Illinois plays Indiana on BTN/BTN2Go and we’ve got the stories right here. Come meet Minnesota point guard DeAndre Mathieu, a former walk-on and JUCO transfer who is now flourishing in Richard Pitino’s system – all while honoring a friend. Also, track the long and winding road taken by Champaign native Rayvonte Rice, who wound up at Illinois as one of the leagues’ top scorers.
Weekends like this one have me considering whether it’s just better to disregard the non-conference season entirely. Because despite the last three months, there was a lot of reverting to preseason expectations. In turn…
No Big Ten newcomer has had a bigger impact than Illinois guard Rayvonte Rice, the Big Ten’s leading scorer. And that’s a big reason why the Fighting Illini have been one of the Big Ten’s biggest surprises.
The Big Ten Conference released its Big Ten Men’s Basketball Players of the Week on Monday. Illinois’ Rayvonte Rice claimed Player of the Week, while Michigan’s Zak Irvin received Freshman of the Week. Read more about each player in this post.