On the next episode of “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2015,” debuting Sunday at 9:30 PM ET, our crew continues our tradition with the annual Senior Day show.
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News that Wisconsin senior guard Traevon Jackson will be out a few weeks due to a right foot injury makes the Big Ten race more interesting.
Ohio State dropped a tight one against an in-state “Little Brother,” which had to make the loss all the more frustrating. There wasn’t anything especially unique about this loss—once again, Ohio State’s offense stalled out when it had to play in the half-court. The outside shooting was tepid (3 of 12 on 3s), and the ballhandling was suspect (the Buckeyes turned it over on 21 percent of their possessions; Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross each had five of their own). And on the 27 occasions when Ohio State had an opportunity to rebound one of its frequent misses, Thad Matta’s team came up with the ball just three times.
If we’ve learned one thing from Traevon Jackson during his Wisconsin career, it’s that he isn’t afraid to take – and make – the big shot. The junior, who has a handful of late game-tying or game-winning shots to his name, added another game-winner in Sunday’s 60-58 victory over No. 8 Michigan State. This time, following an Adreian Payne game-tying triple, Jackson answered with a jumper to avoid overtime and a possible fourth straight home loss.
There was a special a moment following No. 4 seed Wisconsin’s victory over No. 1 Indiana in the Big Ten tourney semifinals Saturday afternoon, and it involved a father and a son. Here’s a hint: The father is a BTN analyst. Yeah, Jim Jackson and his son, Wisconsin guard Traevon Jackson, shared a genuine moment before the son joined the BTN crew on set to talk about the win.
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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.
When Wisconsin needs a big shot, more times than not, it dials Traevon Jackson‘s number. One of the Big Ten’s most improved players, the sophomore guard loves the ball in his hands during crunch time. And he’s had great results in such situations. Just ask Minnesota. Or Iowa. On Sunday, Jackson added to his collection of clutch shots, nailing a deep 3 at the buzzer to lift Wisconsin past Penn State, 63-60. Watch the shot now.
On Saturday night’s “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2013,” we put the spotlight on Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas, Purdue’s Johnson brothers and Wisconsin’s new point guards. In this clip, you get a taste for all three of the latest episode’s storylines. Best of all: We have family video of Terone and Ronnie Johnson as youngsters, and it’s nothing short of cute. Check out the Johnson’s family footage from 1993 in this video.
Traevon Jackson beat the shot clock in the final seconds to lift Wisconsin past No. 14 Minnesota on Saturday. Or did he? This one was about as close as buzzer-beaters come. Remember, if the shot clock buzzer sounds and the ball has yet to leave the shooter’s hand, it’s a violation. On this play, it’s hard to tell if the ball is out of Jackson’s fingertips before the horn goes off. See for yourself in this video and check out a screengrab in this post.
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This may surprise you, but every now and then we say something that really gets fans riled up. The best example of this is our belief that while Aaron Craft is a very good defender, he is not, nor has he ever been, Ohio State’s best defender. And this year, he’s not even the team’s best perimeter defender. Rather than take this as a complement to Ohio State’s collection of outstanding defenders, a lot of people take this as a slight to Craft.