It was a pretty ho hum week for the conference on the court. I spent half of the week driving from Tallahassee to Iowa City where I watched the Hawkeyes defeat Penn in basketball and Michigan in football. Random note, I have now been to five Iowa-Michigan football games in my life and the Hawks are undefeated in those games. Bottom line though, between the travel and the tequila fueled debauchery of an Iowa City football weekend, I didn't get to watch as much basketball as I normally would.
So with that said, here is what happened this past week in B1G basketball.
The Illini knocked off Chicago State 77-53 on Friday. Illinois State transfer Jon Ekey has really emerged as a solid contributor for Jon Groce, notching his second consecutive 19 point game against the Cougars. On Tuesday the Illini head out to Las Vegas to face UNLV and then they return home for a Friday game against IPFW.
IU went to the 2K Sports classic this past week where they went 1-1. In the first game they defeated Washington 102-84 while out rebounding the Huskies 50-29. They then faced Connecticut in the final. Shabazz Napier went off for 27 points as his team downed the Hoosiers 59-58. Tom Crean's team shot a paltry 3 for 12 from long range and turned the ball over twice in the final 90 seconds of the game. Indiana hosts Evansville this Tuesday.
Fran McCaffery's team defeated Penn 86-55 in a game where it seemed like the Hawkeyes were sort of going through the motions. Iowa's schedule thus far has been pretty soft but that changes pretty drastically when they travel to the Bahamas this week for the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The Wolverines traveled to Puerto Rico for their tournament this week. They defeated Long Beach State and Florida State in the opening rounds before facing off against surprise team Charlotte in the final. Big Blue only managed to hit 31.1% of their field goals and 21.7% of their threes but still were able to tie the game with a Mitch McGary layup with 9 seconds remaining in the game. Terrence Williams responded for the 49ers by rebounding his own miss and dropping in the game winning basket with only .4 seconds remaining. Michigan hosts Coppin State on Friday.
Michigan State (6-0)
Sparty headed to the Coaches v. Cancer Classic and won the event after a pair of double digit victories. They first dispatched Virginia Tech 96-77 before defeating Oklahoma 87-76 in the final. Keith Appling was named tournament MVP after tallying a career high 27 points against the Sooners. OU sprinted out to an 11 point lead early but Michigan State ended the first half on a 34-9 run. The Spartans would lead by as much as 18 points in the second half but Oklahoma had cut the lead to four in the waning minutes before Appling took over, scoring eight points to ice the game. MSU will be back in action Friday when they take on Mount St. Mary's.
The Gophers defeated Coastal Carolina by a score of 82-72 and Wofford 79-57 to continue their hot start to the season. Elliott Eliason recorded a double double against the Terriers and would have had two in a row if he would have scored two more points against the Chanticleers. Eliason currently averaging 7.6 points and 11.2 rebounds on the season. Minnesota faces Syracuse in the first round of the Maui Invitational on Monday.
Nebraska participated in the Charleston Classic over the weekend where they went 1-2. The Huskers dropped their opening contest to tournament champion UMass 96-90 and then were victim to a hot shooting UAB team in the second round. Chad Frazier became the first player to score over 30 points in consecutive games since Jimmer Fredette did it in the 2010-2011 season as he led the Blazers to an 87-74 victory over Big Red. Nebraska bounced back in the third round where they defeated Georgia 73-65. The Cornhuskers take on Northern Illinois Saturday.
The Cats started their week with a 93-58 win over UIC on Wednesday in which Dave Sobolewski scored a career high 25 points. Northwestern faced IUPUI Friday and barely edged the Jaguars 63-61 thanks to a quick basket by JerShonn Cobb with 2.3 seconds left in the game. This week the Wildcats have a Monday date with Gardner-Webb before traveling to the Las Vegas Invitational where they will take on Missouri and UCLA.
Ohio State (4-0)
Ohio State defeated American 63-52 on Wednesday evening which was keyed by double digit scoring from Amir Williams and Shannon Scott. The Buckeyes struggled shooting the ball in the game, hitting only 36 percent of their field goals and 18.8 percent of their three point shots, but American's 27 turnovers kept the game from reaching upset territory. OSU will host Wyoming on Monday and North Florida on Friday.
Penn State (4-1)
This team had a couple of nice wins over the week, taking down LaSalle 79-72 on Tuesday and Longwood 93-67 on Sunday. Donovan Jack notched a career high 18 points against the Explorers and Brandon Taylor set his new career high of 25 points against the Lancers. Penn State as a team piled up an impressive 25 assists in the game against Longwood. The Nittany Lions host Monmouth on Tuesday before traveling to the Barclay's Center Classic on Friday where they will face St. John's.
The Boilermakers picked up easy wins over Eastern Illinois and Siena during the week but the really big news for the basketball program was the commitment of Isaac Haas. Haas, a 7'2" center from Alabama, is a four star prospect who had originally given a verbal commitment to Wake Forest but then chose not to sign with the Demon Deacons when the early signing period rolled around a couple weeks ago. His commitment means Purdue is bringing in a pretty solid recruiting class this season, including two players ranked in the ESPN top 100. The Boilers will play their first game in the Old Spice Classic against Oklahoma State on Thursday.
Bo Ryan's squad picked up three wins over last week, defeating North Dakota, Bowling Green, and Oral Roberts. Frank Kaminsky picked up a school record 43 points in the Badgers' 103-85 win over North Dakota Tuesday, the most points by a player in any game so far this season. Wisconsin faces St. Louis on Tuesday in the first game of the Cancun Challenge.