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Shootyhoops Week in Review, 1/11

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A couple close calls, a big upset, a few ass whoopins, and Rutgers is going for history.

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

B1G Talking Points

  • Ohio State is firmly entrenching itself in the mushy middle.
  • Watch out for Indiana, first time under Tom Crean that Indiana has started conference play 4-0.  They also boast an embarrassingly easy conference schedule.
  • Michigan and Northwestern keep walking similar paths.  Blowing out bad teams, losing against anyone with a pulse.
  • Purdue seems unwilling or unable to press their front court advantage over everyone.
  • Illinois with a huge win, just to remind their fans what hope feels like.  Bad things are afoot.
  • Penn State and Nebrasketball have a bit of talent and don't quit, but man, no depth.
  • Minnesota should be the embarrassment of the conference.
  • I say should because Buttgers still exists.  Just give up.
  • Iowa with the a light week, but still owns the 2 best conference wins.
  • Denzel Valentine made his return, though it seems like Michigan State isn't going to need to rely on him as much anymore.
  • Maryland keeps winning, has a talent advantage over most everyone they'll play, but still seems overrated.
  • Wisconsin is bad, and that's awesome.

For rankings, we'll throw the Kenpom, StewPoll, and the Massey Composite ratings at you side-by-side for some compare-contrast.

Week in Review

Illinois Fighting Illini (9-8)

Kenpom

97

StewPoll

117

Massey Composite

103

Last week: L @ Michigan State, 79-91; W vs. Purdue 84-70

Illinois got hamblasted at MSU then turned around and stunned Purdue.  There's some talent there.

Thumpasaurus:   If Nunn and Hill are both on fire, Illinois is dangerous. I'm glad to see the MSU debacle didn't kill this team.

This week: vs. Nebraska (1/16, 1:30pm, BTN)

Indiana Hoosiers (14-3)

Kenpom

22

StewPoll

28

Massey Composite

26

Last week: W vs. Wisconsin, 59-58; W vs Ohio State, 85-60

Candystripes for Breakfast: Indiana had a very good week. After hanging on against a very game Wisconsin team, the Hoosiers went out and absolutely crushed Ohio State. 18 first half points is not a lot to give up (#HotSprotsTAEKS), and only by allowing 42 in the second half did the Buckeyes make this one look anything close to reasonable. Indiana now sits tied atop the conference with Maryland, and despite losing James Blackmon for what will likely be the season, IU seems to be getting along just fine for now.

This week: @Minnesota (1/16, 11:30am, BTN)

#19 Iowa Hawkeyes (12-3)

Kenpom

12

StewPoll

17

Massey Composite

15

Last week: W vs. Nebraska, 7-66

Quiet week for IOWA.  After opening with Michigan State and @Purdue, the Hawkeyes only had UNL on Tuesday.  IOWA just kinda slept walked through the game to a relatively easy win.  Anthony Clemmons still isn't 100% after getting sideswiped by Hammons.  Another big game this week with a fully functional MSU at the Breslin, where Iowa hasn't won since 1993.

This week: @ MSU (1/14, 6pm, ESPN), vs. Michigan (1/17, 3:30pm, BTN)

#3 Maryland Terrapins (15-1)

Kenpom

14

StewPoll

12

Massey Composite

14

Last week: W vs. Buttgers, 88-63, W @ Wisconsin, 63-60

DJ Carver: Yadayadayadayada luck yadayadayadayada probably #2 in the country

This week: @ Michigan (1/12, 8pm, ESPN), vs. Ohio State (1/16, 11:00am, ESPN2)

Michigan Wolverines (12-4)

Kenpom

31

StewPoll

37

Massey Composite

30

Last week: L @ Purdue, 87-70

Graham Filler: Let's be honest, no LeVert, no success for Mich this year. Played closer to Purdue than the score showed, but the lack of interior scoring strangled any efforts for Michigan to sustain an early lead. One quick note: this team just isn't the defensive squad that the 2012-13 teams were. That wonderful Beilein zone isn't getting the job done this year against good teams.

This week: vs. Maryland (1/12, 8pm, ESPN), @ IOWA (1/17, 3:30pm, BTN)

#5 Michigan State Spartans (16-1)

Kenpom

4

StewPoll

6

Massey Composite

4

Last week: W vs. Illinois, 79-54; W @ Penn State, 92-65

Andrew Kraszewski: Penn State is not a good opponent, but MSU roughed them up pretty good. Valentine showed a little rust in his return but turned it on in the second half. State also got good contributions from Forbes, Harris, Schilling, and Costello today even with Valentine limited. If they can quickly reintegrate him without anyone else taking a step back, this team is your conference frontrunner.

This week: vs. IOWA (1/14, 6pm, ESPN), @ Wisconsin (1/17, 12:30pm, CBS)

Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-10)

Kenpom

185

StewPoll

198

Massey Composite

178

Last week: L @ Penn State, 77-86; L vs. jNW, 52-77

WhiteSpeedReceiver:  The three best reactions at yesterday's game were for 1) The Fargo-Moorhead Acro team's performance at halftime 2) Bakary Konate's dunk to open the game and 3) The highlight showing wisconsin losing.The three best reactions at yesterday's game were for 1) The Fargo-Moorhead Acro team's performance at halftime 2) Bakary Konate's dunk to open the game and 3) The highlight showing wisconsin losing.

This week: @ Nebraska (1/12, 8pm, BTN), vs. Indiana (1/16, 11:30am, BTN)

Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-8)

Kenpom

112

StewPoll

151

Massey Composite

121

Last week: L @ IOWA, 66-77; W @ Buttgers, 90-56

Jesse Collins: Nebraska is not terrible at basketball, but they are not good at basketball. Rutgers is terrible at basketball, and they show nothing good. It was super fun to watch Nebraska win by more than 30 points, but all it confirmed to me is that Rutgers probably does not win a game the rest of the season.

This week: vs. Minnesota (1/12, 8pm, BTN), @ Illinois (1/16, 1:30pm, BTN)

Northwestern Wildcats (14-3)

Kenpom

45

StewPoll

44

Massey Composite

50

Last week: L vs. Ohio State, 56-65; W @ Minnesota, 77-52

MNWildcat:  The 'Cats finally found their shooting touch on Saturday. A lot of that was Minnesota's insistence on running a below-average zone and Northwestern finally moving the ball with some pace. Aaron Falzon hit 6 from deep to tie his career-high of 20 points against UMass-Lowell, which is apt because the Gophers are about as good as UMass-Lowell (at least in basketball, because they're probably not in hockey). Most maddening for WSR and amusing to me during the game was Minnesota's inability to defend Joey Van Zegeren inside on any play that involved a little switching or misdirection for the post defender. JVZ slammed home four dunks in the game, all off Gophers' miscues inside on pick-and-rolls or high-low combinations.

What does this mean going forward for the 'Cats? Very little. It showed us that when Northwestern can get open looks from deep, they still have the potential to run with anyone for a while (like they did UNC for about 20 minutes). It showed us that JVZ, Dererk Pardon, and Gavin Skelly can take turns having passable nights inside against mediocre competition, but they're still liabilities against Big Ten-caliber teams. It showed us that there are still rebounding issues out of the 2-3 zone and that the 'Cats still crave a slower ballgame. And they're in luck! Here comes Wisconsin, another of those toss-up games Northwestern needs to win to cement its place on an NIT line.

Is This The Year? Watch:

Did you hear me? An ​N-I-T* line. This is what Northwestern ​should have​ done to Minnesota. It's not The Year, so stop it right now.

This week: vs. Wisconsin (1/12, 6pm, BTN), vs. Penn State (1/16, 7:30pm, ESPNU)

Ohio State Buckeyes (11-6)

Kenpom

60

StewPoll

53

Massey Composite

59

Last week: W @ jNW, 65-56; L @ Indiana, 60-85

Ohio State is incredibly inconsistent.

@OTE Commentariat: Can you give weekly thoughts in a one-paragraph form about Ohio State? Let me know! I don't care enough about the Buckeyes to try.  This was leftover from when MNWildcat last did this.  It still applies.

This week: vs. Buttgers (1/13, 5:30pm, BTN), @ Maryland (1/16, 11:00am, ESPN2)

Penn State Nittany Lions (10-7)

Kenpom

150

StewPoll

127

Massey Composite

125

Last week: W vs. Minnesota, 86-77; L vs. MSU, 65-92

Aaron Yorke: Valentine didn't play that well in his return to action, but Michigan State had little trouble with the Nittany Lions on Saturday. It was a step back from Tuesday's performance versus Minnesota in which Penn State looked surprisingly competent on offense. Against a solid defense like Sparty's, not so much. Payton Banks, who exploded for 24 points against the Gophers, scored just five points in Sunday's defeat on 2-for-9 shooting. On defense, PSU allowed too many open looks for Bryn Forbes, who went 6-for-8 from three-point range for a game-high 20 points. It was nice to get a B1G win against struggling Minnesota, but the upcoming schedule is going to be very tough for these Lions. Someone come rescue me.

This week: @ Purdue (1/13, 7:30pm, BTN), @ jNW (1/16, 7:30pm, ESPNU)

#20 Purdue Boilermakers (14-3)

Kenpom

13

StewPoll

16

Massey Composite

13

Last week: W vs. Michigan, 87-70; L @ Illinois, 70-84

Purdue is not quite as good as it looked like they might be earlier in the season. At the end of the day, it looks like they might be borderline Top 25 at best. Which is probably where most people picked then at the start of the season.

Inside play is still a strength with Hammons (and Haas to a lesser degree), but the guard play is where the Boilers are lacking. Which is pretty much what was predicted going into the season.

After the Illinois game, it is clear that Purdue isn't so good that they can beat a team that is shooting well. Great teams can do that, but Purdue is not a great team by any stretch.

This week: vs. Penn State (1/13 7:30pm, BTN),

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-11)

Kenpom

278

StewPoll

239

Massey Composite

247

This week: L @ Maryland, 63-88; L vs. Nebraska, 56-90

You want to know why Buttgers is a thing?  This is why.  They are, by far, the worst power conference team.  They may be the worst team in the history of the conference.  Go away.

This week: @ Ohio State (1/13, 5:30pm, BTN)

Wisconsin Badgers (9-8)

Kenpom

63

StewPoll

102

Massey Composite

70

Last week: L @ Indiana, 58-59; L vs. Maryland, 60-63

I love that Wisconsin is bad.  It makes me happy.  The only regret I have is that Fuck Bo is a giant coward and ran away.

This week: @ jNW (1/12, 6pm, BTN), vs. Michigan State (1/17, 12:30pm, CBS)