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Big Ten Basketball: Talking Points, Week in Review, 2/9

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What happened around the world of B1G basketball during the last week?

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

B1G Talking Points

  • I have nothing to say about the Ohio State Buckeyes, and apparently no one really cares.
  • Indiana Hoosiers blow out MI, and get beat at PSU.  How very Crean of you.
  • Last week I mentioned that the Michigan Wolverines would struggle against better competition if they continued like they were.  Two blowout losses to better competition and I'm a damn prophet.
  • A date with Minnesota was just the cure for was ailing the Northwestern Wildcats.
  • The Purdue Boilermakers is bad at 3s, yet they persist on shooting way too many of them.
  • The Nebraska Cornhuskers put a scare into Maryland by muddying up the game, and blew out Buttgers.  But losing Shavon Shields to a nasty fall is a serious blow to a team without any depth.
  • The Penn State Nittany Lions got a skin of the Hoosiers on Saturday.  Can't sleep on any away games.
  • The Illinois Fighting Illini are not good, and hurt, and have no point guard play.  That triple OT against Buttgers was absolutely atrocious.  Yet Groce does seem to have them playing hard.  So, hey!
  • Minnesota Golden Gophers may be the 2nd worst team in the history of the conference.
  • Buttgers, is a thing that still exists, though.
  • Iowa Hawkeyes had pretty ho-hum wins over a couple of bad teams.
  • Michigan State Spartans may be playing the best ball in the conference right now.
  • Wisconsin Badgers starting to get a little bubblicious vibe, especially with Louisville and SMU not eligible.
  • The Maryland Terrapins continue to just squeak by.  @That's totally sustainable, though.@

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

Week in Review

Illinois Fighting Illini (11-13)

Kenpom

131

StewPoll

162

Massey Composite

124

Last week: W vs. Buttgers, 110-101 (3OT); L vs. IA, 65-77

Thumpasaurus: I did it! i really did it! I managed to not watch an entire Illinois game! in fact, all I had was the halftime and final alert on my phone. Let's see if I can keep this up!

This week: @ jNW (2/13, 7 pm, BTN)

Indiana Hoosiers (19-5)

Kenpom

24

StewPoll

31

Massey Composite

22

Last week: W @ MI, 80-67; L @ PSU, 63-68

Candystripes for Breakfast: Indiana certainly had a week. Blow out one of the better teams in conference (though they're looking much more vulnerable now), and then drop an eminently winnable game to a team very firmly in the bottom half of the conference. That pretty much covers it.

This week: vs. IA (2/11, 8 pm, ESPN), @ MSU (2/14, 12 pm, CBS)

#4 Iowa Hawkeyes (19-4)

Kenpom

1

StewPoll

6

Massey Composite

3

Last week: W vs. PSU, 73-49; W @ IL, 77-65

Stewmonkey13: Iowa jumped out to big leads against both PSU and IL, and cruised to victory in both games.  But they didn't play particularly sharp in either.  A few tricky games left, the B1G Championship is hardly in the bag.

This week: @ IN (2/11, 8 pm, ESPN), vs. MN (2/14, 6:30 pm, BTN)

#2 Maryland Terrapins (21-3)

Kenpom

8

StewPoll

5

Massey Composite

8

Last week: W @ UNL, 70-65; W vs. Purdue, 72-61

DJ Carver:  Maryland not so comfortably beat Nebraska in Nebraska and it was entirely their fault.  Seriously, they actually dominated the game in every way possible other than trying to find all the ways to turn the ball over.  Either way, it was a hard fought conference road win and Nebraska played some surprisingly tough defense to give Maryland fits all night in the passing lanes.  Next up was #18 Purdue at home.  I was in attendance at the game and damn was it loud.  Maryland got off to a decent start before Purdue realized they have two seven footers and climbed back into the game.  From there it was great defense all around from both teams as Purdue took a lead into the half.  Maryland hung around all second half, getting Purdue into foul trouble shortly after the half started.  With about five minutes to go, it seemed Maryland found that next gear and constantly attacked the basket to pull away.  Rasheed Sulaimon had his first career double/double with 21/10 and Robert Carter Jr knocked down 4 three's for the next highest scorer.  Maryland was forcing (or letting?) Purdue take mostly uncontested three's the entire second half since they're an awful three point shooting team, and it showed.  In the end, it was a solid 72-61 victory for MD as they get an essential bye with Bowie State on Tuesday.

This week: vs. Bowie State (2/9, 5 pm, BTN), vs. WI (2/13, 5:30 pm, ESPN)

Michigan Wolverines (17-7)

Kenpom

46

StewPoll

48

Massey Composite

43

Last week: L vs. IN, 67-80; L vs. MSU, 73-89

Graham: Michigan hoops, is plainly, better than the B1G's mediocre teams, but not as good as the elite B1G teams. Still no Caris L, so unless we see some basic improvement across the board, especially on D, Michigan looks to pick up at least three losses in the next 20 days to Wisconsin, Maryland, and Purdue.  This team is quickly playing themselves out of the NCAA tourney.

This week: @ MN (2/10, 8 pm, BTN), vs. Purdue (2/13, 1 pm, ESPN2)

#8 Michigan State Spartans (20-4)

Kenpom

4

StewPoll

11

Massey Composite

5

Last week: W @ MI, 89-73

Andrew Kraszewski: MSU had a week off in which to do prison exercises and meditate on some unknown slight perpetrated by John Beilein's program, or at least that's what you'd assume based on how the game went down. The Spartans ran Michigan out of Crisler from the opening tip, using a barrage of 3-pointers and ignoring Michigan's impotent interior players to make sure the Wolverines had no space on the perimeter to answer. The difference in the senior classes told the whole story: Bryn Forbes rained in 29 points, Denzel Valentine had another near-triple double, and Matt Costello dominated on the boards and in the post. Michigan, meanwhile, played not a single senior. Such is the double edge of sending talent like Stauskas, Robinson, and McGary to the league without finding capable replacements. The final margin of 16 doesn't properly reflect what a massacre this game was, as MSU led by 30 late before the bench mob allowed the score to become only somewhat embarrassing.

This week: @ Purdue (2/9, 6 pm, ESPN), vs. IN (2/14, 12 pm, CBS)

Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-17)

Kenpom

199

StewPoll

252

Massey Composite

192

Last week: L vs. jNW, 58-82

WhiteSpeedReceiver:  This was the most entertaining weekend of Gopher basketball in recent memory. (EDITOR'S NOTE:  I looked at the schedule, and this checks out.)

This week: vs. MI (2/10, 8 pm, BTN), @ IA (2/14, 6:30 pm, BTN)

Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-11)

Kenpom

91

StewPoll

127

Massey Composite

97

Last week: L vs. MD, 65-70; W vs. Buttgers, 87-63

Jesse Collins: Nebraska has had two three game losing streaks in Big Ten basketball play this year. The first was snapped by playing at Rutgers and winning by 34 and dropping 90 points on the Scarlet Knights in a laugher that was arguably less close than the final score. That game started a nice little four game winning streak. This week, Nebraska played Maryland about as close as they could, but just like the Purdue game, having no inside game against giants can only get you so far. Staring down the barrel of another three game losing streak, Nebraska played Rutgers and even though they started slow, won by 24. It is possible, looking at the schedule, that Nebraska could finish B1G play 9-9, which really should be the goal and would be a huge improvement from last year in many ways. An interesting matchup against Wisconsin on Wednesday will help decide if this team can really play to the middle or are still firmly just a spoiler team.

Oh, and if you were watching the game on Saturday, you saw Shavon Shields take as bad a fall as I've ever seen. He got caught in a pump fake and when he went up, he ended up tumbling over the Rutgers player he was defending and landed straight on his back/neck area and was knocked unconscious. I'm happy to report that Nebraska has said he's fine and tests came back negative as far as any damage. He's undergoing concussion protocol, which makes sense, but he can walk and move and everything. Scary stuff, but it looks like everything is going to be okay.

This week: @ WI (2/10, 6 pm, BTN), vs. PSU (2/13, 5 pm, ESPNU)

Northwestern Wildcats (16-8)

Kenpom

87

StewPoll

80

Massey Composite

81

Last week: W vs. MN, 82-58

MNWildcat Northwestern kicked the shit out of Minnesota. Minnesota is not good. Tre Demps appears to have found his stroke from deep and actually distributed the ball well, which was nice. Alex Olah had a couple post moves, which...WHAT?! Bryant McIntosh is the best PG that you've been ignoring in the B1G, and Aaron Falzon, if shooting well, can kill you. Minnesota does not offer the athleticism (or, generally speaking, talent) that Ohio State will throw at Northwestern tomorrow night, so we'll see if this rout was just a flash in the pan.

This week: @ OSU (2/9, 7 pm, BTN), vs. IL (2/13, 7 pm, BTN)

Ohio State Buckeyes (14-10)

Kenpom

80

StewPoll

86

Massey Composite

80

Last week: L @ WI, 68-79

Stew: This is not a good basketball team.  They even found a way to lose to Wisconsin this last week.  They play some damn ugly basketball.

@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.  I'm leaving this here as long as it's true.

This week: vs. jNW (2/9, 7 pm, BTN), @ Buttgers (2/13, 3 pm, BTN)

Penn State Nittany Lions (12-12)

Kenpom

137

StewPoll

150

Massey Composite

118

Last week: L @ IA, 49-73; W vs. IN, 68-63

Aaron Yorke: Penn State rebounded from an unsurprising blowout loss at Iowa with an uplifting win at home over Indiana. The Lions took advantage of a poor shooting night from Yogi Ferrell and company and put the ball in Brandon Taylor's hands as often as possible. The senior leader won his one-on-one matchups and later hit clutch threes over Indiana's zone to ensure Penn State finished on top. Taylor scored 24 points and went 10-for-20 from the field in the victory while Devin Foster had a career night off the bench with 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting. If Foster can continue to be a factor, more wins could be on the horizon. Three of Penn State's next four are versus Nebraska (twice) and Rutgers.

This week: @ UNL (2/13, 5 pm, ESPNU)

#18 Purdue Boilermakers (19-5)

Kenpom

16

StewPoll

16

Massey Composite

15

Last week: L @ MD, 61-72

Stew: Against Maryland, Purdue fell in love with the 3 ball, despite having one of the best front courts in the entire country.  This hasn't worked a single time all season, but yeah, against a top 5 team, I'm sure it'll work. What's that?  Purdue is awful at shooting the 3, couldn't get the ball in the post, and ended up blowing a winnable game?  Sounds about right.

This week: vs. MSU (2/9, 6 pm, ESPN), @ MI (2/13, 1 pm, ESPN2)

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-18)

Kenpom

282

StewPoll

289

Massey Composite

270

Last week: L vs. IL, 101-110 (3OT); L @ UNL, 63-87

Zuzu: Rutgers blows

This week: vs. OSU (2/13, 3 pm, BTN)

Wisconsin Badgers (14-9)

Kenpom

51

StewPoll

65

Massey Composite

50

Last week: W vs. OSU, 79-68

Speth: Wisconsin has won 5 in a row. Took care of Illinois and Ohio State this week and for the first time in conference looked like the without a doubt better team 2 games in a row. Neither is a big win but they also aren't losses. Don't look now but with a win over Nebrasketball and Wisconsin could be in a tie for 4th place. Beating Maryland would be a "WE'RE GOING TO THE NCAA TOURNAMENT" kind of statement win. Also you can't guard Nigel Hayes /mic drop

This week: vs. UNL (2/10, 6 pm, BTN), @ MD (2/13, 5:30 pm, ESPN)