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Big Ten Basketball Post-Non Conference Stock Report

Recapping the non-conference while many ask ‘WTF?’

NCAA Basketball: Cleveland State at Michigan State
It’s Sparty’s World for now.
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

After taking a bit of a holiday break (honestly, I had my 4 year old and newly mobile 7-month old driving me borderline batty most of the time), the Stock Report is back with the mid-season update. What a non-con (+2 B1G games) it’s been. And the results are, well, not pretty in many instances. Had there been a proper Airing of Grievances, I would’ve had a lot of problems with you people! But I digress, here’s the Stock Report heading into the meat of B1G Shootyhoops season.

Stock Up

Michigan State Spartans – That went about as well as expected. Maybe even better. Sparty racked up a couple of really nice wins over North Carolina and Notre Dame with the only blemish coming against (fuck) Duke. They’re also riding a string of four 100+ point games heading into the rest of conference play. Hard to find many faults at this point.

Purdue Boilermakers – Outside of a near complete disaster in the Bahamas salvaged by a blowout of an Arizona team whose only early-season losses came in…the Bahamas, things played out well for the Boilers. Issac Haas hasn’t decapitated anyone (yet) and Purdue has collected good wins over Louisville, Butler, and a road win over a pesky Marquette team.

Ohio State Buckeyes - To say the Buckeyes are trending in the right direction might be a bit of an understatement. Not only has Holtmann righted the ship, he has Ohio State playing decent enough to be considered as a bubble team in the NCAA (the RPI is there at 50, but quality wins are lacking). After last year’s disaster, this has to be a welcome change in Columbus.

Michigan Wolverines – If I go back to the Preseason, I was decidedly meh on the Wolverines. Heading into conference play, there’s some reason for hope in Ann Arbor. Wins over UCLA and Texas should provide a bit of a boost come tourney time.

Stock Holding

Minnesota Golden Gophers – We move into a bit of a murky area now, starting with the Gophers. The RPI is decent enough at 53 to put the Gophers on the right side of the bubble. However, there are a couple of head scratchers with a near disaster against Drake and struggling to put away a bad Harvard team (shooting a cold 33% from the field).

Maryland Terrapins – I honestly struggled with this one. Injuries to the front line are going to force the Terps into some 4G/1F smallball lineups. Per a conversation with DJ on our Slack channel:

“MD is limping into league play down to their 3 PF and will most likely have to go to a 4 out 1 in style offense to compensate. They had a really slow first half against UMBC and apparently Turgeon yelled enough at half to get them going because they matched their first half score in the first six minutes of the second half.

The good news is no bad losses on the profile RPI-wise. The bad news is teams will likely target mismatches in the paint to force their will upon the Terps.

Nebraska Cornhuskers – Nebraska is one of those teams that’s going to piss some fanbases off this year. They don’t have any bad losses in the preseason and pulled an upset of Minnesota. They also pushed Kansas to the brink before a heroic last second shot saved the Jayhawks. They’re definitely not down because expectations heading in were pretty low. Granted, they’re not playing with house money…yet.

Illinois Fighting Illini – There’s actually some signs of life in Chambana. Now, that said, when there’s no expectations to begin with, any sign of life is probably a welcome change. All of Illinois’ losses were to good teams and none of them were by more than 10 points. They’ll continue to take their lumps, but Underwood may end up being a good thing for Illinois.

Stock Down

Indiana Hoosiers – I’ll give the Hoosiers some credit. They’ve played a strong schedule. The problem? Installing a new system against said schedule is not ideal. They also have the issue of a complete lack of defense, which led to getting pantsed by IPFW. Congrats, In_iana, you’re in full-on rebuilding mode.

Penn State Nittany Lions – I initially thought this might be a bit of a breakthrough year for Penn State. Unfortunately, that’s not been the case. Following a blowout of Pitt, things were looking good. Since then, the fighting Nits haven’t done much, including a loss to Rider. PSU’s RPI is now 124 and I’m left scratching my head.

Northwestern Wildcats – Surprisingly, Northwestern has played well enough to merit an okay RPI heading into conference play at 76. The problem is, all their losses were all their chances for quality wins. The profile is not looking good and The Year is starting to look like a one-off.

Iowa Hawkeyes – If you look at Iowa’s schedule to date, there’s a seven-game stretch where all Hell broke loose in Iowa with loss after painful loss. Their RPI has ballooned to 157 but things are trending right with a string of recent wins. Unfortunately, that 1-6 stretch looms large.

Wisconsin Badgers – My, oh my. The streak may finally be over. Wisconsin has not looked good this year. While the defense has been solid statistically, the offensive output is last in the B1G and a whopping 271st in D-1. No bueno in Madtown.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights – An RPI of 209. Losses to Stony Brook and Hartford. Things may be improving at buttgre, but I’m still not buying.