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Return of the Frantrum: A Belated Weekend Review of Big Ten Basketball

We actually watched and recapped some of these games! Time to think about them, a day or two late.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

You’ve already had a day and a half to digest Boilerman’s excellent-as-usual Stock Report, but lest you think the rest of us weren’t paying attention to our teams during the midweek action...

...well, we kind of were.

(This should’ve been out yesterday, but I drove to Milwaukee and back for some orientation bullshit. My apologies for the delay.)


Holy shit, wisconsin, this is what it’s come to: rutger, 64-60

uw: Brad Davison (13 pts, 5 ast)
rut: Corey Sanders (23 pts on 10/19 shooting)

The badgers uncharacteristically gave it away 14 times (to the Knights’ 6!), and rutger never trailed again after a Corey Sanders three with almost 14 minutes to go in the second half. Brad Davison tied it up with a couple minutes left, but wisconsin could not find its range from deep, and Ethan Happ had a quiet night, with just 10 and 10.

This is a nice win for Steve Pikiell’s struggling bunch, who were patient on offense and locked down on defense. There aren’t many nights you’ll shoot just 8 threes and go 56% from the line and win, but when wisconsin should be pining for Stan Van Gundy all over again, it’s just enough.

It’s not The Year: Penn State hammers Northwestern, 78-63

PSU: Lamar Stevens (30 pts, 14/19 FG); Mike Watkins (18 pts, 17 reb)
NU: Bryant McIntosh (18 pts, 4 ast, 4/6 3pt)

Aaron Yorke: Penn State picked up a much-needed win over Northwestern thanks to a 14-for-19 shooting night from Lamar Stevens. The sophomore scored 30 points and has done a good job showing off his mid-range game in the first week of 2018. Mike Watkins has also stood out with 35 points and 34 rebounds over his past two games.

If Tony Carr can break out of his shooting slump, this team is going to be very fun to watch as conference play continues.

MNW: Yeah, not even McIntosh’s return is saving this team. Scottie Lindsey has completely lost it and looks disinterested, and I’m just waiting to hear how he’s graduate transferring or Collins is committing labor law violations or something. Dererk Pardon got swamped inside by bigger, better centers, Barret Benson isn’t a big-time center, and 2017-18 is a disaster.

Thank God we’re a football school, like I have always said.


Purdue big, Nebraska not: 74-62

PU: Vince Edwards (21 pts, 10 reb)
UNL: James Palmer, Jr (22 pts, 7 reb)

BRT: I only caught snippets of this one on the radio, so I may not have a complete picture, but it sounded like it wasn’t the most disastrous Nebrasketball loss ever. I mean, the Huskers were unlikely to beat Purdue--Purdue is much better and matches up poorly for Nebraska. So a moral victory was really the best we could hope for here.

And, we kind of got that? The defense played rather well, which is saying something against Purdue’s size, and is an encouraging sign, as was the fact that it was played in a hostile environment with world’s most annoying yelling fan to boot.

Once again, Nebraska’s Achilles was a long stretch of cold shooting, and I’m not sure what the answer to that is. However, in the Big Ten this season, if they keep playing good defense and putting in start to finish effort like they did in this one, they’ll be able to win a few more games. If your team is in the bottom half of the conference, they probably should not take the Huskers lightly.

Boilerman31: The Boilers did what needed to be done. This was a grind of a game where Purdue just couldn’t make the big run to break the game completely open. To their credit, they also got the needed stops to keep Nebraska from running as well. Isaac Haas nearly decapitated someone, but the officiating was friendly enough in Mackey to keep him from getting called for the foul.

Side note: To the guy who was trash talking the Nebraska bench: Stop it. You’re a damn embarrassment.

I refuse to think about Michigan 79, Illinois 69

MI: Moritz Wagner (14 pts, 7 reb)
IL: Kipper Nichols (17 pts, 7 reb)

Thump: This gon be a long year

GF: Michigan won another game against the mushy middle of the Big Ten. Fantastic result, although too many turnovers, too many points given up in the paint

Michigan’s offense can be pretty flexible; when Illinois went small, the Wolverine guards just dumped the ball inside possession after possession. Smart ball.

Thump: who you callin middle we 0-4

We can’t get into specifics about Indiana 75, Minnesota 71

IU: Juwan Morgan (20 pts, 12 reb)
MN: Nate Mason (22 pts, 9 ast)


With Amir Coffey (Shoulder) and Reggie Lynch (Humanity) out, we could be in for a tough stretch.

Candystripes: We won a game we probably should have lost. I have been told this is a fine thing. Everything is fine, here. How are you?


Holy shit, Ohio State is actually good, somehow: 80-64 over #1 MSU

OSU: Keita Bates-Diop (32 pts, 7 reb, 12/21 FG)
MSU: Miles Bridges (17 pts, 7 reb)

James Snyder is calling Ohio State contenders, which is good enough for me since he won’t respond to my basketball recap entreaties.

Ohio State has no depth, but my God, they’re going to be fun when they can keep their starting five on the court.

Frantrum III: Holy Cow-an! Maryland, 91-73

MD: Bruno Fernando (21 pts, 7 reb)
IA: Isaiah Moss (25 pts, 10/16 FG)

DJ: Refs were pretty weird tonight and generally not that great. Iowa is still bad on defense and let Maryland go with half their usual turnovers. Iowa was overpowered in the paint which eventually allowed Maryland to pull away when Jordan Bohanon and Isaiah Moss went cold.

Bruno Fernando managed to act like a complete dick with repercussions only for Tyler Cook (who notably does not play for Maryland), but Bruno also did this:

Stew: Cowan elbowed Pemsl in the head, and didn’t get called for a foul. This drove Fran into a rage. The next time down the court Bohannon was getting bodied and hand-checked by Cowan and, again, no foul. When Bohannon turned the ball over, Fran went ballistic getting two quick technicals and getting tossed. This was less than ideal. He was definitely trying to get a tech. Don’t think he was going for two, though. These outbursts are tired, if somewhat understandable taken in single instances. But they aren’t.

Anyway, in the second half, Cook picked up a bullshit technical, too, and that counted as his 5th. After that the game was over. This Iowa team is not good.

Creighton: I just watched some of the worst officiating I’ve ever seen, but luckily it didn’t matter because Iowa’s zone defense is a sieve, they randomly forget how to get good looks and open shots for stretches of 5-6 minutes at a time, and they seem to think that turning the ball over is worth points.

Here’s more great officiating from tonight:

It was a silly weekend. Do you have an MVP and would like to tell us who that is? Then vote in the poll and argue about Purdue, Maryland, and Michigan State in the comments. We might have a preview up for you later tonight, because I sure as shit don’t want to work today.


Who had the best performance of the weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    OSU’s Keita Bates-Diop
    (52 votes)
  • 3%
    PSU’s Lamar Stevens
    (7 votes)
  • 16%
    Purdue’s Vince Edwards
    (30 votes)
  • 11%
    rutger’s Corey Sanders
    (21 votes)
  • 38%
    Iowa’s Fran McCaffery. We missed you, Frantrums!
    (68 votes)
178 votes total Vote Now