Greetings and salutations. Welcome to the B1G Shootyhoops Stock Report, the place where I breakdown the weeks that were against my ever fair and just expectations.
A bit o’ time has passed since our last visit. We’ve survived the vast college basketball wasteland that is Holiday break whilst feasting on the smorgasbord of Bowl Games and playoffs (Playoffs?!?) and now find ourselves into conference play.
Let’s dive in.
Michigan Wolverines – The John Beilein Death Machine rolls on. Still undefeated, still taking care of business, and maybe making yours truly a little bit o’ cash in the process. I’m still concerned about if this sustainable, especially on the road, but we shall see.
Michigan State Spartans – When last I wrote, I was challenged by a commenter for daring to have expectations of Sparty (They still can’t seem to figure out how to win big at rutger on a consistent basis). Well, fine, have it your way. I’m officially buying what Tom Izzo and Co. are selling. The Spartans are 4-0 in conference play and have passed their first conference road test of the season at Ohio State.
Maryland Terrapins – I’m gonna bump Maryland up this time around. Yes, their fanbase is growing tired of seeing Turgeon piss talent away, but they’re still winning. When the middle of the B1G is looking like a meat grinder, W’s and protecting home court matter. The next stretch of games could well determine if they’re going to be in position for a NCAA bid or not.
Minnesota Golden Gophers – I’ll give Minnesota some credit. I did not expect them to be at 12-2 at this point in the season. Their metrics in the Kenpom ratings look really good. Granted, their SoS is a bit concerning, but they’re ahead of where I thought they’d be and they have a couple of weeks of winnable games ahead.
Ohio State Buckeyes – I debated dropping the Buckeyes to Hold status this time around but ultimately decided against it. What happened last year was nothing short of amazing and while I expected a slight drop-off, it hasn’t really happened. Chris Holtmann’s crew went toe-to-toe with a very, very good Michigan State team. While they didn’t pull off the upset, they did show they’re worthy of the Top 25 spot they’ve earned to date.
Indiana Hoosiers – I’m keeping a hold on Indiana for two reasons. First, the injury bug. When you look over their roster on CBSSports, there’s quite a few guys with an injury icon next to them. That’s a big concern given the grind of the B1G season has only just begun. The second thing that, frankly, always concerns me is how a team plays on the road. Inside Assembly Hall, Indiana is going to be a tough out. Everyone knows this. Away from Bloomington, this team is very mortal.
Purdue Boilermakers – The same goes for Purdue. Yes, the Boilers played the toughest non-conference schedule in the B1G, buy they’re going to need to be able to pull out some road wins. Their metrics look really good inside Mackey but their inability to put games away outside West Lafayette is a huge concern. On the plus side, the bench is beginning to step up, which has to be giving Carsen Edwards a bit of relief.
Wisconsin Badgers – I’ve got to hold the Badgers back a bit this go around. The loss at Western Kentucky was a bit of a surprise but the loss at Minnesota is a bit of head scratcher. 14 points in a half is well…bad. Fortunately for Wisconsin, Penn State was just what the doctor ordered.
Nebraska Cornhuskers – You’re killing me with these close losses, Huskers. Just killin’ me! Nebraska is one of those teams I want so badly to see get over the hump. The early conference schedule hasn’t helped with three of their first four on the road, but c’mon, you can do it!
Iowa Hawkeyes – Another difficult choice for me. It’d be easy to knock Iowa down after Purdue torched the nets on them. However, they rebounded nicely to defend the home court against Nebraska. If they can get their defensive woes taken care of, they’ll be a hella dangerous team.
Northwestern Wildcats – Blown out by Sparty, trying their best to lose to Illinois. C’mon Wildcats, you’re better than this.
Penn State Nittany Lions – Having your coach suspended for shoving a player is not a good look. Starting 0-4 in B1G play is just about as bad.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights – Win some games and maybe I’ll start to care.
Illinois Fighting Illini – Same for you. Close, but no cigar.