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Off Tackle Open Threads: January 9th Basketball

Watch Zach Edey eat 36 runzas

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Purdue
Edey always facing the best defense
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Come for the recaps of a Michigan loss, stay for MNWildcat Remembering Some Guys in a search for the last time Northwestern had all five starters hit double-digits in a Big Ten game.


Penn State Nittany Lions 79, Michigan Wolverines 73

MaximumSam: Another day, another loss for Michigan. I suppose the fans won’t be too upset today, though.

BoilerUp89: We need to talk about Juwan Howard. He decided that he didn't want to coach this one and at the last minute decided that assistant Phil Martelli would be acting head coach for the day. While it's a nice gesture to allow Martelli (the long time St. Joe's head coach) to coach in the Palestra, what is Juwan doing? Does he want to be head coach or not? The team is 6-9 and teetering on the edge of a cliff. Do your job.

Minnesota Golden Gophers 65, Maryland Terrapins 62

MaximumSam: Not a game they are putting in the Smithsonian, but a balanced effort from Minnesota again, with six guys dropping at least 8 and no one getting more than 12. Your Gophers are now tied for second in the conference behind Wisconsin.

BoilerUp89: Another fun fact: Minnesota is tied for the longest active home court winning streak in the conference. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop with these Gophers but either they are better than I give them credit for or the Big Ten is just abysmal.

Northwestern Wildcats 88, Michigan State Spartans 74

MaximumSam: Perhaps not surprising that Northwestern would beat Sparty at home, but I was surprised that they dropkicked them through a table. Berry and Buie went wild, and Malik Hall having no points, no rebounds, and no assists was not helpful. Curse of the OTE cover picture, I suppose.

BoilerUp89: Malik Hall can't be a complete no show for Sparty to be successful. He just can't. Northwestern continues to show they can win or lose to anybody. Do not bet on a game involving the Wildcats.

MNW: Berry going wild was even bigger for me than Buie’s performance—that the little guy somehow manages to put Sparty in a blender specifically is hilarious, but Ty Berry’s production comes and goes, often leaving the ‘Cats on a “5/23 from deep” kind of island. All five of Northwestern’s starters were in double-digits, a stat that I’m sure has not happened in B1G play in a very long time but one that I’m too lazy to look up.

Edit: since you asked, it’s at least the first time all five NU starters have been in double-digits since a November 2017 win over Saint Peter’s—it’s been a lot of “mediocre forwards/centers/glue guys” dragging them down in the meantime: you know, Matt Nicholson, Robbie Beran, Sanjay Lumpkin*, Gavin Skelly, Pete Nance.
* Seriously. In 2016-17 they should’ve done it, like, 5 times, but every time there’s Sanjay, locking down 8 points and 9 boards and 4 fouls. God, I miss him.

Sparty did not play good ball and looks to have a bit of a leadership/road warrior problem, which I’m sure they’ll figure out by February/March in time for this win to look really good. Thanks in advance, guys.

I THINK I FOUND IT! February 9, 2012, in an 83-64 win over Iowa. Dave Sobolewski led the way with 23 (3/3 from deep) and 7 assists, John Shurna had 17, Reggie Hearn added 16, Alex Marcotullio scraped out 13 on 3/7 three-point shooting, and Drew Crawford pitched in a youthfully-inefficient 11. Northwestern Made Shots(TM): 13/25 from three, assisting on 22 of 27 makes, turning it over only 7 times and yielding 8 offensive rebounds on just 21 chances to the Hawkeyes. A real Bill Carmody Special, God, I miss that man.


#97 Indiana Hoosiers (11-4, 3-1) at #102 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (8-6, 0-3) (-3.5), 6 pm, Peacock

MaximumSam: The Hoosiers are also tied for second in the conference and now head to last place Rutgers. Xavier Johnson had a goose egg his first game back from injury and 18 the next, so tonight he goes for...36? Need one of my kids to work up the math on that.

For Rutgers, Mawot Mag is also rounding into form, dropping 24 against Iowa. Of course, that’s against Iowa - I imagine Indiana will guard him. Torvik goes Knights, 70-66.

BoilerUp89: When you squint at Indiana's program this season, you can see a perfectly fine record with no bad losses. They need the win tonight to keep up the illusion that they are a good team.

MNW: Which easily explains why Rutgers, a team that is 0-3 in the Big Ten, is favored by 3.5. But it doesn’t make it any less funny.

#2 Purdue Boilermakers (14-1, 3-1) at #54 Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-3, 2-2) (+7.5), 8 pm, Peacock

MaximumSam: Last season, Nebraska gave Purdue all they wanted at home in route to an overtime loss. This year, both teams are improved, and Purdue has shown almost no weaknesses. Nebraska doesn’t really force turnovers and doesn’t shoot the three particularly well, so...good luck. Torvik goes Boilers, 82-71.

BoilerUp89: It's a road game against a top half of the B1G team. Purdue is currently 0-1 in those games (yes, Northwestern is in the top half). I expect the Nebraska crowd to be in top form and Keisei Tominaga to feed off of it. The Cornhuskers aren't the best shooting team in the country but they are plenty capable of getting hot.

BRT: This is probably not a game I’m going to watch in its entirety. Good luck though, Huskers.

Other Games to Watch Tonight, Says MNW

  • Columbia at Cornell (-11.5, O/U 168.5): The Ivy is BACK, baby! And these two teams are not here to play a lick of defense. The Big Red are actually 112th in Kenpom, so perhaps worth keeping an eye on, and under Ivy League lifer and Princeton alumnus Brian Earl, they’re running—19th in AdjT. Should be fun. [5pm, ESPN+]
  • Toledo at Kent State (-3.5, O/U 152.5): Two of the better MAC teams. That’s not saying much, but it’s saying...something? [6pm, CBSSN]
  • Richmond at Loyola (-2.5, O/U 137.5): If the Ramblers have really turned it around that quickly in the A-10, then maybe I’ve been too harsh on whichever Valentine is coaching them. Fun fact: I actually caught a little of Denzel Valentine in action the other night for the Sydney Kings of the Australian pro league. It was terrible basketball. [7pm, ESPN+]
  • #18 BYU at #14 Baylor (-4.5, O/U 154.5): Just two good teams playing some up-tempo hoops. Could be a decent clash in styles, too. [8pm, ESPN+]
  • New Mexico (-2.5, O/U 150.5) at UNLV: Two traditional Mountain West powers with playmaking abilities abounding—Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House get a lot of love, but G Donovan Dent has been a real revelation at guard, dropping 6 dimes a game. UNLV runs similarly strong on its front line but doesn’t shoot it nearly as well, especially from the line. [9:30pm, FS1]
  • #19 San Diego State (-10.5, O/U 138.5) at San Jose State: Look, most SDSU games tend to end with their superior height and athleticism stuffing the other team in a trash can. And it’s sad to watch it happen to our good friend Tim Miles, who’s making the best of a bad situation at SJSU. But also...not much else in on, unless you’re into Australian Open qualifiers or New Zealand cricket. [10pm, CBSSN]