This Week in the Big Ten

Michigan's Trey Burke was named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week and was also one of four B1G finalists named for the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award.

Jan. 13, 2013

[ONE // wild week of big ten men’s basketball]
It was a wild week for Big Ten men’s basketball over the last seven days, with three top-15 conference matchups providing headlines nationwide.  While No. 5/5 Indiana opened the week with a 74-51 decision at Penn State Monday, and No. 15/14 Ohio State dropped Purdue 74-64 on Tuesday, it was Wednesday’s action that featured the week’s first top-15 matchup.  No. 8/10 Minnesota defeated No. 12/13 Illinois 84-67, but then fell to Indiana on Saturday, 88-81.  That same day, the Fighting Illini were tripped up at Wisconsin, 74-51.  The thriller of the week came on Sunday, as the Buckeyes defended their home court by knocking off No. 2/2 Michigan from the ranks of the unbeaten, 56-53.   Indiana and Wisconsin share first place in the league with 3-0 B1G records, followed by Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State at 3-1.

[TWO // ready to start the journey]
Big Ten basketball fans may have seen an amazing week of hoops, but they also had a chance Sunday to take the journey that is Big Ten Basketball.  The debut of the fourth season of “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2013,” presented by Chase Freedom, aired Sunday night on BTN.  All season long, The Journey travels to each campus to capture the action and the drama surrounding each program. The 10-episode series culminates with a one-hour special dedicated to the 2013 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament in March.  The season premiere featured Michigan State junior point guard Keith Appling, and his emergence as a team leader and a point guard. The show also featured Indiana junior Victor Oladipo, who reacted to surprise comments from a two-time NBA champion he has tried to emulate. The episode also profiled Ohio State Men’s Basketball Coach Thad Matta, and a look at his hometown of Hoopeston, Ill., prior to his team facing the Illini in nearby Champaign. The Journey also went behind-the-scenes with the Nebraska Cornhuskers and new head coach Tim Miles on their road trip to Ann Arbor to face Michigan, including footage form the team plane and in the visiting locker room.

[THREE // michigan’s burke honored nationally]
Michigan's Trey Burke was named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week this past Tuesday after averaging 21 points, 8.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals while shooting 61.5 percent from the floor, including 55.6 percent from three-point range. Burke was the second Big Ten player to earn the national honor this season, joining Illinois' Brandon Paul who received the award for the week of December 9.

[FOUR // pacing the nation at the point]
The Big Ten leads all conferences with four players named finalists for the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award, it was announced this past week. Michigan's Trey Burke, Michigan State's Keith Appling, Minnesota's Andre Hollins and Ohio State's Aaron Craft are among the 20 players in the running for the award given to the nation's top college point guard. The full list of finalists can be found by clicking here.

[FIVE // wolverines and lady lions continue to pace women’s basketball standings]
Michigan (3-0) and Penn State (3-0) maintained its one-game lead over Purdue (2-0) in the Big Ten women’s basketball standings this past week with wins over Wisconsin and Nebraska, respectively.  The No. 8/8 Lady Lions defeated the 23rd-ranked Huskers 80-58 on Sunday afternoon in front of 6,098 fans at the Bryce Jordan Center.  With a 54-43 result over the Badgers, the Wolverines captured their ninth-straight win and extended the best start in program history to 14-2, which includes their first-ever 3-0 start in Big Ten play.  Purdue sits 2-0 in league play, followed by Iowa, Michigan State and Minnesota at 2-1.

[SIX // gophers grapple hold of big ten wrestling lead]
With wins over Ohio State and Indiana this past week, Minnesota improved to a conference-best 4-0 in league action to hold a one-match lead over Wisconsin (3-0).  The No. 3 Golden Gophers topped No. 5 Ohio State 25-9 on Friday and dropped Indiana 41-3 on Sunday.  The 22nd-ranked Badgers, meanwhile, upset No. 11 Michigan 19-16 on Sunday to move to second in the Big Ten.  In a battle of top-five teams on Sunday, No. 4 Iowa fell short at No. 2 Oklahoma State, 18-12.

[SEVEN // tumbling into 2012 campaign]
Big Ten men’s gymnastics opened the 2013 season this past weekend with three conference teams competing in their first meets of the year on Saturday. Ranked No. 1 in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches’ Poll, Illinois traveled to Chicago and beat No. 15 UIC, 425.450-385.750.  At the Rocky Mountain Open, No. 9 Nebraska fell 423.40-418.700 to No. 3 Oklahoma, but finished ahead of No. 11 Air Force and Arizona State.  Elsewhere, No. 4 Penn State scored a 447.750-403.700 victory over 13th-ranked Army in the season opener.

[EIGHT // set at the net]
Just like in men’s gymnastics, the Big Ten had a trio of conference squads open up the women’s tennis season this past week.  Indiana hosted Marquette and Bowling Green in its adidas IU Winter Invitational, and finished up going 13-2 in singles play and 14-3 in doubles action.  The 17th-ranked Nebraska team swept Eastern Michigan by a score of 7-0, while No. 24 Illinois fell 7-0 to No. 9 Miami to open the season.

[NINE // track trio considered for bowerman]
Three Big Ten student-athletes were among the names released on the preseason watch list for The Bowerman, it was announced on Wednesday. Indiana senior Derek Drouin was named to the 2013 Preseason Watch List, while Hoosier teammate Andy Bayer and Nebraska's Chad Wright received honorable mention status. The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is awarded annually to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.  

[TEN // illinois’ spencer a candidate for women’s bowerman]
In addition to the three B1G men’s track standouts, Illinois' Ashley Spencer was named to The Bowerman Women's 2013 Preseason Watch List, it was announced on Thursday. Spencer was named a semifinalist for the award in 2012, following a freshman season in which she won six Big Ten individual championships. The Indianapolis, Ind., native also earned Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships and Freshman of the Year in both the indoor and outdoor seasons.

[ELEVEN // hoosiers’ yeagley honored as nation’s top coach; three standouts honored]
Indiana head men's soccer coach Todd Yeagley was named this past Monday as the NCAA Division I Coach of the Year by Soccer America.  Yeagley led the Hoosiers to their eighth national title and a 16-5-3 record in just his third season at the helm of the program. He becomes the third Big Ten coach to win the honor in the past 10 years, joining Joe Baum (Michigan State, 2008) and his father, Jerry Yeagley (Indiana, 2003).  Additionally, three Big Ten student-athletes earned individual accolades from Soccer America. Indiana's Eriq Zavaleta was named to the MVP first team and Femi Hollinger-Janzen earned All-Freshman second team recognition. Northwestern's Joey Calistri, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, earned All-Freshman first team honors. Zavaleta was a unanimous selection for Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in nearly every offensive category, while Hollinger-Janzen and Calistri were both named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team as forwards.

[TWELVE // wrapping it up for the week… and the season]
Finally this week, wrapped up the football and men’s soccer campaigns by posting season in reviews.  The football season in review looks back at Wisconsin winning a third straight title, Ohio State going undefeated, national honors earned and all the NCAA records breakers this season.  The men’s soccer season in review recapped how ultimately, Penn State and Northwestern shared the regular season title, Michigan State captured the Big Ten Tournament crown, and Indiana won its record eighth NCAA title.