Jan. 18, 2010
FACES of the BIG TEN
PAUL CARTER, minnesota junior forward
Paul Carter spent this past summer away from his team and Minneapolis working on his game. Carter, who came into the season as the Gophers' leading returning rebounder, was part of a 13-day, eight-game trip to China as a member of a Sports Reach ministry team. He averaged a team-high 15.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. Carter came to Minnesota after playing one season at Missouri State-West Plains. His route to the Midwestern Junior College, however, is what is remarkable. His family relocated to New Orleans from Los Angeles prior to his junior year of high school but were soon relocated to Arkansas following Hurricane Katrina. In all, he played in four different cities in as many years.
BIG TEN. BIG NOTES.
BEATING THE BEST: With 10 wins apiece, the Big Ten and the Big East own the most wins over the Associated Press Top 25 in non-conference games this season. Rounding out the top-five RPI conference leaders are the Big 12 (8), the ACC (7) and the SEC (6). When including wins over conference opponents ranked inside the AP Top 25, the Big Ten rates first with a composite 19 wins overall. Together, Ohio State and Wisconsin have combined for nearly half of that total, each owning a national-leading four wins over foes ranked in the AP. A complete breakdown follows:
Most Wins vs. AP Top 25
Big Ten 19-19
Big East 17-31
Big 12 11-13
Wins vs. AP Top 25
Ohio State (4-3)
CONFERENCE TITLE CHASE: Michigan State claimed sole possession of first place atop the Big Ten team standings with a win over Illinois on Saturday. The Spartans survived the matchup between the conference's lone unbeatens and improved to 5-0 in Big Ten play for the second straight season and third overall since joining the conference in 1950-51. MSU started a school-record 7-0 in 1977-78 en route to winning the Big Ten title. With the loss, the Illini (4-1) fell to the runner-up position in the Big Ten title race, sitting one loss ahead of Wisconsin (4-2), which occupies the third spot. At 3-2, Michigan stands alone in fourth place, while Ohio State and Minnesota are knotted in fifth with 3-3 Big Ten records.
WINNING TRADITION: With its win over Illinois on Saturday, Michigan State inched one step closer to tying the Division I lead for most wins over the past calendar year. At 34-8, the Spartans sit one win shy of Memphis, which leads all teams with 35 wins since January, 2009. A complete breakdown follows:
Most Wins by Division I Teams
Since Jan. 10 2009
Memphis 35-5 (.875)
Michigan State 34-8 (.810)
Gonzaga 33-5 (.868)
Villanova 33-7 (.825)
Louisville 33-9 (.788)
HOME SECURITY: Nearly midway through the conference season, five Big Ten teams have maintained perfect home records, rating second amongst all Division I conferences. The Big 12 leads the nation with eight teams sporting clean home slates. Michigan State and Ohio State lead the conference contingent with 11-0 home ledgers, while Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin have also fended off visitors unscathed at 10-0 on the season. A complete breakdown follows:
Top-Five RPI Conferences Number of Teams Unbeaten at Home
Big 12 - 8
Big Ten - 5
ACC - 3
SEC - 3
Big East - 2
HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT: Since Bo Ryan took over the Wisconsin program in 2001-02, the Badgers have compiled a .929 home winning percentage - good enough to rank third in the nation during that stretch. In the last nine seasons, UW has earned 130 wins while surrendering only 10 losses from inside the Kohl Center. The Badgers are 10-0 at home this season and are riding a 15-game home winning streak overall. Under Ryan, the Badgers are 20-7 (.741) at home against ranked teams and have notched 51 straight home wins against unranked foes.
Best Division I Home Records Since 2001-02
Kansas 136-8 (.944)
Duke 127-9 (.934)
Wisconsin 130-10 (.929)
Pittsburgh 141-11 (.928)
Gonzaga 102-8 (.927)
MR. VERSATILITY: With seven rebounds on Sunday, Penn State's Talor Battle became just the fourth Nittany Lion ever to record 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 300 assists on their career in his 31-point effort at Iowa. The junior guard now stands 14th all-time in scoring (1,264) at PSU and 10th in assists (348). Ohio State's Evan Turner is also nearing a similar career milestone and needs just seven assists to join Jimmy Jackson as the only two Buckeyes in school history to eclipse 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. Currently, Turner is the only Division I player averaging at least 18.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. Joining him among the most versatile players to hit the hardwood this season is Big Ten leading scorer Manny Harris, who ranks among the top six in the conference in all three statistical categories. The following chart shows a complete statistical breakdown of the nation's top-five most consummate athletes in games played to date.
Points + Assists + Rebounds Per Game
Luke Harangody Notre Dame 35.8
Landry Fields Stanford 33.3
Evan Turner Ohio State 33.3
Manny Harris Michigan 31.0
Al-Farouq Aminu Wake Forest 30.8
RE-WRITING HISTORY: On Tuesday night in West Lafayette, history was made. For only the third time in conference annals, a player on each team scored 30 or more points. Ohio State's Evan Turner scored 32 points, while Purdue's Robbie Hummel accounted for 35 of his teams' total points. The night proved a game of two halves as Hummel tied a school record with eight treys en route to 29 of his career-high 35 points in the first stanza while Turner posted 23 of his career-best 32 points in the second half.
1/31/1998|Michigan State vs. Northwestern
Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State (34) and Evan Eschmeyer, Northwestern (30)
1/20/1999 | Michigan vs. Minnesota
Louis Bullock, Michigan (33) and Quincy Lewis, Minnesota (30)
1/12/10 | Ohio State vs. Purdue
Robbie Hummel, Purdue (35) and Evan Turner, Ohio State (32)
LIGHTS OUT: Jon Diebler netted his 200th career three-pointer last week to move into second all-time in program history behind Jamar Butler (242). The junior guard has made at least one shot from long range in his past 28 games, dating back to last season and has averaged 67 makes per season over the last three years. So far on the year, Diebler has tallied 56 triples and is connecting on 45 percent of his attempts from behind the arc. With an average 3.11 treys per game, Diebler leads the conference in three-points field goals made on the year, sitting slightly ahead of a talented pool of sharpshooters, including Minnesota's Blake Hoffarber (2.78) and Northwestern's Michael Thompson (2.35), who rank second and third in the conference in triples made.
BO KNOWS WINNING: Wisconsin's Bo Ryan already owns the best winning percentage in Big Ten history (98-40, .710), but he is rapidly closing in on becoming just the 18th coach with 100 Big Ten wins. The UW head skipper is also poised to become the second-fastest coach to notch 100 W's in conference action and join Michigan State's Tom Izzo as the only two active coaches to have accomplished the feat. Ryan will have the chance to tie Indiana coaching legend Branch McCracken (100-40) when Wisconsin invites Michigan and Penn State to Madison this week. The Badgers are 10-0 at home this season and own a 15-game home winning streak overall, not to mention, 51 straight home wins against unranked foes.