Jan. 21, 2014
Ohio State's Jerry Lucas
Lucas, who received the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1963, was the leading scorer and rebounder on Ohio State's 1960 NCAA Championship team. He was a two-time National Player of the Year, three-time first-team consensus All-American and three-time Big Ten MVP. During his college career, the Buckeyes posted a 78-6 record and won three Big Ten titles. Lucas led the nation in field goal shooting for three consecutive years and still holds Ohio State's career records in field goal percentage (.624), free throws made (438) and rebounds (1,411). The Middletown, Ohio, native was also the youngest player on the USA Basketball team that won the gold medal at the 1960 Olympics. During his 11 seasons in the NBA, Lucas was a seven-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 and was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Lucas was the first men's basketball player to have his number retired at Ohio State.
Five Big Ten Teams Ranked in Top 25:
The Associated Press (AP) and USA Today Coaches polls were released on Monday, and the Big Ten was well-represented with five teams among the top 25. In the AP poll, Michigan State was ranked No. 3, followed by No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 10 Iowa, No. 17 Ohio State and No. 21 Michigan. In the coaches' ballot, Michigan State was ranked No. 3, followed by No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 10 Iowa, No. 15 Ohio State and No. T25 Michigan.
The Week Ahead:
All 12 Big Ten teams will be in action this week, including a pair of matchups between ranked foes. #21/25 Michigan will host #10/10 Iowa on Wednesday before traveling to East Lansing, Mich., to take on #3/3 Michigan State on Saturday. The Spartans (6-0) and Wolverines (5-0) remain unbeaten and atop the Big Ten standings entering this week's slate of games. Four early season rematches are also on this week's schedule. Ohio State won at Nebraska on Monday night, Indiana will host Michigan State on Tuesday, Iowa will travel to Northwestern on Saturday and Indiana will host Illinois.
Against the Nation's Best:
After Nebraska's 68-62 win over #17/15 Ohio State on Monday, 10 of the Big Ten's 12 teams have recorded wins over top-25 foes this season. Wisconsin is 3-0 against the top 25, Michigan State has posted a 2-1 record against ranked opponents, while Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and Ohio State have all collected one victory against the top 25.
College GameDay to Visit East Lansing Saturday:
ESPN's College GameDay will broadcast live from the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich., on Saturday, when Michigan State hosts rival Michigan. The show is in its 10th season of day-long college basketball coverage on Saturdays from January-March. Rece Davis will serve as host, and will be joined by analysts Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps and former Michigan point guard Jalen Rose.
Big Ten Tops Sagarin Rankings:
The Big Ten is well-represented in Jeff Sagarin's most recent College Basketball Rankings, with three teams among the top five and five in the top 20. Michigan State is ranked No. 2, followed by No. 3 Iowa, No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 12 Michigan and No. 16 Ohio State. The Big Ten's Sagarin Rating is 83.85, which leads all conferences. Sagarin's ratings are an average of three formulas, based largely on a team's strength of schedule.
The latest version of the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) was released on Monday. Four Big Ten teams were ranked among the top 20 in the nation, and seven appeared among the top 60, tied for the most among all conferences. Wisconsin led the way at No. 5, followed by No. 7 Michigan State, No. 11 Ohio State, No. 18 Iowa, No. 28 Michigan, No. 35 Minnesota and No. 59 Illinois.
Moving up the Coaching Ranks:
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo won his 215th Big Ten game at Illinois on Saturday, moving into fourth-place all-time on the Big Ten wins list. Izzo is now 13 wins behind Purdue's Ward Lambert (1917; 1919-45), who collected 228 conference victories to rank third. Michigan State is 17-1 on the season, marking the best one-loss start in school history. The 1931 squad finished the season at 16-1, while the 2001 team was 16-1 before dropping its 18th game at Ohio State.
Getting it Done on Both Ends:
Iowa, which has won five of its last six games, appears among the nation's leaders in several offensive and defensive statistical categories. The Hawkeyes are fifth in the nation in scoring offense at 86.8 points per game, while ranking eighth in defensive field goal percentage (.372) and 13th in three-point field goal defense (.282). Iowa has scored at least 80 points in three Big Ten games, and held four of its conference opponents under 75 points.
Historic Win for Wolverines:
Michigan's win at #3/3 Wisconsin last Saturday marked the Wolverines' first victory in Madison since the 1998-99 season, and also represented the program's first-ever victory against a top-three team in a true road game. The Wolverines are currently 3-0 on the road in Big Ten play.
Leading the Way:
Through games of Jan. 16, the Big Ten has seen a variety of players pacing the conference in major statistical categories. Michigan's Nik Stauskas leads the Big Ten in scoring (18.0 ppg), Indiana's Noah Vonleh paces the conference in rebounding (9.2 rpg), Iowa's Aaron White is the Big Ten's leader in field goal percentage (.659), Penn State's Tim Frazier leads the conference in assists per game (6.4), Ohio State's Aaron Craft leads the Big Ten in steals per outing (2.4 spg), Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky is pacing the Big Ten in three-point field goal percentage (.468) and Purdue's A.J. Hammons is the Big Ten's leader in blocks per game (3.5). Wisconsin's Ben Brust leads the conference in three-point field goals made (49) while Minnesota's Malik Smith paces the Big Ten in free throw percentage (.878).
Leaders of the Pack:
The Big Ten now has 13 active members of the 1,000-point club. Northwestern's Drew Crawford continues to lead the way with 1,690 career points, followed by Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble (1,428), Michigan State's Keith Appling (1,407), Penn State's Tim Frazier (1,354), Indiana's Evan Gordon (1,320), Illinois' Rayvonte Rice (1,314), Purdue's Terone Johnson (1,176), Ohio State's Aaron Craft (1,149), Iowa's Aaron White (1,129), Minnesota's Andre Hollins (1,127), Penn State's D.J. Newbill (1,125), Minnesota's Austin Hollins (1,076) and Iowa's Melsahn Basabe (1,026).
Roaming the Sidelines:
Six active Big Ten coaches have amassed 300 wins, led by three who have more than 400 career victories. Wisconsin's Bo Ryan is the conference's active wins leader (691), followed by Michigan's John Beilein (686), Michigan State's Tom Izzo (456), Ohio State's Thad Matta (367), Iowa's Fran McCaffery (320) and Nebraska's Tim Miles (307).
Spreading the Wealth:
Parity has reigned over Big Ten basketball since the 2000-01 season, as seven schools have earned at least a share of the Big Ten Championship. Ohio State leads all schools with five titles, followed by Illinois (4), Michigan State (4), Wisconsin (3), Indiana (2), Michigan (1) and Purdue (1).
Stay Glued to the Tube:
The 2013-14 season marks the seventh consecutive year that every Big Ten men's basketball conference regular season and tournament game will be broadcast nationally. The Big Ten's most recent media agreements will result in nearly 175 regular season and postseason games appearing on BTN, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
Postseason Back in Indy:
The 2014 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for the ninth time in event history. This season's tournament will tip off on Thursday, March 13, and the champion will be crowned on Sunday, March 16.
The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will also be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 2016, and will be held at the United Center in Chicago in 2015.