Feb. 12, 2007
Tucker Eclipses 2,000-Point Mark: With a 21-point effort against Iowa on Saturday, Wisconsin's Alando Tucker became the second Badger and 23rd player in Big Ten history to score at least 2,000 points in his career. Currently the senior forward has tallied 2,020 points and is now nearing UW's all-time scoring record held by Michael Finley, whose 2,147 points ranks 12th in conference annals. Tucker is also the first 2,000-point producer for the Big Ten since Indiana's A.J. Guyton tallied 2,100 points from 1997-00.
Top Freshmen Leaders: Ohio State freshman Greg Oden currently leads the Big Ten in rebounding (9.0 rpg) and blocked shots (3.64 bpg) in conference games only. Fellow teammate Mike Conley Jr. is the conference leader in assists with 6.45 dishes per game. Conley is also tied for first place in steals with two other top freshmen, Iowa's Tyler Smith and Purdue's Chris Kramer, who are also tallying 2.00 steals per contest in Big Ten games this year.
Making An Impact: Two Big Ten freshmen are currently leading their teams in scoring this season. Ohio State's Greg Oden is tallying a 15.3 scoring average in his first season in Columbus. He would be the first freshman to finish first in program history since Michael Redd tallied 21.9 points per game during the 1997-98 season. With his 12.7 ppg average, Northwestern's Kevin Coble is on pace to become just the fifth true-freshman to lead the Wildcats in scoring since the 1972-73 season when freshmen became eligible for varsity competition. Ben Johnson was the last freshman to claim NU's scoring title when he averaged 11.6 points per game during the 1999-00 season.
Race for Big Ten Supremacy: With just three weeks left in the Big Ten regular season, six teams are at or above .500 in conference play while the top two squads are tied for first place in the Big Ten standings. Wisconsin and Ohio State have both tallied 10-1 records in conference action, while Indiana follows in third place with a 7-3 record. Of the top three teams, the Hoosiers play four of their final six games away from Assembly Hall, while UW and OSU will hit the road for three of their final five contests. The Badgers face the toughest competition of the top three, as the combined record of their opponents is 22-30 (.423), including road tests at Michigan State and Ohio State. Iowa is in fourth place in the conference standings with a 6-5 record and will face three of its final five opponents at home. Illinois and Michigan are both .500 in conference play and the Wolverines have the toughest slate of the top six teams as their remaining opponents boast a .531 winning percentage.
In The Conference Lead: Wisconsin is 10-1 in conference play for the first time since the 1946-47 season when the Badgers tallied an 11-1 record and claimed the Big Ten title. Ohio State is also 10-1, marking the Buckeyes' best start in conference action since beginning the 1990-91 campaign with a 15-1 mark.
Haluska Earns Academic All-District Honors: Iowa's Adam Haluska has been selected to the 2006-07 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District team. The senior guard has claimed All-District VII recognition for the third straight season and earned third-team Academic All-America honors as a junior last year. To be nominated, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher. Haluska is now eligible for Academic All-America honors which will be announced in early March.
Big Ten Scoring Title Chase: Iowa's Adam Haluska remains in first place among the conference's scoring leaders with 21.7 points per game in Big Ten only contests, but is closely followed by Wisconsin's Alando Tucker (19.1 ppg), who captured the Big Ten scoring title last season. If Haluska continues to lead the conference in scoring, he would be the first Hawkeye to accomplish that feat since Andre Woolridge in 1997.
Big Ten's Grand Company: Purdue's Carl Landry (1,008) became the latest Big Ten standout to break the 1,000 point barrier, tallying 13 points against Ohio State on Saturday. The senior forward is now the 10th active member of the 1,000-point club, joining Iowa's Adam Haluska (1,746), Michigan's Lester Abram (1,192), Dion Harris (1,461) and Courtney Sims (1,248), Ohio State's Ron Lewis (1,516), Purdue's David Teague (1,226), Penn State's Geary Claxton (1,148) and Wisconsin's Alando Tucker (2,020) and Kammron Taylor (1,083). Minnesota's Lawrence McKenzie (926) is vying to become the next member of the conference's 1,000-point club.
NCAA RPI Rankings: The Big Ten has four teams in the top 40 of the RPI rankings which were released by the NCAA last Monday. Wisconsin leads the Big Ten contingent with a No. 4 ranking, while Ohio State (5th), Indiana (19th) and Michigan State (38th) round out the top 40.
Big Ten's Homecourt Records: Ohio State has the fifth-longest home winning streak in the country with 24 consecutive triumphs at Value City Arena while Wisconsin follows in ninth place with a 20-game home winning streak at the Kohl Center. Gonzaga leads the nation with a 50-game homecourt winning streak. The Buckeyes' last home loss was on Jan. 15, 2006, in double-overtime, 62-59, against the Spartans. Wisconsin's last loss at home occurred on Jan. 31, 2006, when the Badgers fell to No. 6/6 Illinois, 66-51. OSU and UW still trail the Big Ten record of 53 straight home triumphs set by Michigan State from 1998 to 2002 -- a winning streak that was ended by the Badgers.