Nov. 15, 2010
FACES OF THE BIG TEN
Keaton Nankivil, Wisconsin
Sr., F, Madison, Wis./Memorial
Keaton Nankivil’s four years at Wisconsin have been a learning process, and now the senior is paying it forward. The Madison, Wis., native spent the summer working on developing the motor skills of disabled adults in the area, and he is now tutoring math and science each week at a local high school. After he graduates this May, the third-year starter is interested in pursuing teaching as a career, not just a hobby.
The Big Ten opened the 2010-11 season last week with a 13-1 overall record. Illinois led the way with three victories, two of which came as part of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. Indiana also tallied multiple wins, going 2-0. Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin also opened their seasons with victories.
Where They Rank:
The Big Ten continues to lead the nation with two teams ranked in the top five the Associated Press (AP) and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. Michigan State comes in at No. 2 on each list, while the Buckeyes are selected No. 4 by the AP and No. 5 by the coaches. The Big Ten has four teams in the AP top 25 (No. 13 Illinois, No. 14 Purdue), tying the conference with the Big 12 and the Big East for the national lead. In the coaches poll, No. 9 Purdue, No. 16 Illinois and No. 25 Wisconsin give the Big Ten five ranked teams, which is tied for the most among all conferences with the Big 12. Wisconsin and Minnesota are receiving votes outside the AP poll, while the Gophers and Northwestern are receiving at least one vote from the coaches.
Ohio State opened its 2010-11 campaign with a 102-point performance vs. North Carolina A&T on Friday. The game marked the second consecutive season the Buckeyes posted 100 or more points in their season-opener after dropping 100 on Alcorn State to begin the 2009-10 season. Wisconsin's 99 points vs. Prairie View A&M marked the Badgers' highest point total since Dec. 28, 1995, and the squad's highest season-opening mark since the 1993-94 season when the team scored 106 vs. UW-Milwaukee. Northwestern scored 97 points in its season-opening win against Northern Illinois, marking the Wildcats' highest point total since a 97-93 overtime win against Michigan in 1994, and the team's highest total in a true road game since 1975.
Several Big Ten freshmen made immediate impacts in their season debuts last week, including Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, who was named the conference's first ever Freshman of the Week in men's basketball. Sullinger became the first Buckeye freshman to tally double digit points and rebounds in his debut, putting up 19 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Sullinger's teammate Deshaun Thomas had the highest single-game points output of any conference freshman during the first week of the season, tallying 24 to go along with eight rebounds. Wisconsin freshman Josh Gasser also went over the 20-points marker, putting up 21 in the Badgers' win over Prairie View A&M. Gasser also grabbed nine boards and dished three assists.
Welcome to the Block Party:
Ohio State's Dallas Lauderdale tallied eight blocks in the Buckeyes' win over North Carolina A&T on Friday, tying his career high. Lauderdale set the mark last season with eight against UC-Santa Barbara on March 19 in the NCAA Tournament, and also had two games with seven blocks last season. Lauderdale now has 167 blocks in his career, which puts him second among active players, behind only JaJuan Johnson (189) of Purdue.
Six Big Ten players recorded double-doubles during the opening week of the season, including Ohio State senior Dallas Lauderdale, who tallied the first in his 102-game career. Buckeye freshman Jared Sullinger picked up his first in his first college game, while Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe registered a double-double in his first game with the Golden Gophers. Minnesota's Ralph Sampson III tallied the third of his career, while Indiana's Christian Watford picked up his fifth. Purdue's JaJuan Johnson grabbed his 15th, making him second in double-doubles among active Big Ten players behind Illinois' Mike Davis (24).
You'd Better Watch Out:
The Big Ten leads all conferences with 10 players named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List, which was announced on Oct. 4. Illinois' Demetri McCamey, Michigan State's Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers, Northwestern's John Shurna, Ohio State's William Buford, Penn State's Talor Battle, Purdue's Robbie Hummel, JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore and Wisconsin's Jon Leuer were all tabbed as early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor. Purdue was the only school in the nation with three players on the list, while Michigan State was one of just five programs with two players named.
The Big Ten leads all conferences with four players, Minnesota's Blake Hoffarber, Ohio State's David Lighty, Purdue's E'Twaun Moore and Wisconsin's Jon Leuer, named candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
Life on the Big Stage:
This season, every Big Ten home game will be produced and distributed to a live national audience. The Big Ten Network, which is available in more than 75 million homes in the U.S. and Canada, will broadcast over 100 events on its linear channel or on www.BigTenNetwork.com. More than 75 games will be broadcast by an ESPN platform - ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3, and CBS Sports will carry 15 games.
March is (Almost) On:
The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to Indianapolis March 10-13, 2011 for the fourth year of a five-year agreement that puts both the men's and women's events in the Circle City. All-session tickets for the 2011 Big Ten Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments are on sale now. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.
Let the Madness Begin:
The Big Ten Conference will serve as host for the second and third rounds of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Games will be played at the United Center in Chicago, and a limited number of tickets are still available. Visit www.bigten.org for more information.