Big Ten Men's Basketball Weekly Release - Nov. 19, 2012




Nov. 19, 2012

Big Ten Men's Basketball Weekly Release - Nov. 19, 2012 Get Acrobat Reader

Tip-Off:
After two weeks of play, Big Ten teams have combined for a 33-7 record, which is good enough for a .825 winning percentage. Eight conference squads remain undefeated, as Iowa and Minnesota both stand at 4-0, and Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern and Ohio State are 3-0. This week's schedule features several Thanksgiving tournaments, including several games against nationally ranked opponents.

Where We Rank:
The Big Ten leads all conferences with five teams ranked in the USA Today Sports Coaches poll and is tied for the lead with four teams ranked in the Associated Press (AP) poll. Indiana remains the No. 1 team in the nation in both rankings, while Ohio State moved up one spot to No. 3, and Michigan moved up to No. 4 in both polls. Michigan State comes in at No. 15 in the AP poll and is ranked 19th in the coaches poll, while Wisconsin is ranked 24th by the coaches and receiving votes outside the AP poll. Minnesota is receiving votes outside the AP and coaches polls.

Point Taken:
Big Ten teams are continuing to put up high point totals, with four conference squads averaging 80 points per game or more through two weeks of play. Indiana leads the Big Ten in offense, averaging 94.3 points per contest, followed by Michigan (89.3 ppg), Illinois (80.7 ppg) and Northwestern (80.0 ppg). Overall, Big Ten teams are combining to average over 74 points per game and have scored 80 or more points in 14 out of the first 40 games of the season. Indiana has put up two of this season's four highest totals, having dropped 99 on Sam Houston State and 97 on Bryant. Michigan owns this season's high with 100 against Slippery Rock. The Wolverines also scored 91 against IUPUI.

Tenacious D:
Big Ten teams are playing tight defense in the early part of the season, giving up an average of just 57.9 points per game. Minnesota leads the Big Ten with a scoring defense average of just 48.0 points per game, while Iowa (52.0 ppg), Indiana (53.3 ppg), Wisconsin (53.7 ppg), Michigan (54.3 ppg), Nebraska (55.0 ppg), Northwestern (56.7 ppg) and Michigan State (57.0 ppg) are also holding opponents to less than 60 points per game.
 
Join the Club:
Indiana's Jordan Hulls and Penn State's Tim Frazier became the sixth and seventh active members of the Big Ten's 1,000 career points club, each reaching the milestone on Thursday. Frazier dropped 23 against NC State before adding 19 in a win over Providence, now owning 1,035 points in his career. Hulls scored 10 in Indiana's win over Sam Houston State last Thursday and sits at an even 1,000. See Page 3 of this release for the full list of the Big Ten's active leading scorers.

Thirty is the New 20:
Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas tied his career high with a 31-point performance in the Buckeyes' win over Washington on Sunday, marking the highest individual single-game total in the Big Ten this year.

Now on Naismith:
Seven Big Ten players were named to the early season watch list for the Naismith Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced. The full list of Big Ten representatives on the list can be found below:
Christian Watford, Indiana
Cody Zeller, Indiana
Trey Burke, Michigan
Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota
Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State
Tim Frazier, Penn State

Wooden is Watching:
The Big Ten led the nation with nine players named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50. Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State each have two players on the list, accounting for three of the eight teams nationally with multiple honorees. Big Ten players among the preseason top 50 are listed below:
Brandon Paul, Illinois
Christian Watford, Indiana
Cody Zeller, Indiana
Trey Burke, Michigan
Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan
Keith Appling, Michigan State
Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State
Tim Frazier, Penn State

They've Got CLASS:
Five Big Ten players were named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, a total that leads all conferences. Illinois' Brandon Paul, Indiana's Jordan Hulls, Northwestern's Drew Crawford, Penn State's Tim Frazier and Wisconsin's Jared Berggren are in the running for the honor that recognizes an NCAA Division I senior with notable achievements in four areas of excellence -- community, classroom, character and competition.

Stars on the Small Screen:
For the sixth consecutive season, every Big Ten home game will be produced and distributed to a live national audience. BTN, which is available in more than 80 million homes in the U.S. and Canada, will broadcast over 100 events on its linear channel or on BTN.com. More than 75 games will be aired by an ESPN platform -- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3, and CBS Sports will carry 15 games.

March is (Almost) On:
The 2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to Chicago's United Center for the first time since 2007 and the eighth time in the event's history, including the inaugural event in 1998. Every game of the tournament will be broadcast to a national audience with contests appearing on BTN, ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS Sports. Every tournament game since its inception has reached a live national television audience.

The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will also be played at the United Center in 2015, and will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., in 2014 and 2016.

All-session tickets for the 2013 Big Ten Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments are on sale now. Visit bigten.org for more information.