Nov. 30, 2009
For complete release in PDF format...
FACES of the BIG TEN
Talor battle, penn state junior guard
The third oldest of nine children, Battle earned the nickname “Bubby” from his mother, Denise, as a young child due to his affection for then-Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bubby Brister. A life-long Steelers fan, Battle was born in Harrisburg, Pa., before spending his formative years in Albany, N.Y. The returning All-Big Ten first-team selection led Team USA in scoring (10.0 ppg) during the World University Games in Serbia last summer and formed a close bond with fellow All-Big Ten first-teamer Evan Turner of Ohio State. Turner began the relationship last season when he wrote Battle a letter of concern and support after learning Denise had suffered a mild heart attack. The two have kept in close contact since and spent several hours catching up late into the evening at this year’s Big Ten Media Day in Chicago.
BIG TEN. BIG NOTES.
1. THE ROAD TO MARCH
It is an arduous road to March. Once again the Big Ten is taking on some of the nation's toughest competition in November. Last week alone, the Big Ten met four ranked teams and 10 teams from either the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Pac-10 or SEC. The Big Ten was 3-1 against ranked opponents with Purdue defeating No. 9/11 Tennessee for the Paradise Jam title. Unranked Wisconsin and Northwestern knocked off No. 21/22 Maryland and No. 23/rv Notre Dame, respectively. No. 3 Texas defeated Iowa for the conference’s only loss to a ranked team. In addition to those programs representing the ACC, Big 12, Big East and SEC, Big Ten teams met six more teams from the aforementioned conferences and the Pac-10. Wisconsin upended Arizona of the Pac-10, while NU edged the Big 12’s Iowa State. Michigan and Michigan State fell to the SEC’s Alabama and Florida, respectively. Texas A&M (Big 12) edged Minnesota and Marquette (Big East) defeated Michigan. The Big Ten was 5-5 against those teams on the week. The margin of victory in those 10 games ranged from one point to 25 points, with an average margin of 7.8 points.
2. RECORDS ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN
Tom Izzo won his 341st game at Michigan State, setting the school record for victories in the No. 2 Spartans’ 106-68 win over Massachusetts last Saturday night in the Legends Classic. Izzo set the record the same week mentor and predecessor Jud Heathcote was inducted into the National Collegiate Hall of Fame. Izzo had already matched him with one national championship apiece. He now stands alone atop the Spartans’ win list with a 341-138 record in his 15th season. The 341 win ranks fifth in Big Ten annals. Izzo is now chasing Indiana’s Branch McCracken’s 364 career wins for fourth-place. Indiana skipper and descendent of Izzo coaching tree, Tom Crean is one win shy of his 200th career victory. Crean is 199-124 in his 11-year career as a head coach. Minnesota’s Tubby Smith is four triumphs away from earning his 50th at Minnesota. This is Smith’s third season as the Golden Gophers’ skipper. Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan is nearing his 200th victory at the helm of the Badger program. Ryan needs only three wins to reach the plateau.
EXTRA: Go to www.coachizzo.com to see the postgame celebration.
3. CLUB 1K VIPs
A trio of student-athletes joined an elite group of current and former players when they eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau for their careers. The three are now among eight active players in the conference with 1,000 or more points. Purdue’s E'Twaun Moore became the 43rd Boilermaker to reach 1,000. Moore accomplished the feat in only 75 games and now has 1,028 for his career. Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas was inducted into the club on Nov. 27, scoring 20 points against Florida to give him 1,026 for his career. Lucas is the 40th player in MSU history to reach the milestone. Ohio State’s Evan Turner scored 16 versus St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday to join the elite club. The junior guard now has 1,004 career points and is the 44th Buckeye to surpass the marker. The trio joins Raymar Morgan (MSU), Kevin Coble (NU), Manny Harris (MICH), DeShawn Sims (MICH) and Talor Battle. A complete listings with career points appears on page 3.
4. MR. VERSATILITY
He shoots, he scores, he rebounds and he dishes out the rock. Ohio State’s Evan Turner recorded his second triple-double of the season against Lipscomb last week. The sophomore guard had 16 points, 10 boards and 11 assists. With the triple-double, Turner becomes one of just 34 NCAA players all-time to record multiple triple doubles in a single season.
5. AWARDS AND HONORS
Ohio State’s Evan Turner earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors for the third consecutive week. Turner is only the second player in Big Ten history to earn back-to-back-to-back honors. Purdue’s Carl Landry is the only other player to do so. Landry was honored on Nov. 27, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11 of the 2006-07 season. Turner now has won the weekly laurel six times during his two plus seasons as a Buckeye. Those six accolades ties Turner for second for most Player of the Week nods during a career. Currently, Jim Jackson (OSU) and Glenn Robinson (PUR) own the record with seven Player of the Week laurels for a career.
In addition to Turner’s feat, several student-athletes were honored as Most Valuable Player or as members of the all-tournament team for the in-season tournaments. Northwestern’s John Shurna earned MVP honors after leading the Wildcats to the Chicago Invitational Challenge title. It was the first tournament title for the ’Cats since the 1993-94 season. Purdue’s E’Twaun Moore was named the MVP of the Paradise Jam. Moore had 22 points in the championships game over then-No. 9 Tennessee. The Boilermakers earned their first in-season tournament title since the 2003-04 season. A complete list appears below.
Manny Harris, Michigan—Old Spice
Trévon Hughes, Wisconsin—Maui Invitational
Robbie Hummel, Purdue—Paradise Jam
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State—Legends Classic
Cully Payne, Iowa—CBE Classic
Jeremy Nash, Northwestern—Chicago Invitational Challenge
Michael Thompson, Northwestern—Chicago Invitational Challenge
Mike Tisdale, Illinois—Las Vegas Invitational