Dec. 13, 2010
FACES OF THE BIG TEN
Kory Barnett, Indiana
Jr., Rochester, Ind./Rochester
Barnett aspires to be a coach some day and was an Academic All-Big Ten performer last season. He graduated from Rochester High School in Indiana and is a sports marketing and management major at Indiana University. So far this season, Barnett has played in seven of the Hoosiers' nine games with two points, three boards and a block.
Buckeye's Big Day:
Ohio State freshman Jared Sullinger scored 40 points in the Buckeyes' win over IUPUI on Thursday, becoming the first Big Ten player to reach the milestone since Michigan State's Shawn Respert in 1995. He also became just the second Big Ten freshman ever to accomplish the feat and the first since Iowa's Dick Ives in 1944. Sullinger also shattered the previous Ohio State freshman single-game scoring record by eight points, besting the mark set by Michael Redd in 1998.
The Big Ten is off to an 82-20 (.804) start, marking the best current winning percentage of any conference among the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC. Among those conferences, the Big Ten and Big 12 are the only two to claim multiple undefeated teams without a team below the .500 mark. In addition, Illinois is riding a seven-game winning streak, its longest since 2008, and Michigan, at 7-2, is off to its best start under head coach John Beilein.
With 11 assists over two games last week, Illinois' Demetri McCamey became the eighth player and third Illini to enter the Big Ten's 600 careers assists club, now with 605 to his name. Needing just six more points for 1,400 in his career, McCamey is poised to become just the sixth player in conference history with at least 1,400 career points and 600 career helpers.
Give It Up:
Big Ten teams and players continue to rank among the nation's best at dishing the rock. Five conference squads rank in the NCAA's top 25 in assist-to-turnover ratio, while five rank in the top 25 of assists per game. Wisconsin leads the Big Ten and ranks third in the country with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.62, while Illinois leads the conference in assists per game with 17.5. Additionally, four conference players are among the NCAA's top 25 in assists-to-turnovers, while two more are among the top in assists per game. Illinois' Demetri McCamey and Michigan's Darius Morris are among the top 25 on both lists, while Morris' 12-assist performance against Concordia last week is the seventh-highest single-game total in the country so far this season. That contest marked Morris' fourth double-digit assist performance of the season, which is the most in the Big Ten this year.
Home Sweet Home:
Big Ten teams are a combined 60-4 on their home courts this season, accounting for a .938 winning percentage. Eight conference squads - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin - are undefeated on their home courts, while every Big Ten squad owns a winning record in their home arena.
Where They Rank:
The Big Ten continues to place five teams in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls and is tied for the lead among all conferences with five teams in the top 20 of the coaches rankings. Ohio State is ranked second in both polls for the third consecutive week, while Illinois boasts its highest ranking of the season, ranked No. 12 by the AP and No. 14 by the coaches. No. 14/15 Michigan State, No. 19/17 Purdue and No. 21/20 Minnesota round out the top 25 lists, while Northwestern and Wisconsin are receiving votes outside both polls.
Big Ten Soundtrack on Repeat:
The Big Ten Conference announced last week that it will continue its basketball public service announcements entitled, Big Ten Soundtrack. The men's basketball PSAs feature musical backdrops by highly regarded artists Public Enemy and De La Soul and will debut during the Dec. 18 South Carolina at Ohio State contest on CBS Sports. Both spots will appear during the season on the Big Ten Network, CBS Sports, and ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
You'd Better Watch Out:
The Big Ten leads all conferences with 10 players named to the John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Award preseason watch lists. 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 JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore and Wisconsin's Jon Leuer earned spots on both lists, while Buckeye freshman Jared Sullinger earned a spot on the Naismith watch list, and Purdue's Robbie Hummel was named to the Wooden watch list before suffering a season-ending injury.
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.