Dec. 13, 2013
Big Ten Men's Basketball Weekend Release The Week That's Been:
The Big Ten is 7-0 this week, with non-conference wins by Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. The Buckeyes and Badgers remained unbeaten on the season, while Minnesota won its fourth straight game.
Austin Hollins, D.J. Newbill Join 1,000-Point Club:
Minnesota's Austin Hollins and Penn State's D.J. Newbill both eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau earlier this week, with Hollins accomplishing the feat against South Dakota State and Newbill reaching the milestone versus Duquesne. The duo became the fifth and sixth active Big Ten players to reach 1,000 points this season.
The Weekend Ahead:
A total of 10 games are on this weekend's Big Ten men's basketball slate, beginning with Friday's annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series showdown between No. 23/22 Iowa and No. 17/16 Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum. On Saturday, Illinois will take on No. 15/11 Oregon at the Moda Center in Portland, while No. -/25 Michigan will entertain top-ranked Arizona at Crisler Center. Indiana will face Notre Dame and Purdue will take on Butler in the annual Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Three in Top Five:
The Associated Press (AP) and USA Today Coaches polls were released on Monday, and the Big Ten was well-represented with five teams among the top 25, and three positioned in the top five. In the AP poll, Ohio State was ranked No. 3, followed by No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 5 Michigan State and No. 23 Iowa, while Michigan and Indiana received votes. In the coaches' ballot, Ohio State checked in at No. 2, followed by No. 5 Michigan State, No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 22 Iowa and No. 25 Michigan. Indiana also received votes in the coaches' ballot.
Leading the Way:
Through games of Dec. 11, the Big Ten has seen a variety of players pacing the conference in many of the major statistical categories. Michigan's Nik Stauskas leads the Big Ten in scoring (18.9 ppg) and three-point field goal percentage (.500), Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh paces the conference in rebounding (10.0 rpg), Ohio State's Amir Williams is the Big Ten's leader in field goal percentage (.698), Penn State's Tim Frazier leads the conference in assists per game (7.7), Ohio State's Aaron Craft paces the Big Ten in steals per outing (2.6 spg) and Purdue's A.J. Hammons is the Big Ten's leader in blocks per game (4.0).
Craft Continues to Climb Big Ten Career Charts:
Ohio State's Aaron Craft enters Saturday's game against North Dakota State with 271 career steals, which ranks sixth on the Big Ten's career list. With two more thefts, Craft would pass Northwestern's Pat Baldwin (1990-94) for fifth all-time. Craft, who is averaging 2.6 steals per game, is on pace to record at least 330 steals, which would mark the Big Ten career steals record.
Good Works Team Nominees Have Big Ten Ties:
Four Big Ten men's basketball players were named nominees for the 2014 NABC Allstate Good Works Team: Michigan's Jordan Morgan, Northwestern's Drew Crawford, Ohio State's Aaron Craft and Wisconsin's Zach Bohannon. The award recognizes nominees who have made significant contributions to their communities through volunteerism and civic service. A voting panel will determine the final five Division I award winners in February.
Filling it Up:
Big Ten teams have posted 57 efforts of 80 or more points during non-conference play, and enter this weekend averaging 77.9 points per game. During non-conference action last season, Big Ten teams averaged more than 73 points per game, over five points higher than the NCAA average.
The most recent version of the NCAA statistics were released on Monday, and several Big Ten teams were well-represented across an array of categories. Indiana led the nation in rebound margin (15.0), while Michigan State led the nation in assists per game (20.8). Penn State and Wisconsin were tied for second in the country in fewest turnovers per game (9.0), while Ohio State ranked second in three-point field goal defense (.220). Michigan State and Ohio State ranked third in assist/turnover ratio (1.93) and scoring defense (54.5 ppg), respectively, while Iowa was fourth in both scoring margin (24.6) and defensive field goal percentage (.364). A complete summary of the updated NCAA statistics can be found on NCAA.org.
Leaders of the Pack:
The Big Ten now has 11 active members of the 1,000-point club. Northwestern's Drew Crawford continues to lead the way with 1,550 career points, followed by Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble (1,306), Indiana's Evan Gordon (1,272), Michigan State's Keith Appling (1,249), Penn State's Tim Frazier (1,232), Illinois' Rayvonte Rice (1,162), Ohio State's Aaron Craft (1,064), Purdue's Terone Johnson (1,063), Iowa's Aaron White (1,016), Minnesota's Austin Hollins (1,003) and Penn State's D.J. Newbill (1,001).
Roaming the Sidelines:
Six active Big Ten coaches have amassed 300 wins, led by three who have more than 400 career victories. Wisconsin's Bo Ryan is the conference's active wins leader (685), followed by Michigan's John Beilein (679), Michigan State's Tom Izzo (446), Ohio State's Thad Matta (361), Iowa's Fran McCaffery (315) and Nebraska's Tim Miles (304).
Postseason Back in Indy:
The 2014 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for the ninth time in event history. This season's tournament will tip off on Thursday, March 13, and the champion will be crowned on Sunday, March 16.
The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will also be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 2016, and will be held at the United Center in Chicago in 2015.