Jan. 12, 2010
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GET TO KNOW HER
Jori Davis, Indiana
Jori Davis is one of the most well-rounded student-athletes at Indiana. Not only is she talented on the court, but in the classroom as well, having earned Academic All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore last year. Davis also has the experience of playing internationally after spending her freshman season of high school in England.
The Amazing Race
Ohio State remains on top of the conference standings with a 5-0 mark during Big Ten action. The Buckeyes have won their last nine in a row, most recently with a 65-62 victory on the road against then-No. 19/21 Michigan State on Saturday. Four teams -- Illinois, Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue -- are tied for second in the conference with 3-2 records, while Wisconsin is sixth at an even 3-3.
New and Improved
Four Big Ten teams have already matched or improved upon their win totals from all of last season. With an overtime victory against Indiana on Sunday, Penn State recorded its 11th win of the year, matching its total from the 2008-09 campaign. Illinois also won its 11th game on Sunday with a 64-62 come-from-behind victory against Minnesota. The win gives the Illini one more than the team tallied all of last season. With 11 wins on the year, Northwestern already has four more wins than it had all of last season and has the program's highest win total since 1998-99. Michigan has 10 wins on the year, matching its 2008-09 total.
In the Rankings
Ohio State moved up one spot in the AP and coaches' polls, to No. 5, while Michigan State comes in at No. 20 in the AP rankings and was voted No. 23 by the coaches. Wisconsin is receiving votes outside the top 25 in the AP and coaches' polls.
Ohio State head coach Jim Foster is just two wins away from 200 in his tenure with the Buckeyes, putting him on pace to become just the second coach in NCAA men's or women's Division I, II or III history to record 200 wins at three different schools. Foster accumulated 248 wins with St. Joe's from 1978-91 before adding 256 victories at Vanderbilt from 1991-2002. Foster currently has 702 career wins, making him the ninth-winningest active coach in NCAA Division I women's basketball. Former Iowa mentor and current Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer is the only person to currently hold the distinction of having won 200 games at three different schools.
Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp became the eighth Big Ten coach to post 200 career victories with her team's win over Northwestern on Sunday. Versyp boasts a 200-105 mark in her head coaching career, joining Iowa's Lisa Bluder (533), Michigan's Kevin Borseth (545), Michigan State's Suzy Merchant (257), Minnesota's Pam Borton (231), Northwestern's Joe McKeown (527), Ohio State's Jim Foster (702) and Wisconsin's Lisa Stone (479) as Big Ten coaches with 200 or more career wins.
Illinois' Jenna Smith and Ohio State's Jantel Lavender continue to extend their impressive double-digit scoring streaks. With 26 points against Minnesota on Sunday, Smith increased her streak to 54 consecutive games, which dates back to the 2007-08 season. Smith's streak is the third-longest among active Division I players. Lavender tallied 20 points against Michigan State on Saturday, upping her streak to 84 games, which spans the entire length of her career and is the longest active streak in the nation. Penn State's Tyra Grant holds a streak that dates back to last season, currently riding a 27-game double-digit scoring streak that includes a 27-point performance against Indiana on Sunday.
Moving on Up
Michigan State senior Allyssa DeHaan tallied three blocks against Ohio State on Saturday, upping her career total to 452. DeHaan is currently second in the NCAA career records book, needing just 28 more swats to tie the current record of 480, set by TCU's Sandora Irvin, who finished her career in 2005.
Home Sweet Home
Of last weekend's five conference games, four were won by the home team, upping the combined record of Big Ten teams in home conference games to 21-8. Five squads are undefeated in Big Ten home games, including Minnesota, Purdue and Wisconsin, who are 3-0. Ohio State and Penn State are both 2-0 during home conference play.
Topping the Charts
Illinois' Jenna Smith became the second player in school history to eclipse the 1,000 career rebounds milestone on Sunday, pulling down 11 in a win over Minnesota. She needs just 13 more to tie the school record of 1,014. Smith is the 11th player in Big Ten history to reach the marker and the only active conference player with 1,000 career boards. Smith also became the sixth player in conference history with 1,800-plus points and 1,000-plus rebounds in a career, joining Indiana's Denise Jackson, Minnesota's Laura Coenen and Janel McCarville and Ohio State's Jessica Davenport and Tracey Hall.
Neighborhood Watch Program
Six Big Ten players earned spots on the Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List. Illinois' Jenna Smith, Michigan State's Allyssa DeHaan, Northwestern's Amy Jaeschke, Ohio State's Samantha Prahalis and Jantel Lavender and Penn State's Tyra Grant are in contention for the Naismith Trophy, which is presented annually to college basketball's Player of the Year.
Wooden is Watching
The Big Ten has five players on the 2009-10 John R. Wooden Award Women's Preseason Top 30 List, leading all conferences. Candidates from the Big Ten are Illinois senior Jenna Smith, Michigan State senior Allyssa DeHaan, Ohio State junior Jantel Lavender and sophomore Samantha Prahalis and Penn State senior Tyra Grant. OSU is one of just four schools with multiple players on the list, and Prahalis is the only sophomore to make the cut.
Wade For Me
Illinois' Jenna Smith, Michigan State's Allyssa DeHaan and Ohio State's Jantel Lavender and Samantha Prahalis were also on the 25-player 2009-10 preseason "Wade Watch" list for the State Farm Wade Trophy Division I Player of the Year. With four selections, the Big Ten is tied with the ACC, Big East and Pac-10 for tops among all conferences. The Buckeyes are one of three schools with multiple players on the list, and Prahalis is one of just two sophomores to be named.
Illinois' Jenna Smith, Michigan State's Allyssa DeHaan and Penn State's Tyra Grant are candidates for the 2009-10 Lowes Senior CLASS Award. Student-athletes eligible for the award must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community and competition.
Set Your TiVo
Big Ten women's basketball will once again experience vast national television coverage, with nearly 90 percent of home games set to be broadcast on the Big Ten Network, www.BigTenNetwork.com, ESPN2 or CBS Sports this season. In addition to its linear network package, www.BigTenNetwork.com will stream additional games that will be produced in HD-quality.
Back Home Again...
Big Ten women's basketball will once again return to the city of Indianapolis and Conseco Fieldhouse for the 2010 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament. The 2010 event marks the third of a five-year agreement that places both the men's and women's tournaments in the Circle City. This year's tournament will be the ninth consecutive and 15th overall in Indianapolis and will be held on four consecutive days beginning Thursday, March 4. The championship game will be played Sunday, March 7.
Deep in the Heart of Texas
Big Ten women's basketball will have its sights set on San Antonio, Texas, during the 2009-10 season as the 2010 NCAA Women's Final Four will be held April 4 and 6 at the Alamodome. The conference has sent five teams to the past 11 Final Fours, including two in the last six seasons. The 2010 championship event will be hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio.