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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 2/20/2024, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Big Ten Weekly Men's Basketball Central - Feb. 20-22

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  • Former Wisconsin men’s basketball head coach Bo Ryan has been named one of 14 finalists for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2024, as announced by the Hall of Fame’s on Friday afternoon. The winningest coach in Wisconsin history with a record of 364-130 (.737), Ryan led the Badgers to seven Big Ten championships. Ryan guided UW to 14 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, including seven Sweet 16s, three Elite Eights, back-to-back Final Fours and the 2015 national championship game. Ryan received four Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.

  • MILESTONE WATCH... Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo is on a short countdown to coaching his 1,000th career game. With seven more games on the Michigan State bench, Izzo will join a club that included just 12 active coaches at the beginning of the season.

  • Four teams earned mention in this week’s AP and USA Today Coaches Polls, announced on Monday. Purdue fell one spot to No. 3 in both polls after suffering a loss at Ohio State on Sunday, while Illinois moved up two spots to No. 12 in both listings after wins over Michigan and Maryland. Wisconsin fell out of both polls and joined Michigan State among the teams receiving votes.   

  • Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr. was named Men’s Basketball Player of the Week presented by Air National Guard for the week of Feb. 12-18, 2024. Shannon averaged 29.0 points on 54.8 percent shooting from the field, 40.0 percent from three-point range and 85.7 percent from the free throw line, as No. 12 Illinois won a pair of games last week. The fifth-year senior scored a Big Ten career best 31 points in just 28 minutes in a 97-68 victory over Michigan, before leading the Illini with 27 points and drawing 12 fouls, as Illinois downed Maryland 85-80, the Illini’s first win at Maryland since 2011.

  • Iowa’s Owen Freeman claimed his ninth Freshman of the Week honor after posting 12.5 points, 10 rebounds, 3.5 blocked shots, and 3.0 assists, as Iowa split a pair of games last week. The freshman led the Hawkeyes to an 88-86 win over No. 20 Wisconsin with 20 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, and four blocked shots. Freeman’s 20-12-6-4 game is the only such game in the nation this season and one of eight since 2010-11. 

  • Eight Big Ten teams rank in the top-70 in Tuesday’s NET rankings, including four in the top 25. Purdue’s No. 2 ranking is tops in the league, while Illinois sits at No. 12 followed by No. 22 Wisconsin, No. 20 Michigan State, No. 48 Nebraska, No. 57 Northwestern, No. 66 Ohio State, and No. 67 Iowa. The Big 12 leads the nation with 11 top-70 entrants, two more than the SEC and Big East, while Big Ten has eight, one more than the ACC.

  • The Big Ten has faced 134 Quad 1 opponents and a combined 221 Quad 1 and 2 opponents, most of any power conference in the country. The Big Ten’s 43 Quad 1 wins are second, behind the Big 12 (53), while its 97 combined Quad 1 and 2 wins are tops in the nation, nine clear of the Big 12 and 16 better than the ACC. 

  • Ten Big Ten teams currently rank in the top-70 in today’s Kenpom rankings, including four in the top-20. Purdue leads the way at No. 3, followed by Illinois (#9), Michigan State (#15), Wisconsin (#19), Nebraska (#40), Northwestern (#47), Maryland (#53), Iowa (#57), Ohio State (#63), and Minnesota (#67). The Big 12 leads the nation with 11 teams in the top-70, one more than the Big Ten and two more than the Big East and SEC.   

  • According to KenPom, the Big Ten currently owns a 107.7 efficiency rating, second in the country among power conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) and ninth highest overall. 

  • In Big Ten play, teams are protecting their home floors to the tune of a 70.6-win percentage (72-30), second best home winning percentage among all conferences. The Big Ten’s 72 home conference victories are the most of any league in the nation. 

  • Nine Big Ten teams currently rank in the top-60 of the ESPN Basketball Power Index (BPI) listing. Purdue leads the way at No. 2, followed by No. 10 Illinois, No. 16 Michigan State, No. 20 Wisconsin, No. 42 Northwestern, No. 49 Nebraska, No. 54 Iowa, No. 55 Maryland, and No. 59 Ohio State. All 14 Big Ten teams also rank in the outlet’s top-71 Remaining Strength of Schedule listing.

  • The Big Ten ranks among the nation’s best conferences on both sides of the hardwood. Offensively, the league is tied for fifth among all conferences in scoring (75.0 ppg), second in total assists (5,249), and sixth in total points (27,322). Eleven teams average north of 74.0 points per game, led by Purdue’s Big Ten-best 84.4 points, which ranks 10th in the country, four spots better than Iowa (83.7 points). Five teams also rank in the top-50 in the country in field goal percentage, led by Purdue at 48.9 percent. Iowa (47.8), Indiana (47.5), Minnesota (47.5), and Michigan State (47.4) also rank in the nation’s top 50. Much of that offensive efficiency stems from taking care of the ball, as five team list in the top-30 in assists/turnover ratio. Iowa ranks fourth with a 1.78 ratio, while Northwestern (1.75), Michigan State (1.70), Purdue (1.57), and Minnesota (1.52) list among the nation’s leaders.

  • Defensively, the Big Ten boasts 10 teams that hold their opponents below 71 points per game, led by Maryland, who surrenders just 64.6 points per outing, good for 22nd nationally, followed by Rutgers, allowing just 65.4 points, and Michigan State at 65.8. Seven Big Ten teams also rank in the nation’s top 75 in field goal percentage defense. Rutgers leads the way, holding its opponents to 39.8 percent shooting, a tick above Nebraska (39.9), Michigan State (40.3 percent), and Maryland (40.9). Rutgers also ranks 10th in the country with 5.3 blocked shots per contest, just ahead of Maryland’s 4.9 and Minnesota at 4.8, while Penn State forces a league-best 15.15 turnovers per game, 19th in Div. I, besting Rutgers at 15.12.

  • Big Ten players also rank in the top-10 in several individual statistical categories. Purdue’s Zach Edey ranks third in the country with 23.2 points per game, third in rebounds per game (11.79, and third in double-doubles (19), while his 277 free throw attempts lead the nation and 197 free throws made rank second. Illinois’ Terrence Shannon jr. joins Edey in the scoring list, as his 21.4 points per game rank ninth, while Maryland’s Julian Reese’s 14 double-doubles are good for ninth in the country. Ohio State’s Jamison Battle is hitting threes at a 43.6 percent clip, eighth in Div. I. Minnesota’s Elijah Hawkins leads the nation with 7.6 assists per contest, while Purdue’s Braden Smith’s 7.2 are good for sixth. Smith’s 187 dimes rank second, two spots ahead of Hawkins’ 182. Ohio State’s Bruce Thornton ranks fifth in the country with a 3.76 assist/turnover ratio. Defensively, Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi’s 3.28 blocked shots per game rank second in the country, just ahead of Ohio State’s Felix Okpara whose 2.40 blocked shots are good for ninth, while Penn State’s Ace Baldwin Jr.’s 2.81 steals per game rank sixth.  

  • More than 4.1 million fans have watched Big Ten basketball this season, including more than 2.4 million fans in our 14 home venues. Seven Big Ten teams rank in the top-20 in total attendance. Indiana leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth in the country with 245,679 fans through 15 games, just ahead of Nebraska’s 245,564 fans. Illinois (223,195 fans), Michigan State (221,955), and Wisconsin (215, 787) sit in 10th 11th, and 12th places nationally, followed by Maryland (196,925) in 16th and Purdue (193,389) in 18th. In total, 11 Big Ten schools rank in the top-50 in total home attendance.

  • The Big Ten closed its nonconference slate with a combined 117-37 record. The Big 12 (144-34), SEC (132-47), Atlantic 10 (131-60), and ACC (119-46) collected more wins, but the Big Ten’s .760-win percentage falls behind only the Big 12 (.809). Among the B1G’s 117 victories are 9 wins over AP Top 25 opponents.

  • A Big Ten media panel has chosen 2023 Consensus National Player of the Year Zach Edey as 2023-24 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. The league’s reigning Player of the Year, Edey became the first Boilermaker since Glenn Robinson in 1994 to win National Player of the Year accolades and the fifth Big Ten Player in the last 14 years to be named National Player of the Year joining Evan Turner (2010), Trey Burke (2013), Frank Kaminsky (2015) and Luka Garza (2021) as National Players of the Year.

  • The media panel also selected the 2023-24 Preseason All-Big Ten Team. Edey joined Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr., Maryland’s Jahmir Young, and Northwestern’s Boo Buie as unanimous selections. Also named to the team were Maryland’s Julian Reese, Minnesota’s Dawson Garcia, Michigan State’s A.J. Hoggard and Tyson Walker, Nebraska’s Keisei Tominaga, and Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi. All ten members of the 2023-24 Preseason All-Big Ten Team received All-Big Ten honors following the 2022-23 campaign. Buie and Shannon joined Edey with First Team accolades, while Omoruyi, Walker, and Young were named to the Second Team. Hoggard earned a spot on the Third Team, with Garcia, Reese, and Tominaga receiving Honorable Mention.