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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 1/19/2024, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Big Ten Weekly Men's Basketball Central - Jan. 19-22

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  • Purdue, Illinois, and Wisconsin continue to represent the Big Ten in this week’s top-25 polls. The Boilermakers fell one spot to No. 2 in both polls, while Wisconsin moved up to No. 11 in the AP rankings and No. 8 in the Coaches Poll. Illinois enters this week’s action at No 14 in both listings. Nebraska was the only other Big Ten team to earn weekly recognition, as the Huskers received votes in the Coaches Poll.  

  • Maryland guard Jahmir Young was named Big Ten Player of the Week, presented by Air National Guard, for the week of Jan.8-14, the guard’s second honor in three weeks. Young averaged 20.0 points, 6.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals, as the Terrapins scored a pair of wins. Young scored a game-high 28 points, including 16 in the second half, and recorded eight assists, two rebounds, a steal, and a blocked shot to lead Maryland to a 76-67 win at then-No. 10 Illinois. Young also recorded 10 of his 12 points in the second half a 64-57 win over Michigan, posting a +19 after the halftime break.

  • Iowa freshman big man Owen Freeman collected his sixth Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor. Freeman paired a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds in a victory over Nebraska. The double-double was the freshman’s second in three games. The three double-doubles are the most by a Hawkeye freshman since Luka Garza in 2017-18. 

  • On Wednesday, Jan. 10, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced the John R. Wooden Award® presented by Principal® Midseason Top 25 Watch List. Purdue’s Zach Edey and Michigan State’s Tyson Walker were listed among those considered strong candidates for the honor which will be announced following the NCAA Tournament in April. 

  • MILESTONE WATCH... Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo enters Sunday’s game with 698 wins. Izzo is on the verge of becoming the 10th active coach in Div. I to record 700 career victories. Thursday’s home contest against Minnesota  marked Izzo’s 500th career Big Ten game, making him just the second coach in conference history to reach the mark, joining the late Bobby Knight (504)... Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann will carry 249 career wins into Saturday’s home game against Penn State. His 135 victories in Columbus are fifth most in program history.  

  • Seven Big Ten teams rank in the top-60 in Friday’s NET rankings, including four in the top 25. Purdue’s No. 2 ranking is tops in the league, while Illinois and Wisconsin sit at Nos. 13 and 16, respectively, followed by No. 22 Michigan State, No. 48 Iowa, No.49 Ohio State, and No. 58 Nebraska. The Big 12 leads the nation with nine top-60 entrants, one more than the Big East and two more than the Big Ten and SEC.

  • The Big Ten ‘s 25 Quad 1 wins are tied with the Big East for the most in the country, three north of the Big 12 and four clear of the ACC. The Big Ten’s 45 combined Quad 1 and 2 victories rank second behind the SEC’s 47 (16 Q1, 31 Q2). The Big East owns 44 combined Quad 1 and 2 wins (25 Q1, 19 Q2), one more than the AC (21 Q1, 22 Q2). 

  • The Big Ten ranks among the nation’s best conferences on both sides of the hardwood. Offensively, 10 teams average north of 75.0 points per game, led by Iowa’s Big Ten-best 87.1 points, which ranks fifth in the country, eight spots north of Purdue (85.1 points). Eight teams also rank in the top-75 in the country in field goal percentage, led by Purdue at 49.3 percent. Iowa (48.1 percent), Minnesota (48.0), Michigan State (47.6), and Indiana (47.6) also rank in the nation’s top 50. Much of that offensive efficiency stems from taking care of the ball, as six team list in the top-40 in assists/turnover ratio. Iowa leads the nation with a 1.98 ratio, while Michigan State (1.74) and Northwestern (1.74) sit ninth and 10th, respectively.

  • Defensively, the Big Ten boasts nine teams that hold their opponents to below 70 points per game, led by Maryland, who surrenders just 64.0 points per outing, good for 24th nationally, followed by Rutgers, allowing just 65.4 points, and Michigan State at 65.6 points. Four Big Ten teams also rank in the nation’s top 35 in field goal percentage defense. Rutgers and Michigan State top the conference, holding their opponents to 39.1 and 39.2 percent shooting, 16th and 18th in the country, respectively. Illinois ranks 25th at 39.5 percent. The Scarlet Knights also rank 10th in the country with 5.7 blocked shots per contest, while Penn State forces a league-best 16.39 turnovers per game, 12th in the country.    

  • Big Ten players also rank in the top-10 in several individual statistical categories. Purdue’s Zach Edey ranks third in the country with 22.9 points per game, fifth in rebounds per game (11.1), and third in double-doubles (11), while his 180 free throw attempts and 136 free throw makes rank first and third in the NCAA. Minnesota’s Elijah Hawkins leads the nation with 7.8 assists per contest, while Purdue’s Braden Smith (7.1) stands sixth. Two Big Ten players, Michigan State’s Tre Holloman and Ohio State’s Bruce Thornton sit first and second in the nation with 5.90 and 4.56 assist/turnover ratios. Defensively, Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi’s 3.41 blocked shots per game are good for third, while Penn State’s Ace Baldwin Jr.’s 2.94 steals per game rank third.  

  • Nine 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. 2, followed by Illinois (#11), Wisconsin (#12), Michigan State (#18), Iowa (#42), Ohio State (#44), Nebraska (#51), Northwestern (#59), and Maryland (#68). The Big 12 leads the nation with 11 teams in the top-70, two more than the Big Ten and Big East, while the SEC and ACC have eight each.

  • Nine Eight Big Ten teams currently rank in the top-75 of the ESPN Basketball Power Index (BPI) listing. Purdue leads the way at No. 2, followed by No. 11 Illinois, No. 15 Wisconsin, No. 18 Michigan State, No. 45 Ohio State, No. 40 Iowa, No. 52 Northwestern, No. 62 Nebraska, and No. 74 Maryland. All 14 Big Ten teams also rank in the outlet’s top-65 Remaining Strength of Schedule listing.

  • More than 2.5 million fans have watched Big Ten basketball this season, including more than 1.6 million fans in our 14 home venues. Seven Big Ten teams rank in the top-25 in total attendance. Indiana leads the Big Ten with 194,013 fans through 12 home games, just north of Michigan State (177,564 fans) and Nebraska (169,282) in fourth and fifth. Illinois (161,019), Wisconsin (151,443), and Purdue (133,884) also rank in the top 20. In total, 13 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.

  • For the sixth consecutive year, each Big Ten Conference member institution will compete in a 20-game conference schedule. The Big Ten Conference season begins Friday, Dec. 1, when Maryland visits Indiana and Northwestern hosts Purdue, the first of 12 conference games played between Dec. 1-10. Following a break in conference play, Big Ten action will resume on Jan. 2. During the conference season, schools will play seven teams twice -- once at home and once on the road and six teams once, with three of those games being at home and the other three away.

  • The 27th annual Big Ten Tournament will be played at Target Center in Minneapolis between March 13-17, 2024, marking the first time the tournament has been played in Minneapolis. All 14 teams will advance to the tournament, with two 1st round games slated for Wednesday, March 13th. The top four teams will receive 1st and 2nd round byes and advance to the quarterfinals on Friday, March 15th.

  • 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.