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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 2/23/2024, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Big Ten Weekly Men's Basketball Central: Feb. 23-26

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Big Ten. Big News.

  • 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 six 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.

Recent Game Recaps

Iowa 78, Michigan State 71 (Tuesday, February 20)

The Hawkeyes scored their second consecutive Quad 1 win and third true road victory of the season, topping the Spartans 78-71. Ben Krikke notched his third double-double of the season with 18 points and a season-high 14 rebounds, while Payton Sandfort led all scorers with 22 points. Iowa used a 16-1 spurt late in the first half to seize control of the game, building a 45-33 halftime lead. A Malik Hall dunk capped a 6-0 MSU run with 2:31 to play, pulling the Spartans to within 70-65, but the Hawkeyes scored the next five points to rebuild their comfortable 10-point cushion with under a minute to play. Hall and Tyson Walker led the Spartans with 16 points each, while A.J. Hoggard added 15 points.

Wisconsin 74, Maryland 70 (Tuesday, February 20)

The Badgers connected on 11 of 12 free throw attempts in the final 42 seconds to hold off Maryland 74-70. Wisconsin led 63-56 after a Max Klesmit three pointer with under a minute to play, but back-to-back Terps’ triples pulled the visitors to within 72-70 in the final seconds before Klesmit drained two free throws to seal the win. Five Badgers combined for 72 of the team’s 74 points, led by Tyler Wahl’s team-high 18 points, two more than Klesmit. Jahmir Young paced Maryland with 20 points, while Julian Reese paired 18 points and seven rebounds. 

Penn State 90, Illinois 89 (Wednesday, February 21)

The Nittany Lions punctuated their return to Rec Hall with an incredible comeback in the final minute to stun Illinois 90-89. Penn State trailed by 14 points with just under four minutes to play, by 10 with 2:30 left, and by seven points with under 40 seconds left. Jameel Brown hit a three with 35 seconds left before a steal and Puff Johnson lay-up cut the deficit to 89-87. The Illini missed a pair of free throws on their ensuing possession before Zach Hicks was fouled shooting a three with three seconds on the clock. The junior drained all three shots to give Penn State the win. Nick Kern led Penn State with a career-high 22 points, including 18 in the second half, while Ace Baldwin Jr. added a double-double with 10 points and 12 assists. Terrence Shannon Jr. paired a career-high 35 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort. 

Nebraska 85, Indiana 70 (Thursday, February 21)

The Huskers saw a 22-point cushion dwindle to three before a 14-1 run over a five-minute span of the second half put Nebraska firmly in control of the game. Nebraska shot a blistering 57 percent from the floor in the first half to build a 51-31 halftime advantage. The Hoosiers responded after the break, outscoring the Huskers 25-8 over the first 8:33 of the second stanza, as CJ Gunn’s triple pulled Indiana to within 59-56. Jamarques Lawrence keyed the Nebraska run, tallying six points and three assists during the spurt. Lawrence finished the night with a career-high 19 points, including 5-5 from three-point range. Keisei Tominaga led the Huskers with 20 points, while Brice Williams added 18.  Mackenzie Mgbako led Indiana with 22 points, while Kel’el Ware paired 17 points and 12 boards. 

Purdue 96, Rutgers 68 (Thursday, February 22)

The Boilermakers shot 63 percent from the field, including 7-12 from three-point range, and 11-12 from the free throw line in the first half, as Purdue built an insurmountable 52-33 halftime lead in its win over Rutgers. Zach Edey shot 7-8 from the floor and 11-11 from the charity stripe en route to a game-high 25 points, while Camden Heide hit all seven of his shots, including four triples for 18 points on the night, after averaging just 3.0 points on the season. Lance Jones tallied 17 points for Purdue, while Braden Smith paired 13 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Jeremiah Williams led the Scarlet Knights with 12 points.

Minnesota 88, Ohio State 79 (Thursday, February 22)

The Gophers hit their first seven shots of the game and remained in control for much of the night, scoring an 88-79 win over Ohio State. Despite trailing by 10 at the game’s first timeout, the Buckeyes battled back, leveling the score at 30 atfer a Jamison Battle triple with 5:24 left in the first half. Minnesota responded with a 10-2 run, building a 42-34 halftime lead. Elijah Hawkins netted a career-high 24 points to go with seven assists, while Dawson Garcia added 22 points and a game-high nine boards. Ohio State’s Bruce Thornton scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half, while Battle scored 21.

Northwestern 76, Michigan 62 (Thursday, February 22)

Boo Buie became Northwestern’s all-time leading scorer, as the Wildcats erased an early double-figure deficit to score a 76-62 win over Michigan. Buie finished with 16 points, passing John Shurna’s previous school mark of 2,038. After trailing 16-5 at the 13:23 mark, Northwestern rallied, outscoring Michigan 18-6 over the final 6:35 of the first half to take a 37-34 halftime lead. The score remained close early in the second stanza, but a Nick Martinelli dunk capped a 14-3 Northwestern run that put the Wildcats ahead 57-47 with 10:27 to play. Ryan Langborg led Northwestern with 20 points, while Brooks Barnhizer paired 19 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Nimari Burnett scored 15 points to lead the Wolverines, while Tarris Reed Jr. and Terrance Williams scored 13 points each.