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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 1/16/2024, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Big Ten Weekly Men's Basketball Central - Jan. 16-18

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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... Congratulations to Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery, who earned his 272nd victory at Iowa on Monday, moving into first place on the program’s all-time wins list. The Hawkeyes’ 86-77 win at Minnesota gave McCaffery 272 victories, breaking a tie with Tom Davis... Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo enters Sunday’s game with 697 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 will also mark 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.  

  • Eight Big Ten teams rank in the top-70 in Tuesday’s NET rankings, including four in the top 25. Purdue’s No. 3 ranking is tops in the league, while Wisconsin and Illinois sit at Nos. 11 and 16, respectively, followed by No. 22 Michigan State, No. 48 Iowa, No. 51 Ohio State, No. 54 Nebraska, and No. 69 Northwestern. The Big 12 and Big East lead the nation with 10 top-70 entrants each, one more than the SEC and ACC.

  • 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 sixth in the country, eight spots north of Purdue (85.0 points). Eight teams also rank in the top-70 in the country in field goal percentage, led by Purdue at 49.4 percent. Minnesota (48.2 percent), Indiana (48.0 percent), Michigan State (47.8), and Iowa (47.8) 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-25 in assists/turnover ratio. Iowa leads the nation with a 1.98 ratio, while Northwestern’s 1.72 is good for eighth. Michigan State checks in at 13th (1.68), followed by Purdue (1.57) and Minnesota (1.55) in 18th and 25th.

  • Defensively, the Big Ten boasts 10 teams that hold their opponents to below 70 points per game, led by Maryland, who surrenders just 63.5 points per outing, good for 20th nationally, followed by Rutgers, who ranks 27th, allowing just 64.3 points. Four Big Ten teams also rank in the nation’s top 30 in field goal percentage defense. Illinois and Michigan State top the conference, holding their opponents to 39.0 percent shooting, 15th and 17th in the country, respectively. Rutgers ranks 22nd at 39.2 percent. The Scarlet Knights also rank 10th in the country with 5.8 blocked shots per contest, while Penn State forces a league-best 16.59 turnovers per game, 13th in the country.    

  • Big Ten players also rank in the top-10 in several individual statistical categories. Purdue’s Zach Edey ranks fifth in the country with 22.3 points per game, fifth in rebounds per game (10.9), eighth in field goal percentage (64.5 percent), and fourth in double-doubles (10), while his 168 free throw attempts and 125 free throw makes rank first and fourth in the NCAA. Minnesota’s Elijah Hawkins leads the nation with 7.7 assists per contest, while Purdue’s Braden Smith (6.9) stands seventh. Ohio State’s Jamison Battle’s 46.8 three-point percentage ranks ninth, while two Big Ten players, Michigan State’s Tre Holloman and Ohio State’s Bruce Thornton sit first and  third in the nation with 5.70 and 4.73 assist/turnover ratios. Defensively, Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi’s 3.38 blocked shots per game are good for second, while Penn State’s Ace Baldwin Jr.’s 3.00 steals per game rank fourth.  

  • Eight Big Ten teams currently rank in the top-60 in today’s Kenpom rankings, including six in the top-20. Purdue leads the way at No. 3, followed by Illinois (#13), Wisconsin (#9), Michigan State (#16), Iowa (#43), Ohio State (#47), Nebraska (#49), and Northwestern (#54). The Big 12 leads the nation with 11 teams in the top-60, three more than the Big Ten and Big East, while the SEC has seven and ACC six.

  • Eight Big Ten teams currently rank in the top-55 of the ESPN Basketball Power Index (BPI) listing. Purdue leads the way at No. 3, followed by No. 10 Illinois, No. 14 Wisconsin, No. 17 Michigan State, No. 44 Ohio State, No. 50 Iowa, No. 51 Northwestern, and No. 55 Nebraska. Eleven Big Ten teams also rank in the outlet’s top-50 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-20 in total attendance, including five in the top 10. Indiana leads the Big Ten with 176,791 fans through 11 home games, one sport north of Nebraska (169,282), while Michigan State (162,767) and Illinois (161,019) sit fifth and sixth. Wisconsin rounds out the top-10 with 151,443 fans. In total, 13 Big Ten schools rank in the top 60 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.