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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 11/21/2023, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Big Ten Weekly Men's Basketball Central - Nov. 21-27

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  • The Big Ten Conference boasts a 48-15 mark through Monday night’s contests, with Nebraska, Penn State and Purdue yet to suffer a loss. The league’s 48 victories are tied for third in the country, behind only the Big 12 (52-9) and the SEC (50-12). Over the last five seasons, only the Big 12 (.803//421-103) has posted a better non-conference win percentage than the Big Ten (.770//455-136). 

  • Nebraska ranks as one of just 11 teams across the country to start at least 5-0. The Huskers’ 5-0 mark is the program’s best start since beginning 6-0 in 2008-09.

  • Three teams were included in this week’s AP and USA Today/Coaches Polls, released on Monday. The AP listed Purdue at No. 2, while Michigan State checked in at No. 21. The Coaches Poll also included Purdue at No. 2 and Michigan State ranked 19th, with Illinois at No. 22. Iowa garnered recognition in the coaches poll, while Illinois and Michigan also received votes in the AP poll.

  • Iowa’s Ben Krikke was named Big Ten Player of the Week, presented by Air National Guard, for the week of Nov. 13-19. The graduate transfer from Valparaiso averaged 24.5 points and seven rebounds, while shooting .667 from the floor in Iowa’s two games last week. Krikke led all scorers with 24 points in a loss at No. 8 Creighton, then paired 25 points on 10-14 shooting, nine rebounds, four steals and three blocks in a victory over Arkansas State.

  • Iowa’s Owen Freeman claimed his second consecutive Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolade after averaging 7.5 points and 2.5 blocked shots, as the Hawkeyes split two games last week. Freeman tallied eight points and three blocked shots in 14 minutes against No. 8 Creighton and added seven points, three boards and two blocked shots in 10 minutes against Arkansas State.

  • Iowa head coach Fran McCaffrey stands just eight wins from topping Tom Davis for most victories in program history. Davis collected 271 wins during his 13 seasons in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes’ first conference win of the season will also break a record with Davis for most Big Ten wins in program history.

  • The Big Ten boasts some of the top defensive teams in the country. Six teams rank in the NCAA’s top 30 in scoring defense, led by Penn State, whose 53.5 points allowed per game ranks fourth. Nebraska (ninth), Rutgers (18th), Purdue (21st), Maryland (T-26th), and Illinois (T-26th) each surrender 60.0 points or fewer per contest. Five teams also rank in the top 20 in field goal defense. Nebraska and Michigan State rank second and third, respectively, holding their opponents to just .332 and .334 field goal percentage. Penn State (.346), Illinois (.351), and Purdue (.354) also rank in the category’s top 20. 

  • Ten Big Ten teams currently rank in the top-60 in the Kenpom rankings. Purdue leads the way at No. 1, followed by Wisconsin (#21), Michigan State (#22), Illinois (#28), Michigan (#36), Iowa (#38), Nebraska (#45), Ohio State (#51), Maryland (#65), and Northwestern (#57). The conference’s ten teams are tied for second among all leagues, behind the Big 12 (11 teams), while the SEC has nine, one more than the ACC.  

  • According to, ten Big Ten teams rank among the top 40 in remaining strength of schedule, a mark that ranks all Div. I teams based on how a typical top 25 team would do against each team’s future schedule, taking into account game location, rest, travel distance, game altitude, and opponent strength. Michigan ranks third, followed by Purdue in sixth, and Illinois in eighth. Rutgers (13th), Wisconsin (16th), Indiana (26th), Iowa (28th), Nebraska (30th), Michigan State (33rd), and Penn State (38th) also list in the top 40.

  • The 2023 Gavitt Tipoff Games concluded last Friday, with the Big Ten and Big East splitting the eight games in this season’s event. Michigan, Purdue, Rutgers, and Michigan State claimed victories, as the Big Ten improved to 3-1-4 all time in the Gavitt Tipoff Games series.  

  • Five Big Ten players have been named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list, Northwestern’s Boo Buie, Purdue’s Zach Edey, Illinois’ Terrence Shannon, Jr., Michigan State’s Tyson Walker, and Maryland’s Jahmir Young. Edey, who won the award last season, is aiming to be the first back-to-back Wooden Award winner since Virginia’s Ralph Sampson in 1982 and 1983. 

  • Seven Big Ten teams rank in the top-20 in average attendance. Indiana leads the league with 17,222 fans per game, fifth in the country. Spots 10-14 are filled by Big Ten teams with Wisconsin in 10th (15,170), followed by Purdue in 11th (14,876), Michigan State in 12th (14,797), Illinois in 13th (14,602), and Maryland in 14th (14,044).  Nebraska also checks in at 17th with 13,584 fans per game.

  • 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.

  • Zach Edey was also the lone unanimous selection on the AP Preseason All-America Team. The five-player team also included Marquette guard Tyler Kolek, Kansas center Hunter Dickinson, Duke forward Kyle Filipowski, and North Carolina forward Armando Bacot.

  • The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) included four Big Ten student-athletes in its Preseason Player of the Year Watch List. Buie, Edey, Shannon, and Walker were among the 20 players included on the list.  

  • Seven Big Ten players were recognized by the Atlantic Tipoff Club, as the group announced its Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Men’s Watch List. Buie, Edey, Hoggard, Omoruyi, Shannon, Walker, and Young were listed among the 50 players named to the watch list. The preseason list will be whittled to 30 in January, with 10 national semifinalists announced in early March. Four finalists will be announced in late March, with the winner announced during Final Four weekend in April.