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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 2/27/2024, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Big Ten Weekly Men's Basketball Central: Feb. 27-29

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  • Four Big Ten players have been named to the USBWA National Player of the Year and All-America Watch List, the organization announced on Tuesday afternoon. Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr., Northwestern’s Boo Buie, and Purdue’s Zach Edey and Braden Smith were included among the 40 names on the watch list. The organization will announce its All-America Team prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament, while its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year will be announced at the Final Four.  

  • Purdue head coach Matt Painter has been named to the Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year Watch List Presented by AXIA Time, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Friday. Painter is one of 15 coaches named to this year’s list. Painter also was a Naismith finalist in 2008 and 2023 and a semifinalist 2018, 2019. The list of 15 will be whittled to 10 national semifinalists on March 15, with four finalists to be announced on March 25. the Winner will be announced on April 7.

  • 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 five more games on the Michigan State bench, Izzo will join a club that included just 12 active coaches at the beginning of the season.

  • Five teams were included in this week’s AP and USA Today Coaches polls, released on Monday. Purdue moved up one spot to No. 2 on the AP poll, while remaining at No. 3 according to the coaches. Illinois fell one spot to No. 13 in the AP list and slid to No. 16 in the USA Today poll. Wisconsin continued to receive votes in both polls and was joined by Nebraska and Northwestern.   

  • Purdue’s Zach Edey was named Men’s Basketball Player of the Week presented by Air National Guard for the week of Feb.19-25, 2024. Edey broke a tie with Ohio State’s Evan Turner with his 11th career Player of the Week honor, while his six honors this season are one shy of Turner’s mark from 2009-10. Edey averaged 30 points on 80.8 percent shooting from the field and 11 rebounds as No. 2/3 Purdue claimed a pair of wins last week. The center shot 7-8 from the field and 11-11 from the free throw line for 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 27 minutes of a 96-68 win over Rutgers and closed the week with 35 points 14-18 shooting from the floor with 15 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass, in an 84-76 win at Michigan.

  • Indiana freshman Mackenzie Mgbako claimed his second Freshman of the Year honor after averaging 14.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in a pair of Hoosier losses last week. Mgbako scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds in an 85-70 loss to Nebraska.

  • 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. 17, followed by No. 22 Wisconsin, No. 24 Michigan State, No. 41 Nebraska, No. 52 Northwestern, No. 60 Iowa, and No. 66 Ohio State. The Big 12 leads the nation with 11 top-70 entrants, two more than the Big Ten and Big East, while SEC has eight, one more than the ACC.

  • The Big Ten has faced a combined 243 Quad 1 and 2 opponents, most of any power conference in the country, while its 143 Quad 1 opponents and 47 quad 1 victories rank only behind the Big 12’s 156 opponents and 54 wins. The Big Ten also owns a nation-best 106 combined Quad 1 and 2 wins, two victories more than the Big 12.

  • Ten Big Ten teams currently rank in the top-70 in today’s Kenpom rankings, including four in the top-25. Purdue leads the way at No. 2, followed by Illinois (#10), Michigan State (#20), Wisconsin (#22), Nebraska (#34), Northwestern (#43), Maryland (#44), Iowa (#49), Ohio State (#62), 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, while the SEC has eight.   

  • According to KenPom, the Big Ten currently owns a 108.1 efficiency rating, second in the country among power conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) and eighth highest overall. 

  • In Big Ten play, teams are protecting their home floors to the tune of a 69.6-win percentage (80-35), second best home winning percentage among all conferences. The Big Ten’s 80 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. 11 Illinois, No. 17 Michigan State, No. 21 Wisconsin, No. 37 Nebraska, No. 39 Northwestern, No. 45 Maryland, No. 46 Iowa, and No. 60 Ohio State. Twelve Big Ten teams also rank in the outlet’s top-70 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 third among all conferences in scoring (75.0 ppg), second in total assists (5,605), and sixth in total points (29,269). According to, the Big Ten also ranks third in the country with a +14.72 Adjusted Efficiency Margin (AdjEM), the difference between a team’s offensive and defensive efficiencies.  Eleven teams average north of 74.0 points per game, led by Purdue’s Big Ten-best 84.8 points, which ranks seventh in the country, six spots better than Iowa (83.8 points). Five teams also rank in the top-60 in the country in field goal percentage, led by Purdue at 49.1 percent. Iowa (47.9), Indiana (47.4), Michigan State (47.1) and Minnesota (47.0) 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-35 in assists/turnover ratio. Northwestern ranks fourth with a 1.79 ratio, while Iowa (1.77), Michigan State (1.69), Purdue (1.60), and Minnesota (1.49) list among the nation’s leaders.

  • Defensively, the Big Ten boasts 10 teams that hold their opponents below 72 points per game, led by Maryland, who surrenders just 64.3 points per outing, good for 19th nationally, followed by Michigan State, who allows just 66.0 points and Rutgers at 66.4. Five Big Ten teams also rank in the nation’s top 70 in field goal percentage defense. Nebraska leads the way at 39.7 percent, 12th nationally, while Rutgers and Michigan State hold their opponents to 40.6 percent shooting. Rutgers also ranks 10th in the country with 5.4 blocked shots per contest, just ahead of Maryland’s 4.8 and Minnesota at 4.6, while Penn State forces a league-best 15.14 turnovers per game, 19th in Div. I.

  • Big Ten players also rank in the top-10 in several individual statistical categories. Purdue’s Zach Edey ranks second in the country with 23.7 points per game, third in rebounds per game (11.8), and third in double-doubles (2), while his 299 free throw attempts and 215 free throws made lead the nation. Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr. joins Edey on the scoring list, as his 21.6 points per game rank ninth. Ohio State’s Jamison Battle is hitting threes at a 43.6 percent clip, eighth in Div. I. Minnesota’s Elijah Hawkins and Purdue’s Braden Smith rank fourth and fifth, respectively with 7.3 and 7.2 assists per game, while Smith’s 203 total dimes are good for third. just ahead of Hawkins’ 191, which rank fifth. Ohio State’s Bruce Thornton ranks fifth in the country with a 3.66 assist/turnover ratio. Defensively, Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi’s 3.15 blocked shots per game rank second in the country, while Penn State’s Ace Baldwin Jr.’s 2.82 steals per game rank fourth.  

  •  than 4.5 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 (262,901 fans), Nebraska (261.484), and Michigan State (251,549) rank sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively, while Illinois (238,739) and Wisconsin (230,934) sit 11th and 12th. In total, 12 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.