Big Ten Roundup: February 28th, 2011

Team W L Poss. Off. Eff. Def. Eff. Eff. Margin
Ohio State 14 2 63 1.15 1.02 0.13
Purdue 13 3 64 1.13 1.00 0.13
Wisconsin 12 4 57 1.18 1.05 0.13
Illinois 8 8 64 1.07 1.03 0.04
Penn State 8 8 58 1.09 1.09 0.00
Minnesota 6 10 62 1.04 1.06 -0.02
Michigan 8 9 61 1.06 1.10 -0.04
Michigan State 8 8 63 1.01 1.06 -0.05
Northwestern 6 11 62 1.06 1.15 -0.09
Indiana 3 13 64 1.03 1.13 -0.10
Iowa 3 13 66 0.99 1.11 -0.12

Conference only stats from StatSheet.com

The leagues top three are in a dead heat efficiency wise. Purdue looms just a game behind Ohio State and although Ohio State controls its own destiny, the final week of the regular season could get interesting at the top.

The middle of the standings are where entire seasons lie in the balance. Michigan St., Illinois, Michigan, Penn State, and Minnesota are all in the thick of the bubble conversation and have a number of huge games ahead. Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State all have the ability to play their way into the Big Ten Tournaments 4-5 game and avoid playing on Thursday.  Michigan and Penn State have been quietly climbing into the race while Illinois and Michigan State are attempting to tread water until Selection Sunday. Minnesota continues to fall rapidly, already with 10 conference losses, without point guard Al Nolen. – Dylan Burkhardt

jajuan

Surprise of the week: Purdue getting whatever they wanted against Michigan State and blowing the Spartans out at the Breslin Center. It’s true that Purdue is on an incredible roll and has to be considered one of the three best teams in the conference (along with Ohio State and Wisconsin). It’s also true that Michigan State has had an awful year by their standards. But at the same time, Michigan State has appeared to be improving as the year winds down. After that ugly loss at Iowa, the Spartans’ only two losses were at Wisconsin and at Ohio State, and they’d beaten Penn State, Illinois and Minnesota on the road. So they seemed as ready as possible to welcome Purdue into the Breslin and at least give them a challenge. The end result was the first 20 point home loss for the Spartans since 2003 when Duke won by 22. — Joe Stapleton


Disappointment of the week: Illinois not really putting up much of a fight against Ohio State. It’s been a disappointing few games for the Illini. After losing to Purdue, barely beating Michigan at home and losing to Michigan State, Illinois had to travel to Ohio State and take on the Buckeyes. After such a stretch, it’s understandable that they were tired. They certainly played like it. Ohio State didn’t have much trouble doing whatever they wanted. William Buford had 17 points in the first half and David Lighty had 17 of his own in the second half. Illinois went on a run early in the second half to pull the game to within six points, but after that it was never that close. Ohio State was in control the whole game and ended up winning by double digits. I’m sure Illinois fans would have liked a stronger performance against one of the Big Ten’s best two teams but a split in their final two games – at Purdue and vs. Indiana – would probably be enough to put Illinois on the right side of the bubble. – Joe Stapleton

Unsung hero: Jeff Brooks with 20 points and seven rebounds in Penn State’s win against Northwestern. Whenever you hear about Penn State, the guy you always hear about is Talor Battle. But Brooks has developed into quite a weapon for the Nittany Lions during his senior season. Brooks averages 13 points and seven rebounds for Penn State this year, including a 22-point performance against Iowa at home and a 23-point night at Indiana earlier in the year. He has become the guy the Lions go to when things aren’t working for Battle, and Michigan ought to be very thankful he didn’t play when the Wolverines played Penn State in State College. – Joe Stapleton

Stat line of the week: JaJuan Johnson with 20 points, 17 rebounds and seven blocks against Michigan State. Johnson and the Boilermakers really gave Michigan State all they could handle in the Breslin Center on Sunday. After a 16-5 run midway through the first half, Purdue essentially routed the Spartans, who didn’t look ready to play. The 17 rebounds were a career high for Johnson and Purdue is without a doubt playing its best basketball at exactly the right time. The Boilermakers can add this win to a long list of impressive ones to wind down the season, including victories over Wisconsin and Ohio State. – Joe Stapleton

Game of the week: I think this has to go to Michigan-Wisconsin. It was one of the most agonizing losses in recent memory for Michigan fans, but to anyone else it really was a great game. Both teams played pretty well and it was a battle throughout with an extremely tense ending and a last-second, banked-in, 3-pointer. Can’t ask much more out of a game than that. – Joe Stapleton

  • um basketball fan

    …. Well …. you could ask for a home team W…

    (Re: Game of the Week.)

  • Brian W

    Darius Morris is on “The Journey” on the Big Ten Network at 8:30 tonight and at 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

    If you didn’t listen to the Coach Beilein Show tonight, Coach Beilein is on the road recruiting.

  • JimC

    Gotta admit JaJuan Johnson is a beast. 7 sparty blocks, wow.

    Can we get a 6 10 center who can swat, shoot 3s, dribble, rebound, etc.

  • Alex

    I just want to blow Sparty out next week.

  • Kenny

    Is Minnesota really still in the bubble?

  • bird

    Watching The Pulse on BTN – Doyle’s lower neck hair is making me regret the invention of HD.

  • AG2

    Guys, I’m really really scared about our ability to stop Kalin Lucas.

    • BK

      if last time we played them is any indication, we don’t need to.

    • the_white_tiger

      I’m more worried about the prospect of anyone other than Kalin Lucas scoring enough points to complement him. He could score 30, and we could still win. They really don’t have anyone else of his caliber, and a player other than Lucas or Green scoring more than 10 points or so is looking really improbable.

    • Nick

      I wouldn’t be overly worried. He’s not that much a handful for D-Morris. Kalin’s only got a few non-YMCA games remaining in his career.

      • J.D.

        For what it’s worth, I work with a lot of MSU fans and their starting to give up on their team. I even heard one say something nice about Michigan basketball. Kalin Lucas really is our only concern like tiger said, he could actually score thirty points and not win. If we just do a reasonable job of slowing him down (like simply contesting shots) and force the rest of the team to make jump shots, we should be alright. I’m more concerned about beating ourselves. But a week of rest to prep for one game and it’s at home, I really like our chance.

        • Chris

          all you got to do is stop the mid range jumper..becauses hes money. let him do his sick moves and try to get to the rack…i’ll expect novak to be in position to take a chrage

          • Mark

            UM Should just play Box + 1 this weekend. Put one guy on Lucas and tell him to not help out on anyone else and just stay on Lucas. Let the 4 guys pack the paint. I know we won’t but I’d let MSU shoot from the outside as much as they want to.

            I’ve watched the last 5 MSU games and no one is playing well except for Lucas. If no one else steps up this weekend, Lucas can’t beat UM by himself. At one point in the Purdue game, MSU had 38 points and Lucas had 21. If everyone else continues to struggle, we’ll win. If Summers gets out of a funk and has 15+ points, then I’ll be very worried.

  • Champswest

    I have been wondering when MSU fans would start questioning Izzo over how this year has played out. We thought we were disappointed in our team last year after high expectations, what must Sparty be feeling?

    • georgeesq.

      They aren’t really blaming Izzo. The rationale is lack of talent.

      • Beast1530

        They should blame it on the players like Allen and Lucious for being an idiot that kicked them out of the team. MSU had to play Thornton and Kiebler significant minutes. Another problem is the lack of leadership on the team, when the going gets tough, they quit. Finally, another problem is the bigs haven’t developed like Izzo had hoped but MSU has never really able to develop premier low post threat since Zach Randolph but Randolph already has developed low post moves.

        • Mark

          Lack of talent, my ***. They have 2 5* Centers on their roster and 3 more 4* forwards. and then you have the Big 10 POY 2 years ago and multiple other 4* guards.

          How about Lack of Development or Lack of reaching one’s potential. Now, Izzo never recruited a true PG but that’s the only recruiting fault you can put on Izzo.

  • gpsimms

    awesome iowa video from johnbeilein.com:

    http://johnbeilein.com/site/?p=1498

    a couple of really nice lockeroom moments after the game, laughing about coach’s T, celebrating eso’s layup, and jmo making the big free throws.

  • AG2

    Pull hard for Oklahoma State tomorrow fellas. If they beat Baylor at home that would give Baylor losses to every single Big XII bottom feeder and probably kills their at-large hopes no matter what happens vs. Texas.

    • mike

      also pull for the gators to be bama tomorrow. I’m still amazed that the Sec has 6 teams in the field right now, that conference is incredibly weak.

  • Alex

    I just hope the long layoff is a strength and not a weakness for the upcoming game. There is something to be said for being in a rythym. True, this is a chance to get rested and healed up. Also, the team only needs to focus on MSU. However, the team may not be used to playing after such a long layoff. Intensity is going to be huge because I think that the Spartans will play really hard to avoid a sweep by our team and to help their slim chances at a bid.

    • Jeff

      It’s a big plus, the coaching staff can really dissect MSU and come up with a great game plan, which I think is a strength of this coaching staff. MSU has also been reeling and won’t have time to catch their breath. I think this is a big factor in our favor.

  • BK

    Has anyone gone to the Big Ten Tournament with a student all session pass before? I’m trying to figure out if they’d actually prevent me from using one. given that I’m not a student.

    • Sam

      Yes, I went last year and I am going once again this year with the student all-session pass. First of all, unless you are on the Maize Rage list and got tickets with us I’m not sure how you would order them. I think the time may have passed. Secondly, you have to have an MCard to pick up the student tickets at will-call. Now if you were a student (at least somewhat recently) and still have an MCard, you would probably be fine.

  • Mattski

    Sparty will be playing for their lives and pride. Expect a barn-burner.

  • Brian W

    Coach Beilein traveled to watch 7-4 center Sim Bhullar last night, according to Sam Webb on WTKA.

    • georgeesq.

      I’m not sold on Bhullar from the bit of video out there. Really slow, struggles to get up and down the court. He IS huge.

      • Brian W

        I’m sure Coach Beilein is doing his due dilligence. It sounds like Max Bielfeldt may be visiting this weekend also.

  • georgeesq.

    One thing about the efficiency stats is that a few really poor outings can skew the averages. I can’t say that that’s playing into our numbers because that’s above my pay grade.

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