With basketball season rapidly approaching and a lot of information to digest from around the conference, I thought it was high time we hear from bloggers representing them. We finish off the series in roundtables with our last seven today! We hope you enjoy the feature and give us plenty of feedback, and be sure to check out Part One.
Introducing our comrades from around the B1G we start off with Rick Reese of the Iowa Blog Black Heart Gold Pants; Brian Rosenthal, Lincoln Journal Star writer and Husker Extra writer; Penn State writer for StateCollege.com Ben Jones; Philip Rossman-Reich writer for Lake the Posts ; Jonathan Foster, writer for From the Barn, one of my favorite B1G blogs.
I honestly had issues trying to round up bloggers for TTUN and for the Fighting Illini, and have the only Michigan fan I like helping out in Giuliano, (So Fla Wolverine to his twitter mates). tBBC main man for basketball Eric will do us the honor of covering the Illini.
Rick Reese. Black Heart Gold Pants. Iowa Roy Devyn Marble, Aaron White and Zach McCabe are Iowa’s returning starters. There’s also Gabe Olaseni and Melsahn Basabe coming off the bench. Marble holds a slight edge over Aaron White as the teams top returning scorer. Marble averaged 11.5 points per game last season while White averaged 11.1. White was a do-it-all freshman that as freshmen do, only got better as the season carried on. McCabe and Basabe averaged 7.8 and 8.2 rebounds per game. Basabe suffered the dreaded sophomore slump but will hopefully benefit this season with the return of a true center in Iowa’s lineup.
As my friend Jordan likes to say, the Madness can be smelt. We’re now less than a day away (in fact, less than 17 hours) from Ohio State tipping off for their first, and hopefully not last, contest of the 2011 Big Ten Tournament. This game will launch the Buckeyes into this season’s tournament play, and while the NCAA’s are the real showcase, there is business at hand to attend to in Indianapolis.
With their win over Minnesota earlier today, Northwestern earned themselves a chance to try and knock off not only the #1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament but also the current #1 team in the country. Ohio State only had Northwestern once on the Big Ten regular season calendar this year, and that game proved to be the most closely contested outing for the Buckeyes, not counting the losses at Wisconsin and Purdue. Part of the reason the Wildcats gave the Buckeyes trouble was Bill Carmody’s defensive strategy. Tomorrow we’ll see if this same strategy is employed by Northwestern again, or if Carmody comes out with a modified look in an attempt to slow down the Ohio State offensive attack. Read More
In their only meeting for the season, Ohio State traveled to Evanston tonight to take on the Shurna-less Northwestern Wildcats. The Bucks survived a serious challenge from the boys in purple winning 58-57 after Northwestern missed the last second shot. Sullinger’s 21 points led the game to which he added 8 rebounds and 1 of each in assists, steals and blocks. With the win, the Buckeyes improved to 22-0, tying their start in the 1961-’62 for the second best in OSU basketball history.
The Wildcats came out of the gate without team leader John Shurna, who suffered a concussion in their previous game. Even without him, Northwestern seemed perfectly capable in keeping up with the Buckeyes on the defensive end. The defensive effort early on changed a number of OSU shots that kept the Bucks from jumping out to a big lead. With the way the Wildcats were shooting on the other end, it was fortuitous for them as they were only able to sink a single basket in the first five minutes.
In the early going, the game felt like the Buckeyes were just looking for the opportunity to explode on Northwestern. There were only two reasons the Wildcats even remained close early on. The first was an foul on Aaron Craft on a three point shooter, which resulted in three made free throws. The second was the traditional slow-it-down style of the Princeton offense that limited OSU’s possessions, while the Wildcat defense made those few possessions as difficult as possible.