People like lists.
Whether they agree with them or not, people still enjoy reading lists.
Basketball is the ultimate team sport. But, at the same time, it is one that can be taken over by a single player. There have been some incredible individual performances over the past couple of seasons in the Big Ten and this year should bring more of the same.
The 2012-2013 season seems to have the Big Ten as strong as it’s ever been. Three teams (Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan) are all ranked in the top five in preseason polls.
On those great teams obviously are some outstanding players. So here are my top ten players in the Big Ten conference for this upcoming season.
10. Brandon Paul (SG, Illinois)
Those unforgettable individual performances from last season I mentioned earlier in this column? Yeah, Brandon Paul had one of those when he lit up Ohio State for 43 points. The senior guard averaged 14.7 points per game last year and is as solid of an all-around player as you will find in the Big Ten. This will be Paul’s senior season for the Illini and knowing they have a player of his caliber on the floor, you can never count the Illini out of any game.
9. Keith Appling (PG, Michigan State)
With Draymond Green finally departing from East Lansing, the Spartans become Appling’s team. Appling averaged 11.4 points and 3.9 assists per game last year, and with Green gone and it being his team this year, there should be a jump in those stats this year. Head coach Tom Izzo will have his Spartans right in the thick of things again this year in the Big Ten and Appling will be his best player.
8. Christian Watford (F, Indiana)
Watford may have already had his moment in his college career when he hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer last year to knock off No. 1 and eventual national champion Kentucky. You learned a lot about Watford’s game with that shot, though. He’s absolutely fearless and he’s got a smoothness to his game that is fun to watch. He averaged 12.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game a year ago while shooting 43.7% from deep. Watford will no doubt be a key component to Indiana’s national title run.
7. Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG, Michigan)
Hardaway Jr. had somewhat of a disappointing sophomore season after an outstanding freshman campaign. But, that doesn’t take away from his talent. He’s a sensational all-around player who averaged 14.6 points per game a year ago. If Michigan wants to be an elite team this year, it will need more production out of the junior guard.
6. Trevor Mbakwe (F, Minnesota)
I had a difficult time trying to figure out where to rank Mbakwe as he comes back from tearing his ACL and only playing in seven games last year. In those seven games, Mbakwe averaged 14 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. If he is fully recovered, he is easily a candidate to be an All-American. He can be a dominating force in the paint, but once again, the question is his health. Read More
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.
The Buckeyes made short work of the Penn State Nittany Lions by a tally of 78-54 in their first and only meeting for the regular season. It was the 17th straight win for Ohio State over Penn State, and the 37th straight home victory, the second longest streak in the country. Jared Sullinger led all scorers with 20 points, and picked up a double-double with 13 rebounds. He was joined by William Buford and Aaron Craft with double digit scoring for the Buckeyes with 15 and 11 respectively. Tim Frazier led Penn State with 16 points and 4 assists.
Neither team seemed particularly on-the-ball to start the game. The Buckeyes miscued on several possessions, including a palming call on Lenzelle, and a poor entry pass from Buford. On the other end, Penn State committed an ugly turnover at the top of the key, and couldn’t seem to get the ball to drop through the hoop. The Nits even picked up a cheap early shooting foul, but couldn’t convert the free-throws into points.
After the first timeout, both teams began to pick up the energy. Penn State had already been attacking the basket and fighting for offensive rebounds, but finally started to pass the ball effectively to find the open looks against OSU’s defense. The Buckeyes, on the other hand, began to attack more aggressively. In particular, Aaron Craft began to feed his teammates in better positions to score quickly.
The Nittany Lions, our old friends, are coming to town to play some basketball with our Ohio State Buckeyes! The game is set to tip at 6:30 PM in Value City Arena, and is being aired on the Big Ten Network.
While you wait, you should check out the websites of our Buckeye Blogger Buddies! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Scarlet and Game, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, and Fox Sports Ohio. They will all be joining us at 6 pm for the start of our liveblog.
If you’re looking for web-video for the game, try First Row Sports (warning: pop-up ads). Click the basketball tab, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right game. I’ve heard people having issues with this website recently – if that’s still the case, let me know and we’ll hunt around for another source.
The Buckeyes invite the Penn State Nittany Lions into the Schott for their only regular season meeting of the year tomorrow. Let’s take a look.
|School:||Pennsylvania State University|
|Location:||University Park, PA|
|Conference:||Big Ten Conference|
|Stadium:||Bryce Jordan Center|
|Head Coach:||Pat Chambers|
Basketball season is rapidly approaching, and I’m sure you’re wondering what we’re planning to do about it here at the BBC. The answer is, getting totally pumped!
With the Buckeyes taking on the Walsh Cavaliers for an exhibition matchup this weekend (Sunday, November 6th, 2 PM) it is the perfect time to run the first Buckeye Basketball LiveBlog of the season!
But, you point out, the game is not on television? You’re correct, it’s on the BigTenNetwork.com – behind a paywall no less. But you didn’t think I’d leave you hanging without a solution, did you?
If you go to The Big Ten Network “Net Only” section (just click the link) and scroll to the middle of the page, you’ll see a “Subscribe Now” button. But you don’t have to pay $15 to see the game! Just enter “BTDN3FR33” in the coupon code box and you’ll be signed up for a free month of the BigTenNetwork online! Just remember to cancel before the end of the month if you don’t want to continue using the service.
Viola! Basketball LiveBlog here we come! They start 30 minutes before the game, so feel free to be late!
We were also approached a couple of days ago by the Minnesota basketball blog From The Barn to answer some questions regarding the upcoming basketball season for them. Joe Dexter and I were more than happy to oblige. We offer the questions and answers here for our viewers to read and enjoy!
Of all the teams that finished 9-9 and middle of the road in the Big Ten, the only one that believed they were having a magical season was the Penn State Nittany Lions. That’s no slight on Penn State, quite the opposite in fact, for a team that regularly struggles in basketball. Unfortunately the struggles may continue unabated for some time to come.
At the end of the season, as Lions fans were already reeling about the prospect of losing production from four of their top five scorers to graduation, head coach Ed Dechellis bailed on Penn State to accept the head coaching job at Navy. Thus, not only did the team lose 1652 out of 2144 points scored last season (77.1%), they also lost the coach that made it all possible. To be honest, Dechellis probably saw the writing on the wall this coming season and decided to spare himself the trouble. It’s pretty hard to reload after those kinds of losses.
It’s all up to new head coach Patrick (Pat) Chambers, fresh from his shiny job at Boston University. Chambers coached for two years for the Terriers, netting a 42-28 overall record, and 23-9 record in the America East Conference. In his last year at Boston, the Terriers won their conference tournament and went to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002. He will face a much steeper climb in the Big Ten with the Lions, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the task. Read More
Tomorrow afternoon Ohio State will have a chance to claim its second straight Big Ten Tournament Championship. If the Buckeyes are to achieve this goal, they will need to get past a surging Penn State team. Just as Michigan State used its tournament victory over Purdue to solidify its berth in the NCAA Tournament, Penn State in turn used Michigan State to solidify their own berth, if their prior win over Wisconsin wasn’t quite enough.
This Nittany Lion squad is certainly admirable for its effort these past few days, winning out over higher ranked opponents in what has truly been a last ditch effort to get into the Big Dance. The casual observer has to feel good for the Lions, who fought through a hard Big Ten season but had the look of a team that was going to come up just short yet again. In particular, anyone following Talor Battle’s career with Penn State has to feel good for the senior guard, who became the school’s all-time leading scorer in the Lions victory over Wisconsin. Read More