Around the Big Ten: Basketball - Week 2
Host Logan Bourandas and analysts Charlie Knezevic and John Murphy look back at some of the opening games around the Big Ten and look forward to some of our favorite games for the upcoming week:
The beginning of the Big Ten basketball season has not disappointed. There have been games down to the wire, blowouts, and unexpected losses. Let’s take a look at action so far and what is to come in the near future.
No. 1 Michigan State (0-1)
Michigan State came into the season ranked No. 1 in the AP Rankings but came up just short in their opener against No. 2 Kentucky. Led by senior guard Cassius Winston, Michigan State played well on the defensive end but couldn’t get any shots to fall on the offensive attack. Winston finished with 21 points but was held in check by Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans. Despite the loss, Michigan State will remain a top contender this year as they prepare for another top-15 matchup with Seton Hall on Nov. 14.
No. 7 Maryland (1-0)
Maryland took care of business as expected in their opener, handing Holy Cross a 95-71 defeat. Maryland will be a competitive team throughout the year looking to make a name for themselves. Maryland was led by sophomore Jalen Smith who had 16 points and 11 rebounds in the first game. Smith is expected to be the go to guy this year for the Terrapins while being complemented by guards Anothony Cowan Jr. and Aaron Wiggins. Expect Maryland to cruise through November and climb the rankings before tough December matchups.
No. 18 Ohio State (1-0)
Ohio State took down an in-state rival, Cincinnati, in a defensive battle 54-46. The Buckeyes were led by brothers, Andre and Kaleb Wesson, who held down the paint. Ohio State showcased their depth and youth ability as Freshmen, D.J. Carton and E.J. Liddell, got significant minutes and played big roles. The legitimacy of this team should be shown next Wednesday as the Buckeyes clash with No. 10 Villanova at home.
No. 23 Purdue (1-0)
Despite the loss of Carsen Edwards, Purdue showed no signs of missing a beat on offense. Graduate transfer Jahaad Proctor had 26 points in his team debut. Purdue expects to climb the rankings this year and get their name back in the mix for title contention. Look for Purdue to be tested within the next week against Texas and Marquette.
The Badgers took a tough loss to No. 20 Saint Mary’s, 65-63, in overtime. However, there were bright spots as Ethan Happ’s replacement, sophomore Nate Reuvers, who had 22 points. Guards Davison and Trice added 16 and 10 points respectively. Wisconsin is a team that will compete and stay in the hunt each and every year so this season should be no different. Keep an eye on Nov. 17 for the in-state matchup between the Badgers and Marquette.
The Wolverines returning players took over in their 79-71 win over Appalachian State. Junior guard Eli Brooks led the way with 24 points and center Jon Teske added 17 of his own. New coach Juwan Howard will look to replicate Michigan’s constant success this year and make a run through March. Michigan will have its first real test Nov. 12 against Creighton.
Penn State (1-0): Defeated Maryland Eastern Shore 84-86, next vs. Wagner Nov. 9
Indiana (1-0): Defeated West Illinois 98-65, next vs Portland State Nov. 9
Illinois (1-0): Defeated Nicholls 78-70(OT), next vs Grand Canyon Nov. 8
Minnesota (1-0): Defeated Cleveland State 85-50, next vs Oklahoma Nov. 9
Nebraska (0-1): Defeated by UC Riverside 66-47, next vs Southern Utah Nov. 9
Iowa (0-0): First game Nov. 8 vs SIU Edwardsville
Rutgers (0-0): First game Nov.7 vs Bryant
Northwestern (0-0): First game Nov. 8 vs Merrimack
Charlie Knezevic is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.