We can say something cliche about November basketball, but the truth is that every month of college basketball is made of unpredictable, wrist-clenching action.
Ohio State was the biggest winner this week. Combining their big win over #10 Villanova, Michigan State having a close call at Seton Hall, and Kentucky (who Michigan State lost to) losing to Evansville, the Buckeyes now reign this week’s power rankings.
Nebraska fans are learning that despite having one of the most knowledgeable college coaches in the country, sometimes that just can’t overcome talent. There will be tough growing pains in Lincoln for the near future.
November 15, 2019 Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings
No. 14 Nebraska (0-2, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 14; Last Week: Loss vs Southern Utah 79-78 (2OT)
Well, the first season for Hoiberg has not been going according to plan. A 2OT loss to a No. 188 Southern Utah is not a great way to start your time as coach. Next up a SDSU team that is 3-1 and a crucial game to build confidence in a program needing a spark.
No. 13 Northwestern (1-1, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 13; Last Week: Loss vs Merrimack 71-61, Win vs Providence 72-63
Northwestern started their season off on the worst foot possible with a loss to Merrimack at home, but a somewhat surprising win against a much stronger Providence team. Northwestern has several more tune up games before Boston College and Purdue in December. Nance is their leading scorer with a mere 14 points so far.
No. 12 Iowa (1-1, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 10; Last Week: Win vs SIUE 87-60, Loss vs Depaul 93-78
Depaul shown up in Iowa City and totally ran over the Hawkeyes this week. Depaul does appear to be a good team this year, but Iowa needs a lot of improvement to stand a chance in the Big Ten this year. Fortunately, they have several more games before facing No. 11 Texas Tech in Vegas.
No. 11 Rutgers (3-0, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 12; Last Week: Win vs Niagra 86-39, Win vs Drexel 62-57
The Scarlet Knights had a close call against Drexel, but they were ultimately able to avoid the upset. Junior guard Geo Baker currently leads the team in points, assists, and blocks and has been the key piece for this Rutgers team. Two important upcoming games that will serve as a litmus test include home games against two undefeated teams Stephen F. Austin and UMass.
No. 10 Minnesota (1-2, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 7; Last Week: Loss vs Oklahoma 71-62, Loss at Butler 64-56
Minnesota has one of the tougher schedules thus far in the Big Ten, and have struggled. A tough loss by 8 and 9 points against Oklahoma and Butler put Minnesota in a hole to start the season and next they travel to Salt Lake City to play Utah in a much needed road win.
No. 9 Penn State (3-0, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 11; Last Week: Win vs Wagner 91-64, Win at Georgetown 81-66
For a team without major expectations, the Penn State Nittany Lions so far are taking care of business and with a solid margin. Lamar Stevens is currently leading the team with 14.7 points per game in his 28.3 minute average. Penn State has a bit of a break until they host the Bucknell Bison next Tuesday.
No. 8 Illinois (2-1, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 9; Last Week: Win at Grand Canyon University 83-71, Win vs North Alabama 91-65
Illinois played as expected over the past week with a win against GCU and loss to Arizona. Still not much is known about where Illinois stands after this week and their overtime win against Nicholls St last week. Illinois needs to continue to build off its bright points of play shown against GCU and develop more early this season to see their ceiling.
No. 6 (Tie) Wisconsin (2-1, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 6; Last Week: Win vs EIU 65-52, Win vs McNeese 83-63
To Wisconsin’s credit, they have pulled away in their last two games, but they did not look pretty. Badger fans are going to have to get comfortable with games that this team grinds out night after night and quite frankly, that’s a theme for a few teams in the Big Ten. Junior Brad Davison currently leads the team with 16.0 points per game and he is shooting nearly 60% from the field.
No. 6 (Tie) Indiana (3-0, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 8; Last Week: Win vs Portland St. 85-74, Win vs North Alabama 91-65
Indiana has looked just about as good as they reasonably could over their first three games. Smith, Phinisee, Durham and TJD all look great and the depth of this team could be the key to making it to the Tournament. Coach Miller may be developing the his most well-rounded team to date.
No. 5 Purdue (1-2, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 4; Last Week: Loss vs Texas 70-66, Loss at Marquette 65-55
The Boilermakers could really use a game against Chicago State right now, and thankfully for them, that’s what they have. Purdue has the second toughest schedule to date among Big Ten teams and blew a game against Marquette that they largely controlled. Without Carsen Edwards, the Boilermakers are still looking for a consistent scorer that can deliver day after day.
No. 4 Michigan (2-0, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 4; Last Week: Win vs Creighton 79-69
The Wolverines struggled their first half against Creighton, but settled down in the second half to pull away a convincing victory. No freshmen saw court time in their latest game as they have one of the older, more experienced teams in the conference. Expect Michigan to have a perfect record before their big match up with Louisville next month.
No. 3 Maryland (2-0, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 2; Last Week: Win vs Rhode Island 73-55
Maryland only played Rhode Island this week and secured a solid victory over the Rams. The first half, the game was close, but some mid-game adjustments led to a 15 point differential in the second half. Sophomore Jalen Smith has been playing top-notch thus far and Maryland looks for real to compete with the top of the conference.
No. 2 Michigan State (2-1, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 1; Last Week: Win vs Binghamton 100-47, Win at #12 Seton Hall 76-73
Michigan State got a much needed victory over a strong Seton Hall team Thursday night on the road. The Spartans still appear to be one of the best teams in the country, but there are several other teams in the conference that can give the Spartans a run for the conference title (Ohio State, Maryland currently).
No. 1 Ohio State (3-0, 0-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 3; Last Week: Win vs UMass Lowell 76-56, Win vs #10 Villanova 76-51
Ohio State wins the week with the most impressive win of the week, and for the season among Big Ten teams. The Buckeyes absolutely controlled the game end-to-end against a top-10 Villanova team. Ohio State continues to show the total depth of their roster, with not a single player scoring over 14 points in a single game.
Featured Photo: IndianaHQ