(Photo Credit: IndianaHQ)
The Big Ten has had an impressive showing across the first two weeks of play. Teams such as Ohio State and Iowa have had tremendous wins against other Power Six schools and the Big Ten is shaping up to be one of the best conferences in the nation. In fact, at the time of writing, the Big Ten has 10 teams in the Top 40 in Kenpom. Highest mover this week was Iowa who jumped up 3 spots and the biggest drop happened to be awarded to the Hoosiers, which was less about Indiana losing at Arkansas by a point, but rather due to other teams leap frogging ahead.
Power rankings will be released weekly on Friday mornings and will include all games up until Thursday evening.
Big Ten Power Rankings: November 23rd, 2018
|John Beilein’s Wolverines are playing both sides of the court as well as anyone in the nation at the moment. In fact, the Wolverines have the top ranked adjusted defense rank in the nation. As Michigan continues to impress, they continue to hold top spots in most Big Ten power rankings.
|MSU is still a top team in the Big Ten and a close loss against KU does not guarantee a rank below Michigan, who’s victory against Villanova is not as significant anymore. Against UCLA, MSU 54% from 3, and 52% overall. They also outrebounded and out-assisted them. This team is no joke and has clearly proved themselves after the Kansas loss. They are top shelf in the conference right now and playing as well as any team.
|Iowa certainly has been one of the biggest suprises for the Big Ten this season. After defeating Oregon in the 2K Classic, the Hawkeyes defeated Dan Hurley’s UCONN team (who defeated Syracuse in the semifinals) to win the tournament title.
|We know the committee probably didn’t notice this, but OSU was down at halftime against Samford. However, that should matter at all because OSU outscored Samford by 21 in the second half, which proves that this team has strong mentality. Even though their leader, CJ Jackson, shot 2-11, the rest of the team stepped up big time, especially the Wessons. Kaleb Wesson accumulated 12 free throw attempts and cashed in on 9 of them. He grabbed 7 boards and 2 steals. Andre Wesson was efficient and scored 7 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and dealt 3 assists. We look at this OSU team and see depth and a potential top 3 conference finish.
|The toughest team to predict in the Big Ten thus far. Winning against Xavier looked great at the time when Xavier is 2-0, but since then Xavier has gone 1-2. Wisconsin had a convincing victory against the Sooners this week as well making the argument more convincing that they are legitimate this season. We will learn a lot more when they play No. 4 Virginia today in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
|We previously wrote about how Purdue offensive seems weaker without Mathias, Haas, Edwards etc, and that the current cast of Boilermakers were not enough to fill the offensive void. Purdue has offensive firepower. Even though they lost a close one to a tough ACC opponent in Buzz Williams’ Hokies, this was actually a “good” loss. Purdue shot very well from the field, in particular, Dartmouth transfer Evan Boudreaux, who was fantastic. The problem was the defense, and we don’t want to be quick to criticize them too much because Virginia Tech is better than most ACC teams, including UNC. If Purdue cleans up the defense a bit, they’ll be right back from where they left off last year.
|After a big victory over Marquette, Indiana has been plagued with the injury bug. Losing four scholarship players in the road loss to Arkansas and not having the service of nearly 7 scholarship players against the UT-Arlington Mavericks at home. Still, Archie Miller was able to nearly defeat a Top-60 Arkansas team with two missed opportunities at the rim and still managed to continue their undefeated home-game streak.
|Maryland had two wins over teams that they should have beat. Mark Turgeon and the Terrapins have handled business so far, but have not yet been truly tested.
|Minnesota pulled through against a previously ranked, tough Washington squad. Even though the Pac 12 has struggled recently, this win still means a lot for the Gophers. Even though Washington star Noah Dickerson dominated, Minnesota found a way to win. Freshmen Gabe Kalscheur and Daniel Oturu are logging in seriously meaningful minutes and they both have played well so far. Leaders Amir Coffey and Jordan Murphy look to prove that Minnesota is a serious conference contender. Let’s see if they can handle Boston College, a tough ACC opponent on the road.
|Is Nebrasketball back? Maybe, but an 18 point loss to Texas Tech raises the question if it really is true. Copeland continues to be the center of their team tallying over 16 points per game.
|Northwestern needs all the wins they can get prior to the conference season and losing to Fresno State doesn’t help. Vic Law isn’t getting enough help from his teammates. The rest of the team, excluding Law, shot 34% from the floor. Junior AJ Turner couldn’t get going and shot 3-12 from the floor and missed all 5 of his three pointers. This has to change prior to conference season.
|Lamar Stevens is currently the second highest scorer in the Big Ten with 24.8 ppg (only behind Carsen Edwards at 26.6 ppg). Despite scoring nearly half of their points last game, Stevens was not able to carry Penn State to a victory against the lowly Bradley Braves and now an 3-2 record. Penn State will need more contribution from the rest of their team to stand a chance in the Big Tean when conference play kicks off in a few weeks.
|Rutgers hasn’t been flashy this past week, going 1-1 with a loss to St. John’s and a win against EMU. Their win against EMU was impressive in the fact they held EMU to 6 points in the first half. They do not have a signature win yet, but are not struggling as bad as Illinois has been who is currently 1-4. We just do not see them making a move from the depths of the Big Ten this season.
|Illinois continues to struggle after losing just by one possession to the eventual Maui invitational winner Gonzaga (who took down #1 ranked Duke in the process). Brad Underwood’s club needs to regroup as they return back to Illinois.