clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

B1G-ly Basketball Week 1 in Review, Including Heartbreaking Tragedy

New, 3 comments

A brief recap of Big Ten action on the week

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Semifinals-Michigan State vs Texas Tech Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Overall this wasn’t a great opening week for the conference. And on top of that, tragic events saw one team rally around their leader after losing his younger brother to suicide.
(All rankings listed based on the start of last week)

#1 Michigan State Spartans 1-1

A quick side-note:

My sincere condolences to the Winston family and Cassius in particular as his younger brother Zachary was struck and killed by an Amtrak train late Saturday night/early Sunday morning. MSU scheduled nearby DIII Albion College as their exhibition game as both of Cassius’s younger brothers played for the Britons. Zachary was a sophomore and did not play in the exhibition game due to injury, but Khy, a freshman, did. Deepest sympathies to the Winston family and to the basketball team at Albion for the loss of their teammate. I hope you’ll join me in adding the Winston family to your thoughts and prayers. For anyone out there struggling with depression and/or thoughts of suicide, please, please reach out for help, and remember to have the suicide hotline available in time of need: 1-800-273-8255.

Game 1

The Spartans started off the season on the big stage in NYC for the annual Champions Classic. #1 MSU versus #2 Kentucky took the the hardwood at Madison Square Garden, and the Wildcats walked away with the win 69-62.

Game 2

With his parents and youngest brother in attendance, Winston ended up deciding to still play and made the start for the Spartan’s season home-opener. He drained a three-pointer on his first shot attempt and a few minutes later sunk his patented floating lay-up on a drive to the basket. Overall, it was an emotional night for the Spartans as Coach Izzo and the teammates, who all spent lots of time with Winston’s family before the loss of Zachary, rallied around their teammate. Michigan State went on to win 100-47, led by Winston’s double-double 17 points and 11 rebounds.
One of the highlights definitely includes this:

Anyways, enough with my recap. You get the point, MSU blew the doorsoff a lesser opponent and rallied around a teammate while dealing with the loss of a relative they all knew and were close to as well. 54-23 at the half isn’t really a competitive match-up. I won’t be quite so in-depth like this about the Spartans every week, but it’s pretty obvious this game was an extra level of emotional for the Spartan family. Final score MSU - Binghamton

Week Ahead

Next up will be the Gavitt Tipoff Games opponent, Seton Hall on the road Thursday night at 8:30 pm ET.

#7 Maryland Terrapins 2-0

Game 1

Maryland opened the season at home with a win over Holy Cross 95-71. Maryland started the game slow, but finally took a lead with 10:45 left on a Darryl Morsell dunk and never looked back. Maryland won on the board 47-33, but was cold on shooting going only 18.5% from deep and 48.7% from field goal range. The Terrapins turned the ball over 8 times, but had 8 blocks, 8 steals, and 15 assists. Jalen Smith led the team with a double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Game 2

Maryland proceeded to beat Rhode Island Saturday night 73-55. Terps only led 35-32 at the half, but once again saw Jalen Smith score a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. FG percentage regressed to 44.6%, but three-point increased to 31.6% for the team.

Week Ahead

Maryland plays Oakland (MI) Saturday at 12 pm ET.

#18 Ohio State Buckeyes 2-0

Game 1

Ohio State opened the season over intra-state Cincinnati. After trailing at half 26-19, Ohio State came back to take a one point lead when CJ Walker sunk both of his free throws with 16:55 left in the game and never looked back. However, following the free throws, both teams proceeded to go scoreless for the next 3:38 of game play. Kyle Young led the Buckeyes with a double-double, and was the only player for tOSU to score double digits, chipping in 14 points and 13 boards. Young also chimed in with a block and a steal.

Game 2

The Buckeyes welcomed the UMass Lowell River Hawks to Value City Arena Sunday afternoon with a 20 point blowout, 76-56. tOSU had 5 players score in double digits, including Kaleb Wesson and DJ Karton pacing the Buckeyes with 13 each, with Wesson getting the double-double after hauling in 13 boards as well.

Week Ahead

Ohio State hosts #10 Villanova Wednesday night in the Gavitt Games, tipping off at 7 pm ET on FS1.

#23 Purdue Boilermakers 1-1

Game 1

Purdue opened their season with a win over Wisconsin Green-Bay 79-57. Purdue shot 50.8% from FG range and 31.6% from three. The team passed the ball around for 16 assists, managed 8 steals, and 9 blocks. Purdue still coughed the ball up to the tune of 11 turnovers. Jahaad Proctor led the team with 26 points, Haarms chipped in with 16, and Hunter with 15.

Game 2

Purdue dropped a close game to Texas for their second game of the season, losing 70-66. While the Boilermakers led by 3 at the half, 34-31, they couldn’t hold on in the second half. This despite the fact Purdue shot 50% from three and 41% from FG range. Purdue killed it on the offensive board, pulling it in 17 times. Sasha Stefanovic led the Boilermakers with 14 points.

Week Ahead

The Boilermakers travel to Marquette Wednesday night for their Gavitt Games tip-off match-up against the Golden Eagles (received 68 votes in AP poll, but unranked) at 9 pm ET on FS1. Then host Chicago St. Saturday for their first game in the Emerald Coast Classic at 2 pm on BTN+.

Wisconsin Badgers 1-1

Game 1

Wisconsin dropped a season opener game at the Sanford Pentagon to #20 Saint Mary’s in OT, 65-63. The Badgers trailed the Gaels (in case you’re curious about the mascot, The Gaels are an ethnolinguistic group native to Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man in northwestern Europe) 24-30 at halftime, and flipped the script to outscore them 30-24 in the second half and force overtime. Nate Reuvers led the Badgers in scoring with 22 points, and in rebounding with 6 boards. Speaking of rebounds, Wisconsin lost that battle big-time 28-36.

Game 2

The Badgers had their home season opener Friday night against Eastern Illinois, and had this special moment to start the festivities:

Once again, our best wishes to Assistant Coach Moore on his on-going path to recovery.

Wisconsin beat the Panthers 65-52. Kobe King paced the Badgers in scoring with his 18 points, while Nate Reuvers chimed in with a double-double scoring 14 and hauling in 14 boards.

Week Ahead

The Badgers host McNeese St. Wednesday at 7 pm ET on BTN.
Then on Sunday, it’s the I-94 intra-state show-down between Marquette and Wisconsin in Madison at the Kohl Center at 1 pm ET on FS1.

Michigan Wolverines 1-0

(received 2 votes in AP)

Game 1

Some of you may or may not recall my jubilation at seeing Michigan had scheduled Appalachian State for their season opener.

Sure, Michigan won. But that was after seeing their 46-21 lead at half-time, and 67-37 lead with 13 minutes left, evaporate down the stretch. App State went on a 30-5 run and managed to almost pull the season opening upset over Michigan in basketball 12 years after they did so in football. Did Michigan get the win in the end? Sure. But how do they not look bad scheduling App State and almost blowing it like that? Hence I told you all this was a stupid idea and their Athletic Department is incredibly stupid for scheduling this game. Then again, I know this because I graduated from a better school in the state of Michigan. That’s putting my Hillsdale degree to real hard work, concluding this was a stupid game to schedule. Who could have possibly realized they look bad playing App State no matter the outcome and only risk embarrassment in case it goes awry?!

Week Ahead

The Wolverines host Creighton (received 4 AP votes) Tuesday night to in the Gavitt Games tip-off at 6:30 pm ET on FSI. GO BLUEJAYS!!! (Hate all you want, but you are all well aware my second favorite team is whoever is playing Michigan)
Michigan then hosts Elon Friday night for the first game in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament at 7 pm ET on BTN.

Illinois Fighting Illini 2-1

(received 14 votes in AP)

Game 1

Illinois opened their season with a home over-time win over Nicholls State University, 78-70. Despite an 11 point lead going into halftime, the Illini let the Colonels back in it to force over-time in the second-half, and perhaps their 26.3% shooting from three point land had a contributing factor to this. Lucky for Illinois, they went on to outscore Nicholls 14-4 in extra time for the win. Illinois saw two players with double-doubles:
Kofi Cockburn had 10 points and 11 rebounds
Andres Feliz led the Illini with 23 points and pulled down 11 boards as well
Ayo Dosunmu also added 21 points for Illinois in their win.

Game 2

Illinois took to the road and traveled all the way out to Phoenix for their Friday night match-up against the Grand Canyon Antelopes. The Illini pulled of the road win 83-71. Three point shooting was hot for Illinois, going 8 for 19 for 42.1%. Illinois was awfully careless with the ball, though, turning it over 17 times. Cockburn chalked up yet another double-double with 23 points and 14 boards, while Felz added 21 points as well.

Game 3

The Fighting Illini added in another road game in the Grand Canyon state with a road loss to #21 Arizona (*cough, cheaters). Late Sunday night (or 8 pm Champaign time), Illinois lost big 90-69 down in Tuscon. Illinois committed TWENTY-TWO turnovers! They also lost the rebounding battle 28-33. Felz had his third double-double in as many games this season, scoring 13 and hauling in 10 rebounds.

Week Ahead

The Fighting Illini are off this week.

Indiana Hoosiers 2-0

Game 1

The Hoosiers fell just shy of dropping triple digit points on Western Illinois, blowing out the Leathernecks 98-65. The Hoosiers were hot with their shooting, going 45.5% from deep and 58.5% from field goal range. Four players for Indiana scored in the double-digits, two of which were in the 20’s. Justin Smith led the Hoosiers with 24 points and Al Durham scored 21.

Game 2

Indiana hosted Portland State in Assembly Hall Saturday afternoon, getting their second win of the season 85-74. The Hoosiers were significantly colder on their shooting from deep, going a measly 3 for 14. They did out-rebound the Vikings 41-24, including 16-7 on the offensive glass. Al Durham paced the Hoosiers with 18 points.

Week Ahead

Indiana hosts North Alabama Tuesday night at 7 pm ET on BTN. They turn around and play again Friday night at home versus Troy, 8 pm ET on BTN.

Iowa Hawkeyes 1-0

Game 1

The Hawkeyes opened their season Friday night against SIU-Edwardsville with a blowout win, 87-60. The Cougars were only down by two at the half, but Iowa went on in the second half to pull away big. Luka Garza paced the Hawkeyes with a double-double, leading the team with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Joe Wieskamp also broke double digits with 16 points. Despite the high score, Iowa only shot 32% from three.

Week Ahead

Iowa plays tonight against DePaul (Go Blue Demons!) in the Gavitt Games at 9 pm ET on FS1. They play agin Friday night, for three of their five straight home games to start the season, against Oral Roberts at 8 pm ET on BTN+.

Minnesota Golden Gophers 1-1

Game 1

The Golden Gophers opened their season Tuesday with a blowout home win over Cleveland State 85-50. Marcus Carr led Minnesota with 18 points and 8 assists, and Daniel Oturu notched a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Gophers were hot from three, shooting 44.8% from deep.

Game 2

Minnesota followed up their home upset Saturday over Penn State in football with a neutral court loss at the Sanford Pentagon to Oklahoma, 71-62. The Gophers led at halftime, 32-26. Oklahoma’s hot shooting, 40% from deep, was too much for the cold Gophers who only shot 37.9% from field goal range and 25% from deep.

Week Ahead

Goldie has a busy week ahead with a Tuesday night matchup at Butler in the Gavitt Games, 8:30 pm ET on FS1. Then travel out west for a match-up at Utah Friday night at 9 pm ET on the Pac-12 network.

Penn State Nittany Lions 2-0

Game 1

Penn State opened the season Tuesday with a blowout home win over Maryland Eastern-Shore. The Nittany Lions easily won 84-46, and never trailed at any point, leading 37-17 at the half. Lamar Stevens led Penn State with 17 points, while Mike Watkins managed a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds (oh yeah, and 7 blocks).

Game 2

Penn State followed up their season opener with a Saturday blowout home win over Wagner 91-64. Wagner did manage to briefly take the lead almost a minute and a half into the game, 4-2. They promptly fell behind and Penn State never looked back. Myreon Jones led PSU with 12 points, and five players finished with double digit point totals.

Week Ahead

The Nittany Lions travel to Georgetown (11 AP votes) Thursday for the Gavitt Games, tipping off at 6:30 pm ET on FS1.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 1-0 TBD

Game 1

Rutgers managed to get the W in their first game, despite at one point having a 16 point lead. The Bryant Bulldogs trailed by 8 at halftime, but the margin was too large as they outscored Rutgers by only 6 points in the second half as the final buzzer sounded to give the Scarlet Knights the 73-71 win. Montez Mathis and Ron Harper Jr. led the Rutgers in scoring, each getting ten points apiece. Rutgers’ 15 assists, 11 steals, 7 blocks, and 49 rebounds are positive to see, but they coughed the ball up 15 times and need to limit the turnovers moving forward.

Game 2

Rutgers hosted Niagara University in their Garden State Showcase (anybody know how a school located over 5 hours from the Garden State is somehow playing in a tournament named the Garden State Showcase?). Anyways, Rutgers won 86-39. Um, this might be a sign of the apocalypse? The Scarlet Knights sunk shots with polar opposite normalcy to their standard play-style. Shooting 47.4% on 19 attempts from deep, and 59.3% from field goal range is not a typical Rutgers team we see, even against inferior competition. 22 assists and out-rebounding the Purple Eagles on the defensive glass 22-10 is impressive.

Week Ahead

Rutgers has two more games this week, hosting Drexel Wednesday night in the Garden State Showcase at 9 pm ET on BTN+. They head north for their next game to Toronto, Ontario to play Saint Bonaventure in the James Naismith Classic at 7:30 pm ET on ESPN+.

NU 0-1

Game 1

Think the Huskers have it bad? Well, let me tell you about Northwestern’s opponent. Merrimack is playing its first season ever as a D1 program. They began their season and tenure as a D1 basketball program with a 20 point loss on the road at Maine on Wednesday night. They turned around and played at Northwestern Friday night. The Wildcats never led by more than 6 points, committed 13 turnovers, shot a just god-awful 12.5% from three and 37.7% from field goal range. The only plus side was they shot 79.2% from the charity stripe and won the rebound battle 33-32.
With 9.5 minutes remaining in the game and NU up by 5, the Merrimack Warriors went on a 17-4 run to ice the game and the score ended 71-61 shortly thereafter.

Week Ahead

NU hosts Providence (received one AP poll vote) in the Gavitt Games Wednesday night at 9 pm ET on BTN.

Nebraska Cornhuskers 0-2

Game 1

We don’t need to go there. You all saw the post-game recap by Mitch.

Game 2

We definitely don’t need to rehash that hear-breaker Saturday afternoon.

Week Ahead

South Dakota State visits Lincoln Friday night at 9 pm ET, and the game will be on BTN.