Weekly Big Ten Men’s Basketball Central: January 11 – 17

• The Big Ten boasts six teams in the Associated Press Top-25poll and five teams in the USA TODAY coaches poll. Three Big Ten teams appear in the top 10 of both polls: No. 5/No. 8 Iowa, No. 7/No. 5 Michigan and No. 9/No. 9 Wisconsin. In total, the Big Ten boasts four teams in the top 15 of the AP Poll. In addition to the six teams appearing in the polls, four other teams — Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern and Rutgers — received votes in either one or both polls. Michigan continues its steady rise and holds its highest positions of the season in both polls with the Wolverines jumping from No. 10/No. 9 to No. 7/No. 5.

• The Big Ten has a major presence in the Jan. 11 NCAA NET Rankings with 13 of its 14 teams (.929 pct.) appearing in the top 100. Michigan (No. 4), Iowa (No. 5), Illinois (No. 8), Wisconsin (No. 10) and Ohio State (No. 24) all cracked the NET’s top 25. The Big Ten has four teams in the NET’s top 10 and is one of just two conferences to have multiple teams in the top 10 (Big 12 with two teams).

• According to KenPom’s rankings, which are based on KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin metric, the Big Ten has four Top-10 teams in Iowa (No. 3), Wisconsin (No. 5), Michigan (No. 7) and Illinois (No. 8), while 13 of the conference’s 14 teams appear in the top 60 of the overall rankings. 

• Michigan defeated then-ranked No. 16/No. 17 Minnesota 82-57 to improve to 10-0 on the season and 5-0 in the Big Ten. According to @BTNStatsGuys, this is the fifth time in school history that Michigan has started a season 10-0. In two of the previous four occurrences, the Wolverines went to the NCAA Final Four.

• Purdue defeated then-ranked No. 23/- Michigan State 55-54, marking the Boilermakers 21st win over a ranked team since the start of the 2016-17 season. During that span, Purdue has recorded the ninth-most wins against ranked opponents in the NCAA. Boilermakers head coach Matt Painter coached his 524th game at Purdue, moving past Ward “Piggy” Lambert into second place on Purdue’s all-time games coached list at Purdue. Junior forward Trevion Williams scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the win over the Spartans. Williams outscored Michigan State 24-23 in the second half and hit the game-winning basket with 4.5 seconds remaining in regulation. 

• After being voted last week’s Big Ten Player of the Week, Minnesota junior center Liam Robbins was named last week’s USBWA Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week. Robbins became the second Big Ten player to win the award this season, after Northwestern’s Boo Buie captured the honor on Dec. 22. Last season the Big Ten had three individuals earn the award, while in 2018 and 2017 the conference had two players win it.

• According to College Basketball Reference, Michigan freshman center Hunter Dickinson leads all NCAA freshmen in field goal percentage (.730), is tied for third in points per game (18.0) and ranks sixth in rebounds per game (8.1) (min. of 5 games played). Additionally, Dickinson’s field goal percentage ranks second in the country among all players, trailing only Asbjorn Midtgaard of Grand Canyon (.731 pct.).

• The Big Ten boasts two of the top 10 scorers in the country in Iowa’s Luka Garza (1st, 27.6 ppg) and Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu (9th, 22.4 ppg).

• Illinois sophomore center Kofi Cockburn registered two double-doubles last week and now has nine double-doubles on the season. Cockburn’s nine double-doubles are the most by any player in the country. Luka Garza and this week’s Big Ten Co-Player of the Week Trayce Jackson-Davis are tied for 12th in the NCAA with five double-doubles this year.

• Iowa ranks third in the country in scoring offense (91.9 ppg) and leads the nation in assists per game (21.3) and assist-turnover ratio (2.11). Wisconsin ranks fifth in the country in three-point field goal percentage (.414) and assist-turnover ratio (1.78).

• The Big Ten recorded a 67-14 record (.827 pct.) in Division 1 non-conference play (69-14 overall), marking the second-highest non-conference winning percentage by any conference in the NCAA. The Big Ten’s non-conference winning percentage trails only the Big 12 (55-11, .833 pct.) and leads all other conferences including: SEC (67-23, .744), ACC (61-22, .735), AAC (35-13, .729), Pac-12 (51-19, .729) and Big East (39-15, .722). According to KenPom’s rankings, which are based off of KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin metric, at the time that the Big Ten finished non-conference play, the conference registered an 18-13 (.581 pct.) record against top 100 teams.

COURTESY THE BIG TEN CONFERENCE

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