Big Ten Roundup

By Complied Sam Sherman

Illinois

Head Coach: John Groce

Record: 12-7, 2-4 Big Ten

Analysis: Expectations were high for the Illini coming into the season in what seemed to be a crowded middle of the conference. Well into the season, the Illini have greatly underperformed. They have had some nice wins against Baylor and Maryland but have struggled on offense. Transfers Aaron Cosby and Ahmad Starks have been cold on the offensive end. Their tournament hopes are still alive, but they need more quality wins.

Indiana

Head Coach: Tom Crean

Record: 14-4, 4-1 Big Ten

Analysis: Coming into the season, Tom Crean’s seat was getting warmer. Another losing season would have made things very interesting in Bloomington. That being said, the Hoosiers have been surprisingly successful halfway through the season. They have quality wins against Butler and Ohio State. With a consistent finish to the season, Crean may have done enough to buy more time at Indiana.

Iowa

Head Coach: Fran McCaffery

Record: 13-5, 4-1 Big Ten

Analysis: Senior Aaron White is averaging almost 16 points and seven rebounds this season. I would have guessed the loss of last year’s leading scorer Roy Devyn Marble would have hurt the Hawkeyes, but they continue to play solid basketball. With wins against North Carolina and Ohio State, Iowa looks to stay competitive in the Big Ten.

Maryland

Head Coach: Mark Turgeon

Record: 17-2, 5-1 Big Ten

Analysis: So far, there have been no “welcome to the Big Ten” moments for the Terrapins this season. Other than losses to Virginia and Illinois, Maryland has had a great opening season in its new conference. Much of their success can be attributed to Melo Trimble, one of the nation’s top freshmen, who’s averaging 16 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Michigan

Head Coach: John Beilein

Record: 11-7, 4-2 Big Ten

Analysis: The Wolverines lost almost all of their impact players from last year to the NBA, and it’s shown. Early in the season they suffered losses to the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Eastern Michigan. They’ve collected a few wins in the Big Ten, but it’s going to take a huge second half to revive any tournament hopes.

Michigan State

Head Coach: Tom Izzo

Record: 12-6, 3-2 Big Ten

Analysis: These are no longer the days of Michigan State dominating the Big Ten. While they don’t have any major wins, the Spartans have started out conference play on a strong note. In his senior season, point guard Travis Trice seems to have finally broken through as he’s averaging 14.3 points per game.

Minnesota

Head Coach: Richard Pitino

Record: 12-7, 1-5 Big Ten

Analysis: It has been a hugely disappointing season for the Golden Gophers. They won the NIT last year, and many had high hopes for Richard Pitino’s squad, but it appears they have taken a major step back after last season’s strong finish. At this rate, Minnesota may miss the tournament they won a season ago.

Nebraska

Head Coach: Tim Miles

Record: 10-7, 2-3 Big Ten

Analysis: Nebraska was the darling of the Big Ten last year with a combination of quirky head coach Tim Miles and a strong season. Many thought they would emerge as one of the conference’s top teams. While Terran Petteway has been one of the nation’s top scorers, it hasn’t been enough to take the Cornhuskers to the next level, as they stand near the bottom of the conference.

Northwestern

Head Coach: Chris Collins

Record: 10-8, 1-4 Big Ten

Analysis: Northwestern fans have been waiting quite a while for their team to make its NCAA tournament debut. This season doesn’t appear to be the one for the Wildcats. That being said, head coach Chris Collins has done a nice job of recruiting effective playmakers to the program. Freshman guard Bryant McIntosh has been a pleasant surprise and looks to be a player to build around going forward.

Ohio State

Head Coach: Thad Matta

Record: 14-5, 3-3 Big Ten

Analysis: This year’s Ohio State team isn’t as dominant as the Buckeyes have been in the past, but the future looks scary. Highly touted freshman D’Angelo Russell has lived up to his billing. He’s averaging 18 points, four rebounds and five assists. The Buckeyes aren’t at the top of the conference, but don’t be surprised if they wind up near there by the season’s end.

Penn State

Head Coach: Pat Chambers

Record: 12-6, 0-5 Big Ten

Analysis: Penn State opened up the season on fire, heading into conference play with a 12-1 record. Then the Big Ten happened, and things haven’t looked so happy in Happy Valley. On the bright side, senior D.J. Newbill has had a great season, averaging over 20 points per game.

Purdue

Head Coach: Matt Painter

Record: 11-7, 3-2 Big Ten

Analysis: It seems like head coach Matt Painter has been on the hot seat since Robbie Hummel suited up for the Boilermakers. While Painter has been able to pull in some nice talent through recruiting, he just hasn’t been able to coach his players to their fullest potential. Freshman Isaac Haas has been very solid in his first season, and looks to be a major problem in the future for opposing teams.

Rutgers

Head Coach: Eddie Jordan

Record: 10-9, 2-4 Big Ten

Analysis: The good news? Rutgers beat Wisconsin this year in what was the biggest upset in the conference so far this season. The bad news? That’s really the only good news in Rutgers’ first season in the Big Ten. The Big Ten growing pains have been rough for the Scarlet Knights.

Wisconsin

Head Coach: Bo Ryan

Record: 16-2, 4-1 Big Ten

Analysis: Many people had no idea how the Big Ten was going to play out this year. It seemed like for the most part, the conference was up for grabs, but the Badgers were the exception. They were going to be at the top, while the rest of the conference would be up for grabs. Wisconsin has been as strong as ever and should continue its strong play for the rest of the season.