Big Ten Power Rankings: January 18

  • 01/18/2016 7:50 am in

The Inside the Hall Big Ten Power Rankings are back following the third week of conference play and there are more shakeups in the league’s pecking order. Here’s a look at where each team stands after the third week of Big Ten play (Note: Points per possession numbers in parenthesis are for conference games only):

14. Rutgers (6-12, 0-5, .89 points per possession, 1.21 points per possession allowed) … Bad. Awful. Unwatchable. That’s what Rutgers is. The Scarlet Knights haven’t truly been competitive in any of their conference games this season, and I have a hard time finding a game they might win.

13. Minnesota (6-12, 0-6, .94 points per possession, 1.17 points per possession allowed) … Minnesota found a way to keep things close with Indiana, but despite the score, it never felt like the Golden Gophers would actually pull off the upset. They lack a big time scorer and have one of the worst defenses in the Big Ten. Minnesota will travel to Michigan and play host to Illinois this week.

12. Illinois (9-9, 1-4, 1 point per possession, 1.10 points per possession allowed) … Illinois followed up its big win over Purdue with a home loss to Nebraska by double-digits. You simply cannot do that if you want to move your way up the Big Ten pecking order. It can redeem itself with road wins over Indiana and Minnesota this week.

11. Nebraska (11-8, 3-3, 1.16 points per possession, 1.06 points per possession allowed) … Sure, Nebraska won both of its games this week, but those wins came against Minnesota and Illinois. Nothing about that excites me enough to move them up the rankings. Not to mention its other Big Ten win is against Rutgers which should hardly count as a Big Ten win. Beat Michigan State this week and we’ll talk.

10. Penn State (11-8, 2-4, 1 point per possession, 1.13 points per possession allowed) … Penn State picked up a nice road win at Northwestern this past week. With its next two games very winnable, home vs Wisconsin and away at Ohio State, the next week or so could be big for the Nittany Lions.

9. Northwestern (15-4, 3-3, 1.06 points per possession, 1.03 points per possession allowed) … The Wildcats are a tough team to figure out. They followed a win over Wisconsin with a loss to Penn State. The 15 wins is a great start for Northwestern, but it just hasn’t beaten anyone that moves the needle in terms of an NCAA tournament resume. This will be a fun team to pay attention to from afar to see if it can find its way into that discussion. Road trips to Maryland and Indiana provide two opportunities for big wins.

8. Ohio State (12-7, 4-2, 1.02 points per possession, 1.04 points per possession allowed) … Ohio State could not have played any worse in its first two big road tests on the Big Ten. The Buckeyes looked atrocious against the Hoosiers, and even worse against Maryland. This team still has a long way to go.

7. Wisconsin (10-9, 2-4, 1.04 points per possession, 1.02 points per possession allowed) … The Badgers pulled off a big upset against Michigan State, and have been in every game so far in conference, with no losses by more than six. Wisconsin has to rely too much on its leading scorers Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig, but this team is no pushover, despite the ugly basketball it plays.

6. Purdue (15-3, 3-2, 1.07 points per possession, 1.01 points per possession allowed) … There’s a very clear top six in the Big Ten that would all be in the tournament should it start today. Purdue drops to sixth this week more so because other teams are playing so well. The Illinois loss was a bad one, and the Boilermakers non-conference wins don’t look so great anymore as Vanderbilt and Florida have struggled. Pittsburgh is the best win this team has, and while a good win, I’m not sure it qualifies as great.

5. Michigan (13-5, 3-2, 1.13 points per possession, 1.10 points per possession allowed) … Michigan has looked strong as of late, and has done so without its best player Caris LeVert, who is still out with an undisclosed leg injury. The Wolverines have no bad losses, and picked up that signature win by knocking off Maryland. They hung tough against Iowa before the Hawkeyes pulled away in the final few minutes.

4. Michigan State (16-3, 3-3, 1.13 points per possession, 1.04 points per possession allowed) … Iowa just has Michigan State’s number, as it’s responsible for two of the Spartans three losses. Wisconsin, however, is the team that knocks MSU down to four in the rankings. Normally there’s no shame in losing at the Kohl Center, but when it came to deciding the order of these top six teams, the three conference losses stuck out. Tom Izzo will have things straightened out in no time, though, so don’t expect to see them stay outside the top three for long.

3. Indiana (15-3, 5-0, 1.07 points per possession, .93 points per possession allowed) … Surprise! Indiana has continued to win the games it’s supposed to win, something much easier said than done. The defense has improved and the team looks more mature. Having the big boys of the conference later in the season may prove to be a really good thing for the Hoosiers, who will be able to face them at their best. In-game adjustments are being made, and while the offense isn’t as explosive without James Blackmon Jr., the defense is a heck of a lot better. It’ll be tough for anyone to beat IU in Assembly Hall.

2. Maryland (16-2, 5-1, 1.14 points per possession, .95 points per possession allowed) … Maryland suffered its first loss in the Big Ten to Michigan this past week, but it bounced back by blowing the doors off of Ohio State. After a home game against Northwestern, we’ll finally get to see the Terps take on the Spartans and the Hawkeyes.

1. Iowa (14-3, 5-0, 1.17 points per possession, .99 points per possession allowed) … Iowa is riding a seven-game winning streak that includes wins over Michigan State (twice), Purdue and Michigan. There’s no team in The Big Ten that can say anything close to that. There doesn’t seem to be a weakness with this team, and is led by Jared Uthoff’s 18.4 points per game.

Filed to:

  • BL

    No problem. I’ll “Get Over It” 🙂

  • calbert40

    The first issue is that Cal would never have come here during a known NCAA penalty phase. Cal helps schools get sanctioned not get out of sanctions!! Part of what makes me respect Crean is that he came at all. I remember when he was announced as HC, and everyone was floored, because none of us thought we’d get a coach with his reputation level. We were looking a lot lower On the prestige meter.

    Secondly, I don’t believe they should be counted “against” him. Obviously the games count, but he improved our roster every year during that time and brought us his best class ever during that time too in 2009. No other coach in America dealt with what he did for three years, so in order to make a valid comparison, it is ou fair to start in Year 4 for Crean. Most of us thought we wouldn’t be competitive until Year 5. He was quicker.

  • calbert40

    🙂

    We should all probably stop feeding it, but I’ve always been a guy who likes to poke at others to see what reaction I get. I’ll try to be better about it!

  • BL

    PU whooped RU by 50. Other top 5 BIG teams are the real deal. Buckle up. Going to be a wild ride.

  • Young Hoosier

    No other coach or program has gone through that. Maybe Baylor. They had some rough stuff happen and have been arguably more successful than we have.

  • Bankshot

    You can’t even define bravado! Bravado yes, false, absolutely not. And if you’re requesting me to come out from behind the keyboard , I will oblige. Simple question, of the 15 teams this great team has defeated, how many will make it to the big dance? I am anxiuosly awaiting you’re insightful answer.

  • Bankshot

    Young hoosier is absolutely right about this team at this stage.

  • Bankshot

    You of all people comparing crean to coach Knight. Dumb jock! I like how you cherry picked to suit you’re point. Baseless drivel! How about making a fair comparison like each coaches years 4 through 7. Knight is a hall of fame legend, crean is an overpaid underachiever! Where would you be without coach Knight. I ‘d say on the back of a garbage truck in Evansville!

  • Bankshot

    Simple, when you are at the bottom there is no where to go but up.

  • Bankshot

    No worries, sweet 16 crean will never win an ncaa title. Bank it!

  • TomJameson

    Calling folks names (ludicrous) aren’t needed to make a point, at least for most people who can communicate with others.

    I was using Rondo as an example and wasn’t really comparing the two as players. Although there are similarities that can be used for comparisons. Ole Man got it, I’m sorry you didn’t.

    As far as Rondo’s “handle”, he got picked a lot also, for dribbling into a crowd under the basket. Go figure. I saw him do that many times, which is one reason I didn’t think he would make it in the NBA. I was wrong because so far, he’s had a great NBA career.

  • Ole Man

    ROFL!

  • calbert40

    hahaha! You are nothing if not entertaining. I should have kept my post shorter and typed it more slowly. Maybe then you would have understood it.

  • calbert40

    I am pretty confident that it is false. The fact that after this comment, you have sought out nearly all of my comments to post with vitriol and zero sense proves it.

    To answer your question, however, ND will make it, and Creighton (3rd in Big East) has a good shot too. You can only play the team across the floor from you, and they have beaten all of those teams. They will have plenty of opportunities to play quality opponents over the next two months. Either they will win when challenged, or they won’t…I think the latter will please you more.

  • calbert40

    I see what you did there.

  • calbert40

    Baylor is a pretty solid comparison. They are probably the only contemporary one at least. Scott Drew didn’t make a tourney until his 5th year at Baylor, compared to Crean making it in his 4th, but very similar paths.

    Scott Drew / Baylor
    1st 3 years: 21-53, .283
    1st 4 years: 36-69, .343
    Since first NCAA berth: 208-94, .689 (9th season, 8 full)
    Conference record, last 8+ years only: 77-64, .546
    Conference Titles: none
    NCAA appearances / years eligible: 5 berths / 8 years – 63 %
    NCAA record: 8-5, .615
    NCAA success: 2 Elite 8 appearances, 1 Sweet 16.

    Tom Crean / IU
    1st 3 years: 28-66, .298
    Since first NCAA berth: 108-48, .692 (5th season, 4 full)
    Conference record, last 4+ years only: 46-31, .597
    Conference Titles: One
    NCAA appearances / years eligible: 3 berths / 4 years – 75 %

    NCAA record: 4-3, .571
    NCAA success: 2 Sweet 16 appearances

    I list all of those things to illustrate that Drew and Baylor haven’t been more successful than IU. Yes, they won one more game in the tourney two years, but on the whole, Crean’s record is better at every other category. I think many times we have a tendency to underappreciate what we have, while over-appreciating what other programs have.

  • Koko

    Yes calbert you need to Take It Easy on the Eagles.

  • calbert40

    Do you know how many active NCAA coaches have won a national title? Only 11. Coach K (5), Williams (2), Pitino (2), Boeheim, L. Brown, Calipari, S. Fisher, Izzo, Ollie, Self, Tubby.

    How many do you think are available to come here, if Crean is fired? Whom do you believe is the next great coach out there who hasn’t won a title who might be willing to come here to replace him? And don’t say Brad Stevens. He makes over $5M a year to coach the Celtics. He isn’t coming here to coach for less.

  • IUMIKE1

    There was also a survey done of all the coaches in his conference. The question was, who is the dirtiest coach and who is the biggest cheater when it comes to recruiting. The runaway winner was the Baylor head coach. The person that done the survey kept the coaches’ answers confidential, some went ahead and made their answer public knowledge. So you might want to use a different example on that one. Oh, and the Calicheat argument doesn’t hold water either. There is some legitimacy to some of what you say, but when you use those kind of points to back it up it loses credibility really quick.

  • IUMIKE1

    Classic case of me needing to read on a little bit further before commenting. lol See my reply to YH just above. Used the same argument, but in a little bit different way.

  • IUMIKE1

    There isn’t any cure for stupid.

  • marcusgresham

    Troy is often physically out of control. Rondo is mentally out of control!

  • marcusgresham

    His shot has improved immensely.

  • calbert40

    I steered away from any off-court stuff, but Drew has a reputation that is less than flattering.

  • IUMIKE1

    There’s nothing wrong with your posting. If a ITH’er is complaining about that then they really are looking for something to nit pick about. As far as fitting into some cliques don’t worry about that, I learned years that you’re better off not fitting into any one clique anyway.

  • IUMIKE1

    I never thought I’d see the day where I was searching for the down vote button for a calbert40 comment. lol Guess it depends on a person’s taste in music.

  • TomJameson

    I think you may be right … but he wasn’t that way fresh out of college. I think his NBA success might have gone to his head. Of course, he may have always thought of himself higher than others did.

  • IUMIKE1

    I totally get what your are saying. Maybe another way to put it would be that even though he is as good of a rebounder as he is right now, he also has the highest ceiling when it comes to who could be a better rebounder. If that makes sense.

  • Bankshot

    Nice google.You and 2.0 have a lot in common! How many championships did coach Knight win before he came to I.U.? You are satisfied with mediocrity. You don’t think there are other young coaches out there who can surpass Crean. I do! I never mentioned Stevens, so don’t make ignorant statements.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Thanks Mike. No one has really complained just a couple sarcastic replies about Grammar and Vocabulary and having to look up words I don’t understand as well as my comparing todays players to yesterdays. It’s all good, just trying to fit in and not cross any lines concerning rules. I am starting to get the feel for who’s who here and that will help me know who might bash me if I post to them. Appreciate the response!

  • Bankshot

    Talk about making no sense. Crean will never win a national championship. Richard Pitino out coached him. Thank god Yogi played his heart out.

  • Bankshot

    Nice google, you remind me of 2.0. You did not have those in your personnel knowledge! How many championships did Knight win before he arrived? Are you really satisfied with mediocrity? I believe there are many young coaches out there who have the potential to be better than Crean., but past history shows that ain’t sayin much!

  • Young Hoosier

    2 Elite 8 appearances and a Sweet 16.. I know we as a fan base would love just one Elite 8 out of a Crean team.

  • calbert40

    haha!! I’ve just never been a fan. I’ll freely admit that I am unfamiliar with their entire catalog, but I find their popular singles to be too pop sounding.

  • calbert40

    Is it a bad thing to look up information in order to increase your knowledge and understanding of a subject? You might want to consider broadening your base of understanding. it could help you with your “personal” knowledge.

    But I like to answer questions asked of me, so here you go…

    1) RMK won zero NCAA titles before he arrived.
    2) I don’t believe we are mediocre, and I have detailed the reasons why. If you disagree, which you obviously do, feel free to show your work as opposed to name-calling and trolling. You’ll find that you will get a lot more respect from other posters, even if we still disagree with your POV, if you do that. My money is on the fact that you want to be known as the ITH message board troll, though.
    3) I’m sure there are some young coaches out there who could be the next great HC. I asked you to give some names. Who are they?

  • calbert40

    I figured you would look at the one line item out of all of those listed where Drew has bested Crean. Don’t forget that Drew has accomplished those feats (four more NCAA tourney wins) in four more years of being the HC at that program. I would bet that if Crean is at IU for four more years, he wins at least 4 more NCAA games.

    Actually, I disagree with your last point, “I know we as a fan base would love just one Elite 8 out of a Crean team.” That wouldn’t be enough for you. You mentioned earlier that you wouldn’t be happy with a national title! So many people have made up their minds on Crean that any measure of success will not be acceptable. If back to back Sweet 16 appearances isn’t good enough, would it be THAT much better, if he had beaten Syracuse only to lose our next game? I don’t buy that for one minute.

  • calbert40

    Just because it makes no sense to you doesn’t mean it makes no sense to those willing to read all of it.

  • calbert40

    Wash, rinse and repeat isn’t just good instructions on how to wash your hair. Evidently, it also applies to your commenting patterns. Do you know the definition of ignorant? Be sure not to look it up, now.

    I mentioned Stevens, because he is who the majority of posters who are salivating at the prospect of Crean’s dismissal always point to as the heir apparent for the program. For the record, I think Stevens is fantastic, but he isn’t a realistic option.

  • Young Hoosier

    If Crean would have already made 2 Elite 8’s and Sweet 16 we wouldn’t be ready to get rid of him. Instead we have 2 Sweet 16’s and a first round exit. No matter how you spin it. Crean hasn’t been good enough.

  • calbert40

    What you are neglecting to acknowledge is that Drew didn’t get his team to an Elite 8 until his 7th season at the helm in Baylor. That corresponds to last season for Crean at IU. This fan base has not given Crean that kind of patience. By Year 7 at IU, Crean had won our first B1G outright title in 20 years, had been to the Sweet 16 twice and the tourney three times, and rebuilt the program quicker than Drew did, but many fans were still ready to fire him.

    You brought up Drew and Baylor as an example of what IU and Crean had to experience. I’m simply pointing out that Crean has been better than Drew and was better quicker too.

  • Young Hoosier

    He’s not going to get that kind of patience. Not at Indiana. Patience is cut in half compared to Baylor. Indiana basketball is a completely different monster. Baylor does it in 8 years then you better do it in 4. That is the reality. You can say it isn’t fair bit that is life. Crean understands that.

  • Bankshot

    You can call me names if that makes you feel better. Google knowledge is artificial knowledge, at least that is the opinion of Stephen Hawking. Since basketball is the ONLY thing you have done in your entire life, your personal knowledge sure is limited. I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with the sheep, lemmings and kool aid drinkers. I have a degree in Lasers and electro-optics and have been working in the field for 35 years. You can’t define the word Laser without google. All the best to you and your family in the new year!

  • calbert40

    I know you might not believe me when I say this, but I like you.

    1) I never called you a name. I said you were “trolling,” and that instead of trying to be considered a respectful poster, “my money is on the fact that you want to be known as the ITH message board troll.” One is an activity, the other is your choice. I would love for you to prove me wrong.

    2) I didn’t google anything. I went to a website that I frequent for basketball information and sought it out. I would disagree with Hawking, though. Is it “artificial knowledge” to go to a dictionary or thesaurus when reading a book and coming across a word with which you are unfamiliar? It is the same principle.

    3) This may come as a shock, but I am not the Real Calbert. I am 5’10” and played HS bball, but I’ve certainly done much more in my lifetime than play bball. It wasn’t even my best sport, in fact!

    4) Disagreement is cool with me. I hold minority opinions on quite a number of positions on this board. Some of the other posters and I have mixed it up frequently over the years, yet remain respectful towards each other. Feel free to disagree with me at any time. I really enjoy discussing IU basketball with other knowledgeable fans here…even when we see things completely differently.

    5) Thanks. All the best to you as well.

  • calbert40

    I was expecting this line of reasoning, and you are right. IU is not Baylor.

    That said, Crean DID turn IU around in four years! In fact, we experienced two of the best seasons in the past two decades in back to back years. Expectations were through the roof for all of us…then we lost to Syracuse, and Crean lost a ton of the capital he had built up with most of the fan base. Then we followed up that disappointing loss (not season…loss) with a lousy, 17-15 season, and the howling got louder. Then we started having off-court discipline issues, the team was undisciplined on the court too. We won quite a few games we shouldn’t have, even during those periods, but then we lost games we shouldn’t have too. We made the tourney by the skin of our teeth, but lost in the 1st round, and most of the fan base was ready for a change. TBH…I was about ready to join them too.

    The problem is that Crean experienced success earlier than most of us realistically expected. Then, after raising expectations, he couldn’t build upon the success. His weaknesses as a coach became magnified and his strengths diminished in the eyes of many.

    I believed that this season was his final season to show he was the man for the job, and so far, after a rocky start, he is doing his best coaching job since Zeller’s freshman year. I understand that the season isn’t over yet. We could lose 7 of our last 10, earn a #9 seed and lose in the 1st round again. However, I think we should acknowledge that he has done a great job so far this year. I think it is okay to be critical of him…he’s given us plenty of opportunity to be critical! I also think, to be fair, we need to applaud him when he is successful, and right now, he’s got this team clicking on all cylinders.

  • Bankshot

    I am glad we can find common ground. I get your points and I believe we desire the same thing. I.U. basketball to get back to the pinnacle. Heck , I would be happy with a final four. This is my last comment as I don’t want to be thought of as a troll, just a guy that doesn’t follow the majority opinion. Good luck!

  • Young Hoosier

    He did turn it around. And turned it back around. With two years that were more embarrassing than his first 3.

  • calbert40

    Back at you, bank! Sorry if I jumped the shark on labeling you. Mea culpa. I’ve been commenting on this site for a long time, and I’ve seen lots of commenters come and go, but when they jump out of the gate as strongly as you, frequently they are non-IU fans who are trying to get a rise out of people. Typically, the way to handle that situation is come back at them and see how they respond.

    Even if we disagree on many items, glad to have your input around here. Look forward to arguing with you in the future 🙂