Big Ten Power Rankings: February 1

  • 02/01/2016 10:37 am in

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

14. Rutgers (6-16, 0-9, .90 points per possession, 1.25 points per possession allowed) … Rutgers only lost to Michigan by 11 last week, so that’s a positive right?

13. Minnesota (6-16, 0-10, .94 points per possession, 1.11 points per possession allowed) … The Golden Gophers last five losses have each been by seven points or less, so there’s an argument to made that this group is improving. But there’s simply not enough talent and too much youth for Minnesota to win right now.

12. Illinois (10-12, 2-7, .96 points per possession, 1.08 points per possession allowed) … Illinois is another team that is a threat to pull off an upset, but isn’t winning much otherwise. Purdue is the lone good win Illinois has, but John Groce should get a win this week at Rutgers. The Illini will then host Iowa on Saturday.

11. Penn State (11-11, 2-7, .97 points per possession, 1.12 points per possession allowed) … Penn State came back to make its game against Michigan at Madison Square Garden look close, but it really wasn’t. The Nittany Lions, losers of three straight, will have a tough week ahead as they travel to Iowa before hosting Indiana.

10. Northwestern (15-8, 3-7, .97 points per possession, 1.08 points per possession allowed) … Five straight losses means that Northwestern’s chances to make the big dance are pretty much gone, but that doesn’t mean the Wildcats don’t have a shot at the NIT. Northwestern whiffed on all four of its recent games against ranked opponents, and finally gets a bottom-feeder when it plays host to Minnesota this week.

9. Nebraska (12-10, 4-5, 1.13 points per possession, 1.11 points per possession allowed) … Nebraska followed up its win over Michigan State with double-digit losses to Michigan and Purdue. Andrew White is doing everything for the Cornhuskers, averaging 17 points and six rebounds a game. Home dates with Maryland and Rutgers await the Huskers this week.

8. Ohio State (14-9, 6-4, .99 points per possession, .99 points per possession allowed) … An absolutely huge game against Wisconsin awaits the Buckeyes this week. For either team to be able to cling to any NCAA tournament hopes, it is a must win. Ohio State will have the disadvantage of having to go to the Kohl Center, a tough place to place as Indiana found out.

7. Wisconsin (13-9, 5-4, 1.04 points per possession, 1 point per possession allowed) … The Badgers are on fire. They’ve won four straight, including wins over Indiana and Michigan State. And the next two games are also winnable: Ohio State and Nebraska, both at home. All of a sudden Wisconsin has started to give its fans hope that with continued success, the Big Ten could get a seventh bid to the dance. That’s how big its win over IU was. Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes are matchup nightmares for most teams, and Greg Gard has become more comfortable with his new role as head coach. The Badgers are a team to keep an eye on.

6. Purdue (19-4, 7-3, 1.13 points per possession, 1 point per possession allowed) … When Purdue is the sixth best team through five weeks, you know the top of the league is strong. The Boilermakers did exactly what they needed to this past week, getting wins against Minnesota and Nebraska. Now, they will travel to Maryland to attempt to knock off the Terrapins. It’s the start of an important three-game stretch, as after Maryland, Purdue will face Michigan State and Michigan.

5. Michigan (17-5, 7-2, 1.13 points per possession, 1.06 points per possession allowed) … John Beilein has done an incredible job with this team, which is still playing without Caris LeVert. There’s a possibility LeVert comes back this week, and if he does: watch out. Derrick Walton is one of the better point guards in the conference, and will get an opportunity to duke it out with Yogi Ferrell on Tuesday.

4. Michigan State (19-4, 6-4, 1.14 points per possession, .99 points per possession allowed) … Yeah, the Spartans are fine. They beat Maryland to break out of their losing streak and promptly dismantled Northwestern and Rutgers by a combined 65 points. They could be the best team in the Big Ten, but those four losses are going to make it difficult for the Spartans to win the league. The next three games for Tom Izzo’s squad: Michigan, Purdue and Indiana.

3. Indiana (18-4, 8-1, 1.14 points per possession, .95 points per possession allowed) … The Hoosiers had their winning streak snapped on the road in Wisconsin. While the Badgers aren’t as good as years past, it was not a bad loss. Just ask Michigan State. The team’s schedule has them in a position to stay in the conference title race for the rest of the season, and we will start to learn more about IU when it goes to Ann Arbor for its toughest test of Big Ten play to date.

2. Maryland (19-3, 8-2, 1.08 points per possession, .96 points per possession allowed) … Maryland got its biggest win of the season against Iowa, but having two losses in conference keeps them at two in these rankings. I’d even be fine with saying 1a and 1b. Unfortunately for fans, the two teams won’t meet again in the regular season. Nebraska and Purdue are on the slate for the Terrapins this week.

1. Iowa (18-4, 8-1, 1.15 points per possession, 1 point per possession allowed) … There’s just something I like about this Iowa team. Jared Uthoff is a star, averaging over 18 points a game and Peter Jok has come on strong as well. Following its road loss to Maryland, the Hawkeyes took care of Northwestern and will now take on Penn State and Illinois before a showdown against Indiana at Assembly Hall. Depending on how IU fares over its next two, that game could have major implications in the race for the Big Ten title.

Filed to:

  • Someone posted NZ’s numbers in the B1G, and they’re pretty bad. I don’t think he should be looked at right now as a three-point specialist to replace JBJ’s shooting. Rather, spread the ball around to a number of good-not-great shooters who bring better defense on the other end rather than rely on NZ to bring any serious offense right now.

  • BL

    YTD and BIG 3-Point %’s:

    NZ – 39% & 26%
    OG – 47% & 50%
    JM – 33% & 50%
    RB – 67% & 100%
    HN – 50% & 50%

    JM, RB and HN don’t have enough attempts for their %’s to be meaningful. Notwithstanding, I’m all for sitting NZ for awhile. He’s had his opportunity and frankly, OG/JM/RB/HN bring many other skills to the table (e.g. D and rebounding).

    Personally, I’d start OG so I don’t see him as a replacement for NZ. If OG started, NZ’s minutes would automatically diminish because CH, TW or RJ would be first off the bench. Even so, I’d love to see what JM/RB/HN could do with NZ’s remaining minutes.

  • BL

    Guessing TW will be matched up against Irvin. He’s athletic but not sure how strong he is defensively. Rim protection is definitely not their strength. Either way, I hope TC has a short leash for TW if he begins playing recklessly.

  • BL

    Great team; great memory. Or OG.

  • BL

    NZ’s shooting 26% from three in BIG games. Not saying he couldn’t improve but I wholeheartedly agree with your recommendation.

  • Ole Man

    But they will have the refs.

  • Eljay

    Yep, as with Zeisloft and OG as well. Wouldn’t give them or Max up for anything now, but when they were brought on there was a fair amount of second-guessing CTC’s decision.

  • Koko

    I didn’t say they were a threat. I said they can shoot threes.
    All four of them have made threes in various games this year.
    Come to think of it if they can make threes in game time situations
    then maybe they are a threat.

  • Personally Arch, I don’t care what you think… I think the guys who put together the article have it right. Seriously, I’d rather live in my dream world, until we upset MSU and then I c n get on here and say, “I told ya so”…lol…

  • Product on the Floor huh? I saw them lose to Nebraska.. Didn’t look like that product was so great. Looked worse than we looked against Minnesota. And, in fact, they didn’t play that well against Maryland either for that matter. Maryland could’ve easily won that game if they’d have been able to buy a three point field goal.

  • I don’t necessarily have PU ahead of us. There have been games when they looked very good, but they’ve had quite a few ‘clinkers’ as well.. I think we play our best, we could beat them, maybe not in Lafayette, but at a neutral site or in B’ton.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    You were great on Saturday! Long day.

  • vicbert caladipo

    My take on the power rankings…..
    1. Minn is the best 0-10 team in any conference
    2. UW has gotten pretty lucky playing middle of the road teams and will drop and not make the NCAA tourney.
    3. MSU seems to have figured things out, but will not win the conference.
    4. Maryland I heard this weekends best win before Iowa was RPI 57 and seems to be just getting by….people rip us for beating nobody and they’re #4 in the country with basically the same record as us. Team full of superstars IMO not really playing any better than any of the top 5 in the conference.
    5. Iowa is still the best despite a close road loss to the team of superstars
    6. UM and IU are pretty interchangeable. Some separation will occur around 10:15CST Tues.
    7. OSU is too young and Matta has yet to get thru to them
    8. NW wishes they could just play their non-conference schedule over again
    9. The sewer cretins from Lafayette still scare me and will have something to say about who wins the conference
    10. GO IU

  • vicbert caladipo

    I’d like to know the names of the people who were mad. Who did we lose to get Max? Nothing!! In fact don’t we have an extra scholly? This guy has done nothing but show class, work hard and help where he can. Some of you get mad when people diss a player, but to diss a guy who hasn’t even played who was booted from his chosen team…pathetic hatred in my opinion.

  • ForeverIU

    I was looking closely at UM and IU. They are not as interchangeable as you might think. It’s significant that UM has four players averaging over 30 minutes a game. I haven’t seen the team play, but it strikes me that when you have four players putting in this many minutes, that you are lacking depth (in part because of missing LeVert), and I’m guessing this also tends to make them play slower. I’m guessing we have more depth and could thus play faster. We should exploit the advantage. But if playing fast means Yogi spinning his wheels like he did at Wisconsin, then forget about winning. I’m predicting a loss because we depend disproportionately on Yogi, and Beilein will find a way to contain him. Having said that, I would like nothing more than to enjoy a late dinner of crow tomorrow night. Go Hoosiers!

  • BL

    Is LeVert playing?

  • BL

    Hate to share bad news regarding your beloved Badgers but I’m afraid they may make the NCAA tourney. Saw the Illinois game. They just play fundamentally sound and their three freshman (Happ, Hill and Iverson) are really picking it up. Based on their style of play they’ll be in most every game. Looking at their schedule, guessing they’ll go 5-4 through the remainder of the BIG season. They’ve already moved up to 53 in Pomeroy’s ranking.

  • vicbert caladipo

    They have 9 losses. Look at their schedule and tell me they don’t have at least 4 more if you count the definite loss in the bigten tourney who hoosier #34 thinks will be us. That’s minimum 13 losses….IMO 14 losses….you really think 14 losses will get them in….the only decent team they beat was us and they had help from the refs. The only way you are possibly right is if they take down at least 2 powerhouses. I know you are the man on these threads, but I am very confident on my prediction. BTW I have looked at all the contenders remaining games….so I didn’t just throw that out their cuz they are my beloved badgers

  • BL

    They also beat VC (Pom 28), Syracuse (Pom 35) and MSU (Pom 6) and the Committee pays more attention to 2nd half of the season; they are playing better. I said 5-4 from here so I agree they’ll probably have four more losses. Will 18-13 (currently 13-9) get it? Probably, if they have one more good win. Hey, I’m pulling for you. Just saying.

  • Koko

    And if I’m Indiana I’d take those 10 open threes for JM. I would guess he would make at least 3. That’s nine points you are willing to give up just to prove JM can’t hit a three? Makes no sense……the kid can hit threes.

  • pointing out Morgan doesn’t negate the fact that all the others are very much a threat from outside

  • Outoftheloop

    Yogi 30 min, Thomas 27, Robert 27, Troy 27, OG 27, Juwan 19, Collin 19, Max 17, Nick 7, for 200 min! But can I U really play 10 min without Yogi on the floor? I don’t think so!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    ME be right!!!!!!!! VicBERT enjoy tomorrow and we will catch up after the Michigan game. Take care buddy.

  • Young Hoosier

    Well you could be right about #1… then or Delaware. The B1G I’d also the only conference in the nation with 2 teams who haven’t won a conference game.

  • That was the single biggest disappointment I took away from the Minnesota game.. I didn’t think Yogi would come up with a ‘clinker’ like that.

  • Outoftheloop

    And watch him hit 5 for 15 points (1.5 pt’s/possession)!

  • CreamandCrimson

    You are mostly correct about that…Iowa certainly gave them all kinds of problems with a zone press during their matchup in West Lafayette (they used it sparingly in Iowa City) and Illinois used it some to knock them off in Champaign. However, Butler didn’t beat them that way. Butler beat them up on the glass and did a masterful job of denying entry passes. They fronted the Purdue big with either Wideman or Andrew Chrabascz and then brought a guard or forward along the baseline to act as the second defender…Purdue never figured it out (it certainly didn’t hurt that AJ Hammons was mostly invisible during that game, something that likely won’t occur against us).

    Anyway, I’m not near as confident as most in our chances against the Boilers but a press/semi-press isn’t the only way to knock them off.

  • Ole Man

    Everyone will see the tape of what MN did to our guards and attack accordingly. IF IU responds by attempting to close them off, they pass to the big men and “layup city”.
    While you are correct about Butler, that seems to be an anomaly this year.
    Disrupting their guards early and not allowing them to get comfortable seems to be the ticket.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I think Butler’s success with that game plan had more to do with Hammons being half-asleep for much of the game than it did anything else and he always seems engaged against us. I just thought it was worth mentioning because they are one of only three teams to knock off the Boilers and they didn’t use any aggressive pressure on the guards.

    Bottom line, the weakness and Achilles heel of that team is going to be their guard play (you just won’t be winning anything of major significance in the tournament without a good point guard), no question about that. Can IU exploit that? The way Johnson and Zeisloft are currently playing…well, glad we aren’t playing them right now!

  • BL

    Hard to peg minutes knowing TC likes to keep up the pace and go deep into his bench. 28 to 32 minutes seems about right for his truly key players – for me that’s YF, TB, OG. YF definitely 32. Also, I would consider sitting NZ and using HN and RB as necessary.

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    Because Troy’s mother ain’t havin none of that!

  • Koko

    Actually I hope he does play. He’s been away so long he might disrupt their offense.

  • Ole Man

    Well said; particularly your last sentence.