Big Ten Power Rankings: February 15

  • 02/15/2016 8:48 am in

The Inside the Hall Big Ten Power Rankings are back following the seventh week of conference play and as we move down the stretch, teams are fighting for Big Ten tournament and NCAA tournament seeding position as well as the league crown. Here’s a look at where each team stands after the seventh week of Big Ten play (Note: Points per possession numbers in parenthesis are for conference games only):

14. Rutgers (6-19, 0-12, .91 points per possession, 1.22 points per possession allowed) … Rutgers plays Illinois, Penn State and Minnesota in its next three games, so we’ll soon have just one winless team in league play.

13. Minnesota (6-19, 0-13, .96 points per possession, 1.13 points per possession allowed) … The Golden Gophers kept it close for a while against Iowa in Iowa City, but couldn’t pull off the upset. Minnesota has been a major disappointment in year three of the Richard Pitino era.

12. Illinois (11-14, 3-9, .97 points per possession. 1.07 points per possession allowed) … Illinois lost the battle of the state to Northwestern, but luckily for the Illini, they get Rutgers this week in Champaign.

11. Penn State (12-13, 3-9, .95 points per possession, 1.10 points per possession allowed) … Penn State followed up its big win over Indiana by falling to Nebraska on the road. Averaging 64.9 points a game isn’t going to get it done most nights.

10. Nebraska (14-12, 6-7, 1.11 points per possession, 1.08 points per possession allowed) … Andrew White has been red-hot and led the way in Nebraska’s win against Penn State. The Cornhuskers just have that treading water feel, not terrible, but will be more dangerous when Shavon Shields returns.

9. Northwestern (17-9, 5-8, 1 point per possession, 1.06 points per possession allowed) … Northwestern remains solidly in the mix for an NIT bid and the Wildcats will have a big opportunity this week at Purdue to grab a statement win.

8. Ohio State (16-10, 8-5, 1.02 points per possession, 1.01 points per possession allowed) … Talk about a team that is truly stuck in the middle of the conference. Ohio State is picking up wins against the bottom of the league, but hasn’t been able to anything against anyone near the top. It will have several chances though, with Michigan, Iowa and Michigan State (twice) all left on the slate.

7. Purdue (20-6, 8-5, 1.09 points per possession, 1.01 points per possession allowed) … As it stands right now, I think the Big Ten gets seven teams in the NCAA tournament. Purdue falls to seventh in these rankings mostly because of what other teams did this past week, and that it lost to Michigan – the other team I was considering in this spot.

6. Michigan (19-7, 9-4, 1.11 points per possession, 1.07 points per possession allowed) … The Wolverines picked up two huge victories – a win over Purdue, and getting Caris LeVert back on the court. And well sure, they beat Minnesota too. But Michigan is a completely different team when LeVert is able to play and he’ll be getting into game shape at just the right time. It’s a big week for the Wolverines as they travel to Ohio State on Tuesday and Maryland on Saturday.

5. Wisconsin (16-9, 8-4, 1.08 points per possession, 1 point per possession allowed) … Wisconsin stretched its winning streak to seven games after doing what no team has been able to do – beat Maryland on the road. The Badgers are hot, and there’s not a team in the league that would like to play them right now. A tough game is on the horizon this week as Wisconsin travels to Michigan State on Thursday.

4. Indiana (20-6, 10-3, 1.13 points per possession, 1 point per possession allowed) … Indiana did what it needed to do this week to stay in control of its Big Ten title hopes. Winning in East Lansing is a difficult task and the win over Iowa was much more important in terms of the standings. IU must continue to win at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers look like a decent bet to reenter the polls this afternoon.

3. Maryland (22-4, 10-3, 1.06 points per possession, .96 points per possession allowed) … Maryland played Bowie State and Wisconsin this week both at home and split, which is not what the Terps were looking for. Maryland’s Big Ten title hopes will likely come down to being able to win games at Purdue and Indiana along with hoping Iowa loses again.

2. Michigan State (21-5, 8-5, 1.16 points per possession, 1 point per possession allowed) … Michigan State is just an all-around impressive team. Denzel Valentine might be the best player in the entire country and had he not gotten hurt, MSU might not have more than three losses and still be No. 1. There’s a good chance the Spartans win out in the regular season and well, you already know this group is a Final Four contender.

1. Iowa (20-5, 11-2, 1.14 points per possession, 1 point per possession allowed) … The Hawkeyes couldn’t get it done at Assembly Hall, but then again, nobody has this year. It’s tough to hold that loss against them too much. Iowa will get another shot at IU on March 1 and you can bet that the Hawkeyes will be looking to avenge their disappointing performance in Bloomington.

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  • Bankshot

    Didn’t know he passed, God bless his family. You can’t be a Psychologist from google.

  • Bankshot

    3 is 50 %! You did post a book, that was copied and pasted from google. Not one single bit of info from your own knowledge. When I.U. beat the Badgers, they were reeling. They have recently put themselves on the bubble. I.U. .500 the rest of the way. One and done in the tournament. Write it down 40 so you can remember. What about the majority of wins against teams that won’t make the tournament. Cheery picking again!

  • Bankshot

    No 40, I am speaking about Brand criticizing the money in athletics and especially his jealousy of coach Knight. Brand had no allegiance to I.U. as he took a job with the NCAA for more money. What a hypocrite!

  • BL

    The reference to McGinnis and Bellamy had nothing to do with Branch. I was simply pointing out the talent that came to IU pre-RMK because of the already established tradition at IU. Also, your wrong about ’53, IU won the Big Ten championship in ’53 and ’54. The year you’re referring to was 1940. Also, they only played 3 NCAA games because the field was limited to the 16 best; no chance for a good team to get knocked off by a cupcake thereby making the final 16 less imposing.

  • Bankshot

    2 players over 20 years. no ncaa championships from 53 to 76. Six games are much more difficult to win than 3. You cannot name another player that Knigkt inherited without google.

  • BL

    I haven’t named the two outstanding players Knight inherited in 1971 (Steve Downing and Joby Wright). Yes, regarding NCAA championships, IU went through a dry spell from ’53 to ’76, similar to the one we’re in now that began with RMK getting blanked for 14 years or thereabouts. Like RMK’s dry spell, there were many wonderful players beyond Bellamy and McGinnis (Van Arsdales, Rayl, etc.).

    No reason to discuss this further. If you believe IU’s great b-ball tradition began with RMK, that’s your prerogative but you’re sorely mistaken. RMK did help build upon it and deserves every bit of his HOF status.

  • Bankshot

    You do not determine when the discussion ends sir. I have great regard for Branch. And I am very familiar with the Van Arsdale twins, Jimmy Rayl, Lou Watson, and my favorite, the kid from Terre Haute , Slick Leonard. You seem to want to disparage coach Knight. He put I.U. basketball on the national map. Not to mention all the great contributions he made to the University. The first one that comes to mind is saving the library due to his fund raising efforts. The second, his setting up a trust fund for Landon Turner after his tragedy. Not only a great coach, but a great man! He without sin can cast the first stone.

  • calbert40

    1) I didn’t copy and paste anything, 2) I did know quite a bit of that without looking up anything, 3) I have NEVER understood why you think looking up information is a BAD thing! That’s just insane. You may want to try it some time and expand your knowledge base.

    Equally, I can’t decide if it is funny or just sad that you think me posting stats for the past three decades is “cherry picking.” What I did was the exact opposite of cherry picking. You are the one cherry picking. I don’t know why you seem so certain of our upcoming failure, and why that seems to excite and embolden you.

    Also, I defy you to find a single team in the NCAA who does NOT have the majority of their wins coming against non-NCAA tourney teams. Everyone talks about how difficult MSU’s schedule is, and as of today, 6 of their 21 victories have come against teams likely to make the field. Yes…I looked it up.

  • calbert40

    Why would Crean be able to take Marquette to the Final Four, but be incapable of repeating that feat at IU?

    And, seriously, this “google” stuff is making you look incredibly foolish.

  • calbert40

    I don’t need to look it up. I also don’t need to look it up to know that RMK took over a program in MUCH better standing than Crean did. Contrary to the belief of some, RMK didn’t build IU’s basketball program out of the dust of the earth. They were already good when he took over the program.

    Crean, however, took over a team whose best returning player was Kyle Taber, because his predecessor cheated, allowed his players to skip classes and do drugs. Crean had to completely clean house…and he was left with Kyle Taber. This is a fact that is frequently forgotten by folks like yourself.

    Talk about apples to oranges comparisons! And since it seems to matter to you, I didn’t look up any information or post any stats for this post.

  • calbert40

    What? He passed away years ago. Who is a psychologist from google? You don’t make any sense at all.

  • calbert40

    I disagreed with Brand’s decision to fire RMK; however, I have never quite understood the continuation of hatred aimed towards him, especially after his death.

    RE: being a hypocrite – EVERYONE wants to make more money. Taking a job that pays you more money isn’t being a hypocrite. He left a job as president of a single university to become the president of the largest amateur athletic organization in the US. He took a step up, and with it came more money. I don’t fault him for that at all. In fact, I applaud him for it.

  • Bankshot

    You display no personal knowledge, just what you regurgitate from your websites to fit your narrow narrative. Creans track record at I.U. is indicative of his ceiling. When the debate is lost, slander is the last resort!!! Socrates

  • Koko

    I ment his personal PR. He indeed hurt himself which in my view did cause bad PR for the school in some respect. He was and is loyal to his players and other friends/family in life but if you cross him (from his point of view) that is it no matter what. That to me is bad PR for a guy in his position. I think his unwillingness to return to IU is a personal decision that does hold into consideration his former players or the IU fanbase that would love to see him at AH once again. It is all about him. Yes the firing was messy and both sides had responsibility in that situation. But the administration (Brand) didn’t just base his firing on a knee jerk reaction. RMK’s attitude towards the administration and the administrations toward him had been brewing for many years before the blowup. Things occurring between them I’m sure we will never know.

  • IUMIKE1

    I think that hog resides on the same farm that has that blind squirrel that found a nut. lol

  • calbert40

    The only person slandering anyone is you. I said your incessant “Google” remarks are making you look foolish. That’s not slander.

    Could you explain how listing winning percentages, titles won, and NCAA berths from the past 30 years is “regurgitating” information to fit my “narrow narrative?”

    All I posted are facts. No narrative. Just the facts. My opinion is shaped by the facts that those statistics display. You disagree with me, which I am completely fine with; however, you fail to counter any factual claim I post with any of your own. You simply say that I am dumb and only get all my info from “Google.”

    Then you say I am slandering you.

  • Bankshot

    I did not call you dumb! calling someone foolish is slander! You cherry pick knights last fIve years and compare them to crean last 5 and Knight still has a higher winning percentage. Nothing you posted is your own knowledge, just googles.Thats why it gets under your skin! If you want to make a fair comparison, compare Knights first seven years to creans. you can even eliminate creans first two years and make the compasrison. All you have to do is go to your knowledge source. The fact is crean has NEVER gotten the hoosiers past the sweet 16, and in my opinion never will due to his past history in B’town

  • Bankshot

    Of course you looked it up.you didn’t know any of it without google! and you know it! your statistics are just drivel. we will see at seasons end if I am correct, and I expect you to note it when the time comes to pass.
    Insane? when the debate is lost, slander is the last resort. Socrates. I looked this up many years ago but have kept it in my knowledge base. You might try it somtime!

  • calbert40

    “I looked this up many years ago, but have kept it in my knowledge base.”

    So, you looked it up at one point in time? So, when is it okay to look something up, and when is it not okay? I really need to know, so I can make certain not to post any more fact-based and non-biased “drivel.”

    Here is a quote I “looked up many years ago, but have kept it in my knowledge base:”

    Your ranting is “full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”

  • BL

    I wasn’t trying to dictate when the conversation ends it was just obvious to me that we have a different perspective regarding RMK and Indiana basketball, and frankly, that’s no big deal. You believe, as you say, Knight put I.U. basketball on the national map. I believe that is the furthest thing from the truth. I have spoken to people that witnessed IU playing preseason exhibition games on the west coast in the ’50s to sold out arenas because that part of the country couldn’t get enough of the Hurryin Hoosiers and their brand of ball. Hell, the state of Indiana was famous for it’s basketball long before RMK arrived. As I already said, RMK is a HOF coach and thankfully, he very much helped strengthen our position as an elite basketball school. Disagreeing with you regarding IU’s rich basketball tradition prior to the arrival of RMK is not akin to “throwing stones”.

  • calbert40

    OM, I think RMK was a great coach with one big, glaring negative surrounding him. He had a knack for getting the program and the university some negative publicity. I think he liked it, honestly. I don’t think it overshadows his accomplishments, but it does put a cloud over his reputation.

    Off the top of my head, because I’ve been told I can’t research and post my findings, because it means I am stupid by another poster, here are some of the things that he brought on the school and program that were not good.

    * Punching a policeman in Puerto Rico
    * Taking the team off the court during an exhibition game
    * Putting his hands on players in tough to defend manners (Reid, Wilkerson, his son, etc)
    * Bringing a whip to a press conference and acting as though he used it, because it was “the best motivational tool ever.”
    * Throwing a chair across the arena (though it was funny)
    * Berated and allegedly assaulted Ron Felling
    * Allegedly made a racist remark to a diner at a restaurant, and when confronted by the man, RMK choked him

    We could go on about his relationships with officials and coaches and the NCAA too. Look, I’m not RMK “hater,” but if a coach like RMK had been at another school, we wouldn’t have thought nice things about him. We looked past all of it, because he won with great regularity. I don’t think his legacy is awful, but rather his amazing legacy as a coach is tarnished by his inability to control his temper.

  • Bankshot

    The Socrates quote from 1977 is what I studied and remembered. Philosophy class at I.U. The basketball knowledge is all from 45 years of first hand experience! your statistics book proved nothing except you are good at pulling up google. what was the point? to try and justify Crean. you sir have a limited knowledge base and you have no concept of what a mans fury can be! you can’t handle the truth

  • calbert40

    Trying to reason with him is an exercise in futility. Unless you agree completely with him, you are wrong, and he will argue with you ad infinitum. And along the way he will tell you that anything that you may have looked up to further your point is evidence that you don’t know what you are are talking about. Post stats that don’t back up his narrative, such as the fact that IU won two national titles before RMK came to IU, and he will claim it doesn’t matter due to some arbitrary reason (you only had to win 3 games back then), and simply reiterate the original point. Exhausting.

  • Bankshot

    Cool, Indiana has a great basketball tradition. I still believe Knight took it to another level. High school basketball is another example of Indiana’s rich and unrivaled basketball tradition. The hurryin hoosiers did change the basketball landscape!

  • Bankshot

    TRUCE, I RAISE THE WHITE FLAG

  • calbert40

    I’ve never questioned your basketball knowledge, Bank. I’ve disagreed with your opinions regarding that knowledge. There’s a difference. I especially disagree with your view of statistics and “googling” items. How do you expect a younger person like me (born in ’78, so not too young) to know about things that happened before I was born without looking it up? Actually, I know a lot of what I post, but I am a real stickler for accuracy. Before I post something, I like to make sure what I post is accurate, so I’m really double-checking my facts.

    I am not trying to justify Crean’s time at IU. I simply believe that many people either don’t give him enough credit for the job he has done at IU, or they think erroneously act as though Crean sunk our program, which he hasn’t. So, the positions I frequently take may appear as though I am defending him, and I guess in that regard I am, but it isn’t as though I don’t have my issues with him. My eyes nearly bugged out of my head when he let Bryant play with 2 fouls against Iowa when we were ahead by 10 points in the 1H. When he grabbed his 3rd foul in the 1H, I wanted to punch a hole in my chair (I didn’t, though!).

    I’ll accept your truce. I will do my part to be more respectful to you, and all I ask is the same from you. Deal? We are both passionate and knowledgeable IU basketball fans. We disagree on a few things, and that’s more than okay, but we have a lot more in common than otherwise. Feel free to call me out, if you disagree with me, though. No need to pussyfoot around the issues! And you can still call me Google. You’re wrong, but I’ve been called worse!

  • Bankshot

    40 WHY DO YOU THINK YOU CAN SPEAK FOR EVERYONE?it is hypocritical when you criticize others for the money that was being made by the athletic department. By the way, which supported many other sports at I.U. Lastly, not all people want more money. It is the golden calf after all and it won’t get you into heaven and sure won’t keep you out of hell!

  • Bankshot

    40 I HAVE TO GIVE YOU CREDIT. THE 92-93 TEAM WAS AFAVORITE OF MINE. GREG AND PAT GRAHM, DAMON , ALAN AND OF COURSE THE UNSTOPPABLE CALBERT. YOUR ESTIMATE THAT THEY WERE A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM IS SOMETHING I AGREE WITH WHOLE HEARTEDLY. THE WHIP WAS GIVEN TO BOB BY CALBERT AND THE TEAM AS A JOKE

  • Bankshot

    TRUCE MAN. You put up a hell of an argument. That to me, shows an intense passion, which I respect. You’re also not a quitter. You hang tough no matter the onslaught!

  • calbert40

    Agree with you there, Bank. The true tradition of Indiana basketball is at the HS level. It isn’t the same with class sports, but it is still pretty amazing compared to other states. Tons of passion. Hoosiers know their basketball.

  • calbert40

    I’m not speaking for everyone, but I’d say that the vast majority of people would like to have more money. Money isn’t evil in and of itself. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil. A rich man can have tons of money, but not love it, whereas a poor person can have little, yet love it all the same.

  • calbert40

    Those early 90s teams were my favorites too. Amazing talent. It is unbelievable that they didn’t hang Banner #6. I think a very underrated trait of RMK’s was his ability to build a roster where the players complimented one another. Crean is a very good recruiter, but sometimes I feel as though he goes after talent and worries about how it will mesh later.

    Just look at those teams! You had great shooters in Calbert, Damon, Pat, even Leary. Then you had great post players in Henderson and Anderson. You had Nover who was a rebounding and defensive machine. Greg Graham was the athletic slasher who could stop your best perimeter player defensively. And then you had Reynolds and Meeks at the point, who often were overshadowed, but they were the epitome of a “true” PG – pass first, good D, coach on the floor, low TOs, cool as cucumbers, etc.

    RMK knew how to build rosters.

  • BL

    This thread is too long to know where to jump in so I’m doing it here. The Crean conversation wears me out but I couldn’t help myself.

    I believe the data included below to be accurate but I can’t be certain because I would be discredited if I verified such using what is probably the greatest invention in the last 20 years – Google.

    1. RMK coached for 27 years at IU. In his first 15 years he won three NCAA championships or one championship every 5 years. In his final 12 years he won none.
    2 Like RMK, most HOF college coaches experience ups and downs in their careers because for example, successful recruiting is so important, the competitive landscape changes, and most importantly, winning depends heavily on execution by kids.
    3. Some HOF coaches have the most success early in their careers (e.g. RMK). Some coaches like Wooden and Calhoun have big success late in their careers. I know Wooden won his 10 NCAA championships very late in maybe a 25 year career. I believe Calhoun began coaching UConn in the mid 80’s but didn’t win the first of his three NCAA championships until somewhere around the year 2000.
    4. RMK is easily a top 15 coach all time, even if you throw out longevity as a consideration. Accordingly, comparing Crean or any other coach we might hire to RMK is foolishness.
    5. I’d be very careful when it comes to Crean to jettison him early. He’s definitely improving and the program is progressing. It’s very early in his career at IU and no, we shouldn’t count the clean-up years. Personally, I’d give it more time unless I see us backslide recruiting wise and/or we don’t begin consistently competing for BIG titles. I think he’s earned our support. He bleeds crimson.

  • Bankshot

    40 You are a hell of a debater. I agree. Brands handling of the situation could have been different, But ultimately the General fell on his own sword.

  • calbert40

    When someone says you are a good debater, that is code for “annoying!” 🙂 My BA was in communications, so I basically spent my college tuition money arguing in class!

    Brand didn’t handle it well, but RMK certainly wasn’t faultless. The whole situation was unfortunate.

  • Ole Man

    Well said, calbert. Well said.

  • calbert40

    Gracias!

  • dwdkc

    Saw a response just now to a post from a few days ago, and rather amusingly read this exchange. You are a very patient fellow.