Big Ten Basketball Recap: Week 1
The first full week of college basketball has wrapped up and monster upsets have seemed to dominate the headlines in the early part of the season. This is the part of the season where each fan base gets accustomed to the new faces on the floor, and what direction their team is headed this season. The Big Ten is off to a strong start, but a few teams have started rather slowly, experiencing some growing pains.
You may look at the record and notice the Terrapins have done what they were anticipated to do. However, Mark Turgeon’s squad has come out sluggish over the past two games. They beat a Georgetown team at home by four that was coming off a devastating loss to Radford. Some clutch free throw shooting by Melo Trimble led to the Terrapins escaping with the victory. Following the win against the Hoyas, Maryland ran into another close call against Rider in which they were down by 14 during a stretch at the Xfinity Center. Maryland should not have struggled against either of these teams, but the No.3 Terrapins escaped unscathed.
Michigan State: (3-0)
The Spartans looked very impressive this week. Coach Tom Izzo & Co. went to Chicago to play Kansas in the Champions Classic against a more talented Jayhawks team and came out with the victory. Denzel Valentine had a performance for the ages with a triple-double and looked unstoppable. Izzo has his players performing better than most anticipated and the Spartans look like the team to beat so far in the B1G.
Tom Creans’ Hoosiers played lowly competition this week against Austin Peay and Creighton. Both contests resulted in 20-plus point victories for Indiana. Indiana’s backcourt of Yogi Ferrel and James Blackmon, Jr. are going to cause problems for every opponent they face.
Michigan started the season off Monday night with a 20-point victory against Elon. The trio of Zak Irvin, Derrick Walton Jr., and Caris LeVert seemed to be clicking and would make a lot of noise this season. However, the Wolverines took a step back with their 16-point loss at home to Xavier.
The Boilermakers and freshman big man Caleb Swanigan have been playing an exciting brand of basketball. Purdue is coming off wins of 20 or more against Incarnate Word and Old Dominion. To finish off the week, the Boilermakers defeated the Florida Gators to become Hall of Fame Tip-Off Champions.
The only matchup the Hawkeyes had this week was Thursday against Marquette. Iowa beat them handily in a 28-point victory on the road.
Northwestern has had close calls at home so far this season against Columbia and Fairfield. The combined margin of victory has been by a total of eleven points. The Wildcats first real test will come Monday against the No. 1 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels.
Richard Pitino’s team has looked inconsistent so far this season with losses to Temple and Texas Tech during the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. But, the Golden Gophers few wins on the season have come from the hand of lower competition such as Louisiana Monroe and Missouri State.
Rutgers lost by 2 against St. Johns in the Gavitt games during their first test of the season. The Scarlet Knights bounced back with a three point victory at home against Central Arkansas. Corey Sanders will have to step up for the Scarlet Knights to stay competitive when the schedule becomes tougher.
Nebraska played three games this week: at Villanova, and home against Delaware State and SE Louisiana. The Cornhuskers went to The Pavilion and lost to Villanova by 24. However, they came back to Lincoln and bounced back with a 15 point victory over Delaware State and handily beat SE Louisiana by 27.
Ohio State: (2-1)
The Buckeyes suffered an embarrassing loss at home to UT Arlington after coming off a 27-point victory over Grambling State. The loss of star D’Angelo Russell is evident.
Penn State: (2-1)
After coming off a six-point win over DePaul, the Nittany Lions were handed a humiliating 26-point loss to Duquesne. With the graduation of D.J. Newbill, Pat Chamber’s squad has looked lost on the court at times.
Bo Ryan’s team has experienced a major drop-off in comparison to last year’s Final Four team. The Badgers cruised to a win over North Dakota, and squeezed out a one point victory in Madison Square Garden against VCU, but fell again by double digits to Georgetown.
The Illini still continue to struggle coming off losses against Providence and Chattanooga. John Groce cannot be happy with the performance of his team so far this season.
Dave Correll is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.