Player of the Week

Johnny Davis

This week was definitely a tight race for Player of the Week as it came down to Johnny Davis (pictured), Kofi Cockburn, and even Trayce Jackson-Davis, but in the end the Wisconsin star earns himself his second award this season. The Badgers hosted Iowa to start this week and Davis lighted up the box score dropping 26 points and 9 rebounds on 55.6% shooting from the field in a 87-78 win over the Hawkeyes. Following up his toe-to-toe matchup with Keegan Murray, the Badgers headed into College Park on Sunday looking to continue their hot start to January, and they did just that even after blowing a 21-point lead against a struggling Maryland team. Davis dropped 19 points and 7 rebounds in a tight fought, one-point victory over the Terrapins extending Wisconsin’s win streak to four. Like I mentioned earlier, this week’s award was definitely a tight race but Wisconsin’s competitive opponents, one of them being Iowa, definitely gave Davis the edge in being this week’s Player of the Week.

Freshman of the Week

Max Christie

Michigan State has been nothing but hot since the start of December and two games into January, that wave has continued. On Wednesday, the #10 Spartans hosted Nebraska riding a 7-game winning streak. Five-star freshman guard, Max Christie, had himself a night dropping a season high 21 points on 77.8% shooting from the field and 75% shooting from three in a 79-67 win over the Cornhuskers. A performance like this has earned Christie a well deserving Big Ten Freshman Player of the Week award.

Who’s Hot

Indiana Hoosiers

A win over a ranked team and a solid Minnesota squad definitely earns you a spot in this week’s “Who’s Hot” list. The Hoosiers kicked off their week hosting the #13 in the country who was currently riding a 5-game winning streak, Ohio State. Trayce Jackson-Davis put up big numbers dropping a double-double with 27 points and 12 rebounds on 64.7% shooting from the field in a 67-51 win over the Buckeyes. Following their upset victory, the Hoosiers had four out of their five starting players with double digit points in a 73-60 victory over a shockingly solid Minnesota team. We’ll see how the Hoosiers fare in the next three games as two of them are against a tough Iowa team and #7 Purdue, but besides that, they definitely earn themselves a spot on this week’s list.

Who’s Not

Maryland Terrapins

January has not been a pleasant start to the Terrapins as they’ve lost three straight games to start the month (two of them coming this week). Kofi Cockburn and the Illini were the start of Maryland’s bad week as they defeated the Terrapins 76-64 behind Cockburn’s 23 points and 18 rebounds. Following their struggles to guard Cockburn, Maryland almost made a miraculous 21-point comeback against the red-hot Wisconsin Badgers losing by just 1 point as the final seconds ticked down. With a record of just 1 game over .500, Maryland finds themselves on this week’s “Who’s Not” list after a three-game losing streak to start the month of January.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Now it’s obvious that this is a week-to-week article, but in the past 10 games for Nebraska, they’ve lost 9 of them (4 straight to start the month of January). This week the Cornhuskers went up against #10 Michigan State, Rutgers, and #25 Illinois and they’ve lost each of those games by at least 10 or more points. Things aren’t looking too good for Fred Hoiberg and the Cornhuskers as they find themselves at the bottom of the Big Ten in standings with an 0-6 conference record and a current 4 game losing streak with just a couple weeks left in the month of January.

5 Worst Teams in the Big Ten Right Now (no order):

Michigan Wolverines

Surprisingly the team I had projected to finish first in the Big Ten this season finds themselves as one of the five worst teams in the month of January. The Wolverines started off really hot reaching their highest ranking of #4 in the AP Top 25 poll but with upset losses from Seton Hall, Arizona, and UNC, they currently found themselves unranked near the middle of December. After losing their past two games, the once projected top seed in the Big Ten is just 1 game over .500 needing a desperate winning streak push to possibly earn a spot come tournament time.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

As mentioned earlier, the Cornhuskers have lost 9 out their past 10 games and find themselves at the bottom of the Big Ten. With a current record of 0-6 in the conference, head coach Fred Hoiberg and Nebraska will most likely not see a tournament bid this season, have a good chance of finishing last in the conference, and potentially be an early exit come the conference tournament.

Maryland Terrapins

Having zero conference wins and currently ranked second to last in the Big Ten, the Terrapins definitely deserve to be listed as one of the five worst teams right now. The start of the new year hasn’t been good for Maryland as they currently found themselves losing their first three games and if things don’t kick into gear soon, expect a near bottom finish for the Terrapins.

Northwestern Wildcats

These last two teams shouldn’t be in complete panic mode but has had a shaky season nonetheless. Northwestern started off January with four straight conference losses and find themselves near the bottom of Big Ten standings. It’s nothing to stress too much about Wildcats fans but more of something of to keep an eye on if losses keep piling up.

Penn State Nittany Lions

The last team to find themselves on this list is Micah Shrewsberry’s 8-6 Nittany Lions. Don’t let 2 games above .500 record fool you, Penn State ended December losing three out of their four games played. It’s been a rollercoaster type of season so far for the Nittany Lions so we’ll see which wave it takes as the season goes on.

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