Player of The Week
Luka Garza – Center, Iowa
Garza had two very solid performances this week. Against Indiana, Garza scored 38 points and 8 rebounds. Garza also blocked 4 shots and shot 14-22 from the field. Garza followed this up with 24 points and 8 rebounds against Minnesota. For the week, Garza averaged 31 points and 8 rebounds.
Currently on a 9-game winning streak, they are one of the hottest teams in the country. They have dominated at home. Maryland traveled to Michigan State earlier this week, and beat them 67-60, and were led by Anthony Cowan Jr.’s 24 points. They followed this game up with another victory at home against Northwestern.
Ayo Dosumnu – Guard, Illinois
Ayo led Illinois to a huge win on the road against Penn State. He scored 24 points on 9-15 shooting. Against Michigan state he hurt his knee, but still stored 17 and grabbed 9 rebounds in a 1 point loss. For the week, Ayo averaged 20-5 points per game and shot 50% from the field.
Jalen Smith – Forward, Maryland
Smith was huge against Northwestern, scoring 22 and grabbing 19 rebounds. Smith also recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds against Michigan State. For the week, Smith averaged 19.5 points per game while also averaging 14.5 rebounds per game. Smith was very efficient this week, shooting a sky high 57% from the field.
Northwestern and Nebraska
Both teams are at the bottom of the standings, and have both lost 10 straight games. Nebraska is 1-9 on the road, while Northwestern is 1-9. Both teams have combined for 3 conference wins in 29 total games.
(Player: Joey Brunk)- Forward, Indiana
Brunk shot 3-10 in their loss to Michigan, only scoring 6 points. He only hit 1 of his 3 shot attempts scoring 3 points against Iowa. Brunk struggled hitting shots this week, shooting 30% from the field.
Top 5 teams in Big Ten
Overall they are 22-4 as well as 12-3 in conference. Maryland is undefeated at home winning all 15 of their games. The two standouts on this team are Anthony Cowan jr. and Jalen Smith. Both Smith and Cowan have been super consistent averaging 15 points and 16 points per game respectively. Smith is also averaging over 10 rebounds per game and has been one of the most consistent players in the conference.
2. Penn State
Penn State is having one of their best seasons ever. With not much success other than a NIT Championship, the Nittany Lions have a 20-6 record overall. This includes 13-2 at home and a 5-3 record on the road. They are the only team in the conference with a winning record away from home. The absence of Myron Jones has hurt the Nittany Lions, but hopefully he returns soon to help close out the last few games.
At 17-9 overall, Illinois has taken care of business at home going 12-3 at home. Illinois has also split their road matchups going 5-5. Coming off a huge win at Penn State on the road, are they getting hot at the right time?
4. Michigan State
While their record is only 17-9, the Spartans have so much talent. With Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman having great seasons, after reaching the final four last season. The tournament experience on this team will be a huge advantage come March.
At 18-8, Rutgers has the best record at home in the conference at 17-0. The Scarlet Knights have dominated at home, but have really struggled on the road at 1-6. Rutgers is currently tied for the third best record in conference at 9-6.