Big Ten Men’s Basketball Previews, Predictions, Odds, Line, Standings January 17

Lots of Big Ten basketball today, including a Martin Luther King Day special, as Illinois and Purdue announce shortly in a nationally televised game on FOX! Here are some glimpses and catch-ups from around the world of Big Ten hoops.

Also, this one includes a detailed recap of Maryland’s loss to Rutgers, which includes blame for a Maryland assistant coach soliciting a prostitute based on the decision to undermine Mark Turgeon, so…

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monday january 17

#7 Purdue Boilermakers at #25 Illinois Fighting Illini

11am | FOX | Illinois-1 | O/U 147.5

BoilerUp89: First, the Illini should be ranked above 25th place. I know they haven’t played their best basketball the last two games (but they still win) and their resume isn’t as good as Wisconsin’s, but their talent is that of a team in the top 15. They are also the last of the undefeated B1G teams and something like 20-1 in conference games last year. So the Illini are really good and are probably favored by a few.

This game has the best possible center game in the country. Purdue’s two-headed center monster takes on the nation’s best center in Kofi Cockburn. If foul issues aren’t an issue for either side, this game is going to be a treat to watch and I’m really curious to see if Trevion Williams has improved his form or Zach Edey’s overall growth positions them better than the last year to compete with Kofi. I’m going to assume the crosses on both sides get their points and mostly cancel each other out.

Which means where this game will really be decided is outside of the arc. Both teams have three very good shooters: Plummer, Frazier and Grandison for the Illini and Thompson, Stefanovic and Ivey for the Boilers. Whoever wins this battle will win the game in my opinion. Especially since Curbelo shows no signs of returning yet.

One last twist – I don’t know how crowded this match will be. Since it’s noon on a Monday (and MLK day is not observed with a day off everywhere), non-student attendance could be hit or miss. I have also been informed that students are virtual this coming week and will not be on campus.

My prediction: Purdue and Illinois split the season streak.

Indiana Hoosiers at Nebraska Cornhuskers

5 p.m. | BTN | Indiana -8.5 | O/U 146

buffkomodo: Seasons of “what could have been” litter Indiana basketball’s recent past. I don’t want to dwell on the Iowa game, but it really left a bitter taste.

This game is a must win for Indiana. I wholeheartedly believe they had to split that back-to-back run to stay in position to finish above .500 in conference. Seeing the opportunity to go 2-0 sucks, but if there’s anyone they can beat on the road, it’s Nebraska, isn’t it?

God, I hope so.

tuesday january 18

IUPUI Jaguars at No. 16 Ohio State Buckeyes

6 p.m. | BTN

Maryland Terrapins vs. Michigan Wolverines

6 p.m. | ESPN2

Ed. Note: Larry sent me recaps of the Maryland games, but in the absence of a dedicated recap article at this time, we’re putting them here.

larry31: It was not a joke, but a statement of fact when I wrote that Maryland did not win against Northwestern, but rather that Northwestern was more successful than MD in giving away the game. This horror disguised as a P5 basketball game existed because neither Chris Collins nor Danny Manning are good coaches.

That wasn’t the case when MD went against Rutgers. Steve Pikiell can coach.

Rutgers ran the final stretch and turned an 11-point halftime deficit into an 11-point win. It’s true. MD was trailed by 22 points in 20 minutes of basketball by a team that just isn’t good on offense. And it was a classic example of a good coach making adjustments at half-time and a poor coach taking at least 10 minutes to adjust to other teams’ adjustments.

Maryland was up 11 points at halftime because the Terps were 13/15 from the free throw line while Rutgers was 0/1. Maryland drove the lane aggressively and drew fouls. The halftime adjustment for Rutgers was to overtake anyone on MD who was driving the lane. I’m sure Rutgers also made offensive adjustments because they had a lot of turnovers in the first half, which didn’t happen in the second half. The Terps’ 11-point lead evaporated within the first 10 minutes of the second half. Maryland eventually made some adjustments that kept the game close. With about 3 minutes to go, the match was tied 55-55. Then Rutgers, the team which is well trained, executed their offense and played good defense throughout the stretch and steadily built an 11 point lead in the final 3 minutes of the game.

Danny Manning is literally stepping back from any future P5 head coaching roles. Manning WILL NOT be MD’s future head coach. So that’s good news.

Maryland is B1G basketball’s version of the 2021 Indiana football team. A team that started out with such high expectations has fallen to an unforeseen level of bullshit. MD can get 3 wins for the rest of the season. They are so bad. No joy or passion from the players. They are currently playing without their head coach (Turge) and one of their top assistants (Bruce Shingler) who has been suspended for 30 days for being caught attempting to conduct a booty call involving a financial transaction. It’s a polite way of saying he got caught up in prostitution. Maryland basketball is truly a tragicomedy.

a postscript from Larry: Bruce Shningler’s embarrassing suspension for soliciting a paid booty call is a direct result of AD Damon Evans undermining Turge. Assistant coaches Bino Ranson and DeAndre Haynes left Maryland for more money this offseason because. Damon Evans refused to provide Turge with the budget to keep his assistants. this left Turge scrambling to find assistant coaches over the summer, one of them being Shingler. Evans definitely wanted Turge gone, but knew he had to extend Turge after Turge made the NCAA 5/6 Tournament.

Good cases can be made to keep Turge. But, also, enthusiasm for the basketball program has noticeably diminished in recent years. Xfinity Center used to be a loud and noisy place. Not now.

#13 Wisconsin Badgers at Northwestern Wildcats

8 p.m. | BTN

NWM: First Welsh-Ryan return game for the Wildside since a COVID-imposed moratorium on student attendance while Northwestern walked away for the first two weeks of Winter Quarter. We’ll see if that helps the ‘Cats with a team that could easily bomb them into oblivion from deep and use Johnny Davis to get dribble penetration down the lane.

Avoiding emotional investment will be key in this one – can I manage to distract myself enough at the bar so I don’t cling to every basket? STAY TUNED!

Type of…: One of those fun games where no fan base feels so good. UW’s struggles at Welsh-Ryan aren’t quite on the same level as Ryan Field’s (not possible, really), but it was never an automatic win either. Northwestern just beat Sparty without Pete Nance, so hopefully the Wildcats get UW’s attention. If UW shoot reasonably, they should win, but that’s not really a preview. Davis has struggled, relatively speaking, the last two games and it would be nice to get him back on track. Tyler Wahl has been great lately, and/but it would be nice if Steve Crowl continued his development in the role.

Wednesday January 19

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Penn State Nittany Lions

5:30 p.m. | BTN

Iowa Hawkeyes at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

7:30 p.m. | BTN

Do not play this beginning of the week

Michigan State Spartans

Here is your open yarn for the hoops of the week. Schedule below – classes start tomorrow so we’ll see if I manage to update it beyond today…fingers crossed.

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