Maize n Brew's 2008 Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: Week 3
One of the few teams without any gaping holes. They've got Gordon on the outside, white on the inside. This means, simply, that if one ain't clicking, they can feed the other with little or no drop off in scoring. The season gets tougher from here out, but Indiana is the best in the big ten right now.
How this team has managed to continue to win ball games despite losing their stars from last year to the NBA is a testament to just how good a coach Bo Ryan is. This isn't a great team. It's merely a good team that plays well together. However, the way the Big Ten shapes up this year, combined with a good OOC win over Texas will send this group dancing at the end of the season barring a major collapse.
I still haven't forgiven them for losing to Iowa. Iowa is terrible. We're talking Falco terrible. Talent wise the Spartans are as loaded as Indiana but they lack the Hoosier's balance and focus. But it's early. Izzo will have them cranking by the Big Ten tourney.
Yup. The Boilermakers. This may be the most unspectacular group in the Big Ten, but Painter's getting the most out of them. Defensively, they're one of the best teams in the conference. Offensively they seem to be consistently able to score just enough to win. And that's a dangerous combination when you consider how hard they play.
The Buckeyes should move up as the season progresses but right now they seem very disjointed. Even worse, they're 0-5 against the top 25 this season. This just isn't a team I'd put money on to be a winner night in night out. Topping Indiana, MSU, or Wisconsin would go a long way toward proving they're among the conference elite.
A pair of 5 point losses to MSU and IU have the Gophers at 2-3 in the Big Ten. In some strange way I think this helps them. They played two of the conference's top team relatively tough early in the season. This should pay off down the road. A nice Charminy soft schedule has them looking tournament bound at this point, but don't forget just how bad this team was last year.
I don't want to be fatalistic, but the two straight thumpings at the hands of IU and Wisconsin pretty much sounded the death knell for the season. PSU is on the positive side of .500 right now, but the loss of Geary Claxton for the season is baaaaaaaad news. They'll fight to the death, but their screwed.
Tis' but a Scratch!
Todd Lickliter deserves coach of the year honors for getting more than 3 wins out of this team. They're white. They're slow. They don't shoot particularly well. They can't defend. Yet they're playing everyone (save Ohio State) hard and close. I was petrified when the Iowa administration stole Lickliter from Butler. There's good reason for it. He's a great coach. If he can recruit at Iowa be very, very afraid. Just not this season.
Bruce Weber is sooooooo going to get fired. The rumblings started last year and they're only going to get worse. I know Eric Gordon's defection to Indiana totally screwed him over, but a team with a good inside presence should be playing better than this. Things are going so poorly that they took on soon-to-be-legendary-clubhouse-cancer Alex Legion. Bubble team at best, but likely a low seeded NIT team.
Maybe Ritalin would help. Every game it's always a tale of two halves. One half they play well, the other they get their doors blown off. This team is clearly easily distracted by shiny objects and simple things, like people in the stands. Every week we hear how hard they work in practice and how good they're getting, and every week they take a nap for a randomly picked 20 minutes during their games. They're good kids. They'll get better. But right now they're one of the worst teams in college basketball.
Yeah. See Iowa above. Except without Lickliter and the whole playing people close thing. Also leave out any inference of hope. There is none.