Friday, January 26, 2007

Around the Big Ten

What other schools are saying about this weekend's match-ups in men's hoops:

Michigan at Indiana


From The Michigan Daily: Michigan (4-2 Conference, 16-5 Overall) is coming off a 71-58 road loss to Wisconsin. The road doesn't get any easier when they travel to Bloomington on Saturday, a place where they haven't won since 1996. Coach Amaker had this to say,

"Listen, we are in the middle of the conference race," Amaker said after Wednesday's loss. "We came here in second place (in the Big Ten), and we're going to be fine. Just because we didn't play well tonight, we aren't ready to tank our basketball team. We aren't. We are going to go back and compete. We're going to go to Bloomington and see if we can get a win there."

That sounds like a coach of a team who hasn't made the NCAA tournament in nine years. A win at Indiana would give them a shot of confidence they're going to need to make the tournament field.


From The Indiana Daily Student: One of the biggest worries facing the Hoosiers (4-2 Conference, 14-5 Overall) coming into this game has been the rebounding differential. One of Coach Sampson's points of emphasis early in the season was rebounding, something Indiana did effectively through much of the non-conference schedule. But over the last three games (2-1), all three times the Hoosiers have lost the battle of the offensive boards, and twice have lost the battle of the overall boards. This might account for a drop in offensive production over the course of the Big Ten schedule.

Indiana has not lost consecutive games this season.

Game Time: 11 a.m. Central Saturday
Television: ESPN

Penn St. at Minnesota

Penn St.

From The Daily Collegian: In a battle at the bottom of the Big Ten, Penn St. (1-5 Conference, 10-9 Overall) is looking to their big game player Geary Claxton to get a victory in The Barn. The Lions will also be looking to sophomore Milos Bogetic, who had a break-out game in a loss at Iowa with 13 points and 6 rebounds. Coming into the game, Penn St. is riding a five game losing streak. One of the biggest contributors to this slide has been the Lions defense. They rank last in scoring defense in the Big Ten.


The Minnesota Daily
: Minnesota (1-5 Conference, 7-13 Overall) has been trying to take moral victories away from games during the season. However, they're hungry for an actual win against Penn. St. The Gophers' leading scorer Lawrence McKenzie had this to say:

"I think game-by-game things will get better, but it comes to a point where you want to win games," he said. "It comes to the point where moral victories aren't going to be good enough."

Minnesota ranks last in the Big Ten in scoring offense. So this looks to be a match-up of who can step up the worst facet of their game.

Game Time: 11:15 a.m. Saturday
Television: ESPN Full Court

Michigan St. at Ohio St.

Michigan St.

From The State News: MSU (4-2 Conference, 17-4 Overall) has won at four in a row in Columbus, but getting the W this time is going to be a tall order, brought to them in part by Greg Oden. Junior Drew Neitzel, while looking forward to playing against Oden, also believes that MSU has to be willing to change its game plan on the fly to beat the Buckeyes. A separate storyline involves Coach Tom Izzo facing off against the recruit he passed on, Greg Oden. Izzo passed on Oden when he realized that Greg was probably going to jump straight to the NBA (decision made prior to age rule) or just stay one year and jump. He admits now that this was a mistake.

MSU is the last team to win in Columbus.

Ohio St.

From The Lantern: To say Greg Oden is well liked over at OSU is to say that it's been a few years since the Cubs won the World Series (editor's note: I'm a Cubs fan). He's so well liked in fact, that the OSU student paper wrote two articles about Oden instead of putting in an MSU pre-game article. But I guess that isn't necessary, as OSU is the site of College Gameday for the week. For more coverage than you've ever wanted about a top 5 team versus an unranked team, tune into ESPN Saturday morning.

Game Time: 8 p.m. Saturday
Television: ESPN2

Wisconsin at Iowa


From the Badger Herald: Wisconsin (6-0 Conference, 20-1 Overall) comes into Sunday's game in the driver's seat of the Big Ten conference one month into the season. They believe there are five keys to victory: 1) Limit Huluska's threes 2) Get Tucker involved early and often 3) Earn second chance points, 4) Find the X-Factor and 5) Finish the game

Now, those may all seem like obvious points, but Wisky doesn't have to do much to win this game. They're a very strong team going on the road into an arena that is not one of the toughest environments to play in when an Iowa team is down.


From The Daily Iowan: Iowa (3-3 Conference, 11-9 Overall) is staying positive coming into a game against the league's top team. They see this as a chance to really put a great win on their tournament resume. Senior Mike Henderson will be the X-Factor in this game, with a few of his teammates predicting a break-out game for Henderson. It will be needed to get the win against the Badgers.

Iowa is carrying at twelve game home conference winning streak into this game, a Carver-Hawkeye Arena record.

Game Time: 12:05 Sunday
Television: CBS

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