1. Michigan (19-1, 6-1)
It’s already been a big week for the Wolverines, who vaulted to No. 1 in the nation — in men’s basketball, and men’s swimming and diving.
This week: Northwestern, Wed.; at Indiana, Sat.
Last week: 1
2. Indiana (18-2, 6-1)
Cody Zeller, the overwhelming choice for Big Ten preseason player of the year, has gone 2-of-11 from the field in the Hoosiers’ last two games.
This week: at Purdue, Wed.; Michigan, Sat.
Last week: 2
3. Michigan State (17-4, 6-2)
Backup point guard Travis Trice played a career-high 30 minutes at Indiana in place of foul-plagued Keith Appling (19 minutes, three points).
This week: Illinois, Thurs.
Last week: 4
4. Ohio State (15-4, 5-2)
Deshaun Thomas joins Creighton’s Doug McDermott and VMI’s Stan Okoye as only players to average more than 20 points and six rebounds.
This week: Wisconsin, Tues.; at Nebraska, Sat.
Last week: 6
5. Wisconsin (14-6, 5-2)
Wisconsin had won 56 straight games under Bo Ryan at home when allowing fewer than 50 points — until last week’s 49-47 loss to Michigan St.
This week: at Ohio State, Tues.; at Illinois, Sun.
Last week: 3
6. Minnesota (15-5, 3-4)
The Gophers, who’ve lost four straight, endured a six-game losing streak last season — and ended it by beating Nebraska.
This week: Nebraska, Tues.; Iowa, Sun.
Last week: 5
7. Purdue (11-9, 4-3)
Purdue was 2-6 in overtime games under Matt Painter until Sunday — Purdue’s first home OT victory under the eighth-year coach.
This week: Indiana, Wed.; at Northwestern, Sat.
Last week: 8
8. Iowa (13-7, 2-5)
Hawkeyes are struggling on offense — shooting just 27.2 percent on threes in Big Ten games — and in finding a way to close out games.
This week: Penn State, Thurs.; at Minnesota, Sun.
Last week: 7
9. Illinois (15-6, 2-5)
D.J. Richardson, who scored a career-high 30 points at Nebraska, followed with a 4-of-15 shooting effort against Michigan.
This week: at Michigan State, Thurs.; Wisconsin, Sun.
Last week: 10
10. Northwestern (12-9, 3-5)
Why the 1-3-1 zone? Because coach Bill Carmody says his team isn’t generating enough offense with its man-to-man defense.
This week: at Michigan, Wed.; Purdue, Sat.
Last week: 9
11. Nebraska (11-10, 2-6)
Brandon Ubel ranks fourth in the Big Ten at seven rebounds a game — the highest average by a Husker since Aleks Maric (2007-08).
This week: at Minnesota, Tues.; Ohio State, Sat.
Last week: 11
12. Penn State (8-12, 0-8)
Coach Patrick Chambers, after his team’s eighth straight loss: “Throw the record out; we’re getting better. You may not see it, but I see it."
This week: at Iowa, Thurs.
Last week: 12
Player of the week
Victor Oladipo, Indiana. The junior guard averaged 20 points on 63.2 percent shooting, helping Indiana to victories against Penn State and Michigan State. He scored 21 points to go with a career-high six steals, seven rebounds and three blocked shots against Michigan State.
Freshman of the week
Glenn Robinson III, Michigan. The forward earned his second freshman of the week honor by scoring 12 points against Purdue and 12 points against Illinois, doing it on 71.4 percent shooting. He averaged eight rebounds in the two games.
Michigan State freshman Gary Harris, when he’s playing against teams from his home state of Indiana. In the Spartans’ 75-70 loss Sunday at Indiana, Harris scored a team-high 21 points, one point shy of his career high. He established that earlier in the season in a home victory against Purdue. In those two games, Harris was a combined 11-of-18 on three-pointers.
The nets at the Kohl Center, home of Wisconsin basketball. In two games played there last week, against Michigan State and Minnesota, no team cracked 50 points. Wisconsin attempted a combined 100 field goals — and made 33.
Around the rim
* Nebraska native Mike Gesell, a freshman at Iowa, began the season at point guard, moved to off guard, then returned to the point Sunday, when he sparked the Hawkeyes’ comeback from 11 points down at Purdue. He finished with 18 points in Iowa’s overtime loss. Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said he’s been impressed with how Gesell has responded in his varying duties. “He’s attacked this thing with a really professional approach,” McCaffery said. “He’s one of the most consistent people you’ll ever meet.”
* Another Nebraska native, Minnesota center Elliott Eliason, started 12 games in the nonconference, but has since been replaced by senior Trevor Mbakwe and has seen his minutes dwindle. “But I love the way he’s playing,” Minnesota coach Tubby Smith said of Eliason, who’s had Big Ten totals of eight points and 12 rebounds while averaging 8.9 minutes. “He’s very active. He may be our best post defender. He’s long, he’s finishing around the rim. We just need to find more opportunities for him.”
* Reggie Hearn, who leads Northwestern in scoring at 14 points per game, scored only six on 2-of-11 shooting against Nebraska. Turns out, Hearn was ill Saturday, but coaches didn’t realize it. “He throws up before a lot of games,” Bill Carmody told the Chicago Tribune.
They said it
“They like to get the ball up and down the court.” — Minnesota coach Tubby Smith, on a Nebraska team that’s averaging 58.5 points a game to rank last in the Big Ten in scoring. (To be fair, Smith didn’t say how quickly Nebraska got the ball down the court, merely that the Huskers did.)