HOOPS: Big Ten Power Rankings 2/6

Dylan Burn of Hawkeye Insider updates his Big Ten power rankings.

14. Rutgers (2-9)

The Scarlet Knights are still hanging out at the very bottom of the Big Ten power rankings this week, but they're definitely not last years Rutgers team. They have a couple of wins this year, including one in the last two weeks over Penn State. They have losses to Maryland, Wisconsin, and Iowa over that span as well. They played well against Wisconsin and probably should've won the game, but the Badgers came from behind to steal one.

13. Nebraska (4-7)

They just haven't been the same without Ed Morrow. He's their best front court player. Talented guard Glynn Watson is also battling an injury and Tim Miles' team really just can't catch a break at this point. They did beat Purdue recently, but have three losses to Iowa, Northwestern, and Michigan State. The Purdue win is the only win in the last 8 games for the Huskers. 

12. Illinois (3-8)

They nabbed a win over Iowa not too long ago, but it's been tough sledding for the Illini ever since. They are losers of 3 in a row and 6 of the last 7 games. They seem to battle in every single game, but just haven't been able to come out victorious. Inconsistency has been a big part of their struggles, but this group should have more wins with a guy like Malcolm Hill leading the way.

11. Penn State (4-7)

Pat Chambers has his group playing well. They're young and have some good scorers, but like any young team they are also incredibly inconsistent. They have a win over Illinois in the last 4 games, but losses to Wisconsin, Indiana, and Rutgers have them chilling down here at the bottom of the power rankings. They'll get Maryland at home and then two road contests over the next three games. Shep Garner still leads the way averaging 13 points a game. 

10. Ohio State (4-7)

The Buckeyes are 2-2 in the last four games with wins over Michigan and Minnesota. The Michigan win came on the road, so that is an impressive victory in Ann Arbor. They have some close losses to top tier Big Ten teams recently, but the 13 point loss at Iowa will jump off the page a bit. The Hawkeyes have been tough at home, though. Jae'Sean Tate continues to impress, he averages 14 points per game for Thad Matta and company. They'll get Rutgers at home later this week and then have a couple of tough road games to deal with. 

9. Indiana (5-6)

The Hoosiers have lost three of four games with their only victory coming in triple OT over Penn State at home. They're having trouble dealing with the absence of OG Anunoby and James Blackmon Jr. Both of those players were averaging double figures this season. They still have some talent with Thomas Bryant and Robert Johnson, but losing those two players did not help them at all. They have a couple chances coming up with a home game against Purdue. 

8. Michigan (4-6)

Michigan has a big win over Indiana in the last three games, but have losses to Michigan State and Ohio State on the docket as well. They are right in the middle of things and could still wind up winning a good chunk of Big Ten games. Derrick Walton Jr leads the way averaging 14 points per game. They do have a tough 3 game stretch coming up here with games against Michigan State, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

7. Minnesota (4-6)

They started Big Ten play red hot, but have since lost 6 of their last 7 games. The only win during that time came at Illinois as they broke a 6 game losing streak. They still have a lot of talent and are going to be extremely tough at Williams Arena. Nate Mason is leading the way averaging 14 points per game. They have good opportunities ahead with four very winnable games on deck for them.

6. Iowa (6-5)

After the loss to Illinois, the Hawkeyes turned it around playing without Peter Jok. He returned on Sunday and Iowa didn't miss a beat as they ousted Nebraska. They are 3-1 in the last four games and are currently riding a three game winning streak. Iowa is as dangerous as it gets in the Big Ten, especially at their place. They've lost just one Big Ten home game this season. They have a couple of tough road games coming up this week against Minnesota and Michigan State.

5. Michigan State (6-4)

They rode a three game skid a few weeks ago, but are winners of two straight right now. Miles Bridges continues to look like an All-Big Ten player. He's averaging 16 points and 8 rebounds on the year and has scored in double figures in 6 straight games. Fellow freshman, Nick Ward, is second on the team averaging 13 points per game, along with 6 rebounds. They have games against Michigan, Iowa, and Ohio State coming up. So, plenty of chances to build upon that 6-4 record.

4. Northwestern (7-3)

The Wildcats are still being looked at as a team that might be sitting right on the edge of the top tier of Big Ten teams. They garnered a couple of wins over Nebraska and Indiana in the past few weeks, but took one on the chin losing by 21 at Purdue. They're still in the middle of winning 6-of-7 games and will have a couple of opportunities against Wisconsin and Maryland in the following weeks here. Scottie Lindsey is still pacing them averaging 15 points per game.

3. Maryland (8-2)

The Terrapins have still yet to make a big believer out of me. They're playing well, don't get me wrong, but they're still playing the easiest schedule in the Big Ten and are fresh off blowing a 12 point lead at home to Purdue. They've won 7-of-8 games right now and are set up to play Penn State, Ohio State, and Northwestern in the coming weeks. The schedule will get a little tougher in the middle of February, but all-in-all, Maryland shouldn't lose more than 4 Big Ten games this season. Melo Trimble is still leading the way averaging 17 points per game.

2. Purdue (8-3)

Still having a bit of trouble getting a read on this Purdue team. Some nights out they look like a final four team. And then other nights they look like they could get bounced in the first round. They went to Michigan State and beat the Spartans, but followed it with a loss to Nebraska. Now they're fresh off two wins over Maryland and Northwestern. When they're on and they're getting the ball down low to Caleb Swanigan to set up the three on the outside, they're probably one of the best teams in the country. They get Indiana, Rutgers, and Michigan State over the course of the next couple weeks.

1. Wisconsin (9-1)

Outside of the loss to Purdue, the Badgers don't have any blemishes. They almost dropped a game to Rutgers, but wound up coming back to steal a victory away from the Scarlet Knights. Wins over the aforementioned Knights, Indiana, Penn State, and Illinois have kept the Badgers in the top spot. They've got road games against Michigan and Nebraska and then a home game against Northwestern coming up. We'll see if the Badgers can remain nearly perfect on the year.


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