Big Ten Notebook

Around the Big Ten: Huskers battling despite lack of bodies

2013-02-19T02:00:00Z 2013-02-19T15:58:01Z Around the Big Ten: Huskers battling despite lack of bodiesSteve Batterson The Quad-City Times
February 19, 2013 2:00 am  • 

With four first-year starters and a rotation which includes only three players who saw the court last season for Nebraska, first-year coach Tim Miles expected a few bumps along the way.

He doesn’t accept them, but he expected them.

“This is the fifth time I’ve started over, and I’ve found that you’ll go as far as your seniors will take you,” said Miles, whose team is scheduled to host Iowa on Thursday. “I’ve only got three, but they have been fun to coach and they haven’t backed away from a challenge.”

At 12-14, the Cornhuskers will surpass the program’s victory total from the 2011-12 season with their next victory, and despite a 3-10 Big Ten record, Nebraska is not making life easy on conference opponents.

The Cornhuskers have been within two possessions of the lead in the final 7 minutes seven times in their past 12 games, including five times against rated opponents.

Miles — who arrived at Nebraska from Colorado State, where his team went from 7-25 to 20-12 over five seasons — has played to the strengths of his available talent. The roster includes just eight recruited scholarship players, leading to opportunities for three walk-ons who are part of the Cornhuskers’ rotation.

“We sat on two scholarships, redshirted three guys, including two (transfers) that we had to, and we’ve worked with 11 pretty much all year, and one of those is a project,” Miles said. “These guys haven’t blinked, though. They like a good challenge, and we’ve had plenty.”

Miles prefers a more up-tempo brand of basketball, but this year’s team is built around defense and doing what it takes to make an opponent one dimensional. That has led to a half-court approach on the offensive end of the floor.

“We’re not a pretty team to watch, but right now that is the way we have to play,” he said. “We don’t have a great deal of offensive firepower, so we do what we can do to put ourselves in the best position to give ourselves a chance.”

Physical challenge

When Big Ten co-leaders Indiana and Michigan State play tonight at the Breslin Center, Hoosiers coach Tom Crean believes his team will be up to the physical challenge presented by the Spartans.

“The proof is in our record,’’ Crean said. “When you have to compete in this league, you have to play physical and have a tough mindset to compete. I think we’ve developed that as we’ve worked through our schedule.’’

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo believes Indiana has developed more of a physical presence, in part because of the way Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey approach the game.

“They’ve got an edge about them that I think is rubbing off on other guys,’’ Izzo said. “It’s part of the development of a program, and they’re making strides in that area, no doubt.’’

Trending upward

Ben Brust, who landed at Wisconsin after being released from a letter of intent he signed with Iowa prior to a coaching change in 2010, continues to demonstrate the offensive potential that the former Hawkeyes coaching staff saw in him.

Brust averaged 14.5 points last week in Badgers’ games with Minnesota and Ohio State, but it is the growth in his game that pleases coach Bo Ryan the most.

“He’s become a heck of a rebounder for his size, he takes good care of the ball, two things that have helped us a lot this season,’’ Ryan said. “He has become one of the most consistent players that I’ve had a chance to coach.’’

Developing an edge

With three freshman starters and losses in three of its past five games, coach John Beilein is hearing more frequent questions about just how tough his seventh-ranked team is.

“You don’t just yell at a guy and say, ‘Get tougher.’ It takes time for the level of toughness it takes to develop, and for some, it’s easier than others,’’ Beilein said. “Every great player eventually gets it, but just when that happens has been different for every player I’ve coached.’’

Quick shots

Michigan’s Trey Burke was named the Big Ten player of the week after averaging 24.5 points on 60 percent shooting. … Gary Harris of Michigan State is the league’s freshman of the week. He averaged 15.5 points in a pair of wins. … Nebraska wore 1976-77 throwback jerseys for Saturday’s game with Michigan State, recognizing the program’s first season at the Devaney Center as it nears the end of its final year there.

Name in the news

Rodney Williams, Minnesota: After watching Rodney Williams struggle to raise his left arm during the first half of Sunday’s game at Iowa because of a slight shoulder separation and bruises, Minnesota coach Tubby Smith said his team’s second-leading rebounder may miss upcoming games as well.

“It may be time to shut him down and let him heal,’’ Smith said. “We need him healthy and clearly he wasn’t in the first half at Iowa. I don’t know if he’ll go against Ohio State — he’s day to day.’’

Numbers

Official NCAA RPI numbers for Big Ten men’s basketball teams released Monday, with their position in the last report:

Team Current Last
Michigan State 5 5
Michigan 8 6
Indiana 12 11
Minnesota 15 14
Wisconsin 26 32
Ohio State 28 24
Illinois 29 29
Iowa 80 95
Nebraska  106 96
Northwestern  117 103
Purdue  128 125
Penn State  197 200

 

Noteworthy 

This week’s top match-ups:

Today: Indiana at Michigan State, 6 p.m., ESPN

Wednesday: Minnesota at Ohio State, 6 p.m., BTN

Sunday: Illinois at Michigan, 1 p.m., ESPN; Michigan State at Ohio State, 3 p.m., WHBF

Copyright 2015 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Basketball schedule

2014-15 Hawkeyes (19-10, 10-6)

11/02/14 Northwood (Exh.) W 92-51
11/14/14 Hampton W 90-56
11/17/14 ND State W 87-56
11/20/14 Texas # L 71-57
11/21/14 Syracuse # L 66-63
11/24/14 Pepperdine W 72-61
11/26/14 N. Illinois W 70-49
11/29/14 Longwood W 77-44
12/03/14 at N. Carolina W 60-55
12/06/14 Md. Baltimore Co. W 77-47
12/09/14 Alcorn State W 67-44
12/12/14 Iowa State L 90-75
12/20/14 N. Iowa* L 56-44
12/22/14 N. Florida W 80-70
12/30/14 at Ohio State W 71-65
01/05/15 Nebraska W 70-59
01/08/15 Michigan St. L 75-61
01/13/15 at Minnesota W 77-75
01/17/15 Ohio State W 76-67
01/20/15 at Wisconsin L 82-50
01/24/15 at Purdue L 67-63
01/31/15 Wisconsin L 74-63
02/05/15 at Michigan W 72-54
02/08/15 Maryland W 71-55
02/12/15 Minnesota L 64-59
02/15/15 at Northwestern L 66-61
02/19/15 Rutgers W 81-47
02/22/15 at Nebraska W 74-46
02/25/15 Illinois W 68-60
02/28/15 at Penn State W 81-77
03/03/15 at Indiana 6 p.m.
03/07/15 Northwestern 11 a.m.
03/11/15 Big Ten Tournament TBA
#-New York *-Des Moines  


Standings

Basketball schedule

2013-14 Hawkeyes (20-13, 9-9)

Sun., Nov. 3 Augustana (Exh) W 87-65
Fri., Nov. 8 UNC-Wilmington W 82-39
Sun., Nov. 10 Nebraska-Omaha W 83-75
Thurs., Nov. 14 Md-Eastern Shore W 109-63
Sun., Nov. 17 Abilene Christian W 103-41
Fri., Nov. 22 Penn W 86-55
Thurs., Nov. 28 vs. Xavier # W 77-74
Fri., Nov. 29 vs. UTEP # W 89-53
Sat., Nov. 30 vs. Villanova # L 88-83
Tue., Dec. 3 Notre Dame W 98-93
Sat., Dec. 7 vs. Drake * W 83-66
Mon., Dec. 9 Fairleigh Dickinson W 92-59
Fri., Dec. 13 at Iowa State L 85-82
Sun., Dec. 22 Ark-Pine Bluff W 86-61
Tue., Dec. 31 Nebraska W 67-57
Sun, Jan. 5 at Wisconsin L 75-71
Thurs., Jan. 9 Northwestern W 93-67
Sun., Jan. 12 at Ohio State W 84-74
Sun., Jan. 19 Minnesota W 94-73
Wed., Jan. 22 at Michigan L 75-67
Sat., Jan. 25 at Northwestern W 76-50
Tues., Jan. 28 Michigan State L 71-69
Sat., Feb. 1 at Illinois W 81-74
Tues., Feb. 4 Ohio State L 76-69
Sat., Feb. 8 Michigan W 85-67
Sat., Feb. 15 at Penn State W 82-70
Tues., Feb. 18 at Indiana PPD
Sat., Feb. 22 Wisconsin L 79-74
Tues., Feb. 25 at Minnesota L 95-89
Thurs., Feb. 27 at Indiana L 93-86
Sun., Mar. 2 Purdue W 83-76
Thurs., Mar. 6 at Michigan State L 86-76
Sat., Mar. 8 Illinois L 66-63
Thurs., Mar. 13 Northwestern (BTT) L 67-62
Wed., Mar. 19 Tennessee** (NCAA) L 78-65
#-Bahamas *-Des Moines **-Dayton  


Blogs



Hawkeyes in NIT

1994-95

First round: Iowa 96, DePaul 87 (Moline, Ill.)

Second round: Iowa 66, Ohio 62 (Iowa City)

Quarterfinals: Penn State 67, Iowa 64 (Iowa City)

1997-98

First round: Georgia 100, Iowa 93 (Iowa City)

2001-02

First round: LSU 63, Iowa 61 (Iowa City)

2002-03

Opening round: Iowa 62, Valparaiso 60 (Iowa City)

First round: Iowa 54, Iowa State 53 (Ames)

Second round: Georgia Tech 79, Iowa 78 (Iowa City)

2003-04

First round: St. Louis 70, Iowa 69 (St. Charles, Mo.)

2011-12

First round: Iowa 84, Dayton 75 (Iowa City)

Second round: Oregon 108, Iowa 97 (Eugene)

2012-13

First round: Iowa 68, Indiana State 52 (Iowa City)

Second round: Iowa 75, Stony Brook 63 (Iowa City)

Quarterfinals: Iowa 75, Virginia 64 (Charlottesville)

Semifinals: Iowa 71, Maryland 60 (New York)

Championship: Baylor 74, Iowa 54 (New York)


Basketball titles, tournaments

Big Ten regular season champions
1923, 1926, 1945, 1955, 1956, 1968, 1970, 1979
Big Ten Tournament champions
2001, 2006

NCAA Tournament Final Four
1955, 1956, 1980
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
1955, 1956, 1980, 1987
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1955, 1956, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1999
NCAA Tournament appearances
1955, 1956, 1970, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2014

NIT appearances
1995, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2012, 2013


Basketball records since 2000

2013-14: 20-13, 9-9 Big Ten
2012-13: 25-13, 9-9 Big Ten
2011-12: 18-17, 8-10 Big Ten
2010-11: 11-20, 4-14 Big Ten
2009-10: 10-22, 4-14 Big Ten
2008-09: 15-16, 5-13 Big Ten
2007-08: 13-19, 6-12 Big Ten
2006-07: 17-14, 9-7 Big Ten
2005-06: 25-9, 11-5 Big Ten
2004-05: 21-12, 7-9 Big Ten
2003-04: 16-13, 9-7 Big Ten
2002-03: 17-14, 7-9 Big Ten
2001-02: 19-16, 5-11 Big Ten
2000-01: 23-12, 7-9 Big Ten