B1G Basketball Power Rankings, Nov. 21: Purdue holds strong ahead of massive week
The college basketball season is already a few weeks old! Now, the season turns to Thanksgiving Week and some key early-season tournament action across the country.
Of particular note, the Maui Jim Maui Invitational is going down with a loaded field of ranked teams. Purdue is involved in that tournament and will get an early measure-stick moment against some of the top teams in the country.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, here is a look at the latest B1G Power Rankings (results complete through Sunday, Nov. 19):
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14. Maryland (1-3)
Last Week: L 57-40 vs. Villanova
Maryland is 4 games in, but it is safe to say the Terrapins are in trouble. Villanova was a game Kevin Willard’s group needed after some of the early-season struggles in nonconference play. Now, Maryland will need to avoid any further upsets and come up with a huge showing in Big Ten play.
13. Minnesota (3-1)
Last Week: L 70-68 vs. Mizzou; W 67-53 vs. SC Upstate
Minnesota’s loss to Mizzou looks considerably worse after the Tigers were beaten at home by previously 0-5 Jackson State. The Gophers have a few more tune-up games before matchups against Pitt, Wichita State and Kansas loom in the coming weeks.
12. Rutgers (4-1)
Last Week: W 71-60 vs. Georgetown; W 85-63 vs. Howard
Rutgers has responded from the opening loss to Princeton and recorded a nonconference win over Georgetown. Derek Simpson led the way in that win with 15 points while Cliff Omoruyi continued his presence in the middle of the defense with 4 blocks.
11. Wisconsin (2-2)
Last Week: L 72-59 at Providence; W 78-68 vs. Robert Morris
Wisconsin did not look good on the road against Providence and trailed the entire game. The Badgers shot 33.9% in that loss and have missed some chances to secure a key nonconference win. Wisconsin will still get big-time opportunities against Virginia, Marquette and Arizona in the non-B1G slate.
10. Nebraska (5-0)
Last Week: W 64-50 vs. Rider; W 84-63 vs. Stony Brook; W 84-63 vs. Oregon State
Believe it or not, Nebraska is the first team to 5-0 in the B1G, and that includes a Pac-12 win over Oregon State. Brice Williams poured in 25 points in that win and is averaging 15.4 points per game.
9. Penn State (4-0)
Last Week: W 83-53 vs. St. Francis PA; W 74-51 vs. Morehead State
Penn State has avoided a major issue in the easy portion of the nonconference schedule. Now, Mike Rhoades puts his Nittany Lions up against a ranked foe in Texas A&M. We’ll see how the new-look PSU roster (led by Kanye Clary and Qudus Wahab) looks against the Aggies.
8. Northwestern (4-1)
Last Week: W 63-59 vs. Western Michigan W 72-61 vs. Rhode Island; L 66-57 vs. Mississippi State
Northwestern’s loss to Mississippi State is not a disastrous one, but the Wildcats do not have many opportunities for a marquee win in nonconference play. Of bigger concern, Northwestern shot 37.7% from the floor and 23.1% from 3-point range in its biggest game so far.
7. Michigan (3-1)
Last Week: W 89-73 at St. John’s; L 94-86 vs. Long Beach State
Michigan fans had barely stopped laughing at Michigan State’s disastrous home loss to James Madison before suffering an equally embarrassing defeat to Long Beach State. Olivier Nkamhoua continues to shine, but there was nothing for the Wolverines to hide behind after giving up 94 points in regulation and allowing Long Beach State to shoot 56% from the field and 47% from deep.
6. Michigan State (3-2)
Last Week: L 74-65 vs. Duke; W 74-54 vs. Butler; W 81-49 vs. Alcorn State
Michigan State’s early-season shooting struggles continued against Duke before the Spartans finally posted a strong win over Butler. Tre Holloman also provided a spark with 17 points and a 5-for-5 effort from 3-point range against Alcorn State while filling in for the ill Tyson Walker.
5. Ohio State (3-1)
Last Week: W 76-52 vs. Merrimack; W 73-56 vs. Western Michigan
Ohio State has won all the games it should in the early going. Roddy Gayle Jr. has shown some early flashes and is averaging 14.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4 assists to start the season. Next up, the Buckeyes get a ranked test vs. Alabama.
4. Indiana (3-1)
Last Week: W 89-80 vs. Wright State, L 77-57 vs. UConn
Indiana had a good measuring stick this week with a 20-point loss to the national champs. Malik Reneau looked strong offensively before fouling out in that one, but Kel’el Ware and Xavier Johnson struggled in the loss. Hopefully, that one goes down as a learning experience.
3. Illinois (4-1)
Last Week: L 71-64 vs. Marquette; W 87-64 vs. Valparaiso; W 88-60 vs. Southern
Illinois went back and forth with Marquette and closed the lead of the Golden Eagles to 64-60 with 3 minutes to go. Tyler Kolek came through in the end, but Terrence Shannon Jr. has also been fantastic in the early portion of the season. Shannon is the leader and has a key group of quality counterparts to work with.
2. Iowa (3-1)
Last Week: L 92-84 at Creighton; W 88-74 vs. Arkansas State
Ben Krikke was the star of the week for Iowa as the Hawkeyes made a late push but could not pull off the upset of Creighton. Krikke was also the star of the win over Arkansas State with 25 points and 9 rebounds on a night the Hawkeyes shot 16.7% from 3-point range. His presence in the middle gives Iowa a legitimate inside-out game this season.
1. Purdue (3-0)
Last Week: W 83-71 vs. Xavier
Purdue had a relatively quiet week with one game before heading out to Maui. The Boilermakers looked as expected with another dominant double-double for Zach Edey. Now, a lot will be learned about Purdue at the Maui Invitational.