Apparently college basketball has been going on for over a month now, who knew?!?! Well, I knew...because my phone keeps getting notifications about the latest Wisconsin player lost for the season due to injury.
Let’s just get this out of the way now, folks: it is going to be a looooooooong season for your Wisconsin Badgers. This was already a rebuilding year and now the Badgers are going to try and play the rest of the year with, as far as I can tell, one guard who only has one working shoulder. D’Mitrik Trice AND Kobe King are out for the year and Brad Davison’s arm is liable to fly out of its socket at any point. Charles Thomas and Andy Van Vliet are competing for most useless player in the country 6’8” and up division. Brevin Pritzl can’t shoot...which is what he was recruited to do. Khalil Iverson is maddeningly inconsistent and I’m not sure if Alex Illikainen is still playing basketball competitively. Nate Reuvers and Aleem Ford have shown flashes, kind of, and Ethan Happ has attempted FOUR THREE POINTERS!!!!!!!
So, um, this might be a good season to check out the rest of the country and see who is good there!
/checks most recent AP Top-25
WHY THE HELL IS ARIZONA STATE IN THE TOP-5!?!?! I CAN NOT DEAL WITH THIS MADNESS!
Nevermind, this is stupid. This whole sport is stupid. TCU is undefeated and ranked and Loyola of Chicago has more than twice the votes of Syracuse. Let’s talk some Big Ten hoops!
(All rankings and records are current as of Monday December 11th, 2017)
KenPom rank: 82nd AdjEM, 51st AdjO, 174th AdjD
Last week’s results: 5-5 overall, 1-1 B1G
Biggest strength: Look, I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve watched about four total college basketball games this year that didn’t include Wisconsin so we’re going to keep this Roast light and use it as a summary of each team’s season up until now.
De’Ron Davis is a 6’10” sophomore that is really coming into his own this season and has scored in double figures every game except two, while only playing 51% of the team’s minutes.
Biggest weakness: Lost to Indiana State at home to open the season and the Archie Miller Era. Somehow this was Tom Crean’s fault.
This week’s schedule: Saturday vs. No. 18 Notre Dame (Indianapolis)
Illinois Fighting Illini
KenPom rank: 100th AdjEM, 148th AdjO, 72nd AdjD
Last week’s results: 7-4 overall, 0-2 B1G
Biggest strength: Kipper Nichols is grabbing an insane amount of rebounds when he is on the court and it has helped the team have the 31st best offensive rebounding percentage in the nation.
Biggest weakness: The Illini have lost both conference games they’ve played in overtime and if that streak keeps up I’d imagine it’ll be some sort of record.
This week’s schedule: Wednesday vs. Longwood (heh); Saturday vs. New Mexico State
KenPom rank: 80th AdjEM, 77th AdjO, 112th AdjD
Last week’s results: 5-6 overall, 0-2 B1G
Biggest strength: Jordan Bohannon is making nearly 46% of his three point attempts and Tyler Cook (who is a personal favorite player of mine) is playing predictably well.
Biggest weakness: Have beaten, much like the rest of the conference outside MSU, zero teams of consequence and can’t make free throws.
This week’s schedule: Saturday vs. Drake (neutral site)
KenPom rank: 38th AdjEM, 22nd AdjO, 58th AdjD
Last week’s results: 9-3 overall, 1-1 B1G
Biggest strength: Beat Butler, which counts as a good win! Grab almost all (39%) of their misses on the offensive glass. Play a religion on Tuesday night. I wonder what position the Pope plays?
Biggest weakness: Turn the ball over more than their fifth string quarterback did this fall.
This week’s schedule: Tuesday vs. Catholic (what???)
KenPom rank: 41st AdjEM, 44th AdjO, 44th AdjD
Last week’s results: 8-3 overall, 1-1 B1G
Biggest strength: Mo Wagner, who is every German villain from every movie ever made if you’ll remember last year, is having a monster year after returning for his junior year.
Biggest weakness: Hold on, how is Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman still in college? He has been around longer than Josh Gasser was. MAAR better be a few credits away from his doctorate. Also, the Wolverines don’t get to the free throw line enough and when they do get there they don’t make any.
This week’s schedule: Tuesday at Texas; Saturday vs. Detroit (neutral site)
Michigan State Spartans
KenPom rank: 2nd AdjEM, 14th AdjO, 2ns AdjD
Last week’s results: 9-1 overall, 2-0 B1G
Biggest strength: Beat UNC and Notre Dame already and have been playing lockdown defense. Miles Bridges is really awesome and Jaren Jackson had eight blocks in a game and Cassius Winston is dropping dimes everywhere and shooting 61% (!!!!) from distance and Nick Ward is still nicknamed Big Pudding. This is a strong team.
Biggest weakness: They turn the ball over a little too much, I guess. Otherwise this is a Final Four team that probably won’t lose too many games in conference this year.
This week’s schedule: Saturday vs. Oakland
KenPom rank: 35th AdjEM, 22nd AdjO, 58th AdjD
Last week’s results: 8-3 overall, 1-1 B1G
Biggest strength: Jordan Murphy is having an all-conference season so far and Isaiah Washington looks like he’ll be a great replacement for Nate Mason at point guard. Reggie Lynch could block your shot of crumpled up paper at a waste basket no matter where you are. He’s that good at patrolling the paint.
Biggest weakness: Not as good as they think they are. Almost lost to a three man Alabama team. Gives up a lot of threes.
This week’s schedule: Last night vs. Drake (barely won, btw)
KenPom rank: 90th AdjEM, 129th AdjO, 75th AdjD
Last week’s results: 7-4 overall, 1-1 B1G
Biggest strength: Beat Minnesota, which was unexpected. Beat Boston College, who beat Duke, sooooooooooo...
Biggest weakness: Give up a lot of points inside the three point line and allow teams a lot of second chance opportunities.
This week’s schedule: Saturday at No. 7 Kansas
KenPom rank: 58th AdjEM, 53rd AdjO, 76th AdjD
Last week’s results: 5-4 overall, 1-1 B1G
Biggest strength: Held Chicago State to eight points in the first half last night. Chicago State is basically a really good high school team, but still! Really good at making free throws. Bryant McIntosh has only missed one free throw this year on 26 attempts.
Biggest weakness: I don’t know, man. They’re pretty good but they haven’t beaten anybody good yet so who really knows?
This week’s schedule: Last night vs. Chicago State; Thursday vs. Valparaiso; Saturday at DePaul
Ohio State Buckeyes
KenPom rank: 51st AdjEM, 56th AdjO, 46th AdjD
Last week’s results: 8-3 overall, 2-0 B1G
Biggest strength: Bullied Wisconsin in Madison and then worked Michigan over in the next game. They’ve only really looked outclassed when they played Gonzaga, in which there is no shame.
Biggest weakness: Jae’Sean Tate won’t return any of my calls. I love him like a son still.
This week’s schedule: Saturday vs. Appalachian State
Penn State Nittany Lions
KenPom rank: 40th AdjEM, 73rd AdjO, 18th AdjD
Last week’s results: 8-3 overall, 1-1 B1G
Biggest strength: They block shots and force steals at an extremely high clip. Tony Carr is going to be a player you hear about at the end of the year as “a player you didn’t hear too much about this year but he’s having a great year.” Remember his name.
Biggest weakness: Lost to the Badgers at home which could hurt the Nittany Lions come Tourney time. WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST WRITE?!?!?!
This week’s schedule: Sunday at George Mason
KenPom rank: 8th AdjEM, 10th AdjO, 14th AdjD
Last week’s results: 10-2 overall, 2-0 B1G
Biggest strength: Have already beaten six teams in KenPom’s top-100, including Arizona, Louisville, Maryland and Marquette. HOLY SHIT! Purdue has a 7’3” freshman WITH TWO “As” IN HIS LAST NAME TO REPLACE ISAAC HAAS! How do they do it? I want to be that type of niche recruiter for Wisconsin. Like, I only recruit point guards that have wispy mustaches and an attitude problem.
Biggest weakness: Lost to Western Kentucky for some reason.
This week’s schedule: Saturday vs. Butler (Indianapolis)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
KenPom rank: 104th AdjEM, 230th AdjO, 32nd AdjD
Last week’s results: 8-3 overall, 0-2 B1G
Biggest strength: Has a whole bunch of wins! The best one is against the 233rd ranked team in KenPom though.
Biggest weakness: Is Rutgers.
This week’s schedule: Tuesday vs. Fordham; Saturday vs. No. 16 Seton Hall
KenPom rank: 60th AdjEM, 87th AdjO, 40th AdjD
Last week’s results: 4-7 overall, 1-1 B1G
Biggest strength: Ethan Happ is good and Brad Davison looks promising. I like Aleem Ford’s game too. Otherwise, not much has gone right for the Badgers this year. The next four games are all winnable, and they must be won for UW to have a shot at the postseason, because then B1G play starts in earnest and I don’t know how many games the Badgers will be favored in there.
Biggest weakness: Wisconsin has played an extremely tough schedule (eight teams in KenPom’s top-53) with an extremely young team, but 4-7 is not where they hoped to be at this point. They don’t make threes or free throws at an impressive clip and opposing teams are double-teaming Happ every time he even looks at the ball. Defensive rotations have looked a touch slow too, which is to be expected with so many new players. T.J. Schlundt’s name sounds like a curse word and I feel weird saying it.
This week’s schedule: Wednesday vs. Western Kentucky