The Sports inquirer attended the post-game presser of Northwestern men’s basketball head coach Chris Collins following his team’s 52-51 road defeat to Georgia Tech on Nov. 28. Topics included the loss, the Wildcats’ offensive struggles and areas for improvement. Northwestern hosts Illinois in its Big Ten opener on Dec. 1.
Player of the Week
Jake Layman, Maryland
F – 6-8 – Jr. – Wrentham, Mass. – King Phillip Regional
- Averaged 17.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game with a pair of double-doubles in leading the Terrapins to wins over Rutgers and Michigan State
- Went 16-of-19 from the free throw line (.842) for the week
- Scored 12 points, corralled 13 rebounds and handed out three assists in the Terrapins’ game against Rutgers
- Poured in a season-high 23 points, including an 11-of-12 effort from the free throw line, and pulled down 12 rebounds, to help Maryland complete the season sweep versus Michigan State
- Currently tied for second in the Big Ten with 8.7 rebounds per contest in conference play
- Has posted four double-doubles this season
- Earns his second career Big Ten Player of the Week honor
- Last Maryland Player of the Week: Jake Layman (Dec. 22, 2014)
Freshman of the Week
D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State
G – 6-5 – Louisville, Ky. – Montverde Academy
- Averaged 24.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game in Ohio State’s split versus Michigan and at Iowa
- For the week, shot 47.1 percent (16-of-34) from the field, 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from three-point range and 81.8 percent (9-of-11) from the free throw line
- Scored 21 points, handed out six assists, swiped four steals and corralled four rebounds in the 71-52 win over the Wolverines
- Recorded his first double-double of the season with 27 points and 14 rebounds against Iowa
- Currently ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring at 20.5 points per game in conference play
- Has scored 20 or more points in five of the last seven games
- Earns his third Freshman of the Week honor
- Last Ohio State Freshman of the Week: D’Angelo Russell (Dec. 29, 2014)
The Big Ten Conference announced today an extensive agreement with Madison Square Garden to feature the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament in New York City for the first time in 2018, along with men’s basketball and hockey doubleheaders hosted by the legendary arena from 2016 through 2019 and a significant branding presence both inside and outside the building.
“We are thrilled to establish this long-term partnership with Madison Square Garden, one of the most-revered brands and buildings in all of sports,” Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany said. “This pairing is a natural fit for us as we continue to extend our brand and live in two regions of the country. The Garden has been the site of countless iconic moments throughout history, and we look forward to showcasing some of the best basketball and hockey programs in the country through this partnership.”
“We are proud and honored to collaborate with the Big Ten on this unprecedented partnership,” Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Sports, said. “Teaming up with the Big Ten for the men’s basketball tournament and the basketball and hockey doubleheaders will be a win for college sports fans and the nearly 100,000 conference alumni that live in the New York metropolitan area.”
The 2018 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will be held at Madison Square Garden from Wednesday, Feb. 28, through Sunday, March 4, with all 14 conference programs competing for the Big Ten’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The 2018 event will be held one week earlier than previous tournaments, ending seven days before NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday.
Big Ten men’s basketball and hockey programs will also be featured at Madison Square Garden during the regular season, with four consecutive doubleheaders featuring conference competition held in late January or early February from 2016 through 2019. The first doubleheader will feature the Michigan and Penn State basketball and hockey teams playing at The Mecca on Jan. 30, 2016.
In addition, the Big Ten will receive year-round branding opportunities at Madison Square Garden, including signage inside and outside of the facility and select promotion through print, television and social media outlets affiliated with the arena and its tenants.
Madison Square Garden is celebrating 80 years of college basketball this season, with the first games held on December 29th, 1934, when Westminster defeated St. John’s and NYU beat Notre Dame. The Garden is home to many historic moments in its illustrious history – NCAA and NIT Championships, Big East Tournaments, “The Sweater Game,” Oscar Robertson’s 56 point outburst against Seton Hall and the historic CCNY Double Championship. And, for the first time in 53 years the NCAA Tournament returned to The Garden last season, including an appearance by Michigan State from the Big Ten. The Garden is poised again to deliver New York area fans many more thrilling moments well into the future.
The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament has been held in either Chicago or Indianapolis through the first 17 years of its existence. The annual event returns to the United Center for the ninth time in 2015 and will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the 10th time in 2016, before making its first appearance on the East Coast when the 2017 event is held at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The tournament will return to Chicago in 2019 and 2021 and Indianapolis in 2020 and 2022.