Busting Brackets

Big Ten Basketball: Illinois, Purdue, and Indiana on top of latest power rankings

Over a month into the season, which Big Ten Basketball teams have played the best as league play nears?

Illinois v Iowa
Illinois v Iowa / Matthew Holst/GettyImages
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13. Maryland Terrapins - 6-4 (1-1)

Things started very slowly for the Terrapins, going 1-3 on the season. That included a 57-40 loss to Villanova. To their credit, they've won 5 of the last 6 games. The only notable win of that group is an overtime win over Penn State, who I have last in the group.

The defense hasn't been the big problem, ranking in the top 40 nationally in scoring defense (64.4 ppg). The problem, as that Villanova loss highlighted, has been the scoring offense. Right now, the team only has two double-digit scorers on the roster Jahmir Young (17.2 ppg and 4.2 apg), as well as big man Julian Reese (15.8 ppg and 9.9 rpg).

The rest of the supporting cast just hasn't been very good. Donta Scott is only at 8.5 ppg, while freshman guard DeShawn Harris-Smith (8.4 ppg and 2.8 apg) has been okay. The others are averaging just around 5.0 ppg, leaving all of the scoring needs to Young and Reese to have any hope of winning games.

Maryland will simply have to have some slugfests going forward to win games. They have four non-con games left, including one against UCLA in Los Angeles on Friday. They'll need that one to have some confidence before the start of Big Ten play.