This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

  Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno

Big Ten Power Poll No. 6: Gophers fourth, OSU reigns

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball Updated: December 22, 2010 - 7:27 PM

Hello all.

Sorry I'm publishing this so late.

But here is the sixth Big Ten Power Poll.

The results do not take Wednesday night's results into account.

The Gophers finished fourth and Ohio State held onto its No. 1 post. Purdue shot up to third.

3MWQwZmJKY241a3c&hl=en">You can see each individual ballot here.

 
 
1.      Ohio State – Joshua Powers says, “This team is just dangerous. One night Jared Sullinger will go for 30 and 19, including a half-court three, another night Jon Diebler will hit nine threes, and another night David Lighty will drop 30 on you. No other team in the Big Ten – or maybe even the country – has this type of versatile star power.” My 2 Cents: Sullinger and the gang are still rolling. The Big Ten is beginning to look like the Jackson 5. The Buckeyes are Michael Jackson and everybody else is singing backup.
 
2.      Michigan State – Nathan Wickman says, “Have a good chance to help remind everybody how good they actually are on Wednesday when the play Texas. On one hand, the schedule has been brutal. On the other, they're just 1-3 against good teams.  Even if those teams are some of the best in the country, Michigan State is supposed to be there too. They may not NEED to beat Texas, but it would sure help.”  My 2 Cents: The Tom Izzo suspension was just another distraction for a team that’s endured limited offcourt challenges in recent years. Surprising.
 
3.      Purdue – Joshua Powers says, “JaJuan Johnson is playing like former Purdue star and national player of the year Glenn Robinson on the inside. And the Boilers are sliding under the radar right now.  With a relatively easy start to Big Ten play, Purdue could easily be 15-1 coming to Williams Arena on Jan. 13. With the Gophers' tough conference schedule out of the gate, this could be a pivotal game for both teams.” My 2 Cents: JaJuan Johnson has been a monster in this six-game win streak. The Boilermakers avoided the expected collapse without Robbie Hummel ... so far.
 
4.      Minnesota – Nadine Babu says, “I wasn't able to move the Gophers up due to a win against Akron (which really should have been a blow out, and not that close), but I'm glad the AP did!”  My 2 Cents: They’re 10-1 and they haven’t had their starting point guard for five games. They have the tools to start strong in a tough Big Ten.  
 
5.      Illinois – Dan Owen says, “Losing that game to UIC was just the latest example of a Big Ten team being unable to separate itself from the pack as a true No. 2 team in conference.  This team has holes that I'm not convinced it will be able to patch over during Big Ten play.” My 2 Cents: Illini fans should be very concerned about the Illini’s collapse down the stretch against UIC. It’s a challenge the program has had in recent years … maintaining poise in tough games.
 
6.      Wisconsin – Damian Johnson says, “[Jon] Leuer and [Jordan] Taylor … that's all I can say about Wisconsin.” My 2 Cents: The Badgers haven’t lost in December. And they’re averaging just 9.0 turnovers per game. That Notre Dame loss looks like a hiccup for a talented squad.
 
7.      Northwestern – Dan Owen says, “I'll forgive one little bump in the road here for the Wildcats. [John] Shurna is proving me wrong. I really thought he'd end up just being a flash in the pan kind of guy. Still, this team is going to really have to play well every night in order to get to the tourney. There is not much room for error for them.” My 2 Cents: Lost their first game of the season to St. John’s, after blowing a halftime lead. And now there are even more questions about their NCAA tourney potential.
 
8.      Michigan – Eric Johnston says, “Good win over Oakland; however, still not sold.” My 2 Cents: Wolverines beat a solid Oakland team. They’re young but intense.
 
9.      Indiana – Christopher Cramer says, “Hoosiers fell apart in the last quarter of their two losses this season. Will they fall apart in the last quarter of the season as well? I think they can make the postseason, but they will have to finish games better in order to do that.” My 2 Cents: Still not sure what to make of the Hoosiers. But I’m interested to see what happens with this program this year.
 
10. Iowa –Nathan Wickman says, “Actually manage to get out of the cellar on my ballot, something I didn't think would happen at any point this year. I also didn't think they'd win five games all year, and they already have seven after beating Louisiana Tech.” My 2 Cents: A 7-5 mark entering Big Ten play is better than what many anticipated from this crew.
 
11. Penn State – Damian Johnson says, “[Penn State] lost to Maine. I didn't even know there was college basketball in the whole state of Maine.” My 2 Cents: Nittany Lions going into Big Ten play with back-to-back losses. Not good.
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