It's pretty astonishing that last Saturday's Michigan-Michigan State matchup was the first between two 6-0 or better B1G teams, but it's no surprise that two of the top performers from that game are represented in this edition of Team of the Week. That's not to say there wasn't a surprise or two in this week's voting, at least for those of you who don't make Nebrasketball part of your weekend viewing schedule.
Player of the Week (tie):
Nik Stauskas, Michigan - 2 GP, 22.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.5 rpg, 9-15 3pt FG (60%)
Terran Petteway, Nebraska - 2 GP, 25 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 apg, 7-12 3pt FG (58%)
Stauskas got most of the plaudits this week after his impressive performances in Michigan's two-victory week. Headlined by his not-so-crowd-pleasing display at the Breslin Center, where his Wolverines took down the Spartans for the second consecutive season on the back of the sophomore's 19 points, Stauskas has been dominating the B1G in 2014. His shooting percentages in conference play (51%/44%/80%) are outstanding, and he's rising up the draft boards as a result - Draft Express slots him in the middle of the first round in their newest mock draft.
Petteway makes his first appearance in Team of the Week this season, and it's quite a debut - the Texas Tech transfer's 35-point outing against Minnesota was rewarded by our voters with a co-Player of the Week nod. I'm struggling to think of a more impressive individual performance than 35/6 reb/3 ast on 10-15 shooting in 31 minutes since B1G play began, so this selection is well earned. Petteway and the Huskers have been a tough out at worst in their new home arena, so let this be a warning to the rest of the B1G - don't take Big Red lightly.
Gary Harris, Michigan St. - 2 GP, 25.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4 spg, 8-12 3pt FG (67%)
We've got a few Michiganders (Michigites? Michigeers?) on staff here at BTP, so perhaps a pair of maize-tinted glasses prevented one of them from making Harris another co-PotW, but nonetheless - the Spartan sophomore continued to pick up the slack in Adreian Payne's absence, posting two 20-point games on ridiculous shooting percentages (59% from the floor). His impact wasn't limited to the offensive end, though - his eight steals on the week show what makes him such a well-rounded player and such an enticing NBA prospect.
Malik Smith, Minnesota - 2 GP, 21.5 ppg 2.5 rpg, 1.5 rpg, 9-16 3pt FG (56%)
Malik Smith might be just a shooter, but I'm sure Rich Pitino or any coach would be okay with that when their shooter hits eight threes in a game. That's what Smith did on Sunday at Nebraska, posting 29 points in what is the leader in the clubhouse for best performance in a losing effort in B1G play. The FIU transfer was simply on fire, hitting all but four of his long-range attempts in Minnesota's ultimately futile comeback bid. His 14 points against Wisconsin in the Barn was perhaps an even more welcome contribution in the Gophers' biggest win of the season. Smith's increased workload could well stay at this level until leading scorer Andre Hollins returns from an ankle injury, but there doesn't appear to be any reason for Minny fans to worry.
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana - 2 GP, 18 ppg, 4 apg, 2.5 rpg, 8-20 FG (40%)
Indiana's play has fluctuated from impressive (home win against Wisconsin) to deflating (home loss against Northwestern) on a game-to-game basis, and perhaps no player has represented that trend more than Ferrell. He's leading the Hoosiers in scoring and assists, but he's not always been the model of efficiency; he's shooting just 44% on shots inside the arc and his 1.42:1 A/TO ratio isn't quite worthy of "elite" point guard status. But when he's on his game, Indiana can be tough to beat. Just ask Illinois, who Ferrell gashed for 17 of his team's 51 points on 4-7 shooting to go with his 5 assists.