Well wasn't that first week just special? The Hawkeyes are on a war path, seemingly still pissed and seething from that Iowa State (blown) loss. The turtles laid waste to two members of the Felidae family, still waiting to hear if they indulged themselves in pizza after. Indiana seemed to have washed themselves of their early season/tournament sins in a deep river of crimson -- now if only they could just stop turning the ball over. And those pesky and youthful nuts from Ohio haven't missed a beat since surprising the Kentucky Wildcats.
Oh what fun it is, indeed.
And to top it all off, there were some spectacular individual performances from a Hoosier, Terp and Wildcat:
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana Hoosiers
Indiana has a big problem with turning the ball over and Ferrell has been as big a culprit as anyone on this roster. But this isn't anything really new with the senior point guard. While last season he kept his turnover rate down to 14.5%, he's hovering above 18% so far this year -- and 24.6% in the two conference games Indiana has played in. That increase can be chalked up to missing starters, foul trouble or the length in between games, but truly, it's the only negative thing going on with Ferrell's game.
He was tremendous on the road against Rutgers on Wednesday, finishing the game with 20 points, three rebounds, seven assists and two steals. He shot 42.9% on fourteen shots and finished 7-9 from the free throw line. Was he trying to do a little too much without James Blackmon Jr. on the court? Of course. But that's one of the best parts of watching Ferrell play right now... he can force his will when the Hoosiers need it and come out looking like a streaking offensive juggernaut.
The same can be said of Ferrell's second half performance at Nebraska. Tom Crean's point guard scored 15 of his 24 total points in the second half, pushing his motor to "all systems go" the minute he stepped foot back onto the court from the locker room. And because of that -- and with the help of Thomas Bryant -- turned a three point deficit into a 12-point lead. For a lack of a better term, and to steal from Tim Miles, Ferrell went "nuts" on the Cornhuskers. Absolutely nuts.
Just fast forward to the 30 second mark and watch. Those two shots? Onions. Pure Onions. He didn't just score though, as Ferrell finished with three rebounds, seven assists and one steal.
Also, screw dabbing because there is nothing better than Yogi putting items in his picnic basket for a celebration:
Diamond Stone, Maryland Terrapins
Pure dominance. It's really the only word I could come up with without using a thesaurus to describe the freshman big man's game against those poor Nittany Lions. Like Ferrell, Stone decided to save his best performance for after halftime, scoring 32 of his 39 points. He was 10-15 from the field, 19-25 from the free throw line (insert the Home Alone/Ghost Face emoji). He also grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked two shots and finished with one steal just for good measure in 32 total minutes of game play.
To make this even more impressive, Stone's 39-point performance marks the fifth (FIFTH!) Maryland player to lead the team in scoring in a game this season. How does that even happen? What are you supposed to do against these guys? Of course, Stone didn't do this all by himself... the play of Melo Trimble and Penn State's game plan to stop him at all costs ultimately created this universe where Diamond Stone could drop half a Benjamin; but it's getting to the point where you are literally damned if you do or damned if you don't when playing the Terps.
And the craziest part is that Stone isn't even starting these games. He's coming off the bench, avoiding foul trouble and just straight up forcing his will on both the first and second units.
One last thing I've noticed about Stone's game: he's so damned good at working the baseline and the weak side of the defense. There's a reason why he was the recipient of all of those Trimble passes and it's because of his impeccable timing, knowing exactly when to flash into open spaces down low. He also has crazy quick bunnies and surreal length that help him on the offensive glass for extra opportunities.
Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern Wildcats
Just a quick shoutout to my main man in Evanston. Bryant, in a loss to Maryland, finished with 17 points, five rebounds, nine assists and three steals. This mostly coming against what will soon be a Big Ten First Teamer in Melo Trimble. He was the only true bright spot in their matchup with the Terps, who ultimately seemed too big, to strong and too long for every other member of the Northwestern roster.