Nebraska Basketball: Best Big Ten performances from Week 1

Michigan Wolverines center Hunter Dickinson (1) celebrates (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
Michigan Wolverines center Hunter Dickinson (1) celebrates (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Nebraska basketball team was far from the only Big Ten school that saw its season tip-off last week. In fact, the entire conference got rolling, and pretty much everybody got off to a great start. In fact, only Michigan State has a loss so far, and their loss was a nailbiter against second-ranked Gonzaga.

For the first time under Fred Hoiberg, Nebraska basketball is among the teams who started the year 2-0. Rutgers happens to be leading the way when it comes to fast starts as the only team to play and win three games in Week 1.

Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson is off to a monstrous start

There’s very little bout that Hunter Dickinson is one of the best players in the Big Ten conference but it’s a safe bet that he’s officially started his player of the year campaign against a couple of hapless non-conference opponents.

Dickinson leads all scorers in the B1G so far, averaging 26 points a game and scoring 31 points on Friday against Eastern Michigan. The center isn’t just a scorer either as he’s also averaging 9.5 rebounds per contest early on.

Dickinson has been getting steadily better every year he’s played, and it looks like he might be ready for a breakout campaign in 2022-23.

Nebraska basketball has one of the best early scorers in the conference

Entering the season, one of the Huskers’ biggest questions was “who will be their go-to guy?” At least in Week 1 of the college basketball season, that question has been answered emphatically.

Sam Griesel has not only been a leader off the court but he’s led the Cornhuskers to two double-digit wins and a 2-0 record for the first time in years. The North Dakota State transfer, who played his high school ball in Lincoln is third in the Big Ten in scoring with 20 points per game.

He’s also been impressive on the boards as he’s averaging 8 rebounds per game. The Huskers are going to need the guard to keep balling-out as they’ll next take on St. John’s for their first real test of the season on Thursday.

Terrence Shannon Jr. making the most of his opportunities

With so many players scoring 20 points in the Big Ten’s Week 1, some performances might get lost in the shuffle. For Illinois, it wasn’t that senior guard Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 24 against Eastern Illinois but how he did it.

The guard hit 13-of-15 free throws to pad his stats. He also wasn’t just a scorer in the Illini season opener. He also hauled down 8 rebounds. It feels like free-throws are falling out of favor by most teams, but the Illinois star was clearly willing to take what was given to him.

Purdue’s Zach Edey dominant down low

It’s not hard to see why the Nebraska basketball team has struggled the last few years without a real post-threat. The Big Ten has a ton of great big men. Hunter Dickinson grabbed headlines with his scoring but Boilermakers’ star Zach Edey is average a double-double so far and doing it in style.

Not only is Edey averaging 21 points a game but he’s average 14 rebounds per contest. Most interestingly is that he’s been dominant in one facet of the game each outing so far this year. In Purdue’s first game of the year he only scored 12 points but he hauled down 17 rebounds against Milwaukee. Oh, he also blocked 6 shots. In his second game, he scored 30 points while grabbing 12 rebounds.

It’s not a puzzle why Edey was one of the best Big Ten basketball stars of Week 1.