Here are the Big Ten Top Performers from this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Merry Christmas to everyone!
Big Ten Top Performers
Carsen Edwards, Purdue
Carsen Edwards is becoming a regular on this list. He’s emerging as not just a go-to player for Matt Painter’s Purdue Boilermakers, he’s quickly becoming one of the top scorers in the conference. Purdue has balance. They have size. Edwards is a big-time scorer and one of the best defenders in the Big Ten. His 26 points, three rebounds and four assists led the way in Purdue’s dominant win against lowly Tennessee State.
Kevin Huerter, Maryland
Kevin Huerter of the Maryland Terrapins put up some gaudy rebounding numbers in Maryland’s 25-point win over Fairleigh Dickenson. The 6-foot-7 sophomore guard scored 12 points, collected 15 rebounds and notched eight assists in Maryland’s 11th win of the season. Maryland has just one more non-conference game before they suit up against Penn State in 2018.
Josh Newkirk, Indiana
How exactly did the Indiana Hoosiers respond following one of the ugliest losses in school history? With a resounding 28-point win over Tennessee Tech at Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Josh Newkirk, a senior from Raleigh, North Carolina and who played his first two seasons of eligibility at Pitt had his best game in years. Newkirk put up 20 points and was three of four from the 3-point line. The Hoosiers can use some consistent play out of their seniors come Big Ten play.
Charles Matthews, Michigan
Sure, Charles Matthews plays erratic at times. That’s okay. Michigan will take his passion and productivity any day of the week. In an easy, cupcake game against Alabama A&M, Charles Matthews went off yet again. His 31 points in just 26 minutes was impressive because of his shooting percentage. Matthews was 12 for 15 from the field and was five for seven from the free throw line. He’s always been a scorer, now he’s playing smarter and under control.
James Palmer Jr., Nebraska
The Nebraska Cornhuskers’ leading scorer is a new addition to the team in 2017-2018. James Palmer Jr., a former Miami Hurricanes player continues to put up eye-popping scoring numbers in his first season in Lincoln. Palmer Jr scored 18 points against Delaware State on Friday. The junior has scored in double figures in 13 of Nebraska’s 14 games so far this season.
Jordan Murphy, Minnesota
Jordan Murphy leads the Big Ten in scoring. At 240 pounds he’s a double-double machine for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Minnesota has just one loss at home this season (to Miami in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge). Their home court advantage figures to play a role in Minnesota’s next three games, all of which are at home: vs Harvard, vs Illinois and vs Indiana. If Gophers guard Nate Mason has to miss any time because of injury, Jordan Murphy will have to play an even bigger role in Minnesota’s offense than he already does.
Brad Davison, Wisconsin
This was a coming out party of sorts for freshman guard Brad Davison. The Wisconsin Badgers had no issues against the in-state cupcake Green Bay Phoenix. Davison had a long (diverse) list of scholarship offers coming out of high school, and it appears he’s finding his scoring groove playing in Madison under Greg Gard.
Leron Black and Trent Frazier, Illinois
Leron Black left it all out on the court in Illinois’ fifth consecutive Braggin’ Rights win over the Missouri Tigers. His 20 points and seven rebounds (many of those rebounds earned battling Jeremiah Tilmon) were important for the undersized Illini. Black scored on dunks, three-pointers, mid-range jumpers and everything in between. Illinois needed some leadership out on the court Saturday night. Leron Black was Man of the Match on the biggest of regular season stages.
Shout out too goes to Illinois freshman guard Trent Frazier. Frazier was critical for the Illini, especially in the second half when Mizzou kept cutting into the big halftime lead. Frazier scored a career-high 22 points and made 10 of 11 free throws in the game. He can get his own shot whenever he wants. He has a great feel for the game and is improving by the day. His ceiling is tremendously high and coach Brad Underwood is confident putting the ball in Trent Frazier’s hands late in the game.