• Numerous Big Ten women’s basketball games are in the national television spotlight this week, with matchups featured almost daily on BTN and FS1 (and the FOX Sports app), as well as ESPN2. That includes Tuesday’s matinee with Iowa traveling to No. 8/8 Maryland for a 1 p.m. (ET) tipoff on BTN and the FOX Sports app.
  • Credential applications for the 2021 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament will be accepted through Friday (Feb. 26). Media members wishing to apply should contact Chris Masters, Big Ten Associate Director, Communications at cmasters@bigten.org for more details. The tournament will take place March 9-13 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
  • Nebraska’s Isabelle Bourne was selected as the Big Ten Player of the Week, while Iowa’s Caitlin Clark was chosen as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week, the conference announced Monday. It was a record-setting 11th freshman honor for Clark, surpassing the previous mark of 10 by Nebraska’s Jessica Shepard in 2015-16. Clark has a combined 15 weekly awards this year (11 freshman, four player), the most of any Big Ten player in a single season (Iowa’s Megan Gustafson was a 13-time Player of the Week in 2018-19, leading to her selection as the Big Ten’s first consensus National Player of the Year).
  • Northwestern’s Veronica Burton is among 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award, it was announced Tuesday. Burton, who currently leads the nation in steals at 4.24 per game, is aiming to be the first Big Ten player to earn the award, which has been presented each year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club since 2018.
  • Rutgers guard Arella Guirantes is among 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top senior women’s basketball player who has made notable achievements in the award’s four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Guirantes is seeking to become the the fourth student from a current Big Ten school to earn the Senior CLASS Award since its inception in 2002, joining Nebraska’s Kelsey Griffin (2010) and the Iowa duo of Samantha Logic (2015) and Megan Gustafson (2019). Nationwide fan voting will help select this year’s winner (more details at www.seniorclassaward.com), along with balloting from media and coaches, and the recipient will be announced at the NCAA Women’s Final Four April 2-4 in San Antonio.
  • Iowa freshman guard Caitlin Clark posted her fourth consecutive 30-point game and eighth this season on Feb. 18, scoring 32 points (12-21 FG, 6-11 3FG, along with seven assists and six rebounds) in the Hawkeyes’ 96-78 win over visiting Penn State. Clark is the first NCAA Division I freshman with eight 30-point games in a season since 2009-10, when Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne and Oral Roberts’ Kevi Luper both had eight such outings. Clark’s eight 30-point games are also believed to be a Big Ten freshman record, topping the seven by Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell in 2014-15.
  • The Big Ten leads all NCAA Division I conferences with five schools in the top 20 and eight in the top 40 of the latest NCAA NET (NCAA Evaluation Tool) rankings released Tuesday. The current NET rankings are linked above and also listed on page 3 of the PDF version of this release.
  • Six Big Ten programs, the second-most of any Division I conference, are appearing in the latest Associated Press and/or Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today Top 25 polls, with Iowa also receiving votes in the coaches’ poll. Of note this week, Indiana has earned its highest-ever rankings in both poll (No. 11/11).
  • Nine different Big Ten teams have been ranked or receiving votes in one or both polls this season, with Rutgers the seventh Big Ten school to crack the Top 25 this year after its No. 25 ranking in the AP poll on Monday.
  • According to Tuesday’s NCAA statistics report, the Big Ten leads all Division I conferences in scoring (74.0 ppg.) and field-goal percentage (.439), while ranking second in assists (15.7 apg.) and third in three-point percentage (.335).
  • The Big Ten leads the nation with six teams among the top 25 in the country (including three of the top 10 and the country’s No. 1 and 2 teams) in scoring offense. Maryland is first in scoring at 92.4 points per game, followed by Iowa (2nd – 87.9), Ohio State (10th – 82.3), Rutgers (17th – 79.3), Michigan (20th – 78.9) and Michigan State (24th – 77.4). No other conference has more than three teams among the top 25 in the nation in scoring offense.
  • Continuing the theme of high-powered offenses, the Big Ten not only has three teams scoring more than 80 points per game, but more than half (8) of the conference schools are averaging better than 75 points per game, as of Tuesday. The Big Ten has never finished a season with eight teams averaging 75 ppg. — the closest the conference came was in 1995-96, when five of the (then) 11 Big Ten programs averaged more than 75 ppg. (Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin).
  • The Big Ten is also tops among all conferences with four programs in the nation’s top 20 in field-goal percentage. Iowa is No. 2 in the nation (.511), followed by Maryland (6th – .484), Rutgers (7th – .483) and Michigan (16th – .468). Only one other conference even has three schools in the top 20 nationally in field-goal percentage (the ACC, whose trio includes a Duke squad that cancelled its season after four games).
  • The Big Ten’s shooting prowess extends to the three-point line as well, where three conference programs are among the top 10 in the nation in three-point percentage. Maryland is No. 4 in the country in that category (.405), with Rutgers in seventh (.392) and Iowa at No. 9 (.390). No other conference has more than one team in the top 10 in three-point percentage.
  • The Big Ten features two of the nation’s top five in no fewer than four separate NCAA statistical categories, as of Tuesday.  In scoring, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark is second (26.9 ppg.), followed by Michigan’s Naz Hillmon in third (25.9 ppg.). In field-goal percentage, Iowa’s Monika Czinano is No. 1 in field-goal percentage (.671), with Hillmon not far behind in second (.651). In three-point percentage, Rutgers’ Diamond Johnson is second (.533) and Maryland’s Katie Benzan is fourth (.511). And, in steals, Northwestern’s Veronica Burton leads the nation (4.24 spg.), while Rutgers’ Tekia Mack is third (3.60 spg.).
  • For the seventh consecutive season, all Big Ten games during conference play are being televised live on BTN, FS1, the ESPN family of networks or streamed live on Big Ten Network+. The most current schedule of Big Ten women’s basketball games on TV is online at bigten.org/B1GWBBTV.
  • The Big Ten could set a new conference record for the best non-conference winning percentage in regular-season games in a single campaign, currently at .846 (44-8) — the previous record came last year when conference teams went .788 (123-33). This year’s record includes three non-conference Top 25 wins — Maryland 115-96 over No. 14 Arkansas on Nov. 29 (a Big Ten record for points against a ranked team); Michigan 76-66 at No. RV/23 Notre Dame on Dec. 3; Iowa 82-80 over No. RV/24 Iowa State on Dec. 9.
  • On Nov. 23, the Big Ten released its 2020-21 conference schedule, which will see schools play 20 Big Ten games, up two from the previous two seasons. Schools will play seven opponents twice (home and away) and the other six once (three at home and three on the road). To account for the additional games and preserve flexibility in the schedule, the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament has been moved to March 9-13 and will continue to be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
  • On Oct. 23, the Big Ten Conference announced the launch of the ‘United As One’ social justice campaign. ‘United As One’ is among several conference-wide Equality Coalition initiatives dedicated to constructively and collectively recognizing and eliminating racism and hate in our society by creating resources for inclusion, empowerment and accountability.
  • The Big Ten Conference established the Equality Coalition in 2020 with 227 members including presidents and chancellors, directors of athletics, coaches, student-athletes, conference and school administrators, alumni, families and friends representing all 14 institutions.