Meet the first outliersWay too early, of course. But interesting....Wisconsin opponents are scoring just 0.70 points per possession. Then again, the Badgers have played the easiest schedule in the Big Ten thus far.Ohio State, pre-Oden, is a force to be reckoned with, scoring 1.18 points per possession against a schedule that hasn't been murderers' row, perhaps, but has still been quite respectable (e.g., Loyola). Minnesota opponents are shooting 18.6 percent on their threes.Illinois has played one of the easier schedules of any Big Ten team thus far and their glittering numbers reflect that (45.9 3FG pct., just 0.74 opponent points per possession, etc.). But here's a number that's ugly: defensive rebounding. So far this year the Illini are getting only 67.4 percent of the possible rebounds on the defensive end. (Which in itself isn't bad, of course, but given the competition it is.) In this year's three-guard lineup, boards on the defensive glass may well be fewer than in the past. The FG defense will have to be strong.Northwestern has taken Bill Carmody's one-act play to heart! The Wildcats have turned the ball over on just 14.9 percent of their possessions. Unfortunately they're hitting only 31.6 percent of their (numerous) threes.Penn State is struggling with something they did quite respectably last year: outside shooting. The Nittany Lions are hitting just 27.1 percent of their threes.In today's less Wonk-ish venues.... Georgia Tech beat Purdue 79-61 last night in first-round action at the EA-Sports Maui Invitational. Hoary old conference stereotypes notwithstanding, it was the ACC team that owned the boards in this game (50.0 offensive rebound pct.; 72.1 defensive) and the Big Ten team that jacked up a ton of threes and missed them (4-of-24). Carl Landry led the Boilers with 14 points while David Teague did everything in his power to illustrate the validity of comments made in my Purdue preview by going 2-of-9 on his threes. Freshman Boiler Chris Kramer said Purdue's shooting woes were due to good D by the Yellow Jackets: "Their pressure defense sped us up a lot. And when they were closing out on shooters, their guys were 6-3 or 6-4. They are running at you when you're trying to get shots off. You hurry your shot, and our shots were off." For more, see the spanking good recap from long-suffering but now more hopeful Boiler fan Matt May. (Box score.)Villanova beat Iowa 89-60 in the consolation game of the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands last night. The Wildcats pounded their offensive glass (15 boards out of 29 possible) and hit threes virtually at will (14-of-27) to score 1.34 points per possession, the worst defensive performance by a Steve Alford team since at least 2003-04. Add in the fact that the Hawkeyes responded to Villanova's press by coughing the ball up 22 times in a 66-possession game and you have an honest to goodness blowout. Adam Haluska led Iowa in shots and points (18). Tyler Smith recorded the season's most dubious dub-dub thus far: 12 points and 10 turnovers. "We didn't play at our pace," Smith said afterward. Wow, 66 possessions is too fast? Is Iowa the new Northwestern? Stay tuned! (Box score.)Ohio State beat San Francisco 82-60 in Columbus last night. Seldom has the West Virginia-in-2006 lesson been on more vivid display: despite posting, by far, their worst shooting of the year, the Buckeyes recorded their best offensive showing of the year, scoring 1.23 points per possession. How? By turning the ball over just six times in a 66-possession game. (OK, 19 offensive boards on 42 chances didn't hurt, either.)...Until Greg Oden hits the floor, it would appear that the following words can be put into auto-text: Daequan Cook came off the bench and led OSU in shots and points (20). Mike Conley Jr. missed a dub-dub by a hair, recording 12 points and nine assists....San Francisco coach Jessie Evans is impressed with these Buckeyes, even pre-Oden: "They seem to have a lot of fun together. They seem to enjoy their roles and know their roles…that compensates for their lack of experience." (Box score.)Minnesota plays Iowa State tonight in Minneapolis. Spencer Tollackson is listed as day-to-day after appearing to injure his left ankle Friday night in the Gophers' win against Long Island....First-year Cyclone coach Greg McDermott has only eight eligible players on scholarship.Penn State plays Bucknell in State College tonight. Ed DeChellis says the Bison "will be the best team we've played by far, so far"--troubling, in as much as the Nittany Lions are coming off an eight-point home loss to Stony Brook.Northwestern plays Brown tonight in Evanston. The Bears are coached by former Wildcat assistant Craig Robinson.Illinois plays Savannah State in Champaign tonight, a game that will mark Rich McBride's return to action after serving a four-game suspension for his September DUI arrest. But in light of the strong play to date of starting guards Chester Frazier, Trent Meacham, and Calvin Brock, Bruce Weber is doing his best Norman Dale and saying his team is on the floor, so to speak. "There's no way I would change the lineup," Weber says. "First of all, these guys have played really well. Rich hasn't played a game. Until things somehow go differently, these guys are the starters." For his part Frazier sounds happy to have McBride back: "Forty minutes hurts....This is going to make us a lot deeper." Michigan State plays Vermont tonight in East Lansing. Tom Izzo's name has been mentioned for the opening as head coach of the Michigan State football team--and Izzo's not rejecting it entirely. If someone asked him if he would be interested, what would he say? "I would have to say no, but I'd probably deep down have to say yeah, I would." He also noted he'd had an opportunity to coach defensive backs at Cal State Fullerton 25 years ago. (Oracular Spartan observer Steve Grinczel sorts it all out here.)...Goran Suton needs to lose the "deer-in-the-headlights-look," according to Izzo, who also met with Matt Trannon yesterday to discuss whether or not the combination football-basketball player will join the basketball team this season. No decisions yet.Wisconsin sophomore Marcus Landry says he feels like he's "starting over"--in a good way....Profile of redshirt freshman Mickey Perry here. Wonk back! Don't just mutter ineffectually; email me!