Each week, the Big Ten hands out individual awards to the top player and freshman from the previous seven days.
More often than not, it hardly garners more than passing mention, a quick blurb here and there about how a certain player scored a boatload of points while a freshman came close to doing the same.
Rarely do the conference's coaches talk much about the awards.
Until this week.
It's not like it was exactly a topic all 12 coaches discussed, but two did. And interestingly enough, the coach of the week's top freshman was as confused as any.
Purdue's A.J. Hammons earned his first freshman of the week honor, averaging 24.5 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in two games against Indiana and Northwestern. He scored a career-high 30 against Indiana and shot 71.4 percent and had five blocks.
Against Northwestern, Hammons did not start because he was late for the team bus, but scored 19 and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Still, Painter was unclear how Hammons earned the recognition.
"I was shocked," Painter said. "We lost both games, and you probably shouldn't get an award when you lose. But he has done a good job."
Down the road in Bloomington, however, Tom Crean, coach of the No. 1 team, was wondering why one of his freshmen wasn't recognized.
"I'm curious what Yogi Ferrell has got to do in a week to be part of the freshman of the week conversation," he said. "I thought he had a tremendous week, as did our team in winning three games."
Well, technically the Hoosiers won two games. The third he was referencing to came on the previous Sunday against Michigan State. So while Indiana did play three games in seven days, it was broken up by the start of a new week.
Against Michigan, Ferrell had 14 points, five assists and three turnovers. In a victory over Purdue he had 11 points, three assists and four turnovers. To throw in the statistics from the Michigan State game, he scored 11 with three assists and three turnovers.
"I bring up Yogi's name because we wouldn't be playing this way without the way he played," said Crean, whose team is 20-2.
Hawkeyes lose their Marble
Iowa missed an opportunity to bolster its fledgling NCAA Tournament hopes when it lost at Minnesota last weekend, in part to a 3-pointer in the final seconds by Minnesota's Austin Hollins .
But the Hawkeyes essentially were playing without their best player.
Roy Devyn Marble was held scoreless for the first time since he was a freshman — the latest in a string of tough games for the junior. He scored eight on 3-for-10 shooting against Penn State and reached double figures in two of his previous four games.
"I wasn't as concerned about him until (we played Minnesota)," coach Fran McCaffery said. "I felt like he was playing pretty well, but he was not himself, and that needs to be addressed. I don't think taking him out of the staring lineup is the answer. He's one of our guys, one of our key guys and my leading scorer. He's versatile, can play a number of different positions, he's an experienced guy and I think we just have to help him through it."
Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said 7-foot-2 center Chier Ajou will be out the remainder of the season because of a recurring knee issue. Northwestern will seek a medical redshirt for the freshman.
"He has had knee problems for the whole year," Carmody said. "He can run but not very fast and then his knee swells up."
Ajou, from South Sudan, played in seven games for a total of 30 minutes. He had eight points and four rebounds.
… Minnesota coach Tubby Smith said Trevor Mbakwe 's hand is still sore, but there is nothing serious.
… Painter said senior guard Dru Anthrop is out a couple of weeks with his hand injury.