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Big Ten: Top Three Point Guards So Far

Rick Osentoski- US Presswire

If you love good point guard play, then the Big Ten is the place for you.  Every team it seems has a good point guard, as the position is as rich as any in the conference.  The Big Ten undoubtedly has the best lead guards in the nation. So far this season these point guards have shown how good they are.  Here are my top three Big Ten point guards.

#3 Aaron Craft- Ohio State

Craft, the 6-2 junior, leads Ohio State’s dangerous attack on both ends of the floor.  On offense he is a steady handler who creates for others.  Craft has a terrific 4 to 1 assist to turnover ratio, in his third year as the starting Buckeye point guard.  The biggest difference for Craft, through just eight games, has been his increased scoring.  He has been much more aggressive on offense, averaging 12 points a game, compared to last year’s 9 a game.  He has been much less efficient when shooting the ball, though, as a result of his high volume shooting.  But, Craft’s best attribute is still his defense.  He creates so much trouble at the top of the key for opposing guards, slowing the opponent’s entire offense.  Craft, along with Deshaun Thomas are carrying a strong Ohio State team, that should be in the conference title conversation in a couple of months.

#2 Kieth Appling- Michigan State

Michigan State has not been particularly impressive, but you can’t blame that on Appling.  The sophomore guard has been really good.  Appling, who is playing 35 minutes a game, has done everything for Michigan State.  He leads the team in scoring (16 points per game), assists (4.4 a game), is second in steals (1.6) and in three point shooting percentage (43%).  The Spartans are a flawed team, that has to start playing better,  But, the finger cannot be pointed at Appling.  He and freshman sensation, Gary Harris, and Branden Dawson are going to make an incredibly talented backcourt all year.

#1 Trey Burke- Michigan

This is as easy as it gets.  Burke is one of the best two or three point guards in the country.  He was selected to the preseason All-American team, this year after a great freshman season.  Burke has been off to a great start this year, even better than last.  He is averaging 17 points, and an extremely impressive 7 assists a game.  He leads a dynamic, athletic Michigan offense.  His best game of his career came last Tuesday against NC State, when he had 9 assists in the first half with no points or turnovers.  He followed that up with an 18 point second half, winning it for the Wolverines.  Burke has been a great distributor, having Tim Hardaway Jr., Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas all in double figures.  He is much improved from last season in all facets, and the choice to stay in school is looking real smart.  Burke is leading one of the most dynamic offenses in the country, and doing so flawlessly.

Follow Alex on Twitter at @alexdaleCBB