Indiana Hoosiers, Cody Zeller lead strong Big Ten basketball outlook

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cody-zeller

The Big Ten has been pretty weak in college football this season. That’s obvious. But as down as football might be, Big Ten college basketball is up just as much, perhaps even more. The league has three of the top five in the coaches poll, and five teams in the top 25. The Hoosiers are number one in the poll, with the Buckeyes number four and the Wolverines number five.

Today was the conference’s media day, held right here in Chicago. And here’s who the media picked for to finish at the top of the league, and to make the all-Big Ten team.

Already named the preseason No. 1 team in the nation by several publications, Indiana has been chosen as the Big Ten favorite heading into the 2012-13 season as voted on by a panel of conference media. The media also tabbed Hoosier sophomore Cody Zeller as the Preseason Player of the Year. Michigan and Ohio State, two of the three teams that shared the 2011-12 Big Ten title, were selected to finish second and third, respectively, in the conference.

Zeller was a unanimous pick to the Preseason All-Big Ten Team and was joined on the squad by the Wolverines’ Trey Burke, the Buckeyes’ Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas and Penn State’s Tim Frazier.

Indiana returns all five starters and 11 total letterwinners from last year’s team that advanced to the Sweet 16 and finished with a 27-9 overall record. The Hoosiers are led by fifth-year head coach Tom Crean. Zeller was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the conference coaches last year and was a second-team All-Big Ten honoree by the coaches and media last season.

Michigan welcomes back three starters from last year’s NCAA Tournament squad that won a share of the Big Ten title. Head Coach John Beilein enters his sixth year with the program and returns a pair of All-Big Ten selections in Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. Burke was the media’s selection for Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season.

Ohio State returns three starters from last year’s Final Four squad. The Buckeyes won a share of last year’s Big Ten title and are led by ninth-year head coach Thad Matta. Craft and Thomas both earned All-Big Ten recognition a season ago, while Craft was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.

The complete 2012 Preseason All-Big Ten Team and preseason poll can be found below.

2012-13 BIG TEN PRESEASON RANKINGS
1. Indiana
2. Michigan
3. Ohio State

2012-13 PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM
CODY ZELLER, Indiana

Trey Burke, Michigan

Aaron Craft, Ohio State

Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State

Tim Frazier, Penn State

2012-13 PRESEASON BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Cody Zeller, Indiana

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too

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