Big Ten Breakdown

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By David K.

The Big Ten will definitely be lacking in strength this season.  There are three teams that should be in the Top 25 throughout the season, a handful of teams that could surprise some people, and a few programs that will struggle mightily.  Here’s a breakdown of how the Big Ten should look at the finish this season.
 

NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS

1. Purdue- I think the Boilermakers are a legitimate Final Four contender.  They return four starters including sophomore Robbie Hummel who has a chance to be the conference player of the year and a talented trio of guards in E’Twuan Moore, Keaton Grant, and Chris Kramer.  Matt Painter has this team buying into a team concept that begins with aggressive play on the defensive end. 

2. Wisconsin- Two things we know about the Badgers every year:  1.) Bo Ryan will get the absolute most out of each of his players 2.) They will suffocate you on the defensive end (UW had the top-ranked defense in the entire nation last season.)  The offensive load will once again be a team effort led by Marcus Landry, Jason Bohannon, Joe Krabbenhoft, and Trevon Hughes.  Keep an eye on freshman guard Jordan Taylor, who has impressed Coach Ryan thus far. 

3. Michigan State- Sparty should be a physical, powerful team led by center Goran Suton, freshman Delvon Roe, Maruis Gray and Big Ten player of the year candidate Raymar Morgan.  Guards Kailin Lucas, Travis Walton, and Durrell Summers will fill the void left by Drew Neitzel.  This team has the depth and talent to compete for the conference crown, but can they play team ball as well as the Boilermakers or Badgers?

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SHOULD BE DANCING

4. Ohio State- It will be another year of re-loading for the Buckeyes who lose their top three scorers from last season.  Luckily for Thad Matta, he has another talented group of freshmen led by 7’ 0” B.J. Mullens, a likely top five pick if he decides to go pro, and guard William Buford. 

BUBBLE TEAMS

5. Minnesota- The Gophers also lose their top three scorers from last season, but still return some experience seeing as how ten players logged at least ten minutes a game last season.  With Tubby Smith running the show for his second straight season, Minnesota should continue to improve.  But will that stride be big enough to get into the NCAA Tournament?

6. Illinois- In losing post players Brian Randle and Shaun Pruitt, the Illini will have to rely on their depth at the guard position this season.  Expect Bruce Weber to go small quite frequently with a mix of Demetri McCamey, Chester Frazier, Trent Meacham, Calvin Brock, and Kentucky transfer Alex Legion.  That group is certainly no Deron Williams/Dee Brown/Luther Head, but could be enough to get Illinois into the tourney.

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NIT BOUND

7. Michigan- Mark my words; sophomore guard Manny Harris will lead the Big Ten in scoring this year.  This team lacked any sort of consistency last season under first year head coach John Beilein, but should be more disciplined this year and could potentially be a sleeper in the weak Big Ten.

8. Penn State- Losing their best player in Geary Claxton last season might not hurt the Nittany Lions this season as much as you might think.  Minus Claxton, they return their five top scorers from last season.  Size will be a major concern and could ultimately determine this team’s fate at the end of the season.

IT’S GOING TO BE A LOOOOOOOONG SEASON

9. Northwestern- Having seven of their top eight players back from last season is the good news.  The bad news is that the Wildcats, who finished 1-17 in the Big Ten last season, lost an exhibition game to Robert Morris College.  Ish.  I guess that’s expected from a program that has NEVER made the NCAA Tournament.

10. Iowa- It’s never good when you look at a team’s roster and only recognize one name from last year’s team.  The Hawkeyes lose a lot of offense in guards Tony Freeman and Justin Johnson and will struggle to find their replacements this season.

11. Indiana- After the Kelvin Sampson debacle, IU is starting from scratch.  Tom Crean has a brand new group of Hoosiers will suffer through some serious growing pains this season.  As a Marquette alum, that makes me smile.

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1st Team

Kevin Coble-NW 
Manny Harris-MICH 
Robbie Hummel-PUR 
Marcus Landry-WIS 
Raymar Morgan-MSU
 

2nd Team

Jamelle Cornley-PSU
Demetri McCamey-ILL
E’Twuan Moore- PUR 
Goran Suton-MSU
Lawrence Westbrook-MIN
 

All-Freshman Team

William Buford-OSU
Colton Iverson-MIN
B.J. Mullens-OSU
Delvon Roe-MSU
Verdell Jones III-IND

Player of the Year- Hummel

Freshman of the Year- Mullens

Coach of the Year- Matt Painter, Purdue
 
 
 
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Comments

  1. I would have to agree with most of what you wrote here. especially about Manny Harris being the leading scorer…on a crappy team. And about Goran Suton developing into a second team pick. Izzo is great about getting his big white oafs to play far beyond their potential. see Davis, Paul and Naymick, Drew

  2. I’m amaazed by much talent the Big Ten lost in the offseason. it was weak last year, and it should be as weak or worse this year. Clearly some recruting and/or development gaps here

  3. prowriter0923 says

    That is a mean set of armpit hair on the Illinois player. I wouldn’t want to be under that guy when he goes for a shot.

  4. Ghost in the Machine says

    Big Ten Hoops is as interesting as watching Paul M. Banks pitch an intramural softball game. If not for the shot clock, the combined point totals of each game would be in the single digits.

    P.S.- Bo Ryan is an ass.

  5. Thats true I have become one of those losers who talks about their rec league sports contributions as if anyone outside of themselves gives a s@#$t. You’d be surprised how many people actually do though.

    Bruce Wayne-Parker is the some way, don’t get him started on his rec league softball stats

  6. Peter Christian says

    I hate Goran Suton… just another big white guy in the Big Ten that I can’t stand.

    P.S. I love Bo Ryan

  7. Hey Pete,

    Q: Why did Tom Izzo feel underdressed when Goran was on the bench?

    A: Because he didnt have his Suton!

    HA HA feel free to use that one! for those of you out there who don’t get that joke, his name his properly pronounced “suit-on”

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