Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings



“ONIONS!!!!   SEND IT IN!!!”

By Paul M. Banks

It’s Big Ten Basketball Media Day, and you know what that means? College basketball  season has officially begun! Well, actually it sort of began a couple weeks ago when Midnight Madness occurred and practices began. But nevertheless, college hoops season is almost here. msu-dance-teamAnd to quote the famous Christmas Carol, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

1. Michigan State (31-7, 15-3)
Spartans return a good portion of the top guns from last year’s National runner-up team. With Kalin Lucas, Raymar Morgan and Durrell Summers back, the Izzone will have lots to get excited about this winter. Look for Delvon Roe to take a big step forward too.

2. Purdue (27-10, 11-7) A sweet sixteen appearance last year proved that the Baby Boilers are now all grown up, and established Matt Painter as a very strong branch in his legendary coaching tree.

3. Ohio State (22-11, 10-8) Imagine what they could have been had B.J. Mullens returned. He was one of just two Big Ten ballers to be drafted last season. Evan Turner (possible lottery pick) and David Lighty could follow.

4. Illinois (24-10, 11-7) If Mike Davis or incoming freshman D.J. Richardson can replace the departed Chester Frazier’s defense, it’ll be another year of progress in Champaign. But it’s all an appetizer for the main course in 2010-11- when they could be dominant.

5. Michigan (21-14, 9-9) Finally broke through to the tournament last season. However, they’re still a 2-man team. Then again Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims are no ordinary men. Look for them to be a tougher out this season.

6. Minnesota (22-11, 9-9) Finally broke through to the tournament last season. How valuable will Tubby Time be this season? Depends on what he gets out of Damian Johnson and Lawrence Westbrook.

7. Northwestern (17-14, 8-10) The ‘Cats went from laughing stock to NIT (and one win shy of the school record for victories) in just one season. Do they take the next step up this year? I asked the boss himself, NU Athletic Director Jim Phillips, and he responded “I say this both intellectually and emotionally. I believe it’s going to happen. I don’t know if it’s going to be this year, but I think we are going to get to the tournament. Recruiting is going well, and in future years I think we’ll have a nice nucleus.”


8. Penn State (22-11, 10-8) They still have their star point guard with a porn star name, Talor Battle, but little else. The Nittany Lions’ nickname begins with NIT for a reason.

9. Wisconsin (20-13, 10-8) The swing offense is so boring, it could make LeBron James unexciting to watch. Ok maybe that’s an exaggeration, but this team will win quite a few 48-44 games, and continue besmirching the national reputation of the Big Ten. Look for Bo Ryan to overachieve and make more than you could ever believe out of what he has- yet again.

10. Indiana (6-25, 1-17) It certainly will be a step up from last year, but then again how could things get worse? At least they have football…oh wait. Keep an eye on Jeremiah Rivers, Doc’s kid.

11. Iowa (15-17, 5-13) And you thought they were boring in football? At least they win ugly on the gridiron, here they’re just plain ugly to watch. They could easily break 20+ losses, as all their top players from last year’s team, a very bad one, are gone. But here below, you’ll find something much easier to look at.



  1. Peter Christian says

    Remember when you made your pre-season Big Ten Football power rankings? You disrespected Iowa and I told you not to sleep on them, now I’m gonna tell you the same thing about Minnesota for your hoops rankings. They should be ranked better than Michigan AND Illinois. Put it on the board, homeboy.

  2. Yeah, there is some serious over-whoring of Illinois AND Northwestern… Minnesota and Michigan should both be ahead of the Illini… I’m not sold until their guard play proves it can be better than it was last year and that’s a ? mark with some young, albeit talented freshmen…

    You are TOTALLY under-estimating Bo Ryan and Wisconsin by the way… He never has top-tier talent but always gets the most out of his group… no way they should be lower than 7…

  3. paulmbanks says

    I ‘m not sold on Minnesota…I’ll believe it when I see it.

    re: Illini yes, they could finish sixth, but certainly now lower than that. they fin finsihed 3rd last year, and only lost one guy that truly mattered. And Michigan isn’t anything special

  4. paulmbanks says

    Re: Northwestern, considering they only lost one player of note, moving them from 9th to 7th isn’t really overwhoring. Tom Izzo made a bold quote that he thinks this is the year they make the tournament. The conf should get 7 teams in, they won’t get 9.

  5. Pretty cool shot of me talking to Tom Izzo from Big Ten Media Day on Comcast Sports Net’s Sportsnite. Hope some of you saw it.

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