Friday, November 6, 2009

Big Ten Conference Preview

The Big Ten is often looked at as one of the bottom leagues in the "Big Six" conferences. They play an unattractive brand of basketball for the most part, and they have a reputation of struggling when it counts. This year will be different. The Big Ten has a chance to be the best conference in the country. They have two Final Four contenders in Purdue and Michigan State, two others that could be top-15 teams in Michigan and Ohio State, two more top-25 caliber clubs in Illinois and Minnesota and two teams fighting for NCAA bids in Wisconsin and Northwestern. Even Penn State has Talor Battle and Indiana will be improved. The league isn't chalk-full of hyped newcomers like most other conferences, but they have some of the best returning talent in the country. This could be a banner season in the Big Ten.

Player of the Year: Evan Turner, G/F, Ohio State

Newcomer of the Year: Royce White, F, Minnesota

All-Conference Team:
G- Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
G- Manny Harris, Michigan
G- Talor Battle, Penn State
G/F- Evan Turner, Ohio State 
F- Robbie Hummel, Purdue

Second Team:
G- E'Twaun Moore, Purdue
F- Kevin Coble, Northwestern
F- DeShawn Sims, Michigan
F- Mike Davis Illinois
C- JaJuan Johnson, Purdue

Third Team:
G- Trevon Hughes, Wisconsin
G- Demetri McCamey
G- William Buford, Ohio State
G/F- Durrell Summers, Michigan State
F- Raymar Morgan, Michigan State

Projected Order of Finish

1. Purdue: Although Michigan State is likely the consensus favorite, if Robbie Hummel is healthy, the Boilermakers have the pieces to make a deep run in March. E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson also return. Prediction: NCAA
2. Michigan State: The defending national runners-up, the Spartans have one of the best point guards in the country in Kalin Lucas and plenty of scoring options. The only question mark is in the post -- who will step up? Prediction: NCAA
3. Michigan: With the return of the outstanding duo of Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims, coach John Beilein has solid building blocks. Throw in plenty of supporting talent and Beilein's system, and this team is tough. Prediction: NCAA
4. Ohio State: There might not be a better group of wing talent in the country than in Columbus. The Buckeyes have Evan Turner, William Buford, David Lighty and Jon Diebler -- and they all could play at the same time. Prediction: NCAA
5. Illinois: The Fighting Illini have a defense that gives opponents fits, and the offense should be improved this season behind the inside duo of Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale, and combo guard Demetri McCamey. Prediction: NCAA
6. Minnesota: The Golden Gophers return all five starters and nine rotation players from a team that reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago -- and they add heralded freshman Royce White, who will be a force. Prediction: NCAA
7. Wisconsin: Always a team in the mix, the Badgers have a very solid backcourt tandem in Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon, but they need help in the frontcourt. Look for Jon Leuer to increase his production. Prediction: NCAA
8. Northwestern: The Wildcats were in the at-large mix until late in the season, and that could be the case again this year. Kevin Coble is one of the best players that the rest of the nation has never heard of -- yet. Prediction: NIT
9. Penn State: As long as Talor Battle is still on the roster, the Nittany Lions have a chance against anyone. He can single-handedly carry this team to a victory on any given night. He loses his secondary options, though. Prediction: NIT
10. Indiana: The Hoosiers will undoubtedly be better than last season, when they went 1-17 in Big Ten play. Tom Crean brings in a deep and talented recruiting class to go with the return of their top three scorers. Prediction: No Postseason
11. Iowa: The Hawkeyes have a solid backcourt duo in Matt Gatens and Anthony Tucker, but there is little-to-no production returning in the frontcourt. Todd Lickliter will have his hands full this season. Prediction: No Postseason


  1. On your All-Conference Team you have
    "F- Robbie Hummel, Michigan"
    He plays for Purdue.

  2. He certainly does, thanks for the heads-up.