Posted by Brian Goodman on November 8th, 2010
John Templon of Chicago College Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the Big Ten Conference.
Predicted Order of Finish
- 1. Michigan State (15-3)
- 2. Ohio State (13-5)
- 3. Illinois (12-6)
- 4. Wisconsin (11-7)
- T5. Purdue (9-9)
- T5. Minnesota (9-9)
- T5. Northwestern (9-9)
- 8. Penn State (7-11)
- 9. Indiana (6-12)
- 10. Michigan (5-13)
- 11. Iowa (3-15)
All-Conference Team (key stats from last season in parentheses)
- G: Demetri McCamey, Illinois (15.1 PPG, 6.8 APG)
- G: Kalin Lucas, Michigan State (14.9 PPG, 3.9 APG)
- F: Jon Leuer, Wisconsin (15.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG)
- F: John Shurna, Northwestern (18.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG)
- C: JaJuan Johnson, Purdue (15.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG)
G: E’Twaun Moore, Purdue (16.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG)
Jared Sullinger (above) and three returning double-figure scorers succeed Evan Turner in Columbus, but Michigan State is the team to beat in the Big Ten.
C: Jared Sullinger, Ohio State: Sullinger is a consensus top-five recruit. The 6’9 post player from Columbus played his high school basketball at Northland High School and won three national AAU championships with the All-Ohio Red team. He was named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball his junior and senior seasons and the Naismith National High School Boy’s Basketball Player of the Year in 2010. While some have compared him to Greg Oden, scouts say that Sullinger has a better face-up offensive game than the former Buckeye, but isn’t as intimidating on the defensive end. The hype reached epic proportions when Gary Parrish named Sullinger to his Preseason All-America team along with Harrison Barnes.
What You Need to Know
The Big Ten is one of the best conferences in college basketball, potentially the best this season. The pace is typically slower (eight of the 11 teams played at an adjusted tempo that ranked lower than 200th in the nation last season) and the play might be a little rougher (the top seven teams in the conference had a defensive efficiency that ranked 53rd or better last season), but there are a lot of teams that are a tough out come tournament time. Michigan State always seems to overachieve in the NCAA Tournament and there’s seldom a shortage of talent. Northwestern is the oddball in the conference, as the Wildcats are the only major conference team to have never been to the Big Dance.
Michigan State (NCAA Seed: #1): The Spartans took a five-seed in the NCAA Tournament last season and ran with it all the way to Final Four before falling to Butler in the National Semifinals. Most of that team returns this season. Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers will drive the backcourt, but there is also depth behind those two to help counter the conference grind. Up front, Draymond Green is an underrated force in the paint that should be able to absorb the minutes left behind from Raymar Morgan, the biggest loss from Michigan State’s Final Four team. Adreian Payne and Keith Appling are two high-profile recruits that can only help bolster the Spartans’ rotation. The Spartans have the look of a team that will be in the top five all season. Read the rest of this entry »