Friday, January 4, 2008

Midseason Report: Big 10

The Big 10 has had an awkward year thus far. Michigan State looked in trouble in the exhibition series, and other teams still have many question marks, but one thing for sure is you can pick where four teams will land, and have no clue about seven of them. Ill give you updated predictions and a look into how we think everything will shake out.

1. Michigan State

Right now they look to be the strong point in the Big 10. A better pre-season schedule and a depth of talent give the nod, although slightly over the Indiana Hoosiers. The guard play will have to come through, but the talent and coaching is there for the Spartans. Should be a lock for the NCAA

2. Indiana

Indiana is an enigma right now, they look really good, then really lost. The talent is there for IU, but they have yet to really be tested in road games or by tough teams. They do have the best inside/out combo in the Big 10 and will be one of the top two teams. Another lock for the NCAA.

3. Wisconsin

They've put themselves out there well enough to distinguish as a potential third place team. A huge road victory against Texas catapults them into possibly a good NCAA run, with another great coaching job by Bo Ryan. Wisconsin will be a lock for the NCAA's.

4. Ohio State

Another team you don't know who will show up. Ohio State may have more raw talent than anyone on the roster, but it may need one more year of sprucing up. Matta should compete this year and return to the NCAA's, but watch out next year, they can be the Big 10 champs again.

5. Minnesota

Call me crazy but I think the veteran play of McKenzie and Coleman will lead them here. Tubby Smith can also coach, and since the Big 10 is really weak, there is a real possibility they can land here in the 5th spot. Could make a run for the NCAA's and be the fifth team to make it.

6/7/8-Purdue, Illinois, Penn State

Take your pick on this one, as I am coping out of a prediction. Purdue is fielding the youngest team in DI, and plays better on the road (still can't win a road game) than at home, and lost to Wofford College. Illinois is flat out terrible, although they have some talent to win a few games here and there. Penn State is, well Penn State. They should win a few they shouldn't and lose some they shouldn't. All three of these teams we think will be fielding NIT teams. And if you have to turn my wrist I predict it the way you see up top.

9. Iowa

Lickliter will get the most out of his team this year. He just needs to get a couple of wins to get this team going. There is no doubt he can coach, Alford just left that cupboard bare. No postseason for the Hawkeyes.

10. Michigan

They're bad, really bad. Beilien will have to wait to get his style players in there. And he needs to keep Manny Harris, he will be a real player for the Wolverines.

11. Northwestern

Good news is Kevin Coble is back, bad news is they are Northwestern.

1st Team All Big Ten

Eric Gordon-Indiana
Drew Neitzel-Michigan State
D.J. White-Indiana
Raymar Morgan-Michigan State
Geary Claxton-Penn State

2nd Team All Big Ten

Manny Harris-Michigan
Jamar Butler-Ohio State
Trevon Hughes-Wisconsin
Brian Butch-Wisconsin
Kosta Koufou-Ohio State

3rd Team All Big Ten

Shaun Pruitt-Illinois
Dan Coleman-Minnesota
Lawrence McKenzie-Minnesota
Jamarcus Ellis-Indiana
Robbie Hummel-Purdue

POY-Eric Gordon-Indiana
COY-Tubby Smith-Minnesota

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