Big Ten play starts today with Indiana taking on Penn State. With that game being the tip off of Big Ten play I want to offer up a few thoughts on some of the Big Ten’s 11 teams.
Ohio State is the most physically gifted and deepest team, but they haven’t really been challenged yet. I think their talent level will allow them to win the league in the end, but I’d be shocked if their record was better than 15-3.
Michigan State has taken some lumps, but they’ll eventually get it together. I look for the Spartans to once again be the Big Ten’s best postseason team. The question is can teams beat them early in conference play. NU gets two early chances.
Indiana is better than expected, Illinois is worse. If Illinois doesn’t at least dominate in their Assembly Hall Bruce Weber’s detractors will get louder and louder. At Indiana’s Assembly Hall Tom Crean will gain more and more fans as his solid recruiting pays off.
Iowa and Penn State aren’t that good, but can still beat people. The key for NU making the tournament is winning all the games they should—like vs those teams and Michigan (who is better than Iowa and Penn State).
I like what I’ve seen from Minnesota and Wisconsin, but I’d say both are (like NU) middle of the pack teams in the league who will move up based on their ability to dominate at home and steal games on the road.
Purdue was written off by some after losing Robbie Hummel and losing to Richmond, but they might be the second best team in the Big Ten and JaJuan Johnson might be the league’s best player.