Sunday, June 27, 2010

Collegiate Hoops: Early Big Ten Preview

One of the top conferences from last season looks to keep its competitiveness and has great talent throughout.

Here are the Big Ten's top 5 teams coming into next season.

1. Purdue

Despite the loss of Chris Kramer, the defensive leader, Purdue will return stars Jajuan Johnson, E'tuan Moore and Robbie Hummel back from his injury.

Matt Painter will have his scrappy defense ready to go, and the inside-outside play of Johnson and Hummel looks to be one of the best in the country.

2. Michigan State

After last year's Final Four run, it seemed Tom Izzo was all but gone and ready to go to Cleveland.
However, he came back.

The Spartans return stars Kalin Lucas, Devin Roe, Draymond Green, and Durrell Summers, and having the core of a Final Four team back is always a great sign of success. However, look for Purdue and Michigan State to be in a tight race all season.

3. Illinois

Seven footer Mike Tisdale and guard Demetri McCamey, last season's leading scorer, come into the season with very high expectations.

With another consistent scorer and rebounder in Mike Davis, the Illini will stay competitive
throughout the Big Ten season.

Look for Bruce Webber to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament after being snubbed last year.

4. Ohio State

Despite losing the AP Player of the Year in Evan Turner, the Buckeyes still return the likes of David Lighty and William Buford.

Ohio State also brings in one of the top recruits in the freshman class in Deshaun Thomas.

Thomas, who was in the chase for Indiana High School's scoring record, came up just short last season because his team failed to go deep into the postseason tournament.

His addition to the team will be a big help, but it won't replace Evan Turner.

5. Wisconsin

Rounding out my top 5 is a team that is pretty hard to bet against year in and year out. Bo Ryan always finds a way to keep them in contention, and I doubt it changes next season.

The Badgers return their leadings scorer, Jon Leuer, who shot 52% from the field last season while averaging 15 PPG.

The supporting cast will consist of forward Keaton Nankivil and guard Jordan Taylor.
It's hard to blow off a team like Wisconsin because of their defense and the way they use the shot clock. And, of course, they're one of the toughest teams to beat at home.

Originally Written by Collin O'Connor on Bleacher Report

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