Way too early B10 Basketball Rankings 20/21

Way too early B10 Basketball Rankings 20/21

  • WAY TOO EARLY BI0 BASKETBALL RANKINGS 2020/21 (TOP 7 first)
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    1) MICHIGAN......If 5 star Josh Christopher joins the freshman class - the Wolverines have enough to make a long run through the NCAA. Without Christopher, they still have the horses to win the conference. And if coach Howard scraps the slow moving bigs - Michigan should improve defensively. Both Isaiah Todd and Livers are starters, as is Franz Wagner. That leaves out Davis, Castleton and Dickerson as starters. Brooks and DeJulius form a solid backcourt. If Christopher joins - he’s in. Depth now becomes a positive factor, with Johns being another big they can turn to without losing much.?
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    2) MICHIGAN STATE...... Assuming Tillman is NBA bound - the Spartans take a huge hit which includes Winston and Ahrens. Freshman Sissoko could get a starting role, along with Hauser (transfer), Henry, and Rocket Watts. All bring experience and stability to the lineup. Replacing Cassius Winston is not a simple chore however. Can Foster Loyer step in or does Izzo go with Watts to run the show. If Jeremy Langford should come back at 100 percent - then he and Watts can be a dangerous combo. Regardless, the talent never stops in East Lansing with a bench of Brown, Bingham, Marble, Loyer, Kithier and Hoggard. Should Xavier Tillman return to campus - Sparty gets my vote for top spot yet again.?
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    3) OHIO STATE...... Wesson in, or Wesson out. That could make things interesting for the Buckeyes. Bucks go small without KW. Kyle Young becomes the starting center at 6'8. Sophomore talent EJ Liddell likely becomes your starter. He averaged 17 pts per 40 minutes down the stretch, and 4th year transfer Justice Sueing was a 15 point scorer at Cal in 2018. Backcourt will consist of veterans CJ Walker (5th year), Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington. Junior Musa Jallow is not forgotten. He sat out with injury but he was a starter down the stretch in March 2019. He’s known as an athletic defensive stopper. Grad Transfer Seth Towns comes in from Harvard. He was the Ivy League POY back in 2018. A shooter who will play both forward spots. Freshman big Zed Key and sophomore Diallo will fill in underneath. Lefty wing Justin Ahrens can also fill in without a big let down. If big Wesson stays on - look for the Bucks to challenge for the title.?
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    4) WISCONSIN....... Big Ten Champs with everybody back. Badgers 4th ?? Well not every piece is actually returning. Kobe King and Brevin Pritzl will be missed. Pritzl dumped in 50 threes at a 37% clip, and King was a hard nose athlete. Their replacment, Tyler Wahl, is not known as a shooter and his defense is average at best. Yes the Badgers may have played better after King left. Maybe so, but he was a double figure scorer to replace. Reuvers, Ford, Potter, Davidson and Trice are all solid offensive talents. Defensively, Wisconsin held opponents below 65 per game (led the league) - and should be very good again in that department. Bench is a bit light. Trevor Anderson is back, along with some promising freshmen which includes 6'9 Ben Carlson and home grown 6‘4 Johnny Davis.?
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    5) IOWA......Many Big Ten fan bases feel they are Final Four ready - including Iowa. With very little talk of BIG POY Luka Garza turning pro, the Hawkeyes have their sites set for a Championship. Garza, along with scoring guard Joe Wieskamp (14ppg) forms the best 1-2 punch in the BIG. Frederick is one of the best shooters around, and Conner McCaffery is very efficient(ast/to ratio) despite his lack of scoring punch. Joe Toussaint started 20 games at the point and returns, but a big boost could come if Jordan Bohannan is able to come back from injury. He was once a 13.5 ppg scorer and 43% 3-pt shooter. Nunge and Pemsl will be needed to add to their game for inside help. The steady Ryan Kriener is gone. Another coaches son, Pat McCaffery (6‘8) is a talent ready to rise from an injured freshman campaign. The Hawkeyes could be singing in the streets if they were to land transfer DJ Carton. He’s an Iowa native who left OSU with anxiety or something similar. He would certainly be granted a waiver to play immediately back in his home state.?
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    6) PURDUE.....The good new for the Boilermakers. They have everybody back. The bad news, ditto. They do have a very fine coach however, in Matt Painter. Everyone’s a year older, a year better. Yes, Purdue couldn’t throw it into the ocean last season - but they could still keep you from scoring. Fourth in the league giving up only 66 ppg. Boilers have bigs and 270 pound Trevion Willams is back for his junior year, ready to add to his 12 ppg and 7.5 rebs. Boudreau and Proctor have graduated but were not huge factors or full time starters. Wheeler, Stefanovic, Hunter and Eastern are still likely to start. A lefty scorer, Hunter may lead the team next year. Sophomore Isaiah Thompson, 7‘2 Harms and top 100 freshman Ivey and Morton should help off the bench.?
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    7) INDIANA.....With a tenth place finish behind them, the Hoosiers must improve and make it to the dance. They have the talent to finish as high as 4th if all falls right. TJ Davis is ripe for a monster sophomore season. No indications (at this point) that he wont be back. The loss of second leading scorer Devonte Green could be a positive. He was a hot mess as far as shot selection and percentage (37%). Unfortunately, coach Miller needed his scoring punch. Playing both bigs, Davis and Brunk together hurt on the defensive end. Depth could help that scenario as Race Thompson and Justin Smith continue to improve. The backcourt is older now with Durham and Phinisee both back. Neither are great shooters but a year older can cure that in some cases. Wait and see if top 60 recruit Jerome Hunter can start to live up to his billing with a year under his belt. Depth is also building in Bloomington with Franklin, Brunk, Thompson and 3 solid freshman coming in. ?
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    NOTE.......Fans have their own thoughts on players, lineups, etc as do I....I’m a strong believer of......Veterans and Strength. If you have a strong, physical body. It’s a big advantage. The skinny freshman and sophomores, unless you are a big time talent (see Isaiah Todd), being slightly built is difficult. Also, this is an veterans game. So many of you fans that believe that your skilled freshman is going to come in and beat out veterans from the outset. You’re wrong. And if they do start right away - it’s usually on a bad team. Veterans win championships. ?
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    Next 7 teams coming soon?
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    ALL-BIG TEAMS?
    1st team....TJ Davis (IN), Luka Garza (IA), Joe Wieskamp (IA), Franz Wagner (MI), Marcus Carr (MN)?
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    2nd team.....Rocket Watts (MSU), Aaron Henry (MSU), Kaleb Wesson (OSU), Trevion Williams (PUR), Kofi Cockburn (IL)?
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    3rd team..... Nate Reuvers (Wis), Aaron Wiggins (MD), Joey Hauser (MSU), Isaiah Todd (MI), Isaiah Livers (MI), Geo Baker (RTG)?
    Honorable Mention.....Trent Frazier (IL), Justin Smith (IN), CJ Frederick (IA), Darrell Morsell (MD), David DeJulius (MI), Mady Sissoko (MSU), Gabe Brown (MSU), Miller Kopp (NW), Justice Sueing (OSU), Duane Washington (OSU), Myron Jones (PSU), Hunter Jr (PUR), Ron Harper Jr (RTG), Travis Trice (WIS) ?