Thursday, November 29, 2012

Big Ten Men

1. Indiana 13-3. Currently rated #1 in the nation and after the Hoosiers manhandled North Carolina, there's no reason to doubt them. How far have the Hoosiers come in their rebuilding effort? I remember when Chris Watford was their best player. Now he's the weakest of their 5 starters but, hey, he's averaging 12 ppg and 8 boards. 7-foot post Cody Zeller is the likely Big 10 PoY. So far he's averaging 16 ppg on 64% shooting, with 8 boards and 2 blocks.

2. Michigan 12-4. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway are the 2 best guards in the conference. If Zeller isn't PoY, then it's one of these guys with 35 ppg between 'em and 7.5 assists for Burke and 6 boards for Hardaway. And forward Glenn Robinson III is doin' OK as well. #3 might be a tad high but the Wolverines have their best team since they was fab.

3. Michigan State 11-5. Not quite the dominant team they have been in recent years but Keith Appling is another elite guard. Plus there's size in Derrick Nix and Adrien Payne. And like the Hoosiers and Wolverines, they can shoot out the lights. Still, they're not playing this well yet, but Tom Izzo remains the best coach in theses here parts, Dusty.

4. Minnesota 10-6. Rodney Williams and Trevor Mbakwe give Minnesota its best frontcourt since Coffey and Burton, or maybe Thompson and McHale. Guard play needs to be "good enough." So far it has been.

5. Ohio State 9-7. I know they're rated #4 and Deshaun Thomas is solid. But they'll need a couple breakouts from the younger guys and I don't know who that would/will be. Plus, they don't shoot it like some of these teams.

6. Illinois 8-8. Off to a terrific start, 8-0 and ranked #22 now. And Brandon Paul and D. J. Richardson are the real deal. But is there enough depth, enough size?

7. Nebraska 7-9. A balanced team of good scorers but who do you go to at crunch time?

8. Northwestern 6-10. Guards Reggie Hearn and Dave Soboklewski lead the way, but overall they're not a great offensive team.

9. Iowa 5-11. Gopher fans remember Melsahn Besabe who is now pulling a bit of a disappearing act down in Iowa City. Hawks need him to bounce back into past form. Roy Marble can't do it alone.

10.  Wisconsin 5-11. Minnesotan Jared Berggren is off to a great start of his senior season, But nobody else has stepped it up yet.

11. Purdue 4-12. Rebuilding,

12. Penn State 3-13.  Would love to be rebuilding, instead they're just building. Perennially.

Post-season. Six teams advance to the big dance. Top 2 are threats to get to the Final Four. Indiana is a threat to win it all.


C- Cody Zeller, Indiana
F- DeShawun Thomas, OhioState
F- Rodney Williams, Minnesota
G- Trey Burke, Michigan
G- Tim Hardaway, Michigan


C- Jared Berggren, Wisconsin
F- Glenn Robinson III, Michigan
G- Keith Appling, Michigan State
G- Brandon Paul, Illiinois
G- Justen Hulls, Indiana


C- Adrien Payne, Michigan State
F- Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota. A wild card, not playing this well yet, but has the po.
G- Victor Oladipo, Indiana
G- Reggie Hearn, Northwetern
G- D.J. Richardson, Illinois

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