Big Ten Basketball Tournament Preview
By Adam McGill
With Conference tournaments and March Madness right around the corner, this is the perfect time to start memorizing some of the bigger names in the Big Ten. Below is my all Big-Ten Tournament team:
G Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin – The senior is hands down, the most disciplined point guards in the nation. He is only turning the ball over 1.6 times per game, which is outstanding considering that he leads the team in points (14.6) and assists (4.1). Wisconsin has always been known to protect the ball under head coach Bo Ryan, making Taylor a perfect fit at the top of the key in Madison.
G Brandon Paul, Illinois – Paul is one of the most versatile players in the nation, as he averages 14.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.8 3-pointers per game. He has hit three or more 3-pointers in seven games already this year, including a game where he knocked down 6 of 8 shots from downtown. He can take over a game with his ability to drain shots and a 30-point game is not out of the question for the youngster.
F Draymond Green, Michigan State – Green is carrying the Spartans’ with 16.1 points and 10.2 boards per contest. He is very explosive around the basket, potentially wreaking havoc among defenders this March.
F Jared Sullinger, Ohio State – Sullinger has been dominating the paint all season. He is a physical 265 pounds and his 17.0 points with 9.3 boards is the best in the conference. Sullinger is critical to the Buckeyes’ title chances and the sophomore will have to be on top of his game to bring OSU another banner.
F Cody Zeller, Indiana – Zeller’s great 2011 campaign has been greatly overshadowed by the aforementioned Sullinger, but the freshman has put together an outstanding first year. He is averaging 15.5 points and 6.4 boards, while anchoring the Hoosiers’ front court. Zeller’s name is worth knowing as the tourneys approach and could easily help Indiana go far in both the conference tournament and the NCAA tournament.
Freshman to Watch: Trey Burke, Michigan – Since Zeller was on the list above, this is the perfect chance to mention Michigan’s star freshman. TB is averaging 14.2 points a game and brings a certain flash to the floor that veteran Tim Hardaway Jr. does not. Burke is a star in the making and will be growing up in front of our eyes with each passing game.
Big Ten Tournament Prediction: Ohio State over Michigan