Wrapping Up Big Ten Media Day
The annual Big Ten media day has now come and gone and while there weren’t a lot of headlines a couple of things caught my eye.
First, I want to breakdown the annual media poll that was just released. It polled 24 members of the Big Ten media and they ranked the teams from 1 through 12.
The top three of the Indiana Hoosiers, Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes was obvious. After the top three though I’ve got some issues. The Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Golden Gophers should be ahead of the Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan State Spartans.
Sparty lost the “heart and soul” of their team in Draymond Green. Sure, Keith Appling returns but the front court is iffy unless you assume Branden Dawson will be 100% coming off a knee injury. I’m not.
Now, Wisconsin, I know the media loves them because they play the “right way” with their slowdown, team approach to basketball. Problem is who is their point guard?
They lost Jordan Taylor who was everything to this squad and while I love Jared Berggren and his complete offensive game, anyone that has watched college hoops over the past 10 years knows, this is a guards game.
Minnesota has Trevor Mbakwe returning to a team that has momentum from their strong close to last season. Rodney Williams will become a household name this year and with Mbakwe the Gophers probably have the most athletic front court in all the land.
Iowa is going to make the NCAA tournament. The Hawkeyes lost Matt Gatens but didn’t do a thing until Fran McCaffery brought in his great recruits like Aaron White and Roy Devyn Marble. Plus, they dump turnover machine Bryce Cartwright.
Also, how are the Northwestern Wildcats behind the Purdue Boilermakers who lost nearly everything? The Illinois Fighting Illini, have a totally new coaching staff and no Meyers Leonard. I guess your reputation does precede you.
For the preseason all-Big Ten team there weren’t really any major flaws I saw. Cody Zeller, Trey Burke and Deshaun Thomas were all but locks.
You have Ohio State Buckeyes point guard Aaron Craft, who won’t put up great numbers but is the proverbial glue that holds the Buckeyes together. The last selection of Tim Frazier confuses me. He’s a great scorer with tremendous quickness but it is highly unlikely he’ll get voted that high considering his Penn State Nittany Lions should struggle.
I would have personally gone with Mbakwe. He a proven commodity. Not someone that is waiting to take the next step. Plus, his injury rehab has apparently gone extremely well. I suppose the conference didn’t want the bad press he could bring with his legal troubles.
Either way, let’s just get this season underway, I’m salivating at the possibilities for the conference!