B1G stuff today May 08, 2012
Huguenin has Indiana as the favorite and the B1G as the top conference.
1. Big Ten
Newcomers/departures: Same 12-team makeup
League RPI this past season: 1st
NCAA tourney teams this past season: 6
League title contenders next season: Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State
Buzz: Indiana seems likely to head into the season as the favorite to win it all. Yes, for the first time in a long time, there are immense expectations for the Hoosiers. IU returns its top five scorers and also is bringing in one of the nation’s best recruiting classes. If freshman PG Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell lives up to the hype, IU very well could be cutting down the nets next April. Michigan will have one of the best backcourts in the nation with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., but the Wolverines need freshmen Glenn Robinson Jr. and (especially) Mitch McGary to become important offensive weapons. Ohio State is going to miss Jared Sullinger and William Buford, but DeShaun Thomas has All-America talent and there is a deep group of complementary players. Wisconsin never will wow anyone with its athleticism, but coach Bo Ryan’s team always wins at least 20 and next season won’t be any different. Big things are expected from freshman F Sam Dekker. Michigan State won’t be able to replace do-everything F Draymond Green, which means the Spartans don’t have a shot at the league title. But the backcourt will be a good one, and coach Tom Izzo will find a way to coax production out of his big men. Minnesota is the sleeper. The Golden Gophers were without injured F Trevor Mbakwe, their best player, for most of last season, but still won 23 games. The Golden Gophers lose no one and get Mbakwe back. Iowa returns five of its top six scorers and could have its best team in a while. Illinois returns most of its top players, but the big question for the Illini is how the players mesh with new coach John Groce.