Big Ten Basketball Predictions 2013-14
#1 Michigan State: The Spartans have national title contender written all over them. The big man, Adreian Payne came back to improve his game. If Payne takes his game to another level look for him to average 14 points and 10 boards a game. The backcourt features Gary Harris and Keith Appling, who combined for 26.3 ppg. Branden Dawson is back from injury and Travis Trice will be called upon to hit threes.
#2 Ohio State: Deshaun Thomas may be gone, but plenty of talent still exists in Columbus. Aaron Craft gets it done on the defensive end and his offense is coming along. Lenzelle Smith Jr. does a little bit of everything for the Buckeyes with his range and defensive capabilities. Sam Thompson will emerge this season as a go to guy for OSU. LaQuinton Ross is a stretch four that every team would love to have. The team is full of talent, do they take a step forward or backwards without Deshaun Thomas?
#3 Michigan: Over 33 points are gone from Burke and Hardaway Jr. A lot will ride on the play of Derrick Walton Jr. and Spike Albrecht. Who ever proves themselves will have a sharpshooter on the wing in Nik Stauskas. Stauskas connected on 44% of his threes last season. Glen Robinson will be the go to guy for the Wolverines. Averaging around 15-17 ppg is not out of the question for Robinson. His running partner in the frontcourt Mitch McGary proved why he was one of the most sought after players in the country out of HS, after his NCAA Tournament performance. Contending for the Big Ten title is not out of the question this season.
#4 Wisconsin: Sam Dekker had a solid freshman campaign, but his sophomore season could be big. Two freshmen that could make an impact for the Badgers are Nigel Hayes and Vitto Brown. Josh Gasser will be back at point after missing all of last season. Next to him in the backcourt will be Ben Burst who stuffed the stat sheet last season with 11.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, and 2.3 assists. Bo Ryan hasn't missed March Madness since he's been at Wisconsin and this season is no different.
#9 Penn State