The changing of the leaves means basketball is just around the corner. Depending upon your fandom, you’re either ready for it, or you’re just praying to survive the season.
/Glances in Rutgers’ general direction.
So, every team begins with renewed hope and the chance to revel in sweet glory come March Madness or wonder when football previews start again. Either way, I am here to present your preseason stock report.
Note: If this seems sloppy, it’s because I’m on vacation typing this on a bluetooth keyboard the size of a slice of bread waiting for my son to fall asleep. Sorry, we’ll try harder next time (I, the Royal we.)
Michigan State Spartans - What’s not to love about Sparty this year? An uber-talented core, Mr. March Tom Izzo, and hopefully, some rebuilt knees that hold up. By all accounts and the media, this is Sparty’s B1G title to lose.
Northwestern Wildcats - Many aren’t sure now that The Year has happened what comes next for Northwestern. My feel is that Chris Collins has a solid backcourt and could be headed to a Top 5 finish.
Penn State Nittany Lions - Wait, what? Boilerman, you must be crazy! Hear me out. Chambers has assembled a great core with Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens. If his other Philly Connection players pan out, The fighting Nittanies could be headed back to the Dance.
Iowa Hawkeyes - Losing Peter Jok is the big problem with Iowa, but Jordan Bohannon and Tyler Cook are solid enough to fill the gap. Biggest concern will be their defense.
Minnesota Golden Gophers - Nate Mason, Amir Coffey, and Reggie Lynch make a great trio for the Gophers. Their D was solid last year and theres no reason they can’t go far and make some noise.
Purdue Boilermakers - It’s hard to be bullish on Purdue when you lose a talent like Biggie Swanigan. I’m mainly neutral because I see Purdue performing well, but don’t see a repeat of last season’s title.
Wisconsin Badgers - Queue up the annual underselling of Wisconsin. The Badgers have to figure out how to replace four starters and I’m not sure they can do it. D’Mitrik Trice has to emerge as a game changer.
Maryland Terrapins - No more #MeloTrimbleHeadFakeFoul. Plenty of talent on this team with potential first round pick Justin Jackson and dynamic guard Anthony Cowan, but I’m not sold on Turgeon as a great coach who maximizes that talent.
Michigan Wolverines - Moe Wagner still has a punchable face and needs some Oxy-10 badly. That said, Michigan should be solid again with Abdur-Rahkman and Kentucky transfer Charles Matthews supplementing the poor-man’s Dirk Nowitzki.
Ohio State Buckeyes - This one should generate some discussion. I personally think that Holtmann is a great coach and should rebuild the Bucks faster than most think.
Indiana Hoosiers - Ok, I know the IU fans are going to cry foul as much as the Maryland fans whine about the KenPom rankings but Archie Miller has a big task ahead of him and I’m not convinced the Hoosiers have the depth to do much come B1G season.
Nebraska Cornhuskers - Turnovers and Defense. And no, I’m not talking about football. You’ll probably hear more about these and Nebraska as the season rolls on because it will either be the same ol’ story or they’ll improve and shock some teams.
Illinois Fighting Illini - Congrats, Illinois. You found yourself a coach who just might be able to turn it around. That said, Okie Light being served a subpoena during the time while said coach was in charge creates uncertainty. Investors hate uncertainty.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights - Talent is finally coming into Rutgers. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, you’re stuck in junk status until you show us something,
Well, that’s it. Agree? Disagree? Too busy with football to care?