2015-16 NCAAB Previews – Big Ten
Last year it was Wisconsin who stole the show, with a veteran team that made it all the way to the NCAA Final. The core of that team is gone opening things up for a bunch of squads, most notably newcomer Maryland, who is looking to fulfil a lot of pre-season hype.
Stalwarts like Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana and Michigan should all be in the mix and there are few teams who have more talent up front than Purdue. The Big Ten is looking deep this season.
Even in a deep league it is easy to get excited about the Terps. They might have a one and done in Diamond Stone but their best players have some experience. Sophmore Melo Trimble may be the best guard in the country and Jake Layman is a crafty player.
They have also hit the transfer market grabbing a couple of ACC players in Robert Carter and Rasheed Sulaimon, both of whom add to the experience and talent level.
This group seems to have everything it needs to be strong from start to finish. It should be a fun season on College Park.
Michigan State +375
I am not saying that Denzel Valentine is the best player in college hoops but you are hard pressed to find a player who can contribute in more areas. As a senior he is going to lead a team that is looking to follow up their surprising run to the Final Four a year ago.
This year’s team looks pretty set on the perimeter but they are going to have to develop some inside production if they want to achieve like they did a year ago. Freshman Deyonta Davis is physically ready and they need him to be strong from the word go.
If you like to see the ball through the basket than you are going to like the Hoosiers this year. With Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr and Troy Williams they are loaded with firepower on the perimeter. But to win at a high level they have to play some defense.
That is what they are hoping to get from Thomas Bryant, making him one of the most important freshmen in the country. If this team can become even average on defense
Despite a significant loss of talent it is hard to imagine the Badgers are not going to be a factor in the conference race, they pretty much always finish in the top four. This year they will be more under the radar though.
Look for the Badgers to rely heavily on a couple of potential All Conference first teamers in forward Nigel Hayes and guard Bronson Koenig. Both have shown that they have the talent to be more than complimentary players and they will be relied upon as much as any player in the league.
Purdue may not have the program strength to be a consistent contender but they are definitely going to be in the mix this season.
That is because they have somehow managed to create one of the most intimidating and talented front lines anywhere in the country. A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas tower over the competition and frosh Caleb Swanigan may be the best of them all.
Their season will be dependent on getting good enough guard play so that all of those bigs can eat.
Remaining Teams Odds
- Michigan +700
- Iowa +1600
- Ohio State +1600
- Illinois +1800
- Nebraska +3300
- Penn State +3600
- Northwestern +3600
- Minnesota +4000
- Rutgers +10000
Big 10 Conference Prediction
Per usual this should be a very competitive season in the B10. The top three or four teams are likely to dominate the lower half but when they square off against each other they are likely to hold their own.
Maryland is the obvious favourite but there are some really good values with other teams.
I would go with Indiana as the best value. They have a great floor general in Ferrell and by the time they need it they may have developed that defensive presence that will balance their offense. Purdue is a great sleeper as well.
Check out our Updated Daily NCAA Basketball Odds.