Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Big Ten Future (Part 2)

Wisconsin Badgers
Graduating Losses: Marcus Landry, Joe Krabbenhoft, Kevin Gullikson (22.3 ppg, 11.9 rebs, 4.5 ass)
Possible Losses: None
Returning Stars: Trevon Hughes, Jason Bohannon, Jon Leuer, Keaton Nankivil (37.1 ppg, 13.5 rebs, 6 ass)
Recruits who could contribute: None

They will be relying on the development of Hughes and Leuer but even if they grow they look headed for the middle of the pack, but you can never count out a Bo Ryan team.

Iowa Hawkeyes
Graduating Losses: Cyrus Tate (7.4 ppg, 6.3 rebs, .1 ass)
Possible Losses: Anthony Tucker (10.4 ppg, 3 rebs, .6 ass)
Returning Stars: Matt Gatens, Jeff Peterson, Jake Kelly, David Palmer (36 ppg, 11.6 rebs, 9.4 ass)
Recruits who could contribute: None

They will likely send Anthony Tucker packing and this team is quickly becoming a perennial bottom-feeder in the conference.

Northwestern Wildcats
Graduating Losses: Craig Moore (13.8 ppg, 3.4 rebs, 2.8 ass)
Possible Losses: None
Returning Stars: Kevin Coble, Michael Thompson, John Shurna (33.8 ppg, 10.8 rebs, 7.3 ass)
Recruits who could contribute: None

This team will be very similar to this years team not an NCAA team but a very dangerous team capable of an upset every night. Coble could be First-team All Big Ten.

Indiana Hoosiers
Graduating Losses: Kyle Taber (4 ppg, 5.3 rebs, .9 ass)
Possible Losses: None
Returning Stars: Tom Pritchard, Devan Dumes, Nick Williams, Verdell Jones III, Malik Story (48 ppg, 20 rebs, 7.1 ass)
Recruits who could contribute: Christian Watford (6-8 F #34 in Rivals 150), Maurice Creek (6-5 G #59), Derek Elston (6-8 F #98)

They will be a drastically different team. They are bringing in a lot of talent and the current players should get better. They should be a decent team but not a NCAA team yet.

Minnesota Golden Gophers
Graduating Losses: Jamal Abu-Shamala, Jon Williams (5.8 ppg, 3.4 rebs, 1.2 ass)
Possible Losses: None
Returning Stars: Lawrence Westbrook, Damian Johnson, Al Nolen, Ralph Sampson, Colton Iverson (44.7 ppg, 18 rebs, 10.4 ass)
Recruits who could contribute: Royce White (6-7 F #19 in Rivals 150) Rodney Williams (6-5 F #95), Trevor Mbakwe (6-8 F JC)

The hype surrounding this program is well deserved. This team will be head and shoulders above this years team. The key will be the development of Ralph and Colton down low.

The Big Ten is good this year but it will be even tougher next year. Penn State is the only team that will be decidedly worse and Minnesota, Ohio State and Indiana should be greatly better. It is too far off and too much could happen for me to rank them right now. The Gophers could easily be better than this year and finish 5th or 6th in the conference. A player could get hot in March and become a lottery pick but I don't see a player right now who is a lottery pick this year. A current mock draft has 13 of the top 30 picks from the ACC or Big East, so it is possible that the Big Ten could be the best conference in the nation next year.

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