Last year the Wisconsin Badgers were the "Cinderella" story of NCAA men's basketball. They had just lost their star PG Kam Taylor and the all-time Badgers points leader Alando Tucker.
The main reason for their success in 07-08 was their outstanding defense led by the Senior guard Michael Flowers. Their offense was led by center Brian Butch who could dominate you down low or step back and hit a three.
Overall, in the upcoming season i think the Badgers will be in and out of the Top 25 and might barely squeeze into the Tournament come March. I believe they lost their best defensive player in Michael Flowers and best offensive player in Brian Butch.
I believe that Michigan St. and Purdue will battle for the top spot in the Big 10.
These are my predictions for 08-09:
1.Michigan St. Spartans 28-4
Key loss: Guard Drew Neitzel
Key player: Junior Forward Raymar Morgan (14.0 ppg, 6.1 rebs, 1.6 ast)
2.Purdue Boilermakers 26-6
Key loss: Sophomore Forward Scott Martin
Key players: Sophomore Guard E'Twaun Moore (12.9 ppg, 3.9 rebs, 2.6 ast) and Sophomore Guard/Forward Robbie Hummel (11.4 ppg, 6.1 rebs, 2.5 ast)
3.Wisconsin Badgers 25-7
Key losses: Guard Michael Flowers and Center Brian Butch
Key player: Junior Guard Trevon Hughes (11.2 ppg, 3.1 rebs, 2.5 ast)
4.Indiana Hoosiers 23-9
Key loss: Forward D.J. White and Star Freshman Eric Gordon
Key player: Sophomore Guard Jordan Crawford(9.7 ppg, 3.4 rebs, 2.3 ast)
5. Ohio St. Buckeyes 23-9
Key Loss: Guard Jamar Butler and Sophomore C Kosta Koufos
Key player: Junior Guard/Forward David Lighty (9.0 ppg, 3.6 rebs, 2.4 ast)
I picked Michigan St. over Purdue simply because Purdue is too young. But i could be wrong. I think it will be a fun conference to watch next winter and I am looking forward to it.