They have a prolific scorer in Eric Gordon scoring 23.5 ppg. They also have a great rebounder and inside scorer in DJ White pulling in 10.9 rpg and tacking on 16.7 ppg. Jordan Crawford scoring 13.5 ppg, Jamarcus Ellis with 8.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, and 4.6 apg, and Armon Bassett putting up 10.3 ppg, make a great supporting cast. Deandre Thomas is also a helpful as a backup, averaging 5.9 ppg and 2.3 rpg while subbing in for White when he needs a breather. This year's Hoosier squad is looking at the Final Four if not a National Championship. There are high hopes in Bloomington once again.
2. Michigan State
At 18.1 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game, Raymar Morgan is a dominant force this year. If he can't do it Neitzel can! Drew Neitzel averages 13.4 ppg, 4.8 apg, and 2.7 rpg. The freshman guards also have the ability to put up some big points as well. Kalin Lucas averages about 9.8 ppg and Durrell Summers averages about 7.5 ppg. Don't forget about the sleeping giant. Goran Suton is a beast down low but has touch on the outside. He can score, averaging 9.3 points a game, but he can also rebound averaging 8.4 rpg. This team has a lot of offensive firepower and they are well-coached by none other than Tom Izzo. Their glaring weakness is turnovers. If they can minimize that then they have a good look at going deep in this tournament.
Trevon Hughes leads this Badger squad with 14.2 points per game. Brian Butch is putting up top numbers in the rebound column with 7.7 per game. He also puts up some good points at 13.9 ppg. This is another very strong squad put together by Bo Ryan. Expect to see them go at least two rounds when it comes tourney time.
4. Ohio State
Losing Greg Oden and Michael Conley Jr. can never be a good thing. The Buckeyes are still making the best out of it as they try to get back to the championship game that they lost under Thad Matta a year ago. Jamar Butler is carrying his team with just a little help from Kosta Koufos. This crew should be an at-large bid in the tourney.
Tubby Smith finds himself skipping the typical rebuilding year and skipping to the success. Smith and the Golden Gophers have a good team built led by Dan Coleman, Spencer Tollackson, Blake Hoffarber, and Lawrence Mackenzie. This bunch could be looking at an NCAA tourney bid.
6. Penn State
Geary Claxton leads the team with 18.7 ppg and 8.9 rpg. Jamelle Cornley isn't far behind scoring 12 per game and pulling in 6.5 rpg. If the Nittany Lions can get a signature win against one of the higher teams in the conference then they could possibly be playing in March.
The Illini really couold have used Eric Gordon right about now. Shaun Pruitt is the leading scorer and rebounder with 12.5 ppg and 7.9 rpg. After that there isn't much scoring power other than Trent Meachem. This team is very shallow and should be in the NIT at season's end.
There are three players on this team scoring about 10 points per game. After that there is not much depth. They are a team that lacks defense. They do have a signature win over Ohio State but that still may not be enough to get them anywhere other than the NIT.
They have two kids scoring about 14.5 ppg. They have a signature win over Michigan State. The problem is that they have lost a few games that they shouldn't have and so they look a lot worse than they could. They could make a strong case for the NIT with one more big win and a strong finish.
Manny Harris scores 16.9 ppg. DeShawn Sims scores 13.6 ppg. After that the next highest scorer is at around 6.7 ppg. They have no offense if you can shut down those two guys. It's as simplpe as that. They are going to have a very long year. I don't see any postseason action in the near future for the Wolverines. Maybe you should be a MSU fan for a year or two?
The Wildcats have always been the doormat of the conference and, unfortunately for the few fans they have, I don't see that changing very quickly. Sorry 'Cats. Maybe next year.
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