Today is Big Ten basketball media day, and in connection with that event, an unofficial polling of the media was conducted on the final conference standings and various individual honors.
Here’s a recap of the voting and our take on what the collective group got right and wrong:
UNOFFICIAL BIG TEN MEDIA PRESEASON POLL AND PLAYER AWARDS
1. Michigan State
8. Ohio State
11. Penn State
As we’ve said before, we think this league race is a toss-up between about five teams. We wouldn’t take issue with any ordering of Michigan State, Michigan and Indiana at the top, and Wisconsin and Nebraska should be right there as well.
The team that we just can’t buy into is Purdue. Sure, that sounds like rivalry talk, but it isn’t. We loved their team last year and were legitimately concerned about a Final Four run. But they lost too much talent and have very little depth. Matt Painter is a good coach and could prove us wrong, but we don’t see it.
The teams that we think people are sleeping on are Iowa and Minnesota. Both return a lot of key players and are fighting for their head coach’s job.
Big Ten POY: Carsen Edwards
On the surface this seems like the right answer. It would be hard to pick someone else. Edwards will be one of the more interesting players to watch this year. With no Isaac Haas for defenses to worry about in the paint, and no Dakota Mathias or Vince Edwards on the perimeter, Carsen is going to have to earn everything. He’s probably good enough to do it, although his offensive efficiency is likely to suffer.
Big Ten freshman of the year: Romeo Langford
Unlike Edwards, Langford has the benefit of having all-Big Ten Juwan Morgan as part of a potent duo. Teams will have to pretty much play them both straight-up, or else suffer the consequences. Jalen Smith at Maryland is another five-star freshman talent that should make a run at this award, but Langford’s ability as a pure scorer will likely make him stand out.
All-conference team: Carsen Edwards, Ethan Happ, James Palmer Jr., Cassius Winston, Juwan Morgan
This is our all-conference team, but there are a number of additional players that could end up on this list in March (or at least on the 2nd or 3rd teams), including in no particular order:
- Romeo Langford, Indiana
- Nick Ward, Michigan State
- Tyler Cook, Iowa
- Amir Coffey, Minnesota
- Jordan Murphy, Minnesota
- C.J. Jackson, Ohio State
- Charles Matthews, Michigan
- Anthony Cowan, Maryland
- Vic Law, Northwestern
- Lamar Stevens, Penn State
- Trent Frazier, Illinois
Update: In separate voting, Morgan and Langford were named to the 10-member Preseason 2018-19 All-Big Ten team as voted on by the Big Ten Media Voting Panel. Langford is the only freshman and joins four juniors and five seniors on the squad which was announced today at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago. Carsen Edwards was voted as the preseason player of the year by that same panel.
— Big Ten Men's Basketball (@B1GMBBall) October 11, 2018
Jeff Goodman of Stadium polled Big Ten coaches to develop an interesting chart ranking the programs across a number of different categories. The goal was to determine the “best overall coaching job in the league.” As you can see, IU ended up being number one overall
You should read the entire story here (it’s free), as there are a number of good quotes from the coaches that were polled, including some incredibly misinformed thoughts about IU, and a spot-on assessment of West Lafayette, if we do say so ourselves.
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