We are 16 weeks away from the start of the 2023-24 college basketball season.
Around this time every year we begin to see preseason outlooks from the national pundits who cover the sport.
CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein issued his annual Big Ten outlook on Monday, and it should come as little surprise he’s got Purdue slotted in as the league favorite, with Michigan State the preseason No. 2 squad. That’s a top two we expect you’ll see on repeat as the national coverage rolls out in the coming weeks.
After Purdue and Michigan State, we suspect you’ll see a wide range of views when it comes to preseason power rankings. Rothstein likes Illinois in the No. 3 spot, followed by Maryland and Wisconsin.
As for Indiana? Rothstein places the Hoosiers at No. 8 in the Big Ten, between Rutgers and Michigan. He doesn’t provide any rationale for his power rankings.
Rothstein also publishes multiple preseason individual awards and call-outs in his analysis. He doesn’t place any Hoosiers on his first team All-Big Ten squad, and that’s not particularly surprising. On paper IU appears to be a very balanced team that won’t have a superstar like they did with Trayce Jackson-Davis in 2022-23.
Oregon transfer center Kel’el Ware and 5-star freshman Mackenzie Mgbako might have the most upside, each with the potential to crack the first team with a breakout season. And Rothstein placed Ware on his league’s 15 impact transfer list, and Mgbako on his 10 impact freshmen list. Interestingly, Rothstein also sees Jordan Geronimo as one of his 15 impact transfers. He transferred from IU to Maryland during the offseason.
Rothstein also named 10 breakout players among those returning to the league. IU forward Malik Reneau was included in that list. Third-year head coach Mike Woodson’s has a very talented frontcourt with Reneau, Ware and Mgbako, and his ability to mix and match their skills while playing a modern style will be an early season storyline to follow.
For The Daily Hoosier’s ongoing 2023-24 Big Ten roster preview series, GO HERE. Upon the conclusion of that series we’ll have our own preseason power rankings and other thoughts on the upcoming season.
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