Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Big 10 Power Rankings Teams 7-12 : College Basketball Preview

Published on August 9, 2011 by Scott Shirley   ·   2 Comments

Before you know it college basketball will be right around the corner. I thought it would be a good idea to start my college basketball preview. In the following weeks and months I will be breaking down the teams in each conference as well as the top players, freshman, coaches and much more.

Today I look at the Big 10; I ranked teams 7-12 in the Big 10 for the 2011-12-college basketball season.

7. Indiana - Starters Returning (4) Watford, Pritchard, Hulls, Jones III

The good news is the Hoosiers have everyone back, but Jeremiah Rivers, who wasn’t that good; the bad news these same players went 12-20 last year. Forward Christian Watford (16 ppg) was the Hoosiers best player last year leading them in points and rebounds. Indiana needs someone else to step up in the frontcourt. Looking to do that will be Tom Pritchard (2.5 ppg) , Derek Elston (3.7 ppg), and Will Sheehey (4.8 ppg). The player that will probably start from day one is freshman Cody Zeller. He is head coach Tom Cream’s biggest recruit to date. The Hoosiers are loaded in the backcourt with Verdell Jones III (12.5 ppg) and Jordan Hulls (11 ppg). Jones can do a little bit of everything, and Hulls is a deadly shooter. Hopefully Maurice Creek (8.5 ppg) can stay healthy. Victor Oladipo (7.4 ppg) also came on last season, and he gave Indiana a huge spark with his energy. Matt Roth (3.4 ppg) is also a solid guard off the bench.

8. Northwestern - Starters Returning (4) Shurna, Crawford, Mirkovic, Marcotullio or Cobb

The Wildcats return 7 of their 8 top scorers, that is good news for a team looking to make the NCAA for the first time. The loss of four-year starting point guard Juice Thompson will really hurt. Despite being injured a lot last season forward John Shurna (16.6 ppg) still produced, I am looking forward to see what he can do when healthy. Joining Shurna inside is Luka Mirkovic (7.4 ppg). After that the Wildcats are really hurting for depth inside. Davide Curletti (4.0 ppg) has the most experience; while true freshman Mike Turner and Nikola Cerina also look to help out. Drew Crawford (12.1 ppg) gives the Wildcats a steady player at small forward. Alex Marcotullio (6.2 ppg) needs to contribute more at shooting guard. JerShon Cobb (7.4 ppg) is a versatile player that might have to play point guard, but he excels on the wing. Freshman Tre Demps is the point guard of the future; can he come right away and start?

9. Minnesota - Starters Returning (3) Mbakwe, Sampson III, Williams

Last season started out with lot of promise for the Golden Gophers, but it didn’t finish well. They also have a couple players who transferred. There is no doubt the strength of this team is up front. Trevor Mbakwe (13.9 ppg) is a double double machine, and just a player ever teams wants in the middle of their defense. Ralph Sampson III (10.2 ppg) thought about the NBA, but decided to return which was a good decision. A healthy Mo Walker (3.7 ppg) will also help out the frontcourt. Rodney Williams (6.8 ppg) is a very athletic player on the wing. If Minnesota backcourt comes together they could be a lot higher on this list. Chip Armelin (4.4 ppg) and Austin Hollins (4.5 ppg) both showed moments last season, they need to be more consistent. Transfer Julian Welch could also help; he is the former Big West Freshman of the Year. Freshman Andre Hollins should also play a lot of the Golden Gophers this season.

10. Iowa -  Starters Returning (4) Basabe, Gatens, Cartwright, Marble

In year two as head coach Fran McCaffery looks to improve last year’s record, and it helps that he has 6 of his top 7 scorers back. The Hawkeyes are led by their backcourt. Bryce Cartwright (10.9 ppg) was very solid at the point, he had high assists numbers, but he needs to cut down on turnovers. Matt Gatens (12.6 ppg) is Iowa’s best player, he does a little of everything for the Hawkeyes. Eric May (7.8 ppg) is a very capable shooter off the bench. Providing depth in the backcourt will be Branden Stubbs (3 ppg ) and incoming freshman Josh Oglesby, who can shoot it. Leading the way up front is Melsahn Basabe (11.0 ppg), he was excellent as a freshman. Despite being undersized, Basabe is very productive mainly because of his high energy level. Iowa needs another player to step up in the frontcourt. Trying to do that will be Zach McCabe (5.8 ppg), Andrew Brommer (3.1 ppg), and Devon Archie. Freshman Aaron White might help also. Roy Devyn Marble (5.7 ppg) is very solid at small forward.

11. Nebraska - Starters Returning (4) Diaz, Richardson, McCray, Walker

Remember Nebraska is now in the Big Ten, and just like Penn State below they are a football school not a basketball school. Although the Huskers return 6 players who at least averaged 5 points last season, and a transfer. Nebraska best player is center Jorge Brian Diaz (10.5 ppg) . The Huskers don’t lack size Brandon Ubel (6.1 ppg) and Andre Almeida (5.2 ppg) are also ready for battles down low. Toney McCray (8.5 ppg) leads the backcourt; he is a very good shooter. Brandon Richardson (6.4 ppg) will likely take over the point guard duites for the departed Lance Jeter. Nebrska could also get a boost from LSU transfer Bo Spencer (14 ppg with LSU) , but he has to be eligible. Providing the depth at guard will be Caleb Walker (6 ppg) , Eshaunte Jones (4.1 ppg) and true freshman Corey Hilliard.

12. Penn State - Starters Returning (1) Frazier

The Nittany Lions lose four senior starters, including Taylor Battle who is one of if not the best player to ever play at Penn State. This is going to be a long year for first year head coach Pat Chambers, but in the long run I really like what Chambers can do with this program. The only player returning with a lot of experience is point guard Tim Frazier (6.3 ppg) . His production should increase without the talent around him. Jermaine Marshall (2.3 ppg) and Cammeron Woodyard (1.8 ppg) will help Frazier in the backcourt. Look for freshman Trey Lewis to also get a lot of playing time. In the frontcourt the Nittany Lions will be hurting. The only player with experience last year here is Billy Oliver (2.3 ppg) . It helps to get Sasa Borovnjak back from injury, and Jon Graham from a redshirt. Look for three freshmen to get a lot of playing time also; they are Patrick Ackerman, Peter Alexis, and Ross Travis.


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Readers Comments (2)

  1. [...] Home › NCAA Basketball › Big 10 Power Rankings Teams 7-12 : College Basketball Preview [...]

  2. [...] Today I look at the Big 10; here are my power rankings for teams 1-6 in the Big 10 for the 2011-12-college basketball season.  A few day ago I looked at teams 7-12. [...]

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