The familiar excitement of college basketball is right around the corner, and there seems to be a new conference to watch.
With six teams in the top 50, and holding the top two spots in the preseason power rankings, the Big Ten is set to be the best conference in the country this year.
According to most experts, the Big East is no longer the deepest and most talented conference in college basketball. Those attributes are now synonymous with Big Ten players.
Only a year away from the highly scrutinized teams in other conferences, the Big Ten schools have many exciting players to keep an eye on in the ’10-11 season.
Purdue and Michigan State University are the definite front runners in the conference. Perdue is said to be slightly ahead of MSU, but with the injury of standout Robbie Hummel, Michigan State is now the clearcut favorite in the Big Ten. Hummel tore his ACL in the first real practice of the season, the same one he tore last Febuary.
Considering the loss of Hummel, Michigan State is definitely the preliminary top team in the Big Ten and, quite possibly, in the country. The Tom Izzo-led squad returns Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers and Draymond Green. This electrifying team made it all the way to the Final Four last season, where they lost a tough game to the eventual champ, Duke.
MSU, Perdue and almost every other contender in the Big Ten are unique in returning all of their key players. In the new “one and done” era of college basketball, schools like Kentucky only keep their stars, like John Wall, for a single year. The Big Ten is unique in that almost every key player on every team is back.
The 09′-10 National Player of the Year Evan Turner left Ohio State for the NBA, but every star in the conference is returning for another season. The experience of the Big Ten makes them, unequivocally, the pre-season’s top conference.