Dienhart: My preseason basketball lists
It’s Big Ten Basketball Media Day and here are my various preseason picks. My colleague and BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina posted his selections over here.
1. Indiana. One of the Big Ten’s deepest and most talented teams in years.
2. Michigan. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr., will be the top guard tandem in the league.
3. Ohio State. Life without Jared Sullinger begins—but there’s lots to like including Deshaun Thomas.
4. Michigan State. Always count on Tom Izzo’s teams playing tough defense and rebounding.
5. Wisconsin. Are there more talented teams? Yes. Are there better coached teams? Never.
6. Minnesota. The Gophers look to build on last year’s strong finish.
7. Iowa. There may be no more improved team in the league.
8. Purdue. How will Matt Painter form the Big Ten’s mystery team?
9. Illinois. John Groce inherits a nice team that some may be underrated.
10. Northwestern. This could be Bill Carmody’s most talented and deepest team.
11. Penn State. No team plays harder, but talent remains an issue.
12. Nebraska. New coach Tim Miles brings energy to a program with lots of potential.
Player of the year: Cody Zeller, Indiana
Freshman of the year: Gary Harris, Michigan State
Coach of the year: Tom Crean, Indiana
Defensive player of the year: Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Sixth man: Will Sheehey, Indiana
My 1st team
Cody Zeller, Indiana
Trey Burke, Michigan
Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota
Tim Frazier, Penn State
Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State
My 2nd team
Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Keith Appling, Michigan State
Drew Crawford, Northwestern
Jared Berggren, Wisconsin
Branden Dawson, Michigan State
My 3rd team
Devyn Marble, Iowa
Brandon Paul, Illinois
Tim Hardaway, Jr., Michigan
Christian Watford, Indiana
Aaron White, Iowa