Power Rankings: Super-early first look at 2013-14

It’s never too early to look ahead to next season, right? Actually, yes, the day after the completion of one season is entirely too early to start analyzing the next. But even if we don’t know which stars will return and which ones will go pro, it’s fun to consider what next season may bring. See my super-early 2013-14 power rankings in this post. And once all the NBA decision are made, I’ll update this list.

[ RELATED: How did I do with last year’s super-early rankings? ]

No. 1: Michigan State – If Gary Harris and Adreian Payne stay in school, the Spartans will have an incredibly talented and deep nucleus that should make Michigan State one of the favorites to win the NCAA title.

No. 2: Ohio State – Losing Deshaun Thomas hurts, however LaQuinton Ross showed he’s ready to take over the scoring load on a team that defends and returns Aaron Craft, Shannon Scott, Lenzelle Smith Jr., and Sam Thompson.

No. 3: Michigan – Much of this ranking depends on what Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III decide to do. If Burke and at least one other guy leave, the Wolverines will drop.

No. 4: Iowa – The Hawkeyes return their entire starting 5, headlined by big-time scorer Devyn Marble, plus they add Wisconsin transfer Jarrod Uthoff. No doubt about it, this program is on the rise.

No. 5: Wisconsin – So what if Wisconsin loses its entire frontline? Bo Ryan is still the coach, the Badgers always defend, and the team returns Ben Brust, Sam Dekker and Josh Gasser, among others.

No. 6: Purdue – A.J. Hammons, Ronnie Johnson and Terone Johnson have the ability to become one of the Big Ten’s better trios. Consistency and depth could be an issue again, however.

No. 7: Indiana – Assuming Cody Zeller joins Victor Oladipo in the NBA, Indiana will be without its four leading scorers from this year. How will Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey thrive in primary roles?

No. 8: Penn State – Add a fully recovered Tim Frazier to the backcourt of D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall, and the Nittany Lions are likely to be the Big Ten’s most improved team.

No. 9: Northwestern – Should Drew Crawford elect to leave, the Wildcats will flirt with the Big Ten basement. If Crawford joins Dave Sobolewski, JerShon Cobb and Alex Olah, though, Northwestern has the makings of something.

No. 10. Nebraska – Get to know this name: Shavon Shields. The sophomore-to-be had a fantastic freshman campaign, and he’s one of the biggest reasons (Tim Miles and Pinnacle Bank Arena, the others) Nebraska fans are excited about basketball.

No. 11. Illinois – With Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson gone, it’ll be interesting to see where the scoring comes from. Will it be transfer Rayvonte Rice, who averaged 15.4 points in two seasons at Drake? The Illini better hope so.

No. 12: Minnesota – The Gophers have talent in the backcourt, but they aren’t the greatest shooters, and with forwards Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams no longer around to grab second chances, there will be struggles.

About Brent Yarina BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (38 Comments)
Jon Jones on 4/9/2013 @ 6:27pm EDT Said:

What the F is this trash? Yeah Illinois is gonna finish behind Northwestern, Penn State, Nebraska, and Purdue next year. Get a grip.

Trevor Vallese on 4/9/2013 @ 6:57pm EDT Said:

Are you serious here? Illinois behind Penn State and Northwestern? Terrible rankings. This has to be a joke. Illinois should be way higher.

Doug on 4/9/2013 @ 7:01pm EDT Said:

Looks good Brent !

S pulp on 4/9/2013 @ 7:27pm EDT Said:

Face it Illinois isn’t the powerhouse the Illini fans think.

S pulp on 4/9/2013 @ 7:42pm EDT Said:

The Illini are a second tier Big Ten program. Sub .500 in league play since Bill Self’s recruits took them to the title game many moons ago.

Roger on 4/9/2013 @ 8:08pm EDT Said:

Wolvies had a nice run and Trey Burke IS the best Point Guard in the Nation BUT
Michigan State is still the Class of the Big Ten Baby! Until someone in the Big Ten wins a champoinship it’s always gonna be Michigan State that holds the banner. Making a championship appearance ain’t good enough in America.

Parski on 4/9/2013 @ 8:44pm EDT Said:

Minnesota last??? This is asinine!!

lexo on 4/9/2013 @ 9:09pm EDT Said:

lol. Illinois’ 2013 freshman class by themselves would win more games next year than Northwestern. These rankings, like most, care too much about who’s leaving and not enough about the quality of the replacements. Indiana, for example, will still be really really solid next year.

JLE on 4/9/2013 @ 9:15pm EDT Said:

Too low for Illini.

Mark on 4/9/2013 @ 9:36pm EDT Said:

IU will still be a talented, but unproven team. I think they will probably be 5-6.

Facts on 4/9/2013 @ 9:52pm EDT Said:

The illini were not sub 500 in league play since the title game. They went 11-5, 9-7, 5-13, 11-7, 10-8, 9-9, 6-12, and then this year 8-10. I’m not trying to say that they are a top tier team. Just posting the actual facts so people aren’t misinformed by others.

Brian on 4/9/2013 @ 10:21pm EDT Said:

This is a hilariously bad post. Minn and Illinois as the two last place teams? That’s ridiculous. Northwestern is the clear bottom dweller with Penn State, Nebraska, etc not far ahead. These teams have been bad for years they have to prove they can actually do something before moving them up

S pulp on 4/9/2013 @ 10:44pm EDT Said:

Check your numbers they are two games below .500 I’m not making stuff up. Illini = mediocre

aroznowski on 4/9/2013 @ 11:48pm EDT Said:

Even without Victor Oladipo and possibly Cody Zeller, Indiana will have the talent to finish in the upper half of the conference. The Hoosiers are ranked too low. Illinois and Minnesota being ranked last is an absolute joke. Despite the losses, those two teams have too much talent to be ranked behind Nebraska, Northwestern, and Penn State. Penn State is ranked way too high. They have to at least look competitive before I can consider them a team that won’t finish among the conference’s worst. Iowa might also be ranked a bit too high. The Hawkeyes have yet to show that they can contend for a top four finish in the conference over the course of eighteen physically-demanding conference games.

Jonathan on 4/10/2013 @ 12:10am EDT Said:

1. MSU
2. Indiana
2. Michigan
4. OSU
4. Wisky
4. Iowa
7. Nebraska
7. Purdue
9. Illinois
10. Penn State
10. Minnesota
12. Northwestern
(Ties in no particular order)

Reality Check on 4/10/2013 @ 7:24am EDT Said:

What if Burke and Hardaway come back Doug just to spite you? what will become of the Spartans than

Wilson on 4/10/2013 @ 8:18am EDT Said:

1. MSU
2. Michigan
3. OSU
4. Wisconsin
4. Purdue
4. Indiana
7. Iowa
8. Illinois
8. Minnesota
10. Nebraska
11. Penn State
12. Northwestern

Obviously alot depends on who leaves and stays.

MSU is going to be the top.

Michigan even if Burke leaves they are loaded, if Burke and Hardaway leave they will still be near the top.

OSU brings everyone back except Thomas (obviously huge), but they still have alot of talent

Wisconsin….has…. Bo Ryan! They are always somewhere in the top 5.

Purdue should be much improved if Hammons learns to play hard, and they get some outside shooters.

Indiana… Oladipo is gone, Watford gone, Hulls gone… If Zeller leaves they fall even more. Even if Zeller stays he will have to man up for the BIGS in the top of the conference will eat him alive again this year…. Oh and Coach Crean (classless) drops them a little more also.

Iowa will be tough, but they havent shown consistency and I don’t see them being a powerhouse. They split with BAD teams this year…

Minnesota lost a lot and got a new coach, we will see.

Illinois I just don’t even know what to say about that program. They’ve had tons of potential, but not much to show.

Neb, Penn St, and NW…. I still feel they are in the bottom..

Boss on 4/10/2013 @ 8:50am EDT Said:

So these rankings are based on IU players leaving and Michigan players staying….. What?

    Brent Yarina, BTN.com on 4/10/2013 @ 9:51am EDT Said:

    Oladipo already left and rumors indicate Zeller will follow. Burke is gone, we can assume, but we don’t know about the others.

Delmar Jones on 4/10/2013 @ 10:11am EDT Said:

Settle down boys, next season is to far away for all this up roar, so let me put you all straight. Who won the Big Ten tournament this pass season? That who’ll be the class of the conference and will go to the sweet-16 for the fifth year in a roll and from there will go on to win the National title. That right The Ohio State Buckeyes. GO BUCKS

Ryan on 4/10/2013 @ 10:22am EDT Said:

Minnesota loses a ton and have zero recruits committed for next year. Looks like a last place finish to me. Maybe lil Pitino will take a page out of his old man’s book and make recruits an offer they can’t refuse wink wink hush hush.

Wilson on 4/10/2013 @ 10:30am EDT Said:

Just some new info… Zeller is leaving.

hoosiergal on 4/10/2013 @ 10:39am EDT Said:

Like they said, it’s too soon to make accurate assumptions. One thing I do know, is I’d rather my team be under ranked than over ranked. It’s too much pressure to live up to. There was so much talk about IU starting about this time last year and it went on and on. I believe it’s better to prove your better than people say then to not live up to expectations. Of course, we all know that IU will be amazing if Zeller stays. If he goes, IU will be just fine.Will and Yogi have great talent and not to mention the other returning players. And let’s not forget this great freshman class coming in!

Mike Dieterle on 4/10/2013 @ 11:23am EDT Said:

idiots…Michigan is #1 pg.Walton sg. Irvin sf, stauskas pf.gr3 c. mcgary,,,,,,,,,,bench, horford morgan spike levert

lexo on 4/10/2013 @ 12:42pm EDT Said:

If Iowa finishes above Wisconsin and Northwestern finishes above Illinois I will eat my shoes.

bill jennaro on 4/10/2013 @ 1:32pm EDT Said:

wisky may have their most athletic incoming class ever, but what a young team.

SeanO on 4/10/2013 @ 2:58pm EDT Said:


Hoosier86 on 4/10/2013 @ 3:36pm EDT Said:

@Facts- If your numbers are right, Since the Title game, Illinois has gone 49-71 in conference play. That is, in fact, sub .500.

Jered on 4/10/2013 @ 3:37pm EDT Said:

Although your ranking for Nebraska is probably fair, there are some transfers(Biggs-Juco Transfer, Petteway-TTech Transfer, and Pitchford-FL Transfer) that are going unnoticed that could have a large positive impact. They also have the type of recruiting class that can come in and compete immediately, mixed with returning Sheilds and Gallegos. Not saying they will win the Big Ten by any means, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Huskers finishing 6th or 7th, and will be better then Northwestern and Penn St.

Hoosier86 on 4/10/2013 @ 3:38pm EDT Said:

Sorry @Facts, I forgot to carry a one in there somewhere and the actual numbers should be 69-71 for the Illini since the title game. Still sub .500 though.

TP on 4/10/2013 @ 4:48pm EDT Said:

Minnesota is going to be pretty lousy. They didn’t exactly impress the 2nd half of the season, and they lose 4 players, only gain one, have a new (very green) coach and could have some transfers as most teams with coaching changes do. Maybe not as bad as last place, but not tournament material by any stretch.

A note about Tubby, did anyone else notice that during “One Shining Moment” as Luther is singing “The time is short…..” the video montage flashed to Tubby shaking hands with Ben Howland? Nice job CBS!

Illinois loses an awful lot. Again, I wouldn’t put them down at 11, but they’ll be considerably weaker, no matter how good their recruits are.

Here’s my prediction:

1. MSU
2. OSU
3. Wisconsin
4. Michigan
5. Purdue
6. Indiana
7. Iowa
8. Illinois
9. Northwestern
10. Minnesota
11. Penn State
12. Nebraska

Steve Cline on 4/10/2013 @ 5:56pm EDT Said:

I can’t believe Brent Yarina would place Minnesota at the very bottom! After all, we have a new, spiffy coach here and the Mayo Clinic to patch up any injuries. And what else can the players do in Minnesota winters other than practice? Move them up, please.

HawkiBob on 4/10/2013 @ 8:29pm EDT Said:

Iowa, 7th? Based on what? One senior in Eric May and Uthoff (Wisky transfer) now eligible as well as Peter Jok, 6’6″ 3 point specialist…

I think Iowa will be no worse than 4th.

Scott on 4/11/2013 @ 11:20am EDT Said:

I’m a bit surprised that there are any comments disagreeing on Minnesota finishing ANYTHING other than last! Currently have ZERO recruits, lose 4 players, a new unproven coach, a joke of an AD. Did I leave anything out?

Andrew on 4/12/2013 @ 4:34pm EDT Said:

You’re worthless.

Mike Vamosi on 4/12/2013 @ 4:35pm EDT Said:

I know it says “super-early” but c’mon using “if player _____ returns” makes this pretty worthless.

    BTN.com staff on 4/13/2013 @ 12:05am EDT Said:

    Mike, it’s all in the spirit of driving conversation. We know plenty of folks were were talking about these topics. It’s discussion – that’s all. So, we did a post.

      Mike Vamosi on 4/13/2013 @ 12:40am EDT Said:

      Fair enough