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Ten B1G teams land on ESPN's Fab 50 for 2014-15

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman released his Fab 50 for 2014-15, a ranking of his top 50 men’s hoops teams, on Tuesday. Ten Big Ten teams make the list, including newcomer Maryland (No. 30), paced by reigning national semifinalist Wisconsin (No. 3). The No. 1 team? That’s Kentucky, of course. See Goodman’s analysis of all 10 Big Ten teams in this post. [ MORE: Yarina: My super-early 2014-15 Big Ten predictions ] No. 3 Wisconsin This is a team that was one shot away from playing for the national title game and also a group that will return seven of its top

Yarina: A super-early look at 2014-15 hoops predictions

With Mitch McGary announcing Friday that he will enter the NBA draft, we officially know what each Big Ten team will return for the 2014-15 season. So, naturally, that means it’s time to take a SUPER-early stab at next year’s standings and All-Big Ten teams. See my way-too-early predictions in this post. [ MORE: Big Ten roster updates: Who’s on the move? ] BIG TEN STANDINGS 1. Wisconsin – Everyone but Ben Brust is back from the Final Four team. 2. Nebraska – Terran Petteway and a healthy Shavon Shields form a fantastic 1-2 punch. 3. Michigan State – Speaking

Dienhart: Here are my final Big Ten hoops grades

The dust has settled on another basketball season. And, it was a good one for the Big Ten, as three schools advanced to the Elite Eight (Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State) and one made it to the Final Four (Wisconsin). Another won the NIT (Minnesota). Let’s punctuate the season by handing out final grades. Illinois, 20-15, 7-11/T8th. The Fighting Illini had a roller coaster season. In earlier January after a home win vs. Penn State, Illinois was 13-2 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten. Alas, the wheels came off during an eight-game losing skid. Illinois would go on to lose

Fourteen B1G products on 2014 NBA playoff rosters

Fourteen former Big Ten stars are listed on 2014 NBA playoff rosters. Ohio State paces the conference with four players: Mike Conley, Kosta Koufos, Greg Oden and Evan Turner. In all, six Big Ten schools are represented. The team with the most Big Ten products? That would be Memphis, which features the aforementioned Conley and Koufos and Jon Leuer and Zach Randolph. ILLINOIS Meyers Leonard, Portland Trailblazers Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets INDIANA D.J. White, Charlotte Bobcats Cody Zeller, Charlotte Bobcats MICHIGAN Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers MICHIGAN STATE Alan Anderson, Brooklyn Nets Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors Zach Randolph, Memphis

Magnificent 7: An early look at 2014-15 MVP race

The Big Ten has suffered some big attrition when it comes to players leaving early for the NBA Draft as Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross, Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, Michigan State’s Gary Harris and Michigan’s Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III all declared. Michigan’s Mitch McGary still is weighing his options. If he bolts, it will leave another gap to fill. On top of that, stars like Roy Devyn Marble of Iowa, Adreian Payne of Michigan State and Tim Frazier of Penn State are departing seniors. Who’s left? Who will be the front-runners for Big Ten Player of the Year in 2014-15,

Role playing: One ultimate Big Ten hoops roster

Here’s a question to ponder: What does every great college basketball team have in common? We know every one has a superstar. This year’s national champion UConn had Shabazz Napier, last year’s champion Louisville team had Russ Smith, and the 2012 Kentucky team had Anthony Davis, and so on. Every great college basketball team also has players who fill specific roles. For example, in addition to superstar Nik Stauskas, this year’s Michigan Big Ten title team had a shooting specialist in Zak Irvin, a bench spark in Spike Albrecht and a team leader in senior Jordan Morgan. This got me

If B1G basketball players formed a football team ...

Here’s a question that college basketball fans have probably asked themselves at one point or another: How good would that guy be if he played football? The which-basketball-players-would-be-great-at-football topic always makes for a great conversation point, but rather than pointlessly flirting with the idea, let’s go ahead and actually put it into action. With both the college football and basketball seasons now in the books, I went ahead and put together a 22-man football lineup made up of all Big Ten hoops players from the 2013-14 season. Did I miss someone? If so, tweet me @BTNSean. OFFENSE Quarterback: Josh Gasser,

OSU adds Virginia Tech transfer Trevor Thompson

Welcome to Ohio State, Trevor Thompson. A 6-11 forward from Indianapolis, Thompson, who played his freshman season at Virginia Tech, has announced he will transfer to Ohio State. He chose the Buckeyes over a pair of other Big Ten schools — Indiana and Purdue. [ MORE: OSU adds Temple transfer Anthony Lee ] Thompson averaged 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in just over 16 minutes per game this past season at Virgina Tech. Thompson will likely sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules, but there is a chance he could request a waiver from the NCAA, due to

Dienhart: Here's my top 5 incoming freshmen

Freshmen often are expected to contribute the moment they hit campus. Look at what guys like Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr., and Indiana’s Noah Vonleh—among others–meant to their teams last season. As we continue to turn the page toward next season, here’s a look at five incoming freshmen I think will have the best shot to make an instant and significant impact next season—and probably will need to if their respective teams expect to have a good season. 1. James Blackmon Jr., Indiana. If you watched the Hoosiers this past season, you saw the shooting deficiency. Indiana just

Dienhart: A sneak peek at 2014-15 Big Ten hoops

The 2013-14 season was punctuated with UConn’s win over Kentucky in the national championship game Monday night. Deep breath … exhale. That means it’s time to turn the page toward the 2014-15 season. Yes, already. How will the Big Ten look? Not too bad. Take a peek. Illinois 20-15 overall; 7-11 Big Ten Key personnel back: G Tracy Abrams; F/C Nnanna Egwu; G Malcolm Hill; G Kendrick Nunn; G Rayvonte Rice; G Jaylon Tate Key losses: G Joseph Bertrand; F Jon Ekey Key newcomers: F Leron Black; G Aaron Cosby (Seton Hall transfer); F Michael Finke; F Darius Paul (Western Michigan transfer);