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.
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.
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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).
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.
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.
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.