staff, October 17, 2012

Indiana is ranked No. 1 in the preseason Coaches Poll, released Wednesday. As impressive as that is, the bigger story might be that the Big Ten features three of the poll's top 5 teams. That's right, Ohio State comes in at No. 4 and Michigan No. 5. Michigan State (No. 14) and Wisconsin (No. 21) round out the Big Ten representatives.

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Here's what the poll says about the Big Ten teams:


"No. 1 Indiana. Points: 761 (21 first-place votes). Previous ranking: 13. Outlook: Hoosiers got taste of success last year and should be ready to build on it with the return of Gs Jordan Hulls and Victor Oladipo and Fs Cody Zeller (pictured), Will Sheehey and Christian Watford. Watch for emergence of freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell and first-year Fs Jeremy Hollowell and Hanner Mosquera-Perea."


"No. 4 Ohio State. Points: 617. Previous ranking: 3. Outlook: After trip to Final Four, Buckeyes said farewell to stars Jared Sullinger and William Buford, but they again should be right in Big Ten race with return of Gs Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr., Fs Deshaun Thomas (pictured), Sam Thompson and LaQuinton Ross and C Amir Williams."


"No. 5: Michigan. Points: 605. Previous ranking: 22. Outlook: Wolverines should continue to ascend in Big Ten with Gs Trey Burke (pictured) and Tim Hardaway Jr. They?ll be joined by what looks like a top-notch recruiting class, featuring Fs Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary and G Nik Stauskas."


"No. 14: Michigan State. Points: 391. Previous ranking: 7. Outlook: Stalwart Draymond Green has departed, but the Spartans have high expectations with return of Gs Keith Appling (pictured) and Travis Trice and addition of freshman G Gary Harris. Wing Branden Dawson is one to watch along with returning Cs Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne."


"No. 21: Wisconsin. Points: 191. Previous ranking: 12. Outlook: Standout G Jordan Taylor is gone, but almost every other key element returns from a team that came within a field goal of Elite Eight. Josh Gasser and Ben Brust are experienced backcourt, and Jared Berggren should continue to develop into one of Big Ten?s better big men."