Michigan State named unanimous preseason Big Ten favorite

  • 10/31/2013 8:54 am in

The Michigan State Spartans are the unanimous pick to the win the 2013-2014 Big Ten men’s basketball championship, the conference announced earlier this morning at its media day.

Here’s the full release:

Rosemont, Ill. – Michigan State has been chosen as the unanimous Big Ten favorite heading into the 2013-14 men’s basketball season as voted on by a panel of conference media. The media also tabbed Spartan sophomore Gary Harris as the Preseason Player of the Year. Michigan and Ohio State were selected to finish second and third, respectively.

Harris led a six-member preseason All-Big Ten team, as the media vote resulted in additional honorees due to a tie. He was joined on the team by the Wolverines’ Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III, Michigan State’s Adreian Payne, the Buckeyes’ Aaron Craft and Penn State’s Tim Frazier.

Michigan State, which is ranked No. 2 in the preseason USA Today Coaches poll, returns four starters from last year’s team that advanced to the Sweet 16 and finished with a 27-9 record. Tom Izzo enters his 19th year at the helm. Harris and Payne were both named second-team All-Big Ten last season, as was senior guard Keith Appling. Harris also picked up Big Ten Freshman of the Year accolades from both the coaches and media.

Michigan welcomes back three starters from last year’s team that advanced to the NCAA Championship game. John Beilein enters his seventh season with the Wolverines. Robinson III was a Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection by the coaches last season, and also collected All-Big Ten honorable mention plaudits from the media. McGary became a regular starter during the NCAA Tournament, and averaged a double-double during the Wolverines’ run to the Final Four. Forward Jordan Morgan, a Big Ten All-Defensive Team selection last season, also returns for the Wolverines.

Ohio State returns four starters from last year’s team that advanced to the Elite Eight. The Buckeyes, who also won the Big Ten Tournament last season, are led by tenth-year head coach Thad Matta. Craft was a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media last season and was also a member of the Big Ten All-Defensive Team along with Shannon Scott, who also returns in the Buckeyes’ backcourt.

The complete 2013-14 preseason poll and All-Big Ten Team can be found below.

2013-14 BIG TEN PRESEASON RANKINGS

1. MICHIGAN STATE
2. Michigan
3. Ohio State

2013-14 PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM*
Mitch McGary, Michigan
Glenn Robinson III, Michigan
Gary Harris, Michigan State
Adreian Payne, Michigan State
Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Tim Frazier, Penn State

2013-14 PRESEASON BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Gary Harris, Michigan State

Unanimous selections in ALL CAPS
*Additional honorees due to ties

Filed to:

  • hardcore_hoosier

    Yogi > Craft

  • sarge

    much better and it’s really not close imo

  • CreamandCrimson

    Perfectly reasonable list. I think it’s very possible Yogi Ferrell ends up on the All-Big Ten Team (especially if he shoots like he did in the 1st exhibition).

    If Keith Appling can play consistently, I think Michigan State is the best team in the country (mainly because I think Harris is tremendous).

  • Hoosierfan2335

    I don’t know. Craft is a terrific defender. I’m anxious to see how far yogi has come, especially if his shot stays as good as it was last saturday. plus, craft in his 19th year at OSU so he’s a veteran.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Hilarious! It does seem like Craft has been there forever. We’ll see how good Craft’s defense is this year with the new rules…

  • Ole Man

    Agree somewhat on Yogi. He’ll have to shoot better than 40% overall, as he did in the exhibition.

  • aaron51

    Craft does NOT defend legally now that the New Rules are in. Look for him to foul out by Halftime!

  • CreamandCrimson

    That’s true. The 6-15 overall (0-5 on two-pointers) is not great. I was looking more at the 6-10 and the confidence he displayed with his perimeter shot but you are right, he needs to be better than 40% overall (more attacking the rim would be nice) and needs to do better than the 4 turnovers he had.

  • gts67@aol.com

    IS CRAFT STILLLL PLAYING?? This must be his 8th or 9th year of college!

  • cavemander

    Reasonable list with the exception of Craft, in my opinion. Just more motivation for the young Hoosier team.

  • calbert40

    The preseason predictions is far more about what a player/team did last year than what they will do in the upcoming year. If memory serves, Vic didn’t make the preseason all-B1G team, did he?

    That said, it is a reasonable list, but I won’t be the least bit surprised to see a lot of difference between the preseason lists and the postseason lists.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Aaron:

    Completely agree. Watched UofL exhibition game the other night and the refs were calling it close. My wife said that if that is an example of the way officials will be interpreting the new rule, Craft is in trouble.

    For a while, games are going to drag because of the whistles but over the long run when the players adjust and if the refs don’t back off in response to fans’ and coaches’ complaints, the game will be much better–closer to basketball than hockey.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Reasonable list for a preseason prediction. I think by the end of the year we will see Yogi on here as well as Dekker from Wisky. We will more than likely have at least 2 players on the all-freshman team.

  • MillaRed

    Craft may be more affected by this new rule than any other kid in the country.

  • Snookafly

    Three kids from Indiana…ugh.

  • Adrian Bachnivsky

    Good. Embrace the role as an underdog. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.