Surprise, Surprise: Michigan State picked to win Big Ten
Per the Big Ten:
Park Ridge, Ill.– Coming off its second consecutive Final Four appearance, Michigan State was selected to finish first in the Big Ten, as voted upon by a panel of conference media. Ohio State and Purdue were picked to finish second and third, respectively. Spartan senior Kalin Lucas was named the Preseason Player of the Year for the second straight season and was joined on the Preseason All-Conference team by Illinois’ Demetri McCamey, Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore and Wisconsin’s Jon Leuer.
Michigan State returns three starters and nine letterwinners from last year’s squad that went 28-9 and tied for the Big Ten Championship with a 14-4 conference record. Head Coach Tom Izzo took the Spartans to their second straight Final Four, marking the team’s sixth appearance in the event in the last 12 years.
Ohio State brings back four starters and six letterwinners from last year’s squad that tied for the Big Ten title with a 14-4 conference mark, won the conference tournament advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. The Buckeyes finished the 2009-10 season with a 29-8 overall record, giving the Buckeyes 20 or more wins in each of their six seasons under head coach Thad Matta.
Two starters and 10 letterwinners return for Purdue, who tied for the Big Ten title and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2010. The Boilermakers finished the season with a 29-6 mark and advanced to their fourth straight NCAA Tournament under the guidance of head coach Matt Painter.
Lucas earns his second straight Preseason Player of the Year honor after earning first-team All-Big Ten recognition following the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. The Big Ten Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2009, Lucas enters the season as the conference’s third-leading active scorer, with 1,418 career points. The guard is one of 10 Big Ten players named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List.
The 2010-11 Preseason All-Big Ten team includes three first-team All-Big Ten honorees from last season in McCamey, Lucas and Moore. Johnson was named first-team honoree following the 2008-09 season and earned a spot on the second team last year. Leuer was an honorable mention selection a season ago.
Filed to: Michigan State Spartans