Michigan State named unanimous preseason Big Ten favorite
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
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