2016-17 Season Preview: Records and Stuff

OK, let's get the Hate Mail stuff out of the way first.

Predicted Standings

  1. Wisconsin (14-4)
  2. Purdue (13-5)
  3. Indiana (13-5)
  4. Michigan State (12-6)
  5. Ohio State (12-6)
  6. Michigan (11-7)
  7. Illinois (9-9)
  8. Northwestern (9-9)
  9. Maryland (9-9)
  10. Iowa (7-11)
  11. Nebraska (6-12)
  12. Penn State (5-13)
  13. Minnesota (4-14)
  14. Rutgers (2-16)

Here are some random thoughts & explanations

  • Wisconsin at the top seems like an easy pick, but there really is a lot to like about Purdue. There are ready replacements for all of the players they lost, and it's hard not to like a team that's built around shots from 3 and at the rim. That said, while that may be where the skillets lie, it remains to be seen whether that's how those players will be used.
  • While Wisconsin should be good, this is not a Frank Kaminsky-type team. That team's supernova offense was in large part powered by the fact they had experience at every position, and every player could score at every spot on the floor. Ethan Happ is a lot of things, but he's not an outside shooter. Also, we've yet to see Nigel Hayes demonstrate he can be an efficient alpha scorer.
  • Expect this year's Ohio State team to be traditionally Thad Matta. That means one player will dominate the ball (JaQuan Lyle), and the rotation will be 7 players, maximum. It might just be 6, for all intents and purposes.
  • I see 6 or 7 teams making the dance. Yes, John Groce will be sweating.
  • I do see a big drop coming for Maryland, in large part because the frontcourt will be challenged.
  • Two wins for Rutgers seems high.

It should be a fun season. Be sure to follow on Twitter to find GIFs alongside sardonic analysis!