Zach Edey, Purdue Boilermakers, Big Ten Basketball

CBB Review previews Big Ten basketball heading into the 2023-24 season.


Big Ten basketball projected standings

1. Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue brings back a lot of talent from last year’s team that went 29-6 (15-5) on the year and ended up with a 1 seed in March Madness. Purdue returns the reigning national player of the year in Zach Edey as well as Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer as the lead guards. The Boilermakers also add Myles Colvin, the 63rd-ranked player according to 247Sports, who will add even more depth to the wing alongside Trey Kaufman-Renn, Caleb Furst, Mason Gillis, and Ethan Morton – all of whom will make a significant impact in Painter’s system.

2. Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State returns a projected starting lineup of all upperclassmen including two guards, AJ Hoggard and Tyson Walker, who are senior and super senior. Walker comes off a season averaging 14.8 points and shooting 45.9% where he was one of the more fun players to watch and heading into his fifth season he looks to leave a lasting impact. Jaden Akins, Malik Hall, and Mady Sissoko will round out the starting lineup with the loss of Joey Hauser, and it will fall on these three to replicate him. Off the bench, multiple talented players will all need to provide sparks. A younger, inexperienced bench will need to step up for Michigan State to take the Big Ten crown.

3. Wisconsin Badgers

The Badgers return almost all key contributors from a team that went 20-15 last year. Heading into this season all will rest on the shoulders of the Badgers’ big three of Steven Crowl, Connor Essegian, and Chucky Hepburn. Max Klemsit and Tyler Wahl will need to continue their roles and will need to improve in order to take the team to the next level. AJ Storr from St. John’s and 4-star freshman Gus Yalden will be the new additions that will need to take this team over the hump if they want to take down the two big dogs of Big Ten basketball.

4. Illinois Fighting Illini

The Fighting Illini lost two key contributors – Matthew Mayer and Jayden Epps – however they were replaced with transfers Quincy Guerrier, Marcus Domask, and Justin Harmon. Coleman Hawkins and Terrance Shannon Jr. return for the Illini from the NBA draft as they look to finally make the push for the second weekend of the NCAA tournament. Sincere Harris, Luke Goode, Nicollo Moretti, Ty Rodgers, and Dain Dainja will all need to do their jobs especially with Rodgers taking over the point this year. The Illini also added Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn and Amani Hansberry as true freshmen who will see the floor this year. It is a very old team with five players in their fourth or fifth year of contributing to college basketball.

5. Maryland Terrapins

The Terrapins lost ten players from last year’s roster, however, Hakim Hart and Donald Carey were the only two starters to depart. Jordan Geronimo from Indiana will be a key transfer as well as freshmen DeShawn Harris-Smith and Jamie Keiser. Jahmir Young returns as the lead ballhandler, scorer, and passer for the Terrapins. Julian Reese returns as the big man down low and Donta Scott comes back as an exciting wing for Maryland. If it all comes together we can expect yet another NCAA Tournament appearance in College Park.

6. Northwestern Wildcats

Chris Collins is coming off a top-two season in Northwestern basketball history. The Wildcats bring back one of the best scoring guards in the country in Boo Bouie who averaged 17.3 PPG and will be key in returning Northwestern to March Madness for the third time ever. The loss of Chase Audige will hurt, however, Brooks Barnhizer looks to step up as well and Ty Berry can expect a bigger role as an upperclassman.

7. Indiana Hoosiers

For the first time in a while, Trayce Jackson-Davis will not be on the court for the Hoosiers as the All-American decided not to take the COVID year. Star freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino went off to the NBA after being the Big Ten basketball Freshman of the Year last season. To fix the situation in the frontcourt Mike Woodson went out and added two former five stars Kel’el Ware and Mackenzie Mgbako. Xavier Johnson is back again for Indiana as well as Trey Galloway as both look to anchor the backcourt and provide stability for the Hoosiers who hope to make a run with their new additions.

8. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Rutgers loses a ton heading into this upcoming season with Caleb McConnell, Paul Mulcahy, and Cam Spencer all departing. The lone star still on this Rutgers team is Clifford Omoruyi. 4-star Gavin Griffiths, UMass transfer Noah Fernandes, and Austin Williams from FIU will all need to take a big step up for Rutgers. The new talent as well as Omoruyi will all need to play well enough to escape the Big Ten basketball gauntlet to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

9. Iowa Hawkeyes

The Hawkeyes lose quite a bit with five players who got minutes departing, but no loss hits harder than All-Big Ten selection Kris Murray who went to the NBA. In order to replace the losses, Fran McCaffery added two MVC transfers Even Brauns and Ben Krikke, as well as four freshmen. One of Krikke, Tony Perkins, or Payton Sandfort will need to be the team’s offensive threat however without an NBA-caliber player Iowa might be on the struggle bus this season.

10. Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State returns Kanye Clary as the only player of three remaining on this roster from last season who played valuable minutes. A transfer-heavy roster with key players such as Puff Johnson from UNC and Ace Baldwin from coach Mike Rhoades’s prior school VCU will all have to mesh together in what may be a slower start to their season.

11. Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes return three key sophomores in Bruce Thornton, Rodney Gayle Jr., and Felix Okpara, all of whom will need to show their development in order to make the NCAA Tournament. Zed Key also returns and will be the leading voice as a senior and will be a key contributor to the team. Dale Bonner and Jamison Battle will be the two key transfers for this Ohio State squad as they will provide experience and quick scoring for the Buckeyes.

12. Michigan Wolverines

Michigan loses a lot including Hunter Dickinson, Jett Howard, and Kobe Bufkin. The Wolverines will rely on newcomers this season, especially in the frontcourt with Tennesee transfer Oliver Nkamhoua and four-star Tarris Reed. Dug McDaniel and Terrance Williams II will need to accept bigger roles this season. Nimari Burnett looks to finally be at home at Michigan being at the third school of his career.

13. Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Keisei Tominaga show was fun and he has the potential to show even more flashes of greatness this season as Fred Hoiberg looks to turn around Nebraska basketball. However, the Cornhuskers are clearly at the bottom tier of Big Ten basketball.

14. Minnesota Golden Gophers 

The consensus last team in the conference with a coach on the hot seat. A story we’ve heard in Minnesota many times before.

CBB Review Preseason Big 12 Basketball Player of the Year

Zach Edey, Purdue

A physical specimen standing at 7-4, the reigning National Player of the Year is expected to continue his dominance into this season before heading to the NBA. Realistic expectations are another double-double season with 20 or more points per game from the dominant big man.

He bangs in the post and grabs rebounds over every player in the Big Ten as well as sending their shots back.

CBB Review Preseason Big 12 Basketball Coach of the Year

Tom Izzo, Michigan State

If Michigan State does what many people think they can do then Tom Izzo is the obvious choice assuming MSU tops Purdue and gets a 1 seed in March Madness. This needs to be the year Izzo wants to win ring number two and if he’s on that path he will be the Coach of the Year.

CBB Review Preseason Big Ten Basketball Transfer of the Year

Ace Baldwin, Penn State

Baldwin did everything for VCU by scoring, passing, and defending. He is the ideal guard that every coach would want on his team including his former VCU coach Mike Rhoades. Baldwin is a boost to this Nittany Lions team and will be able to help out with how few players return. 

CBB Review Preseason Big Ten Basketball First Team

  • G: Tyson Walker, Michigan State
  • G: Jahmir Young, Maryland
  • G: Terrence Shannon Jr., Illinois
  • C: Clifford Omoruyi, Rutgers
  • C: Zach Edey, Purdue

CBB Review Preseason Big Ten Basketball Second Team

  • G: AJ Hoggard, Michigan State
  • G: Boo Bouie, Northwestern
  • F: Olivier Nkamhoua, Michigan
  • F: Julian Reese, Maryland
  • F: Steven Crowl, Wisconsin

CBB Review Preseason Big Ten Basketball All-Freshmen Team

  • G: Jeremy Fears, Michigan State
  • G: Gavin Griffiths, Rutgers
  • F: DeShawn Harris-Smith, Maryland
  • F: Mackenzie Mgbako, Indiana
  • C: Xavier Booker, Michigan State

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