The first games are still a couple of weeks away, but as the Big Ten gets set to have its basketball media day on Thursday in New York, those that cover the conference have made their predictions for the upcoming season.
In a poll of 28 writers — two for each team in the conference — Michigan State was unanimously selected to finish first in the Big Ten while sophomore Miles Bridges was the unanimous choice for Player of the Year. The Spartans’ Jaren Jackson Jr. was also voted as the preseason Freshman of the Year.
Michigan checked in at No. 5, tied with Maryland. Purdue was picked second, Minnesota third and Northwestern fourth.
Michigan’s Mortiz Wagner joined Bridges on the All-Big Ten first team along with Ethan Happ of Wisconsin, Nate Mason of Minnesota and Northwestern’s Bryant McIntosh.
1. Michigan State (28 – unanimous)
2. Purdue (80)
3. Minnesota (90)
4. Northwestern (115)
T-5. Maryland (155)
T-5. Michigan (155)
7. Wisconsin (168)
8. Iowa (204)
9. Indiana (270)
10. Penn State (280)
11. Ohio State (314)
12. Illinois (315)
13. Nebraska (362)
14. Rutgers (376)
Individual preseason picks
Player of the Year: Miles Bridges (unanimous)
Freshman of the Year: Jaren Jackson Jr.
Also receiving votes: Bruno Fernando (1)
All-Big Ten first team
Miles Bridges, Michigan State (28 – unanimous)
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin (28 – unanimous)
Moritz Wagner, Michigan (20)
Nate Mason, Minnesota (19)
Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern (18)
Also receiving votes: Vincent Edwards (12), Amir Coffey (2), Nick Ward (2), Carsen Edwards (1), Jae'Sean Tate (1), Isaac Haas (1), Jordan Murphy (1)