Big Ten expert picks 2021-22: Projected order of finish, bold predictions, most overrated and underrated teams

The Huge Ten Convention this season appears to be like prefer it’ll be within the working as the most effective in school basketball. It is a league filled with stars because the likes of Kofi Cockburn, Hunter Dickinson and Trayce Jackson-Davis return, and numerous applications deliver again both expertise or breakout candidates — or each — after success in 2021-22. 

Purdue tops our preseason ballot of CBS Sports activities school basketball specialists as the highest canine within the league coming into the 2021-22 marketing campaign due to its mix of potential, star energy, expertise and training acumen. Led by sophomore star Jaden Ivey and large man Trevion Williams, the Boilermakers went 18-10 final season however are positioned underneath coach Matt Painter to construct off of a powerful end to final season after profitable its last 5 regular-season video games.

It is no gimme, although, and whereas it is onerous to foretell how the season might unfold, one factor appears sure: the Huge Ten can be a battle fought to the tip. Reigning regular-season champ Michigan is available in at No. 2 in our preseason voting after including two five-stars to the roster this offseason, and Ohio State — with perhaps the very best constructing block within the league in E.J. Liddell — is available in at No. 3. On down our preseason rankings is Illinois, Maryland and Michigan State.

Sure, Michigan State is the sixth-best group within the league in our preseason Huge Ten ballot. That is the way you know the league is loaded.

Our CBS Sports activities school basketball specialists are right here to offer their picks and predictions for the Huge Ten forward of the 2021 season. Verify all of them out under.

CBS Sports activities Huge Ten Preseason Participant of the Yr 

Kofi Cockburn, Illinois

The Illinois group that earned a No. 1 seed a season in the past misplaced star guard Ayo Dosunmu, however Kofi Cockburn returns as the muse for an Illinois group set to reload underneath Brad Underwood and workers. The 7-foot large man final season was the one participant within the NCAA to common 15+ factors and 9+ rebounds whereas capturing at the very least 60% from the sector, ranked third nationally with 16 double-doubles and led the nation in dunks with 78. As certainly one of solely two Illini gamers who averaged double figures final season he figures to be fed the ball often this season and his effectivity and quantity are among the many many causes we like him coming into the season because the Huge Ten Preseason Participant of the Yr.

CBS Sports activities Huge Ten Preseason Coach of the Yr 

Matt Painter, Purdue

With Purdue atop our preseason ballot, it is solely becoming that we tab its fearless chief because the preseason Coach of the Yr. Matt Painter’s perennially one of the vital underrated coaches within the nation — he is 337-174 at Purdue in a league that has been affected by elite coaches — and this season he has arguably the most effective 1-2-3 punches within the nation with Jaden Ivey, Zach Edey and Trevion Williams working the present. Not one of the three have been top-75 recruits in highschool but all three may very well be all-conference performers this season. What Painter’s executed with this system growing expertise and sustaining success consistency is spectacular already and he is in line to be rewarded for his efforts with a group able to profitable all of it.

CBS Sports activities Huge Ten Preseason Freshman of the Yr 

Caleb Houstan, Michigan

There’s just one top-10 recruit from the 2021 cycle becoming a member of the Huge Ten this season, and that one — Caleb Houstan — will get our preseason nod because the Freshman of the Yr. Houstan, a 6-foot-8 ahead, was the No. 10 recruit in his class and the No. 3 participant at his place. The Montverde Academy product averaged 13.6 factors and made 38.6% of his 3-pointers final season on a group with star Jalen Duren, and he joins a Wolverines group that is more likely to characteristic him subsequent to Hunter Dickinson within the frontcourt as a high-end stretch-four.

CBS Sports activities Huge Ten Predicted Order of End

The consensus order as voted by our specialists. How they voted is under.

Most Overrated Crew: Ohio State

I put Ohio State at No. 4 by myself poll they usually got here in at No. 3 on our complete tally so I am splitting hairs right here, however it’s attainable — probably, even — that we’re not totally appreciating the lack of Duane Washington Jr. and over-appreciating the return of E.J. Liddell. Washington Jr. was nails in large moments for OSU final season and he’s certainly one of two upperclassmen, together with CJ Walker, who’s not on the roster. That is an excellent quantity of expertise and manufacturing to interchange. Of the highest 5 groups in our ballot, the Buckeyes appear probably the most liable to complete under our projections. 

Most Underrated Crew: Michigan State

Once more, the hairs are being cut up — I ranked Michigan State at No. 5 they usually completed at No. 6 in our voting. I get why, too. Sparty had its worst season in practically three many years, its star recruit wasn’t a top-10 participant and its star switch, Tyson Walker, hasn’t performed on the energy degree. All truthful factors. I am simply undecided I am able to say Tom Izzo will not have a top-five group within the Huge Ten. Name me loopy. Possibly he will not, however the historical past of Tom Izzo suggests we’re in all probability not appreciating his magic contact fairly sufficient.

How our specialists voted | Huge Ten knowledgeable picks 2021-22: Projected order of end, daring predictions, most overrated and underrated groups


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