Jump to content

ESPN 2019-20 Big Ten Predictions


Recommended Posts

6 minutes ago, KDB said:

ESPN experts made their predictions for the Big Ten this year. 

Towards the bottom of the article you can find their predicted order of finish, Player of the Year, and Newcomer of the Year picks.


Wait!  ESPN has experts?  Is that an oxymoron?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the stuff / predictions on IU from the linked article:

Indiana and Wisconsin have fan bases with high expectations who have been less than ecstatic about their teams' recent places on the national stage. Who makes the NCAA tournament from this duo: one, both or neither?


Indiana has a chance at its first NCAA bid of the Archie Miller era, but it won't be easy. Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Gasaway: We will see the opposite of last season, and in 2020, it will be the Hoosiers who go dancing while the Badgers lurk in Bubble Watch well into March only to come up just short in the end.

IU can look much better than it did on offense a year ago if Miller can find a combination that posts an average number in 3-point accuracy. I expect that will indeed occur (I'll go out on a limb and say Damezi Anderson, for instance, will do better than the 23% he recorded as a freshman). Meanwhile, in other news, Trayce Jackson-Davis has already looked properly assertive and promising in the exhibition season.

As for the Badgers, on paper they have just as much experience coming back as Indiana, but the departure of Ethan Happ leaves arguably the most gaping one-player hole in all of Division I. Greg Gard has to replace his offense's primary distributor, its first option for scoring and the linchpin of an excellent interior defense (even though Happ was nothing special statistically as an individual shot-blocker). That could prove to be more easily described than done, especially on D, where Wisconsin was so strong last season.

Medcalf: I'll pick Wisconsin, but I'm not completely sold on the possibility. You have two coaches who must make improvements to avoid any hot-seat talk going into the 2020-21 seasons. A disastrous run could kick off those conversations this year for either coach. But I do think Wisconsin will put together a more versatile and efficient offense after losing Happ, a superstar college player with limited range.

The Badgers were predictable and, on offense, just bad last season: 1.00 points per possession with Happ on the floor (22.3% offensive rebounding rate, 0.97 points per possession without him). With D'Mitrik Trice, Brad Davison and Kobe King, Wisconsin will resemble a more versatile offense, anchored by a solid defense that helps Wisconsin squeeze into the field again.

Borzello: I'm not extremely high on either team heading into the season, but I think one ends up making it. Since I have Indiana one spot higher than Wisconsin in the predicted Big Ten pecking order, I'll lean toward the Hoosiers. It seems odd, considering that the Badgers had a 5-seed and won 23 games while Indiana didn't make the NCAA tournament and then lost its two best players, but I like the Hoosiers' talent a bit better than Wisconsin's heading into the season.

Trayce Jackson-Davis is a five-star big man, and Butler graduate transfer Joey Brunk has two years of eligibility left. Justin Smith, Robert Phinisee (assuming he's healthy) and Al Durham are all back as starters, and Devonte Green brings scoring pop. Archie Miller's team had massive problems shooting the ball last season, especially in January and February, but if it can improve in that area, I think Indiana can go dancing for the first time in Miller's tenure.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...