Podcast: On the Big Ten preseason rankings, MSU's expectations, and Illinois vs Everybody


@umhoops listened to the podcast Dylan - one question. You guys were talking about Hoggard and Walker, and @bfquinn06 made it sound like one of the two was apparently looking way better than the other in practice. It wasn’t clear which guy looked better though. From the conversation that followed, I assume that he was talking about Walker. Is that right?

Yeah, I think we both agree that MSU needs Walker to be the guy. I’m not sure that BQ has been at an MSU practice yet, pretty sure on the pod he said he was going today.

There was sort of “anonymous chatter” this offseason saying Hoggard was ahead in the PG race, that’s what we were comparing to Austin/Hunter situation last year a bit.

Ah, so I had it mixed up. I took it that the anonymous chatter was saying Walker was ahead, cause Quinn said something like the chatter indicated there was some distance between the two.

Yeah, I think at that point he was saying that Walker has been better in preseason.

Think Walker will be better than Mike Smith was last year?

He’ll definitely be asked to do more. I think he has more upside than Mike for sure, but he’s also younger and will have a larger role which could lead to a bit more inconsistency. I really like him though, thought it was a great add by MSU.

Also very weird to me how so few people have Illinois as #1. Seems like most of the board also agrees with them at 1. I feel like it would take a real lack of progression from pretty much everyone on their roster to not be a top 7-8ish team nationally atleast.

I agree with you. Illinois combines returning experience, talent, and some new pieces to plug some holes. I think most of the writers are giving a lot of weight to Ayo departure and the impact that will have on their team. Michigan isn’t being similarly penalized for the loss of five guys.

After listening to the latest pod I was even more convinced of it. Illinois is a bunch of self-entitled nonsense based on a lack of self-awareness (or maybe a surplus of it), but they’re also going to be a very hard team to beat.

Yea. Definitely have Illinois as #1 and don’t understand everyone poking the bear with them either

I think Illinois’s season goes with Curbelo. Obviously the people high on Illinois think he flashed enough last year to show he will make the sophomore jump to be the best PG in the Big Ten and the #2 guy at Illinois. But if he is an erratic turnover prone PG who can’t shoot, then I think it will be hard to win the league. They’ll be good for sure, but I think they need Curbelo to be a legit All-Conference dude to be the best. He was great down the stretch last year. The shooting and turnovers just give a little reason for pause. Illinois probably has fewer question marks than Michigan though.

Ultimately I think it will be a very tight race at the top. Picking someone #1 vs #3 may be a difference of just one game in the W/L column so I don’t necessarily think it’s a slight to whatever team is picked third (Purdue for me).

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Yeah. I was just a bit surprised in the perceived differences between Ivey and Curbelo. Both have huge opportunities to be sophomore breakout stars.


Nice pod! Would have like to hear more M talk though…

There’s just no obvious spot where Illinois is primed for regression. Kofi is a cheat code for offensive and defensive 2P% and rebounding. Even with a bad turnover rate and bad free throw shooting they had the #3 offense in the league and they’ve got plenty of shooters on the roster.


Curbelo is the most annoying player in the league and it’s not close. I think everyone will be rooting against Illinois this year.

We’ll talk more about Michigan next week after Media Day this week.

Curbelo’s such a bundle of energy, absolutely hilarious person to watch on screen. Don’t mind him one bit. Most Illiniois players are fine, actually.

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I agree…I thought your point about votes for Ivey versus Curbelo was spot on. I know Ivey got attention for his summer performance, but he also can’t shoot and was just ok last year. I think both players will have big years and both get to dump the ball into a good big guy. I trust the supporting cast of Illinois more than I am hopeful that Purdue’s young guys all make a leap.