Figured that this could get some discussion started about the upcoming season. What are you excited to see this year in the Big Ten?
Just a heads up but 2018 was an 18 game schedule, not 20 in your graphic.
As for most excited in the B1G, I’m most excited to see how the 2-4 spots play out. Behind MSU I don’t know that there’s any sure bets.
We have a new head coach 3 new starters.
OSU is relying on a freshman and a transfer to go from a borderline NCAA team to a top 25 team.
Iowa and Illinois have talent but still probably can’t play defense.
Wisconsin loses one of their best players in school history.
Indiana loses their 2 best players from a team that didn’t make the tourney.
Purdue loses their 2 best players and shooters.
Maryland seems like the next best bet after MSU but they’re coached by Turgeon still.
It’ll be a really fun season behind MSU I think.
It makes me a little grumpy to have to acknowledge the teams and talent Michigan will be facing in the year to come, but a little reality testing is a healthy exercise. I expect the Simpson/Teske/Livers veteran trio and their defensive talent to keep us close to the upper middle part of the pack, and am pleased that Juwan will have that base to build on.
We’ve been a little bit spoiled by having not just great teams but entertaining ones the last decade-plus, a real golden period. But when you’re a fan you watch and bite your nails win or lose–let’s see what happens!
I’m interested to see what Winston can do to up his reputation as an NBA prospect. I’m guessing the main negatives are questions around his size and athleticism, and if he’d be able to guard anybody. I can’t help but root for the local kids even if they go to a rival school, except Draymond.
I think Langford is the big ? for MSU. If he comes back as the guy he was before the injury, then look out. But if he’s never quite the same (think Delvin Roe), then I’m not sure MSU is going to be as great as people think they are.
Great article again Dylan. FWIW Franz made it to AA yesterday and ready to begin his Wolverine Journey.
For me the big question mark for Sparty is what Izzo’s learned from last year. He had a good team and was going to do some damage no matter what, but it was when Ward and Langford were removed as options that he figured out to just keep the ball in Winston’s hands, and to play the defense-first big rather than the offense-first big who was a defensive liability. That was the best plan from the start, but Izzo didn’t see it until those other choices were gone. So what happens now? Of course if Henry does blow up that makes it lots easier.
Easier said than done, but could this mean that shutting down Winston is the key to slowing MSU–simplify the task and concentrate the minds of opposing coaches (though not necessarily make the job any easier?) If so we have the one guy in the league who might be up to the task.
I consider Simpson-Winston a fight that has gone two rounds and is about to enter the culminating third.
I betcha Simpson looks at it that way too. I sure hope he gets a chance to take this on and how wonderful it would be for him to cap his career with a mano-a-mano takedown in the way you mean it, but ultimately it’s a team game and in this series it’s been about the weakest link on D. Poole last year; Ward the year before, etc. etc.
Is the data on that pace/efficiency graph available? I’d be interested to see where Beilein landed.
Yeah but Winston can’t carry that load the whole season. He was pretty beat up by the end of last year. Henry’s development will be key. He had some nice moments last year and I see the potential. But I’m not sure he’s going to be ready from game 1 to be a reliable #2 (or even #3) scoring option.
Good point about the workload for Winston.