Basketball

2021-22 Big Ten Season Preview

Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Another Big Ten basketball season comes with a lot of a questions. What team will have the best record? Who will win the conference? Who will win POTY. And lastly, the most important question, Who will make it to the Big Dance? We”ll break down all of it here for you, in our 2021-22 Big Ten Season Preview

Projected Place of Finish

14. Minnesota

2020-21 record: 14-15

2021-22 projected record: 10-19

Key Departures:

G Marcus Carr, C Liam Robbins, G Gabe Kalscheur, F Brandon Johnson, G Jamal Mashburn Jr, G Both Gach, G Tre’ Williams

Key Returners:

F Eric Curry

Key Additions:

G Payton Willis (Vanderbilt), F Jamison Battle (George Washington), F Sean Sutherlin (New Hampshire)

As a very avid Gophers fan, this is very sad and disappointing, but also the cold hard truth. It’s going to be a very hard to watch season in Minneapolis, with almost little to no talent on this year’s roster. The Gophers have had all but one player from last year’s roster, either graduate, transfer, or is currently out for the season. The only player left from last season’s squad is redshirt senior forward Eric Curry, who averaged 15.8 MIN, and only 3.7 PTS per game. Possible one bright spot for Minnesota this year is the hiring of a new head coach. After Rich Pitino got fired after the 2020 season, The Gophers brought in former player Ben Johnson, who had previously played and assisted coached for Minnesota.

13: Penn State

2020-21 record: 11-14

2020-21 projected record: 12-18

Key Departures:

G Myreon Jones, G Izaiah Brockington, G Jamari Wheeler

Key Returners:

F Seth Lundy, F John Harrar, G Sam Sessoms, G Myles Dread

Key Additions:

G Jalen Pickett (Siena), G Jaheam Cornwall (Gardner-Webb), F Greg Lee (Cal State Bakersfield)

Penn State is currently looking in at another season of bottom tier basketball in the Big Ten. The overall outlook of the Nittany Lions roster isn’t completely terrible, but it’s not good as to Big Ten standards. They are getting a great player in Jalen Pickett, who transferred from Siena in the off-season. One void that is going to be hard to fill is the absence of Myreon Jones. Jones left for Florida after last year, and his 15.3 PPG will certainly be missed on the court. 

12. Northwestern

2020-21 record: 9-15

2020-21 projected record: 12-18

Key Departures:

F Miller Kopp

Key Returners:

G Chase Audige, F Pete Nance, G Boo Buie

Key Additions:

N/A

The Wildcats roster is looking almost identical to last year’s. Which is a good thing if they can pick up the chemistry and progress from last year’s effort. Northwestern also has a lot of early season opportunities, with a super relaxed non-conference schedule, and is most likely where almost all of Northwestern’s wins will stem from. One player that could really have a make or break season is Chase Audige. Audige averaged 12.3 PPG, over 28.3 MPG last season, and is a very quick and flashy player.

11. Nebraska

2020-21 record: 7-20

2021-22 projected record: 13-18

Key Departures:

G Teddy Allen, G Dalano Banton

Key Returners:

G Trey McGowens, F Lat Mayen, G Kobe Webster

Key Additions:

G Alonzo Verge Jr. (Arizona State)

Nebraska could easily be a huge sleeper team housing a very underrated roster, with tons of upside and potential. They’re getting a huge transfer Alonzo Verge Jr, who averaged 14.0 PPG last year with the Sun Devils. They are also getting some good returnees in McGowens, Mayen, and Webster, who all could have great seasons as a Cornhusker.

10. Wisconsin

2020-21 record: 17-12 (Regular Season)

2021-22 projected record: 14-15

Key Departures:

G D’Mitrik Trice, F Micah Potter, F Aleem Ford, F Nate Reuvers

Key Returners:

G Brad Davison, G Jonathan Davis

Key Additions:

C Chris Vogt

The Wisconsin Badgers are coming off a second round exit in March Madness, and will look to rebound with many founding pieces off the roster graduating. Brad Davison is realistically the only player that can single-handedly bring the Badgers success this season. Davison averaged 10.0 PPG, while averaging 31.0 MPG.

9. Iowa

2020-21 record: 21-8

2021-22 projected record: 15-16

Key Departures:

C Luka Garza, G Joe Wieskamp, G CJ Fredrick, F Jack Nunge

Key Returners:

G Jordan Bohannon, F Keegan Murray, F Patrick McCaffery, G Connor McCaffery

Key Additions:

F Flip Rebraca (North Dakota)

Iowa was possibly hit the hardest in the NCAA with the biggest roster change. They had Naismith winner Luka Garza graduate and get drafted into the NBA, and also had another player get drafted into the NBA with Joe Wieskamp. Both of them combined averaged 35.8 PPG, and 15.3 RPB. They’re veteran presence will surely be missed on court, and nearly impossible to replace, but could possibly be scavenged by returning players, Jordan Bohannon, Keegan Murray, and the McCaffery twins.

8. Rutgers

2020-21 record: 15-11

2021-22 projected record: 17-14

Key Departures:

G Jacob Young, C Myles Johnson

Key Returners:

F Ron Harper Jr, G Geo Baker

Key Additions:

F Aundre Hyatt (LSU)

Rutgers is looking pretty good with returning stars Ron Harper Jr. and Geo Baker, headlining the Scarlet Knights lineup. They both averaged over 14.0 PPG and 30.0 MPG, and are vital to Rutgers’ success. One thing that stands out on Rutgers’ schedule is the 11 non-conference games they are slated for, which could all be punched into easy W’s for the Scarlet Knights.

7. Indiana

2020-21 record: 12-15

2021-22 projected record: 19-12

Key Departures:

G Armaan Franklin, G Al Durham

Key Returners:

F Trayce Jackson-Davis, F Race Thompson, G Rob Phinisee

Key Additions:

G Xavier Johnson (Pitt), F Miller Kopp (Northwestern)

An Indiana team under a new head coach, Mike Woodson. Could look really scary especially with fundamental pieces such as one of the most dynamic scorers in Trayce Jackson-Davis. They are also getting back Race Thompson and Rob Phinisee, and hauling in Xavier Johnson and Miller Kopp through the transfer portal. This team could most definitely be one of the most lethal teams in the country, and have all pieces to pull it off.

6. Michigan State

2020-21 record: 15-12

2021-22 projected record: 19-10

Key Departures:

F Aaron Henry, G Joshua Langford, G Rocket Watts

Key Returners:

F Joey Hauser, F Gabe Brown, F Malik Hall

Key Additions:

G Max Christie (High School)

Michigan State faced a deafening loss with all of the key players they lost to the transfer portal in the off-season. But they’re still going to be kept on check by their front court consisting of, Joey Hauser, Gabe Brown, and Malik Hall. All though they are not the biggest point scorers, they get all of the dirty work done down in the paint, and can create opportunities for Tom Izzo’s squad.

5. Maryland

2020-21 record: 16-13

2021-22 projected record: 22-8

Key Departures:

G Aaron Wiggins, G Darryl Morsell,

Key Returners:

G Eric Ayala, F Donta Scott, G Hakim Hart

Key Additions:

G Fatts Russell (Rhode Island)

Maryland is on the horizon of having a very successful 2021-22 season. With the transfer of Fatts Russell from Rhode Island, who will team up with returning senior Eric Ayala to make up one of the Big Ten’s best backcourt. Both of them averaged over 14.0 PPG at their respective schools, and will look to score even more in the same uniform.

4. Ohio State

2020-21 record: 21-9

2021-22 projected record: 22-8

Key Departures:

G Duane Washington Jr, G CJ Walker,

Key Returners:

F EJ Liddell, F Justice Sueing, F Kyle Young

Key Additions:

G Jamari Wheeler (Penn State), G Cedric Russell (Louisiana)

Ohio State is looking a lot similar to Michigan roster-wise, but better. EJ Liddell is emerging as one of the nation’s best forwards, who is an absolute menace in the paint. He is joined by other returning forwards, Justice Sueing, and Kyle Young to complete the backcourt for the Buckeyes. OSU is also getting two great guards through the portal with Wheeler and Russell. The Buckeyes will be a solid team in 2021 and beyond, and have great things ahead of them.

3. Illinois

2020-21 record: 23-6

2021-22 projected record: 23-7

Key Departures:

G Ayo Dosunmu, G Adam Miller

Key Returners:

C Kofi Cockburn, G Trent Frazier, G Andre Curbelo

Key Additions:

Alfonso Plummer (Utah)

Illinois is coming off one of their best seasons, in its recent program’s history. Despite the early second round exit, Illinois proved that they are a up and coming powerhouse for Big Ten basketball. But the Illini will have to keep on fighting with departure of nation’s best Ayo Dosunmo. But they still have one of the country’s best big man, with Kofi Cockburn. The trio of Cockburn, Frazier, and Curbelo should create plenty of havoc for any team standing in Illinois’ way.

2. Purdue

2020-21 record: 18-9

2021-22 projected record: 24-6

Key Departures:

F Aaron Wheeler

Key Returners:

F Trevion Williams, G Jaden Ivey, G Sasha Stefanovic, C Zach Edey, G Eric Hunter Jr.

Key Additions:

N/A

Purdue had little to no changes on their roster from last year, and will pick up right where they left off. They are coming off an extremely disappointing upset in the NCAA Tournament from the #13 seed North Texas. But Purdue will lol to make a deep tournament run this year powered by stars, Trevion Williams, and Jaden Ivey. These two also have many surrounding pieces for support that could carry the Boilermakers a long way.

1. Michigan

2020-21 record: 20-4

2021-22 projected record: 27-3

Key Departures:

F Isaiah Livers, G Franz Wagner, G Mike Smith, G Chaundee Brown

Key Returners:

C Hunter Dickinson, G Eli Brooks

Key Additions:

G Caleb Houstan (High School), F Moussa Diabate (High School)

Michigan is looking the most complete out of all of the teams in the Big Ten. Even though they had several key players depart in the off-season, they still have enough talent with returning stars, and some just fresh out of high school. Houstan and Diabate were each the #8 and #13 prospects in the 2021 ESPN 100. Houstan has potential to be the next Cade Cunningham with his playing abilities. Meanwhile, Diabate also has great potential overall as a big power forward.

Awards and Tournament Bids

POTY: Kofi Cockburn

DPOTY: EJ Liddell

FOTY: Caleb Houstan

COTY: Mike Woodson

Tournament Bids as Tiers:

Sure-fire Tournament teams; Michigan, Purdue, Illinois, Ohio State, Maryland

Bubble teams: Michigan State, Indiana, Rutgers

Better luck next year: Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Minnesota

Make sure to go follow our Twitter!

Also go make sure to go check out our Shop!

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: NCAA Basketball Top 25 11/8/21-11/14/21 - Championship Sports Media

Leave a Reply

Follow our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, and YouTube Below

Copyright © 2015 Flex Mag Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by Wordpress.

To Top
%d bloggers like this: