Follow along from Big Ten Media Day
Basketball beat writer Marcus Jackson is front and center at Big Ten media day in Chicago. He'll provide all-day updates via Twitter here
UPDATE (9 a.m.): Michigan State was a unanimous pick to win the Big Ten, and Spartans guard Gary Harris was selected Preseason Player of the Year in a vote by conference media. With four starters back from a team that went 27-9 and advanced to the Sweet 16, expectations are once again soaring for coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans. They beat out NCAA runner-up Michigan, with Ohio State picked third. Leading the way for Michigan State is Harris, who averaged 12.9 points and was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season.
Spartans center Adreian Payne also made the first team, as did Michigan’s Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III, Ohio State’s Aaron Craft and Penn State’s Tim Frazier. Six players were selected because there was a tie. — AP
Meanwhile, a preview of the day complete with MJ's All-Big Ten teams:
When the conference announces the predicted order of finish of the top three teams in the league, Michigan State will be No. 1. In fact, in a poll of 24 beat writers from the conference — two covering each program — the Spartans were the unanimous choice to win the Big Ten, and they’ll have at least two players on the preseason all-conference team. Expectations are high for Tom Izzo’s program. Izzo’s not shying away from expectations, which at Michigan State means Final Fours. This senior class hasn’t been to one yet, and if it doesn’t make it, it’ll be the first four-year class under Izzo to miss out on the Final Four.
Chip for Illini
John Groce often talks about the chip he has on his shoulder and his desire for his players to carry it, too. Well, they’ll have ammunition with the preseason predictions being talked about this week. Illinois won’t be among the top three teams named today and won’t have a player on the five-team preseason watch list. In that unofficial poll, Illinois came in eighth, ranking as high as fifth in one poll and as low as 10th in another. Additionally, no Illinois players were mentioned on a single ballot of 12 writers picking the top 15 players in the league. Put that on the bulletin board.
New kids on the block
At last year’s event, Groce was one of the main attractions, with an endless stream of media — particularly from the Chicago area — peppering the first-year Illini coach. This year, two new guys with famous coaching fathers should serve as main attractions. Minnesota’s Richard Pitino, son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, and Northwestern’s Chris Collins, son of former NBA coach Doug Collins, will attract a crowd.
Votes are in
How Marcus Jackson predicted the Big Ten in preseason votes:
ORDER OF FINISH
1. Michigan State
2. Ohio State
9. Penn State
Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Gary Harris, Michigan State
Roy Devyn Marble, Iowa
Adreian Payne, Michigan State
Mitch McGary, Michigan
Keith Appling, Michigan State
Tim Frazier, Penn State
Sam Dekker, Wisconsin
LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State
Glenn Robinson III, Michigan
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
Andre Hollins, Minnesota
Branden Dawson, Michigan St.
A.J. Hammons, Purdue
Aaron White, Iowa
Player of the Year: Gary Harris, Michigan State
Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Freshman of the Year: Noah Vonleh, Indiana
Coach of the Year: Tom Izzo, Michigan State