1 It feels like we always say it, but this year's Big Ten looks as loaded as ever. I could see Maryland, Michigan State and Purdue all landing in the nation's top 10.

2 Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan is walking away after this season? I'm not so sure.

3 It's been a while since I've felt so certain of a Big Ten Player of the Year pick as I do about Maryland's Melo Trimble. The 6-3 sophomore led the Terps in scoring last season and was a first-teamer on the media's All-Big Ten team.

4 Sounds like Indiana is planning on playing defense this year. Well, the Hoosiers still will be fun to watch.

5 Speaking of which, I'm setting the Troy Williams dunk total over/under at 28. The Hoosiers' 6-7 wingman can fly.

6 With Diamond Stone (Maryland), Thomas Bryant (Indiana), Deyonta Davis (Michigan State) and Caleb Swanigan (Purdue) highlighting the pack, this freshman class is going to get hot quick.

7 One bet I won't take is that Michigan State can't get to the Final Four again— the Spartans can.

8 I'm interested to see if Michigan guard Caris LeVert can rekindle the same magic that saw him take a huge leap from his freshman to sophomore years, now that he's healthy.

9 We talk a lot about size in the Big Ten, but this year's version will showcase several small-ball attacks, including Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

10 Purdue's front line can and will match up with any team in the country. A.J. Hammons + Caleb Swanigan = scary.

11 Who is Scottie Lindsey? If Northwestern makes a break, my bet is we'll all know.

– I'm not counting out Northwestern.

13 We will see a more mistake-laden team than usual at Ohio State, but the Buckeyes will get better, faster, than most think.

14 Jordan Murphy might be the first Minnesota player named to the league's all-freshman team since Dan Coleman in 2005. The long-armed, spring-legged forward has that special combination of athleticism, brains and composure.

15 Michigan State's Denzel Valentine, meanwhile, isn't being talked about enough at the national level. The Spartans' 6-5 guard is going to be a unique player in this year's league, for sure.

16 This is the year a Big Ten team finally takes the national championship again, for the first time since Michigan State did so in 2000. And guess what? It just might be the Spartans again.