The Gophers have landed in the preseason Big Ten men’s basketball media poll right where preseason annuals picked them to finish: third in the Big Ten, right behind runner-up Purdue and, not surprisingly, Michigan State.
The Spartans were the unanimous choice to win the Big Ten this season, along with sophomore Miles Bridges and freshman Jaren Jackson Jr. to take conference player of the year and newcomer of the year honors, respectively.
The gap between second, third and fourth place was far less than the one between the fourth and fifth spots. Purdue and Minnesota are separated by 10 points.
Minnesota and Northwestern were a little further apart at 25 points. But the Wildcats were 40 points away from Maryland and Michigan tied at fifth.
Minnesota senior guard Nate Mason, one of the 20 point guards on the preseason watch list for the Bob Cousy Award, was selected by the Big Ten’s media to be on the unofficial preseason all-conference first team. Gophers sophomore guard Amir Coffey picked up two votes for all-conference and junior forward Jordan Murphy also received one.
Rounding out the top 10: 7. Wisconsin, 8. Iowa, 9. Indiana, 10. Penn State.
The bottom four: 11. Ohio State, 12. Illinois, 13. Nebraska, 14. Rutgers.
Big Ten Media Day is Thursday in New York City.