Chart: Amelia Rayno predicts the Big Ten race

  • Updated: October 31, 2013 - 11:36 PM
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Standout guard Gary Harris (14) and Michigan State will again be the team to beat in the Big Ten, with Michigan close behind.

Photo: Al Goldis • Associated Press,

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Gazing into the crystal basketball

Staff writer Amelia Rayno handicaps the Big Ten men’s basketball race at the start of preseason play:

 

1 Michigan State

How can you deny it? The Spartans are loaded with talent, starting with Gary Harris, who could be the conference player of the year.

 

2 Michigan

Sure, the Wolverines watched Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. head to the NBA, but Michigan has plenty of stars in waiting. Glen Robinson III and Mitch McGary could each take the next step.

 

3 Ohio State

Who will replace all of Deshaun Thomas’ points? It just might be LaQuinton Ross. Solid defense will keep the Buckeyes highly competitive while the point distribution works itself out.

 

4 Indiana

The Hoosiers lost more than any Big Ten team, but they still have a highly respected coach in Tom Crean, a worthy point guard in Yogi Ferrell and a nice restocking of players with the nation’s sixth-ranked recruiting class.

 

5 Wisconsin

It’s hard to ever count out the Badgers. A lot of weight will be put on the shoulders of youngsters Ben Brust and Sam Dekker. Can they lead the way to a 16th consecutive Big Dance berth? I think yes.

 

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