Chicago, Ill. - What's up? I'm here at Big Ten media day in Chicago. The conference just released the media's preseason all-conference squad. Here's the crew: G Kalin Lucas (Michigan State, preseason player of the year)
G Demetri McCamey (Illinois)
G E'Twaun Moore (Purdue)
F Jon Leuer (Wisconsin)
F JaJuan Johnson (Purdue) I voted in this poll. Here's my squad: My All-Conference Team F JaJuan Johnson G Talor Battle (Penn State...Not sure how he missed the official first team.) F Jared Sullinger (Ohio State...Youngster might end up as first team All-America. Don't sleep on him.) Jon Leuer E'Twaun Moore Preseason POY: JaJuan Johnson (I couldn't put Lucas on my first team because I don't know how he'll return from a serious injury. I don't think Lucas will be the same player. Johnson will carry an even bigger load, now that Robbie Hummel is out for the year.) The media also picked Michigan State to win the league, followed by Ohio State and Purdue. I picked Michigan State to win the league, followed by Illinois and Ohio State. I also participated in this Chicago Sun-Times media poll (The Gophers were picked to finish sixth, tied with Northwestern.) CHICAGO SUN-TIMES PRESEASON BIG TEN POLL

Pts. Last Year
1. Michigan State (10) 120 T-1st
2. Ohio State (1) 110 T-1st
3. Illinois 90 5th
4. Purdue 88 T-1st
5. Wisconsin 77 4th
T-6. Minnesota 62 6th
T-6. Northwestern 62 T-7th
8. Indiana 44 T-9th
9. Penn State 32 11th
10. Michigan 28 T-7th
11. Iowa 11 T-9th

Here are my picks (Selected after I submitted by Big Ten picks for the conference's media poll. I switched Ohio State and Illinois in this poll. Hearing more and more good about Sullinger and David Lighty's improvement." 1. Michigan State: Izzo's back. Nuff said.

2. Ohio State: Jared Sullinger will make Buckeyes fans say, "Greg Oden who?"

3. Illinois: Good recruiting class, hungry vets.

4. Minnesota: Tubby Smith might have his best Gophers squad with the addition of 6-8 forward Trevor Mbakwe.

5. Purdue: Coaches and players will be quick to say, "We can win without Hummel." But the loss of Hummel is more devastating than they're willing to admit.

6. Wisconsin: Jon Leuer is an NBA prospect but he needs consistent support from the rest of the guys for the Badgers to reach their potential.

7. Northwestern: This is the year, Wildcats. No, really this time. Welcome to the Big Dance.

8. Indiana: Still young but gradually improving and maturing. They'll get a couple of huge wins in Big Ten play.

9. Penn State: Talor Battle is the Susan Lucci of college basketball.

10. Michigan: Wolverines starting from scratch.

11. Iowa: New coach will need time add more talent.

One newspaper writer who covers each school voted. (Eleven points for first place, one point for 11th place, etc.)
The participants:

Herb Gould, Chicago Sun-Times
Terry Hutchens, Indianapolis Star
Steve Batterson, Quad City Times
Mark Snyder, Detroit Free Press
Joe Rexrode, Lansing State Journal
Myron Medcalf, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Tina Akouris, Chicago Sun-Times
Bob Baptist, Columbus Dispatch
David Jones, Harrisburg Patriot-News
Jeff Washburn, Lafayette Journal & Courier
Rob Schultz, Wisconsin State Journal -Tubby Smith just wrapped up his press conference. A few notes: 1. He says Trevor Mbakwe is prepared mentally and physically to compete this year after everything he endured last season. Smith says Mbakwe is playing great in practice. 2. He says his squad has to work on communication. The latter is the one weakness he noticed during the squad's exhibition trip to Canada. 3. The young guys will contribute this year. "I've been so impressed with our freshmen and incoming players." 4. He expects Rodney Williams to be a key part of the nucleus on the 2010-11 squad. "They'll have to carry us." 5. Smith says the Big Ten is the best league in the nation. "This year we're by far the best conference in the country because we have so many returning players." 6. He wants earlier access to players. Smith said the summer trip to Canada was helpful and showed him the significance of having earlier access to players. "I can see how beneficial it can be. I think the sooner you can get started … that's one of things we've talked about, having access to our players in the summer. … I think that helps nurture them." -Big Ten Network analyst and former Indiana interim coach Dan Dakich says he's talked to NBA scouts who believe Williams will be a first round pick. He said the same NBA scouts also like freshman Austin Hollins. -Michigan State's Durrell Summers on why he decided to return: "A chance to win some prestigious awards and a title."