Buckeyes well thought of in early Top 25 polls
It's never too early to compile a poll, list or power ranking. And several writers have already put together a Top 25 for college hoops' 2013-14 season. There's no doubt that the Big Ten is going to look different next season.
Indiana's crop of talent is all moving on. Zeller, Oladipo and Watford....all gone.
Michigan is likely to lose every integral piece of their Final Four run (sorry Spike!).
The conference is definitely going to lose its volume of upper echelon teams. It'd be a shocker if next season brought us four teams capable of hanging in the Top 10 all season like 2012-13 did. But it's going to be a deep league. And Ohio State once again is being thought highly of by many. The Bucks started last season with high hopes, and they wound up just a couple possessions away from a second straight Final Four.
ESPN.com's Jason King had two Big Ten's in his Top 10, and four in his Top 25. Michigan State come in at No. 3, with the idea that Gary Harris and Adreian Payne return to join forces with Branden Dawson and Keith Appling to create a national title hopeful. Then it's Ohio State at No. 6. King writes that the Buckeyes would be second (behind Kentucky) if Deshaun Thomas didn't go pro. He, like everyone around here, points to Aaron Craft, Shannon Scott, LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith Jr.
Indiana makes his list at 19 based on a six-man recruiting class and the return of Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey. And Iowa rounds out the Big Ten's appearances at 25. The Hawkeyes went 9-9 in a tough league and made it to the NIT finals. They have almost everyone back.
It's early, yes. But we're all about forward thinking.