College basketball, more so than any other sport, is difficult to predict at the beginning of the season. Graduating seniors, underclassmen leaving early, players transferring or leaving for any number of reasons, incoming transfers and freshman, and coaching changes (among other factors) can dramatically alter a teams chances of success from season to season. While some teams are more or less a sure thing at the beginning of a season, for many teams, it is simply better to wait and see.
This is especially true in the Big Ten this season. Everyone knew Michigan State and Indiana would be the class of the conference, but no one really knew just how good they would be. Iowa and Northwestern were predicted to struggle, but did anyone really think they would lose to Louisiana Monroe and Brown respectively? The rest of the conference was even more unpredictable in early November when most previews were published, either because of graduating superstars (Wisconsin, Ohio State), a new coach (Michigan), new future superstars (Purdue and Ohio State again), past underachievers (Penn State), or will struggle getting by without their racist dancing mascot (Illinois).
Now that we finally know something about each team, as the non-conference schedule winds down and the excitement about the conference season winds up, I’ll be writing previews (many of them terribly ill-informed), hopefully a couple each day, during the next several days. When I get to your team, feel free to share your thoughts as well. After all, I couldn’t spell Okrzesik, Obradovic, Finkelmeier, or Kosta Koufos without looking them up.