Sunday, May 11, 2008

Last one out, turn off the lights

What is going on with Big Ten basketball teams? Players are fleeing their schools like rats off a sinking ship, and the result will be a conference significantly weaker than last year -- when most people didn't think much of the league.

Phil Mitten of Hoops Marinara wrote an excellent post detailing the comings and goings. The Cliff's Notes:

-Scott Martin left Purdue. He was overshadowed by Robbie Hummel and Purdue's other impressive freshmen, but this kid was a contributor and had a bright future.

-Tony Freeman left Iowa. He was one of Iowa's two legit players last year. They will be terrible next season. -Ekpe Udoh left Michigan. The kid was an excellent shot blocker and active aroundn the basket.

-Indiana has lost Eric Gordon, Armon Bassett, Jamarcus Ellis, DeAndre Thomas, Eli Holman, along with departing seniors D.J. White, Mike Thomas, and Lance Stemler. Looks like Tan Cream hasn't lost his touch for running guys off.

-Ohio State lost Kosta Koufos to the NBA Draft after one season in college.

Illinois will add Alex Legion and there are a couple other transfers and big-name additions coming in, but wow -- that's a lot of departures. So even though the Badgers lose Butch, Flowers, and Stiemsma, they ought to be right in the thick of things this winter. My outlook:

Michigan State, Purdue


Borderline contenders
Ohio State, Illinois, Minnesota

Terrible teams
Iowa, Northwestern, Michigan, Indiana, Penn State

Should be another Big Ten/ACC Challenge barn burner.