Oct. 31, 2008
Three Big Ten men’s basketball teams are ranked among the nation’s top 25 in the 2008-09 Preseason USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll. Michigan State checks in at No. 7 and Purdue rounds out the top 10. Wisconsin is ranked No. 22.
Michigan State returns four starters and three of its top three scorers from a year ago. The Spartans ended the 2007-08 campaign ranked 13th after a Sweet Sixteen appearance. Purdue boasts the Big Ten’s preseason Player of the Year in Robbie Hummel and returns 82 percent of its offensive production and all five starters from a year ago. The Boilermakers ended last year’s campaign ranked 20th in the nation. Wisconsin, fresh off a Big Ten title and a No. 10 final ranking, is one of only five teams in the country to win 30 or more games in each of the last two seasons. The Badgers return three starters from last year’s squad.
Ohio State also received votes in the first top 25 poll of the year. The Buckeyes return two starters and welcome a highly touted group of newcomers.
The exhibition season tips off tonight as Purdue hosts Florida Southern. The regular season gets underway on Friday, November 14, with a full slate of games that weekend.
Preseason USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll
(as of 10/30/08)
1. North Carolina (31)
7. MICHIGAN STATE
9. Notre Dame
15. Arizona State
24. Wake Forest
Others Receiving Votes: UNLV 60, Saint Mary's 59, OHIO STATE 54, Baylor 47, Xavier 27, Syracuse 23, Texas A&M 10, LSU 19, Arizona 18, Virginia Tech 15, Brigham Young 13, West Virginia 10, Washington 8, Siena 8, Kentucky 7, Vanderbilt 7, Oklahoma State 4, Clemson 2, Washington State 1.