A Last-Place Team Might Just Be in the Running For a Major Conference Title Next Year
And that team is Penn State. You heard me. Penn State.
With the NCAA announcement that Tim Frazier would be granted a fifth year of elgibility for the Nittany Lions, suddenly PSU looks like they might just be able to make some noise in that brutal Big Ten East division next college basketball season. As ESPN's Eamonn Brennan discussed in a recent article, PSU has the top 2 highest-scoring returnees in the Big Ten from last year in guards Jermaine Marshall and DJ Newbill. In fact, they only lose one player from this year's roster in bench player Nick Colella, a 4 PPG scorrer. Add Tim Frazier to this mix and this might just be a tournament team. Granted, they only won 2 games in the Big Ten last year, but the Big Ten was one of the deepest conferences we've seen in the last 5 years.
Michigan appears to be the favorite for the Big Ten next year, with McGary, Stauskas, and GRIII returning. But Penn State showed that it can definitely hang with the Wolverines in two solid showings, one of them a win, against Michigan last year. They didn't perfrom well against the other contenders, but they showed that they can, at least, play. And that was all without the injured Tim Frazier.
Do I think Penn State can win the Big Ten next year? Very, very unlikely. Do I think they can make the tournament and get ranked and maybe even compete for the conference title? Sure. Look at their competition. Michigan? Ok, they'll be better than PSU. Same goes for Ohio State, although they won't be as good unless Thompson or Ross really breaks out. Michigan State is losing a lot of their low post talent that they rely on if Payne leaves. Indiana isn't particularly scary after Noah Vonleh and Yogi Ferrell. Wisconsin may be solid as they always are, but I think PSU can compete with them. Iowa won't be that great. Minnesota will really drop off. Purdue will be better, but not by that much. Illinois won't be much more than an average team. And Northwestern and Nebraska are afterthoughts.
Realistically, I think the Nittany Lions will settle for around 6th, sopmewhere in the 5-7 range. But I think they could definitely get 3rd or 4th and make some serious noise in what will be a weakened Big Ten next year. Tim Frazier is a gamer. He could be better than Talor Battle, who carried Penn State to some moderate success. So just be warned, fellas.
HELL NAW LOL Mane u trippin!!
MSU and UofM top two teams in B10 next year!! TOOOOO much talent between those two teams.
Man you crazy. BTW the Big 10 east divison has nothing to do with basketball. The change is only in effect in football.
I want what ProudGrandpa is smokin.