top of page

Big Ten College Basketball Preview 2022-23

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

The Big Ten has become well-known as a powerhouse conference in the college basketball landscape over recent seasons. Star power from players such as Keegan Murray, Luka Garza, and Ayo Dosunmu has kept the Big Ten high in the national rankings as of late. The Big Ten has gotten the most teams in the NCAA tournament in back to back years, and has started to produce first round NBA talent, something that the conference is not known for. Despite all that, the Big Ten looks much more depleted this year than it has in the past. With only one team in the top 15, the Big Ten will look to prove voters wrong this season.

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

1. Indiana Hoosiers

Hoosier basketball is back. Despite being a first four team last year and getting blown out by Saint Mary's in the round of 64, Indiana has garnered tons of public support for the 2022-23 season, and for good reason. The Hoosiers bring back a top 6 player in the nation in Trayce Jackson-Davis to anchor the squad down low in a big-man oriented conference. Next to TJD is our 25th best power forward in the nation, Race Thompson. This pair will be treacherous to defend and rebound against. At small forward, the Hoosiers bring back sharpshooter Miller Kopp. In the backcourt, all defensive player and our 24th best point guard in the country, Xavier Johnson will be the facilitator. At the 2 guard spot is five star freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino. Hood-Schifino recently received high praise from head coach Mike Woodson, and was compared to former Illinois superstar, Ayo Dosunmu. Off the bench the Hoosiers sport sophomore guard Tamar Bates, juniors Trey Galloway (G) and Jordan Geronimo (F), as well as high four star freshman Malik Reneau, who has been nothing short of spectacular this offseason. Although they do not have the past success to show it, this Hoosiers squad is fully deserving of this ranking.

2. Michigan Wolverines

The Juwan Howard era at Michigan has came with two things: overachieving expectations, and March success. The Wolverines lost two five star freshmen this offseason to the NBA Draft in Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate. The Wolverines also lost Devante Jones to graduation, and Frankie Collins and Brandon Johns to the portal. Houstan and Diabate were good players, but just did not really fit Michigan's system. Jones was very inconsistent, and Collins and Johns were not very big contributors. To replace their losses, Howard and co. brought in Princeton transfer Jaelin Llewellyn to run the point. Now-sophomore Kobe Bufkin is expected to take a leap and maintain the shooting guard duties in Ann Arbor. Incoming freshman and coach's son, Jett Howard will be the starting small forward. A lot of inexperience and unfamiliar faces at the 1-3, but I expect Juwan to make it work. At the 4, Michigan has one of their most productive players from last year back, in Terrence Williams. To round out the starting 5, the Wolverines have one of the best players in the entire country: Hunter Dickinson. Off the bench Michigan brought in Duke transfer Joey Baker for some wing depth and extra shooting. Incoming freshmen Dug McDaniel, Tarris Reed Jr., and Youssef Khayat will be rotational players early. To round out the rotation, Jace Howard and Isaiah Barnes are back in blue.

3. Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois has been the best regular season team in the conference over the past three seasons, but that has came with limited March success. The Illini are rolling with a new roster foundation following the departure of All-American Kofi Cockburn. Clearly a wing-oriented a team, coach Brad Underwood is trying out a new strategy in Champaign. Incoming freshman Skyy Clark is paired in the backcourt with high-level Texas Tech transfer Terrence Shannon Jr. Underwood found himself in the portal a lot this offseason, and ended up with multiple big pulls. At small forward, sophomore RJ Melendez is expected to retain duties. Another transfer will man the four in former Baylor forward Matthew Mayer. At the five is one of the most loved players in Champaign, Coleman Hawkins. Hawkins is expected to make a big jump this season, as he was uber productive in games where he received high minutes last season. Basketball in Illinois has become a culture, and that has resulted in a large uptick in recruiting. Besides high four-star Clark, the Illini also have freshmen Ty Rogers, Jayden Epps, and Sencire Harris off the bench. Rotational players Luke Goode and Brandon Lieb are back for the Illini, and incoming Baylor transfer Dain Dainja will also look to add to the lineup.

4. Iowa Hawkeyes

Like Illinois, the Hawkeyes have found lots of regular season success recently, but it has not translated to March. Iowa is second in Big Ten wins over the past 3 seasons, trailing only Illinois, and looking to act further upon that this season. Iowa has a top 3 backcourt in the conference, but the looming question is who will start at what spots for them. As of now, I see the Hawkeyes sporting a backcourt of Tony Perkins and Payton Sandfort, with returnees Connor McCaffery and Ahron Ulis, as well as true freshman Dasonte Bowen off the bench. Perkins is one of the most underrated players in the Big Ten and was a huge addition to the Hawkeye lineup once he became a regular starter last February. Perkins has became a better ball handler this offseason, and I would not be surprised to see him start at the 1. Head coach Fran McCaffery has raved about Payton Sandfort and his immense shooting ability all offseason, so him starting at the 2 as a sophomore is fitting. At the 3, the Hawkeyes have their second leading scorer back, in Patrick McCaffery. McCaffery is a great two way player, and I expect him to make the jump to an All-Big Ten player this season. The Hawkeyes' prized possession, Kris Murray, the brother of top 4 pick Keegan Murray, will be the starter at the 4. Most reputable sources, including us, have Murray making the All-Big Ten first team this season. At the 5 for the Hawks is once again Filip Rebraca. Rebraca had some struggles transitioning to the Big Ten last season, but coach McCaffery expects him to be more of a scorer this year, which was highlighted by his 20 points in Iowa's secret scrimmage against UMKC. Rounding out the Iowa lineup is freshman Josh Dix, and returning bigs Josh Ogundele and Riley Mulvey.

5. Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue has one of the best front courts in the nation. Zach Edey is back to wreak havoc on everything in his path, and Mason Gillis looks to make a leap in production following an already solid season. An increase in minutes for Edey is a must to be very competitive in the Big Ten. At small forward the Boilers have Ethan Morton. A solid contributor and very good shooter that is ready for the uptick in minutes. The biggest question in West Lafayette is the backcourt. Following the departure of Jaden Ivey (NBA Draft), Eric Hunter Jr (Portal), and Sasha Stefanovic (Graduation), the Boilermakers are extremely young and thin in the backcourt. True freshman Braden Smith will man the point guard duties, and next to him will be Utah transfer David Jenkins Jr. This backcourt will need to exceed expectations if the Boilermakers want to have a successful season. Off the bench Purdue has two familiar faces in Caleb Furst and Brandon Newman. Two good contributors who will have slightly more opportunities this year. The rest of the bench consists of freshman and redshirt freshman, headlined by Trey Kaufman-Renn and Fletcher Loyer, as well as Brian Waddell and Camden Heide.

6. Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes scavenged the portal this offseason, and brought in a multitude of freshman that will play high minutes early. True freshman Bruce Thornton is expected to handle the PG duties in Columbus. Next to him is former WVU sniper Sean McNeil. Oklahoma State wing Isaac Likekele will be the starting small forward, a great player who played a ton of minutes last year in the Big 12. At the 4, Justice Sueing is back from injury, and expected to take a leap. Like many teams in the conference, the Buckeyes' best player is their center, Zed Key. Off the bench OSU brought in in-state transfer Tanner Holden from Cleveland State. Holden averaged 20 PPG for a tournament team last year, and his experience will be extremely beneficial off the bench. Along with Holden, the Buckeyes have freshmen Brice Sensabaugh, Roddy Gayle Jr., Felix Okpara, and Bowen Hardman on the bench. Rounding out the roster is returnee Eugene Brown III and redshirt freshman Kalen Etzler. The Buckeyes do not have a true star player, but they have many key contributors, that should lead to a tournament berth.

7. Michigan State Spartans

The past two seasons for Michigan State have been a big let down. This year, the Spartans return a majority of production, but once again they are lacking a star. Junior AJ Hoggard will resume duties as the starting point guard, and is expected to take a massive leap in production. Once again, Tyson Walker will be backcourt mates with Hoggard. Jaden Akins will provide some offense off the bench and be a staple in the backcourt as well. At the forward spots the Spartans will bring back seniors Malik Hall and Joey Hauser. Both Hall and Hauser are very inconsistent, but have a lot of experience under their belt. Following the departure of Julius Marble, Mady Sissoko is left to be the starting center, after only playing 4.5 minutes per game last season. Pierre Brooks, Tre Holloman, Jaxon Kohler, and Keon Coleman will round out the rest of the rotation. The Spartans are a very experienced squad, but outside of the starting 1-4 and Akins, they lack depth. I would not be surprised to see Tom Izzo's squad outperform expectations and finish in the top 5 of the conference, but on paper this squad has earned its spot at number 7.

8. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Rutgers will have their hands full trying to replace the two focal points of the program over the past half decade in Ron Harper Jr. and Geo Baker, but the team is still returning a ton of talent. Senior Paul Mulcahy is back to man the point guard duties, and he is joined by former Loyola MD scorer Cam Spencer in the backcourt. The reigning Big Ten DPOY, Caleb McConnell, is back for his senior season in New Brunswick, and will resume his small forward duties. Mawot Mag will jump into the starting lineup this year at the 4, and junior Clifford Omoruyi will once again be the man down low. Omoruyi is extremely talented and will likely find himself on an All-Big Ten team if he continues where he left off. Rutgers also has the very versatile Aundre Hyatt off the bench to lessen the load on the wings. Okar Palmquist, Jalen Miller, and Dean Reiber are all back on the bench for a team that has a lot of experience, despite losing RHJ and Baker. The Scarlet Knights bring in freshmen Derek Simpson and Antwone Woolfolk, and look to continue where they left off last season. What HC Steve Pikiell has built at Rutgers is often overlooked, and he is one of the most underrated head coaches in the nation. Rutgers will certainly be a bubble team, but do not be surprised if they sneak into the tourney once more.

9. Wisconsin Badgers

After winning a share of the regular season Big Ten title, the Badgers find themselves in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten. Johnny Davis' production will be nearly impossible to replicate, and head coach Greg Gard may have a struggling season ahead. On the bright side, studs Chucky Hepburn and Tyler Wahl are back, and will surely take a jump in production. Another familiar face in Steven Crowl is back down low, Crowl recently received praise from Michigan's Hunter Dickinson on the Roundball Podcast. To fill out the starting lineup, the Badgers have Wofford transfer Max Klesmit, and Jordan Davis, Johnny's twin brother, at the wings. Off the bench, the Badgers return Carter Gilmore, Jahcobi Neath, and Markus Ilver, and bring in Green Bay transfer Kamari McGee. Incoming freshman Connor Essegian will round out the rotation in Madison. The Badgers will look to exceed expectations just like last season, but this year the task may be a bit tougher. Wisconsin has the intangibles to be a bubble team come March, but as of now I do not forsee them making the Field of 68.

10. Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State basketball is certainly on the uptick. In just his second season at State College, head coach Micah Shrewsberry brought in 4 recruits in the top 200 for the 2022 class. Although only one of those freshman will be starting, coach Shrews is building something in PA. For the starting lineup, the Nittany Lions have three redshirt seniors, and a true senior next to freshman center Kebba Nije. Stud Jalen Pickett is back for PSU and will run the 1, he is accompanied by Drexel transfer Camren Wynter at the 2. Myles Dread and Seth Lundy are both returning at the forward spots for the Nittany Lions, in what looks to be an extremely solid starting lineup. Off the bench Penn State has Bucknell transfer Andrew Funk, who has received very high praise this offseason. The bench also consists of Denver transfer Michael Henn, and returnees Dallion Johnson and Caleb Dorsey. The rest of the lineup is filled out by freshmen Evan Mahaffey, Demetrius Lilley, Kanye Clary, and Jameel Brown. Penn State has a nice combination of seniority and young guys, making it clear why the coaches of the Big Ten described them as "The Biggest Sleeper Team." I do not expect PSU to make the tournament, but the program is certainly on the upswing.

11. Maryland Terrapins

The first year of the Kevin Willard era might be a little rough. The team is filled with question marks, and has not nobody on the roster has been apart of a winning program. As for the starting lineup, transfers Jahmir Young and Donald Carey will be the starting backcourt. Hakim Hart, Donta Scott, and Julian Reese fill out the rest of the starting five. All three returnees, both Hart and Scott played over 30 minutes per game for the Terps last season. Off the bench the Terps bring in Patrick Emilien from Western Michigan, Jahari Long from Seton Hall, returnees Ian Martinez and Pavlo Dziuba, as well as freshmen Noah Batchelor and Caelum Swanton-Rodger. Jahmir Young put up really good numbers at Charlotte last year, but that did not equate to wins. Young should be a spark for the Terps offense, but I really do not believe they have enough to compete in the Big Ten. This will be a rebuilding year for former Seton Hall head coach, Kevin Willard.

12. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota consistently has a really good player, that is surrounded by a mediocre to below-average roster. That is true once again this year with stud Jamison Battle. Battle averaged 18 and 6 last year for the Gophers, and will be the starting small forward again this year. In the backcourt, the Gophers bring in Moorehead State point guard Tae'lon Cooper and freshman Braeden Carrington. For the frontcourt, the Gophers bring in talented UNC transfer Dawson Garcia, and have 7 foot sophomore Treyton Thompson at the five spot. Minnesota's bench is almost entirely freshmen, consisting of Pharrel Payne, Joshua Ola-Joseph, Jaden Henley, and Kadyn Betts. To pair with the freshmen, coach Ben Johnson also brought in Dartmouth transfer Taurus Samuels. Minnesota has a few quality pieces, but they simply are not talented enough to win many Big Ten games this season.

13. Northwestern Wildcats

The fact that Northwestern's biggest hoops storyline this offseason was transfer Pete Nance leaving for North Carolina says about all you need to know about the state of Chris Collins' program. On the bright side, Northwestern returns two studs in Boo Buie and Chase Audige at the 1 and the 3. On the downside, the rest of the roster just simply is not very good. The starting 2 guard will be sophomore Julian Roper, who could take a leap in production this year with a bigger role. At the 4 is senior Robbie Beran, who averaged 6 and 4 respectably last season. At center, Northwestern brings in Duquesne transfer Tydus Verhoeven. Verhoeven averaged 7 and 5 at Duquesne in 25 minutes per game last season, and stands at 6'9. Off the bench the Cats have experienced junior Ty Berry, as well as returnees Brooks Barnhizer, Matthew Nicholson, and Roy Dixon III. The rotation will be rounded out by freshmen Luke Hunger and Nick Martinelli. Hard to find many bright spots for Northwestern this season, and outside of Buie and Audige, it will likely be a rough go-around.

14. Nebraska Cornhuskers

It is very hard to say anything positive about Nebrasketball after they lose their three best players, one being the best recruit in program history, after finishing dead last in Big Ten play. The Huskers backcourt consists of two transfers, something that Fred Hoiberg has grown accustomed to. Sam Griesel from North Dakota State at the 1, and Emmanuel Bandoumel at the 2. At the 3 is returnee CJ Wilcher, who was solid last year averaging 8 PPG whilst shooting 40% from three. The frontcourt also consists of two returnees, Wilhelm Breidenbach and Derrick Walker. Alabama transfer Juwan Gary will lead the bench group, and he is surrounded by Keisei Tominaga, JUCO transfer Blaise Keita, and freshmen Denim Dawson, Ramel Lloyd Jr, and Jamarques Lawrence. Cornhusker fans have grown used to being the laughing stock of Power 6 basketball, and should prepare for more of the same in 2022-23. On the bright side, at least they've got Creighton.


All-Conference Teams

Photo by Matthew Mitchell/

Unlike years past, the Big Ten is slightly lacking star power heading into the season. Although, many players are looking to break through and make a name for themselves. The conference as a whole is underrated, and it should be fun to watch how the awards pan out. Like recent years, the Big Ten is dominated by big men, and that holds true here.

All-B1G First Team

G - Terrence Shannon Jr. - ILL

F - Kris Murray - IOWA

C - Trayce Jackson-Davis - IU

C - Hunter Dickinson - UMICH

C - Zach Edey - PUR

All-B1G Second Team

G - Jalen Picket - PSU

G - AJ Hoggard - MSU

F - Jamison Battle - MIN

F - Tyler Wahl - WIS

C - Cliff Omoruyi - RUT

All-B1G Third Team

G - Xavier Johnson - IU

G - Tony Perkins - IOWA

G - Boo Buie - NW

F - Patrick McCaffery - IOWA

F - Race Thompson - IU

All-B1G Defensive Team

G - Xavier Johnson - IU

G - AJ Hoggard - MSU

G - Terrence Shannon Jr. - ILL

F - Caleb McConnell - RUT

C - Trayce Jackson-Davis - IU

All-B1G Freshman Team

G - Skyy Clark - ILL

G - Bruce Thornton - OSU

G - Jalen Hood-Schifino - IU

F - Jett Howard - UMICH

C - Malik Reneau - IU


All Conference Awards

Photo by Chris Corso

B1G Player of the Year

Hunter Dickinson - UMICH

B1G Coach of the Year

Mike Woodson - IU

B1G Sixth Man of the Year

Tanner Holden - OSU

B1G Freshman of the Year

Jalen Hood-Schifino - IU

B1G Defensive Player of the Year

Caleb McConnell - RUT

382 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All