Big Ten expert picks 2022-23: Bold predictions, most overrated and underrated teams, top players

Big Ten expert picks 2022-23: Bold predictions, most overrated and underrated teams, top players

The Big Ten is undergoing a makeover for the 2022-23 season after 15 of the league’s top 20 scorers from last season departed the conference. Some fresh blood might be a good thing for the Big Ten, though, after none of the league’s nine NCAA Tournament teams advanced beyond the Sweet 16 as the conference’s national title drought grew to 22 years in 2022.

In fact, only two Big Ten squads made it past the first weekend of the Big Dance, which was particularly disappointing after the league again received acclaim for its parity. But a new season is on the horizon along with a new chance for the conference to plant its flag atop the sport. With UCLA and USC set to join the league for the 2024-25 season, the Big Ten is only going to improve as a basketball conference in the years ahead.

In the meantime, who is its top squad? That is an open-ended question entering the 2022-23 season as stars like Keegan Murray (Iowa) Kofi Cockburn (Iowa), Johnny Davis (Wisconsin) and EJ Liddell (Ohio State) are no longer part of the fray.

As tipoff inches closer for the 2022-23 college basketball season, let’s take a closer look at the Big Ten’s top stars and its teams.

CBS Sports Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year

Trayce Jackson Davis | Center | Indiana

After helping Indiana snap a five-year NCAA Tournament drought last season, Jackson-Davis opted to return for his senior season, and when he did it smell the Indiana hype into overdrive. The 6-foot-9 big man has led the Hoosiers in scoring in each of his three seasons on campus, and he turned into an elite shot blocker last season to boot. The only reason he’s not in the NBA is because he doesn’t have a 3-point shot. Even if he doesn’t add perimeter offense to his repertoire this season, he’ll still terrorize Big Ten opponents on both ends of the floor while helping the Hoosiers build on the major step forward they took last season.

Four more players to watch

Hunter Dickinson | C | Michigan: It’s hard to imagine how Dickinson could improve in many statistically significant ways, but he’ll be even more important to what the Wolverines do this season than he was a year ago.

Zach Edey | C | Purdue: With Purdue’s center hierarchy cleared for Edey, expect him to challenge Dickinson and Jackson-Davis for the league’s rebounding and blocks titles, and potentially for the scoring title if his conditioning and foul-avoidance allow.

Chris Murray | F | Iowa: At 6-8, 215 pounds and with the ability to score at multiple areas, Murray’s versatility makes him a problem for every opposing defense. He’s also a plus defender and a surefire candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year.

Tyler Wahl | F | Wisconsin: With Johnny Davis departed, it’s Wahl’s time to shine at Wisconsin. The 6-9 forward averaged 12.9 points on 55.4% shooting during Wisconsin’s final 10 regular season games last season even as the offense revolved around Davis and fellow departed guard Brad Davison.

CBS Sports Big Ten Preseason Freshman of the Year

Jalen Hood – Schifino | Guard | Indiana

Hood-Schifino’s status as the No. 26 overall prospect in the 247Sports rankings for the Class of 2022 make him the league’s most highly touted freshman. The 6-5 guard looks like the type of perimeter playmaker the Hoosiers have been needing to make a full-on return to national relevance. Indiana coach Mike Woodson liked Hodd-Schifino to Jason Kidd this month.

CBS Sports Big Ten predicted order of finish

Big Ten most overrated team

michigan state

Michigan State’s roster features just 10 scholarship players, none of whom averaged double digits for the Spartans last season. Unless 6-8 senior forward Malik Hall makes a significant leap, there is likely not an all-conference player on this team. Tom Izzo can still get this team to the NCAA Tournament, but there is little here to suggest the Spartans improve on the middle of the pack Big Ten finishes they’ve posted the past two seasons.

Big Ten most underrated team

Iowa

Doubt Fran McCaffery at your own peril, but he has suffered just one losing season in Big Ten play over the past 10 years. If the two members of our panel who project the Hawkeyes to finish eighth are correct, then this team will likely fall short of that well-established precedent. That sort of projection is an understandable knee-jerk reaction to Iowa losing Keegan Murray and Jordan Bohannon. But Ahron Ulis and Tony Perkins look amply capable of taking huge strides in the backcourt to replace Bohannon, and Keegan Murray has a literal twin brother named Kris waiting to emerge as a potential NBA Draft lottery pick. Their games may not be identical, but Kris is in for the type of breakout season that Keegan enjoyed last season. The Hawkeyes may not repeat as Big Ten Tournament champions, but they have everything they need to finish in the league’s upper tier again.

CBS Sports Big Ten expert picks

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