Illinois coach John Groce. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)
Games against Iowa — March 5 in Iowa City
Recent Action vs. Iowa — Iowa snapped series-worst 7-game losing streak in Big Ten Tournament. Illinois has won series-record 3 straight in Iowa City
Who’s Back? — Wings Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson are explosive scorers who fit with new coach John Groce’s system. PG Tracy Abrams is talented but turnover-prone. G Joseph Bertrand is a terrific athlete, while forwards Tyler Griffey and Nnanna Egwu are athletic, tall but not inside forces.
Who’s Gone? — C Meyers Leonard was an NBA first-round draft pick
Who’s New? — Coastal Carolina transfer Sam McLaurin
Projected starters — Abrams, Paul, Richardson, Griffey, Egwu
Games against Iowa — Dec. 31 in Iowa City; March 2 in Bloomington
Recent Action vs. Iowa — Teams split last year with each winning at home. Iowa has won last 4 in Iowa City and 5 of 6 overall
Who’s Back? — Sophomore Cody Zeller, a 7-foot post, was tabbed national preseason player of the year by most publications. The Hoosiers return all five starters including 6-9 F Christian Watford, 6-7 F Will Sheehey, shutdown defender G Victor Oladipo and G Jordan Hulls. Tough forward Derek Elston comes off the bench, as does one-time phenom but injury-prone G Maurice Creek. Remy Abell is a valuable reserve.
Who’s Gone? — G Verdell Jones III, G Matt Roth, F Tim Pritchard; Austin Etherington was lost for the season with a knee injury, while guard Maurice Creek suffered yet another injury earlier this month.
Who’s New? — Five-star talents PG Yogi Ferrell and F Jeremy Hollowell are big-time contributors. Freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin were handed nine-game suspensions by the NCAA for impermissible benefits but are back.
Who’s Back? — Junior Devyn Marble started games at multiple positions last year. Sophomore F Aaron White was an all-Big Ten freshman team member. Juniors Melsahn Basabe, Zach McCabe and senior Eric May have combined for 160 starts. G Josh Oglesby is team’s top 3-point threat.
Who’s Gone? — G Matt Gatens was a second-team all-Big Ten selection. G Bryce Cartwright led Big Ten in assist/turnover ratio in 2010-11.
Who’s New? — Freshmen Mike Gesell, Adam Woodbury and Anthony Clemmons have vaulted into starting lineup.
Recent Action vs. Iowa — Iowa won last year in Iowa City; Michigan has won last 3 in Ann Arbor and 9 of last 11
Who’s Back? — Sophomore PG Trey Burke spurned the NBA for another season at Michigan and was tabbed a preseason All-American. He’s shown nothing to dispell that so far. SG Tim Hardaway Jr. is a streaky threat. C Jordan Morgan is a physical force, and G Matt Vogrich is solid.
Who’s Gone? — Shooting guards Zach Novak and Stu Douglass provided leadership that Wolverines must replace. SF Evan Smotrycz transferred to Maryland.
Who’s New? — Forwards Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary were top-30 recruits with different skill sets that should blend in nicely with Burke and Hardaway. Shooting guard Nik Stauskas has provided an outside shooting touch.
Recent Action vs. Iowa — Iowa won last meeting in Iowa City; MSU has won last 4 overall and 9 of last 10
Who’s Back? — PG Keith Appling successfully transitioned to the point last year. PF Adreian Payne became a force late last season, while C Derrick Nix is a load in the post. SF Branden Dawson suffered a torn ACL last March but has returned successfully.
Who’s Gone? — PF Draymond Green was the team’s all-everything player, the Big Ten MVP and first-team All-American. G Austin Thornton, G Brandon Wood
Who’s New? — G Gary Harris might be the league’s top freshman, and G Denzel Valentine (a prep teammate of Iowa guard Anthony Clemmons) is a future star.
Games against Iowa — Feb. 3 at Minneapolis; Feb. 17 at Iowa City
Recent Action vs. Iowa — Iowa swept Gophers last year; Minnesota had won 6 straight in series
Who’s Back? — F Rodney Williams became the Gophers’ go-to scorer in the NIT and might be the nation’s best dunker. Point guard Andre Hollins has transitioned from talent to prolific. Post Elliott Eliason is dependable and forward Trevor Mbakwe has regained his rebounding prowess after missing last season with a torn ACL. The Gophers are deep with experienced playmakers Andre Ingram, Julian Welch, Joe Coleman, Austin Hollins and Maverick Ahanmisi.
Who’s Gone? — Ralph Sampson III, Chip Armelin (transfer)
Who’s New? — Mbakwe, the Big Ten’s leading rebounder in 2010-11, was granted a sixth year of eligibility. G Wally Ellenson
Games against Iowa — Feb. 21 at Lincoln; March 9 at Iowa City
Recent action vs. Iowa — Teams split last year, each winning on the road
Who’s Back? — F Brandon Ubel is Nebraska’s only primary starter returning from last year. G Dylan Talley, C Andre Almeida (injured last year)
Who’s Gone? — Bo Spencer
Who’s New? — Tim Miles is in his first season after coaching at Colorado State. Juco PG Deverell Biggs, G Benny Parker
Projected starters — Ubel, Talley, Almeida, Parker, G Ray Gallego
Games against Iowa — Jan. 13 at Evanston; Feb. 9 at Iowa City
Recent Action vs. Iowa — Northwestern has won last 5, including 4 straight in Evanston and 2 in a row in Iowa City
Who’s Back? — All-freshman pick G Dave Sobolewski (8.3 ppg, 3.7 apg) led the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6-1). Guards Alex Marcotullio and Reggie Hearn are key contributors.
Who’s Gone? — Wildcats lose John Shurna, the school’s all-time points leader and Big Ten’s top scorer. JerShon Cobb was suspended for the season. Third-team all-Big Ten G Drew Crawford suffered a season-ending injury earlier this month.
Who’s New? — Transfers F Jared Swopshire (Louisville), F Nikola Cerina (TCU); freshmen C Alex Olah, F Kale Abrahamson, F Sanjay Lumpkin, C Chier Ajou
Recent Action vs. Iowa — OSU has won series record 7 straight against Iowa; Series tied 75-75
Who’s Back? — Preseason All-American F Deshaun Thomas was the team’s go-to scorer in the NCAA tournament. He’s also versatile in the post. PG Aaron Craft is the league’s best on-ball defender. G Lenzelle Smith became a complementary player. C Amir Williams and SF LaQuinton Ross will move into the starting lineup. PF Evan Ravenel comes off the bench, as does G Sam Thompson.
Who’s Gone? — Two-time all-Big Ten post Jared Sullinger was an NBA first-round pick. William Buford was a four-year starter.
Who’s New? — SG Amedeo Della Valle
Projected starters — Craft, Ross, Thomas, Smith, Williams
Games against Iowa — Jan. 31 at Iowa City; Feb. 14 at State College
Recent Action vs. Iowa — Teams have split last 10 meetings, each time holding serve on home court
Who’s Back? — G Jermaine Marshall and F Ross Travis were key contributors last year.
Who’s Gone? — G Tim Frazier (18.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 6.2 apg) was lost for the season with an early injury finished second in scoring and first in assists last year in Big Ten play. G Cammeron Woodyward, 3 players elected to transfer after the season (Trey Lewis, Matt Glover, Peter Alexis), Billy Oliver (retired)
Who’s New? — G D.J. Newbill (transfer from Southern Miss) has replaced Frazier as the go-to scorer. F Brandon Taylor, G Akosa Maduegbunam
Projected starters — Frazier, Marshall, Newbill, Travis, F Sasa Borovnjak
Games against Iowa — Jan. 27 at Purdue; Feb. 27 at Iowa City
Recent Action vs. Iowa — Purdue swept series last year and has won 10 of last 11
Who’s Back? — Versatile F D.J. Byrd and G Terone Johnson were key cogs in last year’s NCAA tournament run. C Travis Carroll, F Sandi Marcius, F Jacob Lawson are experienced. Eleven different players have started games this year for Purdue.
Who’s Gone? — F Robbie Hummel, G Lewis Jackson
Who’s New? — Boilermakers brought in one of the nation’s top classes with G/F Rapheal Davis, F Donnie Hale, PG Ronnie Johnson and C A.J. Hammons.
Projected starters — R Johnson, T Johnson, Marcius, Byrd, Hale
Games against Iowa — Jan. 19 at Iowa City; Feb. 6 at Madison
Recent Action vs. Iowa — Iowa swept series last year for first time since 1995; Iowa leads all-time 78-77
Who’s Back? — PF Mike Bruesewitz and C Jared Berggren form a solid post combination. SF Ryan Evans was a dependable do-it-all player, and SG Ben Brust is one of the league’s best 3-point shooters and a solid rebounder. F Frank Kaminsky and G Traveon Jackson are part-time starters.
Who’s Gone? — All-Big Ten PG Jordan Taylor graduated after setting the NCAA record for assist-to-turnover ratio (3.01-1). Josh Gasser, who moved from SG to PG, suffered a torn ACL in an early practice and is lost for the season.
Who’s New? — Freshman F Sam Dekker likely will become one of the team’s top scoring threats and his inside-outside game makes him tough to defend. George Marshall is likely to step in at point guard.
Projected starters — Marshall/Jackson, Brust, Berggren, Evans, Bruesewitz or Dekker