You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 1:23 p.m.

Michigan State, Kalin Lucas lead preseason Big Ten basketball media poll

By Michael Rothstein


Michigan State senior guard Kalin Lucas is the best player in the Big Ten, according to a poll of 11 Big Ten beat writers.

Associated Press

In March, Kalin Lucas laid on the floor in the NCAA tournament, wincing in pain. The then-junior guard tore his Achilles' tendon. For the moment, Michigan State's chances at the Final Four looked dashed.

The Spartans made the Final Four anyway.

Lucas returned and he is the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year in an poll of 11 journalists. The Spartans were picked by 10 of 11 voters as the league's top team.

Those two categories were among a variety of topics surveyed. Their individual votes are confidential, but the voters names are below. Where did your team end up?

The teams 1. Michigan State (10) 120 2. Ohio State (1) 106 3. Illinois 96 4. Purdue 89 5. Wisconsin 79 6. Minnesota 70 7. Northwestern 54 8. Indiana 38 9. Penn State 33 10. Michigan 28 11. Iowa 13

All Big Ten team (7 men because of ties): JaJuan Johnson, Sr., F, Purdue* 11 Demetri McCamey, Sr., G, Illinois 8 Kalin Lucas, Sr., G, Michigan State 8 E'Twaun Moore, Sr., G, Purdue 7 Jon Leuer, Sr., F/C, Wisconsin 5 Draymond Green, Jr., F, Michigan State 5 Talor Battle, Sr., G, Penn State 5 Others receiving votes: Jared Sullinger, Ohio State (2); Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota (1); Durrell Summers, Michigan State (1); John Shurna, Northwestern (1); William Buford, Ohio State (1) Player of the year: Kalin Lucas, Sr., G, Michigan State 4 Others receiving votes: Demetri McCamey, Illinois (3); Jon Leuer, Wisconsin (2); JaJuan Johnson, Purdue (1); Draymond Green, Michigan State (1)

Rookie of the year: Jared Sullinger, F, Ohio State* 11

Most overrated player: Mike Davis, Sr., F, Illinois 2 Durrell Summers, Sr., G/F, Michigan State 2 Others receiving votes: Ralph Sampson III, Minnesota (1); John Shurna, Northwestern (1); Michael Thompson, Northwestern (1); Kalin Lucas, Michigan State (1); Demetri McCamey, Illinois (1); Jon Diebler, Ohio State (1); William Buford, Ohio State (1).

Most underrated player: Michael Thompson, Northwestern 2 Others receiving votes: Keaton Nankivil, Wisconsin (1); Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin (1); Talor Battle, Penn State (1); David Lighty, Ohio State (1); Mike Davis, Illinois (1); E’Twaun Moore, Purdue (1); Jarryd Cole, Iowa (1); Jon Leuer, Wisconsin (1); Draymond Green, Michigan State (1).

Player most likely to disappoint: Kalin Lucas, Sr., G, Michigan State 2 Jon Leuer, Sr., F/C, Wisconsin 2 Others receiving votes: Al Nolen, Minnesota (1); Delvon Roe, Michigan State (1); Durrell Summers, Michigan State (1); Ralph Sampson III, Minnesota (1); Mike Tisdale, Illinois (1); Jon Diebler, Ohio State (1); Demetri McCamey, Illinois (1)

Player most likely to surprise: Maurice Creek, Soph., F, Indiana 2 Others receiving votes: Delvon Roe, Michigan State (1); Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan (1); Eric May, Iowa (1); Kelsey Barlow, Purdue (1); Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota (1); Lewis Jackson, Purdue (1); Christian Watford, Indiana (1); Terone Johnson, Purdue (1); Mike Davis, Illinois (1).

Team most likely to disappoint: Illinois 4 Others receiving votes: Northwestern (3); Purdue (2); Wisconsin (1); Minnesota (1).

Team most likely to surprise: Wisconsin 3 Others receiving votes: Indiana (2); Minnesota (2); Purdue (2); Illinois (1); Northwestern (1)

Game most interested in seeing Michigan State at Ohio State, Feb. 15 6 Others Receiving Votes: Michigan State at Illinois, Jan. 18 (2); Ohio State at Purdue, Feb. 19/20 (1); Illinois at Purdue, March 1 (1); Illinois at Michigan State, Feb. 19 (1).

Best quote - player: Draymond Green, Jr., F, Michigan State 5 Others receiving votes: Verdell Jones III, Indiana (1); Talor Battle, Penn State (1); Cully Payne, Iowa (1); Lewis Jackson, Purdue (1); Mike Davis, Illinois (1); No idea (1).

Best quote - coach: Tom Izzo, Michigan State 8 Others receiving votes: Bruce Weber, Illinois (2); Matt Painter, Purdue (1)

Who wins the Big Ten/ACC Challenge: Big Ten 9 ACC 2

Voters Jeff Rice, Centre Daily Times; Michael Rothstein,; Stacy Clardie, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette; Joe Rexrode, Lansing State Journal; Shannon Ryan, Chicago Tribune; Christopher Hine, Chicago Tribune; Paul Klee, Champaign News-Gazette; Scott Dochterman, Cedar Rapids Gazette; Lindsey Willhite, Daily Herald; Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland Plain Dealer; Dustin Dopirak, Bloomington (Ind.) Times-Herald.

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein



Thu, Oct 28, 2010 : 11:15 a.m.

Yelmonian is a perfect example why I don't cheer for any other teams in the Big Ten other than Michigan. People say, "Awww come on, you gotta support the Big Ten, when Michigan is not playing." No, I don't, just read that post and understand why I would never root for the Spartys in any situation!!


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 11:11 p.m.

Michigan will be around.500 with a chance at the NIT. This team will be better than most people think.

don clary

Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 3:24 p.m.

The writers did a fairly good job. I do think that Minn. and Indiana could finish higher and Mich. will be last. The conf. is so strong this year I don't see Mich. winning a single league game with their collection of div 2 and 3 players.


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 2:57 p.m.

This ranking sounds about right, although the Spartans did suffer some off season injuries and a transfer. I hope Spartans can be better residents in the upper echelon of the football and basketball world than have some other programs, perhaps. I was an MSU student, athlete, coach, professor, and parent. I have deep experience. I recall Michigan fans complaining, after a sound trouncing of MSU in football, that the trouncing could have been three points larger had Ali Haji Sheikh not missed that field goal. I rember the chants of "hey hey it's be....a Michigan Wolverine." These are the things that lead to the "arrogant" part of "AA." I call on Spartans to be gracious in success. And may the successes be long and considerable.


Wed, Oct 27, 2010 : 1:53 p.m.

This has to be hard for all the UM faithful. I big picture of MSU posted right here for you all to see. Not sure how to tell all of the UM faithful how to handle their football season... at least as a Spartan, when MSU football was down, I always got to say... hey, basketball season is almost here. My toughest decision now... do I read about the football team or basketball team first!?!?!?!