Here are three Big Ten story lines to watch as the 2001-02 season unfolds:
How will Mike Davis do at Indiana now that the interim tag has been removed?
|Jared Jeffries averaged 13.8 ppg and 6.9 rpg as a freshman last season for Indiana.|
There is still the pressure of expectations in Bloomington, but Hoosiers head coach Mike Davis won't have to listen to questions about his future after a season as interim coach. Led by Jared Jeffries, the Hoosiers are capable of competing with the best of the Big Ten.
How good is the Illinois backcourt?
Frank Williams and Cory Bradford are back for Bill Self's team. The duo will be among the elite backcourts in America. Illinois just missed out on the Final Four last season, and the Illini will be a serious contender for a trip to Atlanta this season if the backcourt lives up to its billing.
Can Michigan State respond despite major losses?
Never count Tom Izzo out. Michigan State has won or shared four straight Big Ten titles. The Spartans are one of three teams to reach three consecutive Final Fours since the tourney expanded to 64 teams in 1985 (Duke and Kentucky are the others). The Spartans lost veterans Charlie Bell and Andre Hutson, while Zachary Randolph and Jason Richardson left early for the NBA. Izzo has an instant-impact diaper dandy in Kelvin Torbert, plus Marcus Taylor to run the offense.