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November 4, 2006

Rivals.com Preseason All-Big Ten Team

Preseason Top 25
Big Ten Preview
The College Basketball Wire

Get the inside scoop on your favorite team:

The Big Ten should consider this for a postseason game: Its all-conference team vs. its all-freshman team.

Nine of the top 58 recruits in the country, according to Rivals.com, chose Big Ten schools. That includes an Ohio State class with the nation's top prospect, 7-foot center Greg Oden.

The real question when deciding on the Big Ten preseason all-conference team is how many of the kids to include. You know the kind of impact a big-time freshman can have immediately in basketball, and some of these guys are definitely those types.

The freshmen in the Big Ten also will have ample opportunity. Ohio State lost three double-figure scorers, including conference player of the year Terence Dials. Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue and Minnesota also lost three double-figure scorers. Illinois lost its two best players.

But we won't discount the league's veterans, either. It's a pair of seniors who make Wisconsin the biggest threat to the youth movement at Ohio State. Watching the Badgers and the Buckeyes battle for Big Ten supremacy should be a real treat.

Here are the Rivals.com Preseason All-Big Ten teams:

Rivals.com 2006-07 Preseason All-Big Ten First Team
G Kammron Taylor, Wisconsin, Sr., 6-2, 175
Taylor has tremendous speed with the ball and loves to drive to the rim. He averaged 14.2 points per game last season, but he must make better decisions (he averaged more turnovers than assists 2.6 to 2.4). He can get in the lane and get to the line, which works well since he's an outstanding free-throw shooter (82.9 percent). Scouts love that he's aggressive, but he can't let that work against him when it comes to being a better floor general.
G Geary Claxton, Penn State, Jr., 6-5, 215
He may be underrated in much of the country, but the Big Ten media put him on the Preseason All-Conference team. Claxton works hard on both ends of the floor, particularly on the glass. Despite his size, he's the league's top returning rebounder (7.5 rpg). He also averaged 15.2 points per game and is the returning steals leader as well. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, he broke his right pinky finger in the opening exhibition game on Wednesday night and will be sidelined for 2-3 weeks.
F D.J. White, Indiana, So., 6-9, 251
White was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2004-05, but he missed most of last season with a broken foot. He redshirted and has fully recovered. He averaged 9.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game two years ago, and he should blow those numbers out of the water this season. White has looked sharp in scrimmages.
F Alando Tucker, Wisconsin, Sr., 6-6, 205
Tucker is the leading returning scorer in the Big Ten at 19 points per game. He's a powerful slasher who gets to the line as much as any player in the country, but that wasn't the good news it should have been last season. His free-throw shooting dipped below 60 percent for the first time in his career. He led the Badgers with nine 3-pointers on a five-game tour of Italy this summer; if he has improved his outside shooting dramatically he'll be tough to stop on the offensive end.
C Greg Oden, Ohio State, Fr., 7-0, 280
Oden, the top-ranked player in the 2007 class by Rivals.com, won't be available until January after undergoing wrist surgery. But his impact will be felt immediately. He has an awesome defensive presence and is an adept shot-blocker. He also can score on the low block, and he has developed his left hand while rehabbing from the right wrist injury. If he can play with aggression night in and night out, he should carry the Buckeyes to the top of the league.
Rivals.com 2006-07 Preseason All-Big Ten Second Team
G Adam Haluska, Iowa, Sr., 6-5, 210
G Jamar Butler, Ohio State, Jr., 6-2, 205
G Courtney Sims, Michigan, Sr., 6-11, 245
F Carl Landry, Purdue, Sr., 6-7, 245
C Brian Randle, Illinois, Jr., 6-8, 220
Rivals.com 2006-07 Preseason Big Ten All-Freshman Team
F DeShawn Sims, Michigan, 6-8, 225
F Tyler Smith, Iowa, 6-7, 210
F Raymar Morgan, Michigan State, 6-7, 220
C Greg Oden, Ohio State, 7-0, 280
G Daequan Cook, Ohio State, 6-5, 210

Rivals.com Big Ten Basketball Preview

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