We are officially one month away from college hoops — that’s the real spooky season. As always, we at Land-Grant Holy Land have your Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball coverage all year round.
Last week, we talked about who we thought would be the preseason National Player of the Year.
Justin picked North Carolina’s Armando Bacot — the returning center of the preseason No. 1 team in the nation, and Connor took the talented guard from Houston, Marcus Sasser. With 64% of the vote, Justin’s pick of Bacot won. Only 14% agreed with Connor on Sasser, and the remaining 21% said it would be someone other than thos two.
And after 69 (nice) weeks, Connor’s lead over Justin is down to just two.
After 69 (nice) weeks:
(There have been three ties)
Without further ado, let’s get to our question for this week. We’re downsizing. Or scaling down. Or squinting our eyes, whatever you want to call it. We’ve talked about the National Player of the Year, but how about the Big Ten Player of the Year?
Today’s question: Who is the preseason Big Ten POY?
Connor: Terrence Shannon Jr.
There’s a reason so many people — myself included — wanted Ohio State to put on the full-court press and try to get Shannon to Columbus. By season’s end, he’s going to be one of, if not the singular most impressive player in the Big Ten. That’s why dozens of teams contacted him when he decided to leave Texas Tech. There’s a reason Michigan raised such a stink when Shannon’s transfer was ~allegedly~ blocked by TTU head coach Mark Adams. It’s the same reason why Illinois is projected to finish in the top-three in the conference despite losing a huge chunk of their roster — it’s because Shannon is going to be that much of a game-changer.
On a Texas Tech team that rolled out six or seven guys who stood between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-8 the last two seasons, Shannon played starter’s minutes but did not need to be a horse for the Red Raiders. He averaged 10.4 PPG over 25 minutes per contest, while also registering 2.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and just under one steal per game. He shot 45.5% overall, including 38.4% from three-point land. He took 7.6 shots per game, which was sixth on last year’s TTU team that advanced to the Sweet 16 before eventually falling to Duke, 78-73.
But what really sets Shannon apart from the rest of the Big Ten is the work he does on the other end of the floor. In addition to his high offensive ceiling that has not yet been reached, Shannon is one of the best on-ball defenders in the nation, and can guard nearly every position. At 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, Shannon can guard 1-4 with ease, which means he’ll quickly become someone Brad Underwood can plug in to any lineup combination. Texas Tech finished 1st, 18th, and 9th in defensive efficiency the last three seasons with Shannon, and he was no small part of that.
I’m skeptical that Shannon will lead the Big Ten in any one statistical category, but I think it’s a safe bet that he blows past his career highs for points, rebounds, and minutes per game. I could see him finishing with something like 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game, while also winning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year once all is said and done.
Justin: Trayce Jackson-Davis
Sometimes the answer is the easy one. There are two main options here with Jackson-Davis and Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson, and a possible wild card in Iowa’s Kris Murray.
Jackson-Davis is truly in the best of situations. He is with a coach that will give him the full green light to go do his thing, he is the best player on his team, and he is also next to another great player in the front court in Race Thompson, so defenses cannot solely focus on Jackson-Davis.
Most people thought Jackson-Davis was heading to the NBA, but similar to Dickinson at Michigan, Jackson-Davis decided his legacy wasn’t completed in Bloomington.
“I have kind of set the stone of my individual legacy, being an All-American and doing all those things, but those don’t really matter if you don’t win something here,” Jackson-Davis said at Indiana basketball media day. “Winning is a big thing here... if I do that, I know everything else will take care of itself.”
Jackson-Davis is coming off a fantastic season, as he averaged 18.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in 35 contests, starting in all of them. In 94 career games, he has started in all 94 of them and is averaging 16.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. With these averages, Jackson-Davis averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in 2022 is not out of the question.
And that would pretty easily be the Big Ten Player of the Year.
Who is your preseason B1G POY?
This poll is closed
Trayce Jackson-Davis (Justin)
Terrence Shannon (Connor)