Illinois picked to win Big Ten in preseason poll

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WCIA — Illinois is the clear cut favorite to win the Big Ten, according to an unofficial poll conducted by both The Athletic and The Columbus Dispatch. The Illini received 16 out of the 28 total votes from participating beat writers representing outlets covering league teams. Both Iowa and Wisconsin followed at No. 2 and No. 3, each getting six first place votes per team. The Big Ten does not formally release a preseason poll.

Hawkeyes senior Luka Garza is picked to repeat as the Big Ten Player of the Year, garnering 24 first place votes. Ayo Dosunmu got the remaining four to keep Garza, a National Player of the Year winner, from a unanimous selection.

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn is on the first team, along with Dosunmu. Illini freshman Adam Miller received the most votes to win Freshman of the Year.

Unofficial Preseason Big Ten poll from The Athletic and The Columbus Dispatch

1. Illinois 376 (16)

2. Iowa 350 (6)

3. Wisconsin 347 (6)

4. Michigan State 323

5. Rutgers 249

6. Michigan 241

7. Ohio State 229

8. Indiana 212

9. Purdue 179

10. Maryland 141

11. Minnesota 121

12. Penn State 72

13. Nebraska 54

14. Northwestern 47

Illinois is set to open the season Nov. 25 hosting a three-day, four-team MTE at State Farm Center. North Carolina A&T, Ohio and Wright State will visit State Farm Center for the round robin format.

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