Hawkeyes Stay At No. 5 In ESPN Rankings
Iowa stayed at No. 5 in ESPN.com's way-too-early preseason men's basketball rankings, but other Big Ten teams made a move.
Wisconsin moved up one spot to No. 6. Michigan State moved up two spots to No. 10.
ESPN.com's Jeff Borzello says of the Hawkeyes:
"This projection is still under the assumption that Luka Garza returns to the Hawkeyes, and though he recently told ESPN's Myron Medcalf that he wasn't leaning in either direction, his quotes make it seem like he needs to be certain about his NBA opportunities to stay in the draft. With Garza ranked No. 80 in ESPN's NBA draft rankings, that doesn't seem like a guarantee. Therefore, we're expecting Garza to return, and that leaves Iowa as the Big Ten favorite in my eyes. Wisconsin was better last season and brings nearly everyone back, Michigan State is Michigan State, Ohio State, Rutgers and Indiana will all be factors, and Illinois could be a top-four team if Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn withdraw from the draft. But Iowa was an elite offensive team last season and will get Jordan Bohannon back after he played just 10 games last season. He brings shooting, playmaking and yet another offensive weapon for Fran McCaffery."
If Garza does withdraw his name from the NBA Draft process, it will mean all five starters are back from last season's 20-win team that likely would have been in the NCAA tournament had it not been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The expected starting lineup of Bohannon, Garza, Connor McCaffery, CJ Fredrick and Joe Wieskamp would be one of the most experienced in the Big Ten, and the nation.