Thursday's Clicks: Hawkeyes In Katz's Top 5

(USA Today Sports)

John Bohnenkamp

The high expectations around the Iowa men's basketball team keep growing.

NCAA.com writer Andy Katz has Iowa at No. 5 in his first power rankings for next season.

"The Hawkeyes should be the pick to win the Big Ten with the likely return of the player of the year in Luka Garza," Katz wrote. "Getting Joe Wieskamp alongside him means the Hawkeyes' offense will be loaded again."

Iowa was the highest-ranked Big Ten team in Katz's top 36, one of three teams from the conference in the top 10. Katz had Wisconsin at No. 6 and Michigan at No. 8.

Michigan State was 12th, Rutgers was 13th, and Illinois was 21st to round out the top 25.

More way-too-early picks

CBS Sports' Gary Parrish has Iowa at No. 8, up one spot.

"Luka Garza will be the obvious preseason national player of the year if he returns to Iowa for his senior season, which is among the reasons he's expected to return to Iowa for his senior season," Parrish said. "Presumably, he'll be joined by the four other starters from a team that finished 23rd at KenPom. And don't forget: Iowa will get Jordan Bohannon back after a redshirt season. So Fran McCaffery should have the best team he's ever had in 22 years as a Division I head coach."

Starting the season with a tournament?

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins had an interesting proposal — start the next basketball season with the NCAA tournament that was canceled from this season.

“So why don’t we start the season off with the NCAA tournament? The NCAA can get its money and distribute it to the schools," Huggins said. "It solves a lot of problems… They know who was in it and who was going to play who. They know where we were going to play. What’s it going to take? Three weekends? Big deal. Really, kids aren’t going to miss class that much. You’re going to basically play on the weekends."

Big Ten on the Big Board

Today's Big Ten on the Big Board video looks at Penn State defensive end Yatur Gross-Matos.

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