Charlie Creme's Way Too Early Top 25 for 2021-22

Ignatius L Hoops

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The B1G Teams:
5. Maryland Terrapins

Brenda Frese remade her roster last offseason due to transfers and graduations, and turned it into a Sweet 16 run and AP Coach of the Year honors. Katie Benzan and Chloe Bibby, who each came to College Park as grad transfers, both announced they're coming back, which boosted the Terps a spot. With Benzan's 3-point shooting and Bibby's versatility, plus point guard Ashley Owusu, wing Diamond Miller and forward Angel Reese, Frese will continue to have a dynamic offense. Despite some great regular seasons, the Terrapins haven't been beyond the Sweet 16 since reaching the Final Four in 2015. How quickly Maryland can get over the disappointment of this year's loss to Texas in the regional semifinals might be the keys to ending that streak.

7. Indiana Hoosiers

The Hoosiers weren't as high in these rankings until Ali Patberg's announcement that she will return for one more season in Bloomington. That means the core of Patberg, Grace Berger, Mackenzie Holmes and Aleksa Gulbe that led Indiana to an Elite Eight run and a second-place Big Ten finish -- the most successful season in program history -- will try it again. Patberg, who began her career with two seasons at Notre Dame, will be entering her seventh year in college next fall.

9. Iowa Hawkeyes

The Hawkeyes started a freshman, three sophomores and a junior this season, and if everyone stays will return 97% of their point production. Caitlin Clark is the star, but coach Lisa Bluder has the pieces around her set up nicely, too, and another top-25 recruiting class on the way. Addison O'Grady might give Bluder another post player to go alongside Monika Czinano, who led the nation in field goal percentage this season. If Iowa can find a rim protector in the transfer portal to solidify the defense, this team might have Final Four potential.

11. Michigan Wolverines

If momentum exists from year to year, the Wolverines could be ready for big things. Reaching the Sweet 16 and then nearly upsetting Baylor should build confidence heading into 2021-22. Naz Hillmon (23.9 PPG, 11.4 RPG), one of the best post players in the country and the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, wing Leigha Brown (18.2 PPG) and point guard Amy Dilk (7.7 PPG, 4.0 APG) will all be seniors, giving coach Kim Barnes Arico the best, most experienced team she has had in Ann Arbor.

13. Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes probably would have been a No. 6 or No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament had they not self-imposed a one-year postseason ban on themselves for some rules violations. They were the only team in the Big Ten to beat Maryland all year and might have been the second-best team in the conference until a late-season injury to sophomore guard Madison Greene derailed the final month. With guard Braxtin Miller's decision to take the extra year of eligibility, Ohio State will have four of its five starters back. But losing Dorka Juhasz, who recently entered the transfer portal, hurts. She averaged 14.6 points and 11.1 rebounds per game this season.

21. Michigan State Spartans

Sophomore guard Nia Clouden (18.7 PPG) will appear on some preseason All-American teams next year. Freshman guard Alyza Winston (11.1 PPG) has all-Big Ten potential. The Spartans' backcourt will be one of the best in the conference and gives coach Suzy Merchant a solid foundation of what should be a veteran team.
 

Katogopher

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3 Big Ten teams in the top 10, 6 overall in the top 25. Like I said in A Previous post, Gophers could improve greatly but might not move up that much in the standings. It would be good to see some wins against some of these teams and competitive in some of the losses, already looking forward to next season
 

JellyBean2144

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I am impressed with Indiana and the job Coach Teri Moren is doing with that program.
 
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