2017-18 forecast for Iowa women's basketball: 5th in Big Ten

Ohio State is the clear team to beat

Iowa's Megan Gustafson (10) goes to the basket in front of Missouri State's Aubrey Buckley (21) during the first round of the WNIT. Gustafson could be the Big Ten's best post next season, and The Gazette's Jeff Linder picks the Hawkeyes for a fifth-place finish. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa's Megan Gustafson (10) goes to the basket in front of Missouri State's Aubrey Buckley (21) during the first round of the WNIT. Gustafson could be the Big Ten's best post next season, and The Gazette's Jeff Linder picks the Hawkeyes for a fifth-place finish. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

With the exception of Michigan’s run in the WNIT, the 2016-17 Big Ten women’s basketball season is completed.

Here is one guy’s opinion on the pecking order for next season:

1.

Ohio State

2016-17 record: 28-7. Big Ten: 15-1 (T-1st). Postseason: NCAA Sweet 16

After sharing the title this season with Maryland, Buckeyes are the favorite to claim it solo. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 87.8.
 
2.

Michigan

2016-17 record: 26-9. Big Ten: 11-5. (3rd). Postseason: WNIT (still playing, in semifinals).

Wolverines were a curious absence when the NCAA field was announced. They’ll make it with ease next year. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 87.8.
 
3.

Maryland

2016-17 record: 32-3. Big Ten: 15-1 (T-1st). Postseason: NCAA Sweet 16.

Terrapins have good young talent, but graduation of Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones will sting. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 56.7.
 
4.

Penn State

2016-17 record: 21-11. Big Ten: 9-7 (T-6th). Postseason: WNIT.

After a couple down years, the Lady Lions rebounded this season. Expect the climb to continue. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 68.0.
 
5.

Iowa

2016-17 record: 20-14. Big Ten: 8-8 (T-8th). Postseason: WNIT.

Two-year WNIT rut should come to an end. Megan Gustafson is arguably the league’s best returning post. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 73.2.
 
6.

Minnesota

2016-17 record: 15-16. Big Ten: 5-11 (10th). Postseason: None.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Here’s your dark horse. Gophers could make a strong run from sub-.500 to NCAA. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 91.1.
 
7.

Indiana

2016-17 record: 23-11. Big Ten: 10-6 (T-4th). Postseason: WNIT.

Hoosiers lose a lot of their supporting cast, but the return of Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill keeps them in the mix. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 58.7.
 
8.

Purdue

2016-17 record: 21-11. Big Ten: 10-6 (T-4th). Postseason: NCAA 2nd round.

Boilers very nearly were a surprise Sweet 16 team, but lose their top two scorers (Ashley Morrissette and Bridget Perry). Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 60.0.
 
9.

Michigan State

2016-17 record: 21-12. Big Ten: 9-7 (T-6th). Postseason: NCAA.

Top three scorers depart — Tori Jankoska, Branndais Agee and Taya Reimer, and that will be a lot to overcome. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 42.5.
 
10.

Illinois

2016-17 record: 9-22. Big Ten: 3-13 (T-11th). Postseason: None.

Illini have a new coach, and are the most likely of the four 3-13 teams to make a climb. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 98.6.
 
11.

Wisconsin

2016-17 record: 9-22. Big Ten: 3-13 (T-11th). Postseason: None.

Badgers showed some life late in the season, and return their nucleus. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 78.3.
 
12.

Rutgers

2016-17 record: 6-24. Big Ten: 3-13 (T-11th). Postseason: None.

Virtually everyone returns, but this once-proud program has nosedived recently. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 99.9.
 
13.

Northwestern

2016-17 record: 20-11. Big Ten: 8-8 (T-8th). Postseason: None.

Wildcats lose by far the most of anybody in the league. Hard to imagine anything other than a big drop. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 27.3.
 
14.

Nebraska

2016-17 record: 7-22. Big Ten: 3-13 (T-11th). Postseason: None.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

If it wasn’t bad enough that Huskers free-fell this season, Jessica Shepard is transferring. Percentage of scoring returning for next season: 56.3.
 

CONTINUE READING

MORE College Womens Basketball ARTICLES TO READ NEXT ...

It has repeatedly occurred to me this month that Big Ten men's basketball teams have a lot of out-of-state players. I guess it finally got me thinking Tuesday when Wisconsin played at Iowa. The Badgers typically have had strong in ...

After three straight losses overall and five straight Big Ten losses to begin conference play, the Iowa men's basketball team broke through for its first victory at Illinois - thanks to a second half in which the Hawkeyes found a ...

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.

Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.