Iowa Women's Basketball

Big Ten women's basketball preseason poll: Indiana is the favorite, coaches and media agree

Iowa's Monika Czinano is a consensus preseason all-conference player

Iowa forward Monika Czinano (25) and Indiana guard Aleksa Gulbe (10) compete for a loose ball during a game at Carver-Ha
Iowa forward Monika Czinano (25) and Indiana guard Aleksa Gulbe (10) compete for a loose ball during a game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena last season. A junior, Czinano is a preseason all-Big Ten player by the coaches and the media. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

Big Ten women’s basketball coaches and media have different views on the preseason player(s) of the year.

The team to beat? That’s a different story.

Indiana is a consensus favorite to win the Big Ten title this season.

The Hoosiers bring back four starters and nine letterwinners, including first-team all-conference honorees Grace Berger and Ali Patberg, from last year’s team that went 24-8, setting a school record for wins in a season, and finished fourth in the Big Ten with a 13-5 record.

Indiana advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2006 and was No. 14 in the final NCAA RPI report released on March 13, putting it in position to be a top-four seed and early-round host site for the NCAA Tournament, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The media picked Northwestern second, followed by Maryland, Michigan and Ohio State. Coaches tabbed Maryland as the runner-up, followed by Michigan, Northwestern and Ohio State.

Iowa’s Monika Czinano is a preseason all-Big Ten player by both panels.

Michigan’s Naz Hillmon and Rutgers’ Arella Guirantes shared player-of-the-year honors in the coaches’ balloting, while Northwestern’s Lindsey Pulliam was voted as the top player by the media.

2020-21 COACHES BIG TEN PRESEASON RANKINGS

1. Indiana

2. Maryland

3. Michigan

4. Northwestern

5. Ohio State

2020-21 COACHES PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM (unanimous selections in ALL CAPS)

Grace Berger, Jr., G, Indiana

Ali Patberg, Sr., G, Indiana

Monika Czinano, Jr., F/C, Iowa

Ashley Owusu, So., G, Maryland

NAZ HILLMON, Jr., F, Michigan

Nia Clouden, Jr., G, Michigan State

Veronica Burton, Jr., G, Northwestern

LINDSEY PULLIAM, Sr., G, Northwestern

DORKA JUHÁSZ, Jr., F, Ohio State

ARELLA GUIRANTES, Sr., G, Rutgers

2020-21 COACHES BIG TEN CO-PRESEASON PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Naz Hillmon, Jr., F, Michigan

Arella Guirantes, Sr., G, Rutgers

 

2020-21 MEDIA BIG TEN PRESEASON RANKINGS

1. Indiana

2. Northwestern

3. Maryland

4. Michigan

5. Ohio State

2020-21 MEDIA PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM (unanimous selections in ALL CAPS)

Grace Berger, Jr., G, Indiana

Ali Patberg, Sr., G, Indiana

Monika Czinano, Jr., F/C, Iowa

Ashley Owusu, So., G, Maryland

Naz Hillmon, Jr., F, Michigan

Nia Clouden, Jr., G, Michigan State

Veronica Burton, Jr., G, Northwestern

LINDSEY PULLIAM, Sr., G, Northwestern

Dorka Juhász, Jr., F, Ohio State

ARELLA GUIRANTES, Sr., G, Rutgers

2020-21 MEDIA BIG TEN PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Lindsey Pulliam, Sr., G, Northwestern

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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