The top three teams in the coaches and media's preseason predictions also were announced. Illinois received all 11 first-place votes from the coaches and claimed all but four of the top votes from the media, as the Fighting Illini were selected to defend their 2001 conference title. Iowa was predicted to finished second and Indiana was third.
Blanchard, a preseason Playboy All-America selection, averaged 17.8 points and 8.4 rebounds in 2000-01 to lead the Wolverines in scoring and rebounding for the second straight season. He was an All-Big Ten second team pick by both the coaches and media last year.
Michigan will open the 2001-02 season with a pair of exhibition games -- Sunday, Nov. 4, against the EA All-Stars and Sunday, Nov. 11, against Nike Elite. Both exhibition games will tip at 2 p.m. The regular season opens Friday, Nov. 16, against Oakland at 7 p.m.
Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year
Frank Williams, Illinois
Preseason All-Big Ten Conference Team
LaVell Blanchard, Michigan
Reggie Evans, Iowa
Jared Jeffries, Indiana
Luke Recker, Iowa
Frank Williams, Illinois*
* unanimous selection
Preseason Poll -- Top Three Teams
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423