With the spring signing period underway and several key NBA Draft decisions out of the way, it’s time for our first look at who’s coming and going in the Big Ten for the 2014-2015 season.
Illinois (20-15, 8th place tie, NIT second round)
· Arriving: Aaron Cosby (Seton Hall), Ahmad Starks (Oregon State), Darius Paul (Western Michigan), LeRon Black (247Composite Top 100), Michael Finke
· Departing: Jon Ekey (graduation), Joseph Bertrand (graduation)
Notes: The Illini will return all five starters and also add a top 100 recruit in Black and three transfers who are capable of making an impact. If you’re looking for a sleeper team next season in the Big Ten, Illinois may fit the bill.
Indiana (17-15, 8th place tie)
· Arriving: James Blackmon Jr. (247Composite Top 100), Max Hoetzel, Robert Johnson (247Composite Top 100)
· Departing: Austin Etherington (transfer), Evan Gordon (graduation), Jeff Howard (graduation) Jeremy Hollowell (transfer), Noah Vonleh (NBA), Will Sheehey (graduation)
Notes: The Hoosiers were hit by a midseason transfer (Luke Fischer) and then had Etherington and Hollowell leave after the season. Throw in the early departure of Vonleh, a likely lottery pick and IU still has three open scholarships. Blackmon Jr.’s arrival means that IU has a McDonald’s All-American for four straight years.
Iowa (20-13, 6th place, NCAA First Four)
· Arriving: Brady Ellingson, Dominique Uhl, Trey Dickerson
· Departing: Darius Stokes (transfer), Devyn Marble (graduation), Kyle Meyer (transfer), Melsahn Basabe (graduation), Zach McCabe (graduation)
Notes: The loss of Marble is a big one, but Iowa still returns a solid chunk of its rotation from a team that finally broke through and made the NCAA tournament despite a near collapse to finish the season.
Maryland (17-15, 7th place tie in ACC)
· Arriving: Dion Wiley (247Composite Top 100), Jared Nickens (247Composite Top 100), Melo Trimble (247Composite Top 100), Michael Cekovsky, Trayvon Reed (247Composite Top 100)
· Departing: Nick Faust (transfer), Roddy Peters (transfer), Shaquille Cleare (transfer)
Notes: Despite losing three contributors via transfer, Maryland still returns its top four scorers and adds four top 100 recruits according to the 247Composite including McDonald’s All-American Melo Trimble.
Michigan State (29-9, 2nd place tie, NCAA Elite Eight)
· Arriving: LouRawls Nairn (247Composite Top 100), Javon Bess, Marvin Clark
· Departing: Adreian Payne (graduation), Gary Harris (NBA), Keith Appling (graduation)
Notes: The Spartans lose their three best players, but will return Branden Dawson and Denzel Valentine to pair with other role players who gained plenty of experience given the team’s injury woes last season.
Michigan (28-9, 1st place, NCAA Elite Eight)
· Arriving: D.J. Wilson, Kameron Chatman (247Composite Top 100), Ricky Doyle
· Departing: Glenn Robinson III (NBA), Jordan Morgan (graduation), Jon Horford (transfer), Nik Stauskas (NBA)
Notes: The losses of Stauskas and Robinson are obviously big and Horford’s decision to leave could also leave the Wolverines with a hole in the middle if Mitch McGary decides to enter the NBA draft.
Minnesota (25-13, 7th place, NIT Champion)
· Departing: Austin Hollins (graduation), Malik Smith (graduation), Maverick Ahanmisi (graduation), Oto Osenieks (medical), Wally Ellenson (transfer)
Notes: The Gophers add four recruits, highlighted by Morris, a junior college guard who will likely fill in for Hollins. With DeAndre Mathieu and Andre Hollins back, along with Elliott Eliason and Maurice Walker up front, the Gophers should be solid once again.
Nebraska (19-13, 4th place, NCAA round of 64)
· Arriving: Jacob Hammond, Tarin Smith
· Departing: Deverell Biggs (transfer), Ray Gallegos (graduation), Sergej Vucetic (transfer)
Notes: With the Huskers, it’s more about who is coming back rather than who is coming in. After being picked to finish last in the Big Ten this past season, Nebraska returns its two most important players in Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields.
Northwestern (14-19, 10th place tie)
· Arriving: Bryant McIntosh, Gavin Skelly, Johnnie Vassar, Scott Lindsey, Victor Law (247Composite Top 100)
· Departing: Drew Crawford (graduation), Kale Abrahamson (transfer), Nikola Cerina (graduation)
Notes: After playing his rookie season as a head coach with a depleted roster, Chris Collins welcomes five recruits to Evanston, highlighted by Law, who is from Chicago and McIntosh, an Indiana All-Star.
Ohio State (25-10, 5th place, NCAA round of 64)
· Arriving: Anthony Lee (Temple), Dave Bell, D’Angelo Russell (247Composite Top 100), Jae’Sean Tate (247Composite Top 100), Keita Bates-Diop (247Composite Top 100), Trevor Thompson (Virginia Tech)
· Departing: Aaron Craft (graduation), Amedeo Della Valle (Europe), LaQuinton Ross (NBA), Lenzelle Smith Jr. (graduation)
Notes: The Buckeyes lose their top three scorers, but add a trip of 247Composite Top 100 recruits and Lee, a graduate transfer from Temple. Ohio State also added Trevor Thompson from Virginia Tech, who may apply for a waiver to become eligible immediately.
Penn State (16-18, 10th place tie, CBI quarterfinals)
· Arriving: Shep Garner, Isaiah Washington
· Departing: Graham Woodward (transfer), Tim Frazier (graduation)
Notes: Frazier is obviously a major loss and Pat Chambers continues to face an uphill battle to bring talent to Penn State as evidence by his 2014 group, which 247Sports ranks 11th best in the conference.
Purdue (15-17, 12th place)
· Arriving: Dakota Mathias, Isaac Haas (247Composite Top 100), Jacquil Taylor, P.J. Thompson, Vince Edwards
· Departing: Errick Peck (graduation), Jay Simpson (medical), Ronnie Johnson (transfer), Sterling Carter (graduation), Terone Johnson (graduation), Travis Carroll (graduation)
Notes: Like Indiana, Purdue has a good amount of roster turnover, but the biggest domino still out there to fall for the Boilermakers is A.J. Hammons and whether he’ll put his name in the NBA draft.
Rutgers (12-21, 7th place in AAC)
· Arriving: D.J. Foreman, Mike Williams
· Departing: Craig Brown (transfer), D’Von Campbell (transfer), Jerome Seagears (transfer), J.J. Moore (graduation), Wally Judge (graduation)
Notes: The Scarlet Knights couldn’t sniff the top half of the American Athletic Conference and their debut season in the Big Ten could be ugly.
Wisconsin (30-8, 2nd place tie, NCAA Final Four)
· Arriving: Ethan Happ
· Departing: Ben Brust (graduation)
Notes: Bo Ryan returns everyone from a Final Four team besides Brust, which makes the Badgers the early favorite to win the 2015 Big Ten championship.
Filed to: 2014-2015 Big Ten preview