An early look at who’s coming and going in the Big Ten

  • 04/26/2016 11:25 am in

With the spring signing period underway and a few key NBA draft decisions out of the way (and several still to come in late May with the later deadline to withdraw), it’s time for our first look at who’s coming and going in the Big Ten for the 2016-2017 season.

Illinois (15-19, 12th place tie)

· Returning: Malcolm Hill, Aaron Jordan, D.J. Williams, Jalen Coleman-Lands, Kendrick Nunn (currently suspended), Leron Black (currently suspended), Jaylon Tate (currently suspended), Maverick Morgan, Michael Finke, Mike Thorne (applying for medical hardship waiver), Alex Austin

· Arriving: Tejon Lucas

· Departing: Khalid Lewis (graduation), Mike LaTulip (transfer)

Notes: Illinois has a lot up in the air as it enters the summer with three players suspended and Thorne attempting to get an additional year in Champaign due to injury. If John Groce hopes to survive beyond this next season, he’s going to need Nunn and Black to be reinstated.

Indiana (27-8, Big Ten champion, NCAA Sweet Sixteen) 

· Returning: Thomas Bryant, Robert Johnson, OG Anunoby, Juwan Morgan, Collin Hartman, Josh Newkirk (Pittsburgh transfer becomes eligible)

· Declared for NBA draft: Troy Williams (no agent), James Blackmon Jr. (no agent)

· Arriving: De’Ron Davis (247Composite top 100), Curtis Jones (247Composite top 100), Devonte Green, Grant Gelon, Freddie McSwain

· Departing: Yogi Ferrell (graduation), Max Bielfeldt (graduation), Nick Zeisloft (graduation), Ryan Burton (graduation), Harrison Niego (transfer)

Notes: Blackmon Jr. is expected to return to school after testing the NBA waters, but there’s a good possibility Williams will opt to stay in the draft. Still, the Hoosiers have enough returning to make another run at a Big Ten championship.

Iowa (22-11, 3rd place tie, NCAA tournament round of 32)

· Returning: Ahmad Wagner, Nicolas Baer, Dom Uhl, Brady Ellingson, Christian Williams

· Declared for NBA draft: Peter Jok (no agent)

· Arriving: Tyler Cook (247Composite top 100), Cordell Pemsl, Ryan Kriener, Jordan Bohannon

· Departing: Brandon Hutton (transfer), Andrew Fleming (transfer), Jarrod Uthoff (graduation), Mike Gesell (graduation), Anthony Clemmons (graduation), Adam Woodbury (graduation)

Notes: The Hawkeyes figure to take a step back next season as they graduate four senior starters. Jok figures to return to school and if he does, he’ll be leaned on heavily for production.

Maryland (27-9, 3rd place tie, NCAA Sweet Sixteen)

· Returning: Jared Nickens, Dion Wiley, Jaylen Brantley, Michael Cekovsky, Damonte Dodd

· Declared for NBA draft: Melo Trimble (no agent), Robert Carter, Diamond Stone

· Arriving: Micah Thomas, Anthony Cowan (247Composite top 100), Kevin Huerter (247Composite top 100)

· Departing: Jake Layman (graduation), Varun Rum (graduation), Rasheed Sulaimon (graduation)

Notes: The key decision here is Trimble, who has the potential to rebound from a disappointing sophomore season and improve his NBA stock if he returns for one more season. Still, the Terps lose four starters and are likely to fall into the middle of the Big Ten standings.

Michigan (23-13, 8th place, NCAA tournament round of 32)

· Returning: Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin, Kameron Chatman, Mark Donnal, Duncan Robinson, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Moritz Wagner, D.J. Wilson

· Arriving: Xavier Simpson (247Composite top 100), Jon Teske, Ibi Watson, Austin Davis

· Departing: Caris LeVert (graduation), Aubrey Dawkins (transfer), Ricky Doyle (transfer), Spike Albrecht (transfer)

Notes: The Wolverines will also have to replace a pair of assistant coaches as Bacari Alexander is now the head coach at Detroit and Lavall Jordan took over at Milwaukee. The pieces are here, however, for Michigan to move up the Big Ten standings.

Michigan State (29-6, 2nd place, NCAA tournament round of 64)

· Returning: Eron Harris, Matt McQuaid, Gavin Schilling, Alvin Ellis, Lourawls Nairn, Kenny Goins, Kyle Ahrens

· Declared for NBA draft: Deyonta Davis

· Arriving: Miles Bridges (247Composite top 100), Cassius Winston (247Composite top 100), Josh Langford (247Composite top 100), Nick Ward (247Composite top 100)

· Departing: Denzel Valentine (graduation), Bryn Forbes (graduation), Matt Costello (graduation), Colby Wollenman (graduation), Javon Bess (transfer), Marvin Clark Jr. (transfer)

Notes: Michigan State’s ceiling isn’t as high with the news that Davis is in the draft for good, but the Big Ten’s best recruiting class arrives in East Lansing. That should be enough to make the Spartans conference contenders once again.

Minnesota (8-23, 13th place)

· Returning: Nate Mason, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBryer, Ahmad Gilbert, Bakary Konate, Charles Buggs, Stephon Sharp, Gaston Diedhiou, Davonte Fitzgerald (Texas A&M transfer becomes eligible), Reggie Lynch (Illinois State transfer becomes eligible)

· Arriving: Amir Coffey (247Composite top 100), Eric Curry, Michael Hurt, Akeem Springs (graduate transfer from Milwaukee)

· Departing: Joey King (graduation), Kevin Dorsey (transfer), Carlos Morris (dismissed/graduation)

Notes: Things should improve in Minneapolis with three transfers added to the mix and a top 50 guard in Amir Coffey arriving in the backcourt.

Nebraska (16-18, 11th place)

· Returning: Tai Webster, Glynn Watson, Jack McVeigh, Ed Morrow, Nick Fuller, Michael Jacobson, Anton Gill (Louisville transfer becomes eligible)

· Declared for NBA draft: Andrew White (no agent)

· Arriving: Isaiah Roby, Jeriah Horne

· Departing: Shavon Shields (graduation), Jake Hammond (transfer), Johnny Trueblood (transfer), Benny Parker (graduation), Bakari Evelyn (transfer)

Notes: White is likely to return to school, which would put the Huskers in position to have a chance to move up in the league standings next season.

Northwestern (20-12, 9th place)

· Returning: Bryant McIntosh, Nathan Taphorn, Scottie Linsdey, Victor Law, Dererk Pardon, Gavin Skelly, Jordan Ash

· Arriving: Rapolas Ivanauskas, Barret Benson, Isiah Brown

· Departing: Alex Olah (graduation), Tre Demps (graduation), Joey Van Zegeren (graduation), Johnnie Vassar (transfer)

Notes: Northwestern welcomes back Law, who missed last season with a shoulder injury after a promising freshman campaign.

Ohio State (21-14, 7th place, NIT second round)

· Returning: Keita Bates-Diop, Jae’Sean Tate, Kam Williams, JaQuan Lyle, Marc Loving, David Bell

· Declared for NBA draft: Trevor Thompson (no agent)

· Arriving: Derek Funderburk (247Composite top 100), Micah Potter, Andre Wesson, C.J. Jackson

· Departing: A.J. Harris (transfer), Daniel Giddens (transfer), Mickey Mitchell (transfer), Austin Grandstaff (transfer)

Notes: The Buckeyes were hit hard by transfers, but will return their top six players if Thompson comes back to school. Given how poorly Ohio State played last season, perhaps a roster shakeup will be beneficial.

Penn State (16-16, 10th place)

· Returning: Shep Garner, Josh Reaves, Payton Banks, Isaiah Washington, Julian Moore, Deividas Zemgulis, Mike Watkins, Terrence Samuel (Connecticut transfer becomes eligible)

· Arriving: Tony Carr (247Composite top 100), Lamar Stevens (247Composite top 100), Nazeer Bostick, Joe Hampton

· Departing: Brandon Taylor (graduation), Donovan Jack (graduation), Devin Foster (graduation), Jordan Dickerson (graduation)

Notes: Penn State might finally be ready to make a run at top eight in the Big Ten standings under Pat Chambers as it welcomes a strong recruiting class to State College headlined by Carr and Stevens.

Purdue (26-9, 3rd place tie, NCAA tournament round of 64)

· Returning: Isaac Haas, Dakota Mathias, Ryan Cline, P.J. Thompson, Jacquil Taylor, Basil Smotherman

· Declared for NBA draft: Vince Edwards (no agent), Caleb Swanigan (no agent)

· Arriving: Carsen Edwards

· Departing: A.J. Hammons (graduation), Rapheal Davis (graduation), Grant Weatherford (transfer), Kendall Stephens (transfer), Johnny Hill (graduation)

Notes: Edwards and Swanigan are likely to return to West Lafayette, which should give Purdue one of the best frontcourts in the country once again.

Rutgers (7-25, 14th place)

· Returning: Mike Williams, Deshawn Freeman, Jonathan Laurent, Ibrahima Diallo, Shaquille Dorson, Nigel Johnson (Kansas State transfer becomes eligible)

· Declared for NBA draft: Corey Sanders (no agent)

· Arriving: Issa Thiam, Matt Bullock

· Departing: Bishop Daniels (graduation), Jalen Hyde (graduation), Omari Grier (graduation), Greg Lewis (graduation), D.J. Foreman (transfer), Justin Goode (transfer)

Notes: The Steve Pikiell era will begin in Piscataway next winter and the roster won’t necessarily be conducive to winning in a power five league. Getting Sanders back for his sophomore season, which is expected, would be a major boost.

Wisconsin (22-13, 3rd place tie, NCAA Sweet Sixteen)

· Returning: Bronson Koenig, Ethan Happ, Zak Showalter, Vitto Brown, Brevin Pritzl, Charlie Thomas, Jordan Hill, Alex Illikainen, Khalil Iverson, Andy Van Vliet

· Declared for NBA draft: Nigel Hayes (no agent)

· Arriving: Aleem Ford, D’Mitrik Trice

· Departing: Riley Dearring (transfer), Jordan Smith (graduation)

Notes: The Badgers, assuming Hayes returns, look primed to make another run at the Big Ten title. Wisconsin hasn’t missed a beat under Greg Gard, who took over for Bo Ryan in December.

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  • Ole Man

    Big Ten will be TOUGH next year!
    MSU has a loaded class coming in.
    Mich returns everyone. (Of consequence)
    Wisc returns everyone. (Of consequence)
    OSU might actually improve by subtraction.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    i can’t wait to pummel the toiletmakers

  • TennesseeHoosier

    Love reading inside the hall, but good or bad Tim Priller is a part of the team and he was left off this current list as well as The “That’s a Wrap” series. The kid may not play but he surely has worked hard in practice in scout team prep to at least be mentioned as part of the team. Just my opinion.

  • He’s not a notable on court contributor, so we didn’t include him in either series. It’s nothing personal at all.

  • pcantidote

    It’s funny how two people can look at the same list and see something totally different. I see the Big Ten being as weak as its been in years.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    it’s gonna be top heavy. iu, msu, wiscy, and everybody else. maybe you could put PUke in there too, but i ain’t gonna do it!

  • pcantidote

    I see 2 really good teams (IU, Wisconsin assuming Hayes returns) 3 above average teams (PU assuming Swanigan returns, OSU, and Michigan) one BIG question mark in MSU (have to give Izzo the benefit of the doubt), and then 8 dogs. Probably only 5 teams in the dance.

  • Kyl470

    Assuming JBJ comes back and is healthy I like IU, MSU, and Wisc. as your top 3 with Purdue at 4 assuming Edwards and Swanigan come back. I think Rutgers will finish in last place and everything else in between is up for grabs.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I totally agree. Back to back B1G champions would be SWEET!

  • VAHoosier

    Wow, only 5 teams? That is a very bold prediction and implies that you think the conference will be down on an historical level. I don’t have time to look, but I imagine it has been decades since B1G sent only 5 teams. Or at least no more than once or twice in several decades.

  • Ole Man

    I made an attempt to support what I said.
    You didn’t.
    I’ll go with my point of view — LOL!

  • Ole Man

    That’s homerism at its finest! LOL!
    MSU is generally regarded, because of Izzo and his incoming class as one of the favorites.
    NW will be better.
    PSU will be better.

  • pcantidote

    I don’t disagree that NW and PSU will be better, although how many times have we said that about NW? PSU in fact would be my early pick for the surprise team of the conference. I really like their coach. I just don’t see PSU or NW being top 5 in conference good and still probably short of the NCAA tournament.

    I was dead wrong on MSU in 2015 when I said they would have a down year after losing so much talent and they went on to the Final 4. I am sure I am wrong again. I just don’t put much stock into freshmen ratings. Izzo always seems to have 1 or 2 juniors or seniors who are the “face of the program” like Cleaves, Denzel, Green, etc and they get everyone else to buy into the system. I don’t think they’ll have anyone like that next year and it might finally catch up with them.

  • BL

    If TW and JBJ return, I believe we’ll repeat as BIG champs with Wiscy a close second. Otherwise, it’s a toss up among IU, the four you listed, and PU.

  • BL

    MSU has four really, really good recruits coming in but all are wings or guards. If Davis goes pro and Izzo doesn’t pull in another big or two, he’ll be up against it. You know they’ll be good with Izzo’s leadership but we should take them next year. God I hope I’m right 🙂

  • cooper

    Agreed it was weak this year and looks as weak next. MSU won’t be as good and neither with IU. Wisc will do what they always do. Besides that it doesn’t look real strong.

  • cooper

    What is there for them to say? He made no contribution on the court. It’s just a fact

  • HuntinHoosier86

    3 words: Middle Tennessee State. LOL. I’m getting sick and tired of getting beaten by these guys. Yeah you gotta give credit to Izzo for being such a good coach and blah blah blah and all that crap every time you mention disliking MSU, but I really am getting to the point where I can’t stand them. I feel like that about Wisconsin too. I’m ready for Indiana to freakin’ dominate in the conference and beyond.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I’m gonna catch a lot of flak from from the haters out there for what I’m about to say, but I honestly believe we’re about to see the best coaching job that CTC has had at Indiana this upcoming season. Mark my words and hear me now; he figured out the defense after the Duke loss, turned things around, got the players to buy in, is bringing in a heck of a recruiting class to help bolster the great players he has returning and they’re all invested in being grind-it-out, 365 days a year guys for the program. I’m more excited for this year than I was for last. Just wait and see…

  • ForeverIU

    LOL, what stone age are you coming from? I’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who will put up a fight to argue against CTC right now, but keep trying. Good luck!

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I don’t know, you’d be surprised. Just when you think you can let your guard down and not have to defend the B1G COY, the haters show up and wanna start some sh*t!

  • PBzeer

    Just what was it he “figured out” about the defense? And perhaps you didn’t notice last season that when Yogi was not on the floor, our offense pretty much sat with him.

    Sure, plenty to be optimistic about, just as there’s plenty to be uncertain about. Guess realizing that the games are played on the court, not in some forum, makes me a “hater”. I think it’s great that you’re all in on next season, even before one game is played. You’ll just have to deal with those of us that want some results, not wishes.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Forever….see what I mean??

    PBzeer, It seems like I remember times last season where Yogi wasn’t on the floor that we did fine on offense, but I agree that our offense was leaps and bounds better when he was on the floor. I think that’s something you would expect to see when an elite PG is out there. As far as CTC and the defense, I just meant that he simplified things enough and quit the dumb*ss switching mid-possession and basically made a point to say if you don’t play good defense, you don’t play. In other words, he figured out how to get defensive production consistently after that Duke loss. That’s all I meant.

    As far as you being a hater, I don’t think that you are and I think you’re just a realist. Like I said, this is what I “believe” is gonna happen. I have faith that it will come to fruition based on all the pieces we have available for a great team. I’m fine with people dogging me about it, b/c I know we all just want to see IU succeed.

  • PBzeer

    See what you mean about what? Your first sentence was, “I’m gonna catch a lot of flak from the haters out there for what I’m about to say ….”

    Sounds like you’re just looking for an argument.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Look out for Penn St and Northwestern. If Law hadn’t missed last season I truly believe NW would have made the NCAA tournament. I’m predicting another IU Big Ten title!

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Hmmmm,……I don’t follow. I wrote “Forever….see what I mean??” That was directed towards ForeverIU’s comment that I’d be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t like CTC or has doubts about him. Just scroll up and read what he wrote.

  • Outoftheloop

    The offense did not “sit with him” when Robert was healthy and good Troy available! But IU did ride Yogi to a B1G Title and a Sweet Sixteen. That is what you do when you have the best PG in Indiana history (yes, move over QB, but Quinn you still are the best leader in Indiana history!).

  • Outoftheloop

    I agree. I see PN St and NW right there with MI (will Zack Irvin ever approach his potential on a consistent basis?)

  • Outoftheloop

    There is no “if”! Davis hired an agent!

  • Outoftheloop

    PN St will not be to 5: IU, WI, MSU, Purdue, MD. 6-7-8 with NW and MI is wide open!

  • Outoftheloop

    I agree! You bring a kid in and he does everything: academic, work on skills, strength and conditioning, great teammate, good character, student favorite, not a single negative…ever! Let’s see what he can do after 2 full years of development. The “fat lady” has not yet sung!

  • Outoftheloop

    OK, is he the only college player not to make an impact in his first 2 years?

  • Ole Man

    Good calls on both those squads!

  • Ole Man

    Zack scares me more than anyone else on that squad. If he ever finds consistency, watch out.
    Good call!

  • John D Murphy

    You just lost all credibility with the “best PG” comment. Sorry.

  • John D Murphy

    I think the B1G will be much deeper than last year and a grind to get through but I don’t see any potential top 5 teams out there. MSU doesn’t typically perform as well with freshman as Snr leaders. The Hoosiers could be on the cusp if everything breaks right. My summary: good but not great. I do think OSU will be better.

  • Fifer39

    Pretty clear top 4 or 5 then but the most significant factor in how they finally place may well be the unbalanced schedules. Is there a methodology behind how they are determined – based on where you placed last year, who you only played once last year, etc? Certainly hope we’re going to be able to enjoy mullering PU at home next year!

  • Ole Man

    Deeper and a grind for sure! Good way to say it.
    Also agree with your Top Five analysis.
    Hoosiers need Troy back to even think about that.

  • I seem to remember a nice little stretch against Kentucky when we went on a 9-2 run and turned the game around with Yogi on the bench. That’s just one example, and not saying we won’t miss Yogi, but I’m looking forward to some nice defensive improvements to balance things out.