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

  • 05/03/2017 12:54 pm 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 2017-2018 season.

Illinois 

· Returning: Aaron Jordan, Jalen Coleman-Lands, Leron Black, Michael Finke, Alex Austin, Te’Jon Lucas, Kipper Nichols

· Arriving: Mark Smith (247Composite top 100), Trent Frazier, DaMonte Williams

· Departing: Malcolm Hill, Maverick Morgan, Jaylon Tate, Mike Thorne, Tracy Abrams, D.J. Williams (transfer)

Notes: The Illini will have new leadership on the sidelines as Brad Underwood takes over for John Groce and will also have to overcome the loss of their best player in Malcolm Hill.

Indiana

· Returning: Juwan Morgan, Collin Hartman, Josh Newkirk, De’Ron Davis, Devonte Green, Curtis Jones, Grant Gelon, Zach McRoberts (walk-on), Freddie McSwain, Tim Priller

· Declared for NBA draft: OG Anunoby (hired an agent), James Blackmon Jr. (hired an agent), Robert Johnson (no agent), Thomas Bryant (hired an agent)

· Arriving: Justin Smith (247Composite top 100), Al Durham Jr., Clifton Moore

Notes: Tom Crean is out after nine seasons at the helm, but Archie Miller has hit the ground running in Bloomington. Miller retained IU’s three-man recruiting class.

Iowa

· Returning: Ahmad Wagner, Nicholas Baer, Dom Uhl, Brady Ellingson, Christian Williams, Tyler Cook, Cordell Pemsl, Ryan Kriener, Jordan Bohannon, Maishe Dailey, Isaiah Moss

· Arriving: Connor McCaffery (will redshirt, no scholarship), Luka Garza, Jack Nunge

· Departing: Peter Jok, Dale Jones (transfer)

Notes: The Hawkeyes return a strong list of underclassmen, but will have to replace the scoring of an all-conference performer in Jok. That won’t be easy.

Maryland

· Returning: Jared Nickens, Dion Wiley, Michal Cekovsky, Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter, Ivan Bender, Joshua Tomaic

· Declared for NBA draft: Melo Trimble (hired agent), Justin Jackson (no agent)

· Arriving: Bruno Fernando (247Composite top 100), Darryl Morsell (247Composite top 100), Sean Obi (graduate transfer from Duke)

· Departing: Damonte Dodd, Jaylen Brantley (transfer), L.G. Gill, Micah Thomas (transfer)

Notes: Trimble is staying in the draft, which is a notable loss, but the Terps are still waiting on a final decision from Jackson. If he returns to College Park, Maryland should again finish in the top half of the league.

Michigan

· Returning: Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Duncan Robinson, Xavier Simpson, Austin Davis, Jon Teske, Ibi Watson, Charles Matthews (Kentucky transfer becomes eligible)

· Declared for NBA draft: Moritz Wagner (no agent), D.J. Wilson (no agent)

· Arriving: Jordan Poole (247Composite top 100), Isaiah Livers, Eli Brooks, Jaaron Simmons (graduate transfer from Ohio)

· Departing: Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin, Mark Donnal (transfer)

Notes: The Wolverines are still a bit in limbo as they await final draft decisions for Wagner and Wilson. If both return, Michigan could finish near the top half of the league. If they lose both, look for the Wolverines to take a step back.

Michigan State

· Returning: Miles Bridges, Cassius Winston, Lourawls Nairn, Nick Ward, Josh Langford, Gavin Schilling, Kenny Goins, Matt McQuaid, Kyle Ahrens, Ben Carter (seeking NCAA waiver to return for sixth season)

· Arriving: Jaren Jackson (247Composite top 100), Xavier Tillman (247Composite top 100)

· Departing: Eron Harris, Alvin Ellis, Matt Van Dyk

Notes: Michigan State is the favorite next season in the Big Ten because of depth and the decision of Bridges to return for his sophomore season. The frontcourt in East Lansing will be downright scary.

Minnesota 

· Returning: Nate Mason, Amir Coffey, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBrayer, Bakary Konate, Gaston Diedhiou, Davonte Fitzgerald, Reggie Lynch, Eric Curry, Michael Hurt

· Arriving: Isaiah Washington (247Composite top 100), Jamir Harris, Matz Stockman (transfer from Louisville, not eligible next season)

· Departing: Akeem Springs, Ahmad Gilbert (transfer)

Notes: Minnesota should be an NCAA tournament team once again with a solid nucleus of returnees led by Mason, Coffey, Murphy and Lynch.

Nebraska 

· Returning: Glynn Watson, Jack McVeigh, Anton Gill, Malcolm Laws, Isaiah Roby, Jordy Tshimanga, Evan Taylor, James Palmer (Miami transfer becomes eligible)

· Arriving: Isaac Copeland (Georgetown transfer, becomes eligible in December), Nana Akenten, Thomas Allen (247Composite top 100), Duby Okeke (graduate transfer from Winthrop)

· Departing: Tai Webster, Ed Morrow (transfer), Michael Jacobson (transfer), Jeriah Horne (transfer), Nick Fuller (transfer)

Notes: The Huskers lost their leading scorer in Webster and three key pieces to transfer, but there’s still some talent on the roster. It could be a make or break season for Tim Miles in Lincoln.

Northwestern

· Returning: Bryant McIntosh, Scottie Lindsey, Vic Law, Dererk Pardon, Gavin Skelly, Jordan Ash, Aaron Falzon, Rapolas Ivanauskas, Barret Benson, Isiah Brown

· Arriving: A.J. Turner (transfer from Boston College, not eligible next season), Anthony Gaines

· Departing: Sanjay Lumpkin, Nathan Taphorn

Notes: Northwestern has a chance to improve upon last season’s NCAA tournament bid because it returns most of its key pieces, including McIntosh, Lindsey, Law and Pardon.

Ohio State

· Returning: Keita Bates-Diop, Jae’Sean Tate, Kam Williams, Derek Funderburk, Micah Potter, Andre Wesson, C.J. Jackson

· Declared for NBA draft: Trevor Thompson (signed with an agent)

· Arriving: Caleb Wesson (247Sports Composite top 100), Braxton Beverly

· Departing: Marc Loving, David Bell (transfer), JaQuan Lyle (quit team)

Notes: After missing the NCAA tournament for a second straight season and losing to Rutgers in the Big Ten tournament, things have to get better in Columbus, right?

Penn State

· Returning: Shep Garner, Josh Reaves, Julian Moore, Deividas Zemgulis, Mike Watkins, Tony Carr, Lamar Stevens, Nazeer Bostick, Joe Hampton, Satchel Pierce (Virginia Tech transfer becomes eligible)

· Arriving: Trent Buttrick, Jamari Wheeler, John Harrar

· Departing: Terrence Samuel (transfer), Isaiah Washington (transfer), Payton Banks (transfer)

Notes: Penn State is a program on the rise as its talent level continues to increase, but the Nittany Lions need to make a postseason tournament next season to justify keeping Pat Chambers around.

Purdue

· Returning: Dakota Mathias, Ryan Cline, P.J. Thompson, Jacquil Taylor, Carsen Edwards

· Declared for NBA draft: Caleb Swanigan (no agent), Vincent Edwards (no agent), Isaac Haas (no agent)

· Arriving: Matt Haarms, Nojel Eastern (247Composite top 100), Eden Ewing, Aaron Wheeler, Sasha Stefanovic

· Departing: Spike Albrecht

Notes: The defending Big Ten champions are likely to lose Swanigan, but should return enough to once again be in the hunt and reach the NCAA tournament.

Rutgers 

· Returning: Mike Williams, Deshawn Freeman, Shaquille Dorson, Issa Thiam, Matt Bullock, Candido Sa, Eugene Omoruyi

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

· Arriving: Souf Mensah, Geo Baker, Peter Kiss (transfer from Quinnipiac, not eligible next season

· Departing: Nigel Johnson (transfer), C.J. Gettys, Ibrahima Diallo (transfer), Jonathan Laurent (transfer)

Notes: Sanders is testing the NBA draft waters, but is likely to return to school. Rutgers was more competitive last season, but they’ve still got a ways to go to climb out of the league cellar.

Wisconsin

· Returning: Ethan Happ, Brevin Pritzl, Charlie Thomas, Alex Illikainen, Khalil Iverson, Andy Van Vliet, Aleem Ford, D’Mitrik Trice

· Arriving: Nathan Reuvers (247Composite top 100), Brad Davison, Kobe King

· Departing: Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig, Zak Showalter, Vitto Brown, Jordan Hill (transfer)

Notes: The Badgers will look much different next winter as Hayes, Koenig, Showalter and Brown all graduated. Still, Greg Gard has proven that he’ll keep Wisconsin relevant nationally in the post-Bo Ryan era.

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  • pcantidote

    why?

  • TomJameson

    The problem with comparing the performances of DD and TB last year, is that they essentially played different roles. TB mostly played the 4 (power forward), whereas DD really did play mostly as a true center.

    I will say they played very effectively when they played together like that, liked to have seen it more often.

    My opinion is that DD had better footwork, and could work the post a little better. TB (his freshman year) played the post really well, but regressed his sophomore year because he didn’t really play there much.

    Kind of comparing apples and oranges. The bigger question should be, who was the apple, and who was the orange? 🙂

  • SCHoosier

    Good summary.. MSU will really be tough. So will UM if Wilson and Wagner come back..have a PG problem though. NW lacks depth but has a quality starting line-up. Agree that Swanigan is gone..if Edwards comes back PU will be competitive. I always like to look at who has a great PG to lead everybody else.
    Probably should repeat this thread once the “”going pro with no agent” group makes some decisions.

  • SCHoosier

    As I remember..Swanigan was good from 3 early in the season..then tailed off a bit.. He carried such a load..that he had to post up more in the B-10 for rebounding purposes. If there ever was a “cash and stash guy” he’s one of them. I’m sure his friend and undeclared agent is looking for that big pay day wherever he can find it.

  • SCHoosier

    I might disagree..their guards were the heart of that team along with Hayes…big shoes to fill on that roster.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I would say that only UW lost more than us. Thank goodness we have no one leaving because of graduation cuz it could be really bad. Many others are bringing in more talent than us too. You could even argue we lost more than UW considering ours were our 2 best players in an area we are thin at. I believe Haap is UWs best player. Despite that opinion, I still think we have a good team if everyone else comes back minus the one scholly we have to dump. Problem is if you watched all the teams and see what they are retaining and getting new, the others appear to be moving ahead. MSU looks to be easy front runner and final 4 material. PU, MICH, MARY, MINN appear to be solid tourney teams that could scare MSU if the Spartans lose significant players and a few others appear on the rise. Where do we fit in? I said on an outdated thread, that with TB we were in the pack of 4 just after MSU. Without TB, my prediction is 8-10 or 9-9. Getting into the dance is going to take a couple good non conference wins. Do we even know who we’re playing next season? All I heard was we pulled out of a tournament when CTC was still here.

  • vicbert caladipo

    On a player related note. Biggest surprise. Bridges by far!!! He has been projected in all mocks between 9 and 25 most being early to mid teens. He must love college and Izzo to not even test the waters. I commend a guy like that who sees a good chance at some titles next year instead of focusing on the money. Next up Swanigan. For all the work he put into his body and game and the improvement he showed his sophomore season, winning the MVP, I am surprised he didn’t hire an agent. Word is he is coming back. Here is a guy who it has been documented grew up in poverty. IMO now is his time to make money projected in most to go 20ish. Throw in Nick Ward. A much longer shot but still could get drafted the 2nd round. The rest on this list is pretty usual except maybe Thompson of OSU with an agent. All I saw out of him is he’s big. I still have the very unpopular opinion that TB should have stayed. I think he comes from a family that is doing OK and the IU fans love him. He’s not getting guaranteed money and he is off to the lonely D league where he MAY get swallowed up and never really see a good NBA career. I truly think a year under Archie would change that. This is a guy that needs confidence and thrives on it. I am afraid it may get shattered in the D league. I just picture him messing up Archies hair holding up the bigten trophy. We’ll see. I am looking forward to seeing the draft. I am not looking forward to another year of Bridges and Swanigan. It’s mind boggling how they are staying and TB is going. He must have really been attached to CTC, because his basketball family minus OG was right here for him

  • Outoftheloop

    MSU has 1 Center and a very athletic 3-4 (Bridges). That is “thin”! If Swanigan goes Pro, Purdue has Haas only, and he is more foul prone than Davis. That is “thin”!

  • vicbert caladipo

    Bridges plays every bit as big as most centers and has the bulk/weight to not get backed down. MSU also has schilling at 6-10 and some bulk and Carter who’s a solid 6-9 if he clears the medical to go along with 6-9 Ward who if you saw any MSU games was a beast. They are not thin especially compared to our Hoosiers. Rumor is Swanigan is coming back and Haas will withdraw and come back too. I’d like to see stats on Haas vs DD on fouls per 40 minutes. I’d wager DD commits more.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Whether you’re on the side of TB being good or TB being average, no one can debate that opponents didn’t game plan for him. He had great size and had to be accounted for. I don’t think DD will be a focal point for other teams to stop. He’s solid, but after him, that’s it. Guys giving up 4-6 inches and 30-50 pounds trying to guard the other bigs in the bigten

  • John D Murphy

    Our defense will be so much better this year. We zero ball pressure for 2 1/2 of the last three seasons. I’m convinced there wasn’t a D1 guard who couldn’t penetrate the lane on IU. I don’t think you can look at player +/- to determine our place in the league. I am looking at how many close games we lost and badly we played to still be close. MSU is the clear favorite and Purdue with them if Swanigan comes back. After that, I’ll stack us up with anyone.

  • Ole Man

    Our D can only go up! LOL!
    Unfortunately, it is not known how well these players can/will adapt to Archie’s system.
    Also, it’s just not possible for him to wave a magical wand and they suddenly begin to play great D.

  • John D Murphy

    Maybe not great D. But not horrid D. Same with turnovers. I don’t expect to drop to 8 TO a game or anything but I would bet my paycheck we are nowhere near the 300+ rating we’ve been. Those two things are going to win us ball games. I’m not saying we’ll win the B1G or go to the final 4 but we will make the NCAA and we will likely win our first game. My opinion and I’m sticking to it.

  • TomJameson

    Especially in their own back yard.

  • TomJameson

    I agree with you John. I might even add one more win to the NCAA tourney.

    I don’t think a magic wand will be needed. A different coach, different focus, and clear motivation/communication will save the day. And, this will work for both offense and defense.

    As far as defense goes (or went), past teams overall played bad defense. That’s not really debatable as the adjusted defensive efficiency stats prove that. But that doesn’t mean the players don’t (or didn’t) know how to play defense at all. They showed flashes of really good defense, just never showed any consistency at it.
    As far as offense goes, the players know how score. The biggest learning curve will be learning Archie’s system. But Archie’s system is still a motion offense, so there are similarities, but I think Archie’s system will be a little, um, less complicated.

    It’s going to be a learning curve, no doubt about it. But by the time the B1G season gets here they’ll start looking pretty good (IMO). And I truly do believe that Archie will have this team peaking at the right time. Hopefully we can make some noise in the B1G tourney and the NCAA tourney as well. Okay, at least a little noise. 🙂