A ranking of the Big Ten programs over the past five years

Measuring success of a program over a set period of time is a difficult exercise because there are plenty of factors that belong in the equation.

Some would argue that NCAA tournament success is the most important ingredient. Others might argue for Big Ten wins. One particular program in the SEC might argue it’s NBA draft picks or recruiting that are most important. And someone who studies the numbers might look at something like a KenPom ranking as a way to measure the performance of a program.

Over the last few days, we put together an exercise to measure success of each Big Ten program over the last five years using all of the factors mentioned above. There were, of course, some challenges and a few things we had to work around with Rutgers and Maryland joining the league in that span of time.

But as you’ll see below, here is what we looked at as a part of the exercise:

· Regular season Big Ten wins over the past five seasons
· NCAA tournament wins over the past five seasons
· Recruiting class rankings over the past five signing classes (using the 247Composite rankings and including 2016, which is still ongoing)
· Players drafted by the NBA over the last five NBA drafts (2011-2015)
· Final KenPom ranking over the last five seasons

Why did we chose these factors?

· Big Ten wins are more relevant than total wins in a season because not all schedules are created equally.
· NCAA tournament wins are pretty self explanatory as they measure success in the season’s most important time.
· Recruiting rankings obviously are far from a perfect science, but they do at least provide a guide or a measurement of a program’s ability to identify and sign talent. Using a composite view of the rankings brings together all of the services to remove any potential biases.
· Players drafted to the NBA provides a snapshot of a program’s ability to develop players and get them to the next level. It obviously doesn’t look at NBA success, but once a player becomes a professional, his development is out of the hands of the program from which he came.
· KenPom’s rankings, in our opinion, are the best computer model to measure the complete performance of a team over a season and are far more valuable than any human poll.

Now, the caveats.

For Maryland and Rutgers, we had to use their conference wins in other leagues. For Rutgers, it didn’t matter too much. For Maryland, using ACC wins may have actually given a slight boost given that the Big Ten ranked ahead of the ACC in KenPom for each season affected (2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14).

For the NBA draft aspect, we only looked at players drafted, not players who have played in the NBA. For Ohio State, that means Deshaun Thomas and Jon Diebler, two guys who have never played in the league, are included. And for Iowa, it includes Aaron White, who also has yet to play in the league.

We also assigned more importance to some of the five categories. Here is how we weighted each category into the final equation:

· Regular season Big Ten wins over the past five seasons (30 percent)
· NCAA tournament wins over the past five seasons (30 percent)
· Final KenPom ranking over the last five seasons (25 percent)
· Players drafted by the NBA over the last five NBA drafts (7.5 percent)
· Recruiting class rankings over the past five signing classes (7.5 percent)

Why did we weight each category as such?

We wanted to assign the most value to winning conference games and NCAA tournament games. The KenPom ranking was also important because of the way it tracks the performance of a team over a complete season, but not as important as winning in the Big Ten or in March, so we assigned a little less value there. The NBA and recruiting factors definitely deserved a seat at the table, but you don’t hang banners for either one, so we assigned them just 1/4 of the value of winning in the Big Ten or the NCAA tournament.

Weekend notes: NBA combine invites announced, Niego to Hillsdale

Indiana will have just one representative at next week’s NBA draft combine in Chicago, according to a list compiled by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.

The NBA has not yet released an official list of who will attend the combine, but according to Goodman’s list, Troy Williams is the only Indiana player who was invited to participate.

Yogi Ferrell is listed as an alternate on the list of participants, which was also reported by Draft Express. Indiana junior guard James Blackmon Jr. is not on the list as a participant or an alternate.

The draft combine will take place from May 11-15.

Underclassmen who have declared for the draft but chose not to hire an agent will have until May 25 to withdraw their names and maintain their NCAA eligibility.

Niego heading to Division II

Former Indiana walk-on guard Harrison Niego has a new home.

The 6-foot-2 guard, who announced he was leaving Indiana in early April to pursue a Division I scholarship opportunity, has decided to go the Division II route.

Niego announced on social media over the weekend that he’s transferring to Hillsdale College in Michigan. According to reports, Niego will receive a full scholarship at Hillsdale.


In 25 games as a freshman for the Hoosiers, Niego scored 11 points and had 15 rebounds.

“Coming to IU and being part of the program has been one of the best experiences of my life,” Niego said at the time of his transfer. “After much thought, I have decided to look for opportunities that will allow me to have an expanded role on the court and one that will also pay for my education. I’m indebted to Coach Crean and the staff for believing in my ability and inspiring me every day to get better and to my teammates who will always be like family. It has been an honor to play for Indiana.”

Four-star wing Jordan Tucker on IU: “They really want me”

One of the top wing players in the 2017 class was in Bloomington earlier as Archbishop Stepinac (NY) took an unofficial visit to the IU campus.

The 6-foot-7, 205-pound Tucker is ranked the No. 31 player in the country according to the 247Composite.

Last weekend, he was in Westfield for the second Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) session where he teamed with five-star guard Hamidou Diallo on the New York Rens.

Formerly an adidas-sponsored program, the Rens are playing in the EYBL this year for the first time and Tucker made the move over from the New York Lightning, another EYBL program.

He mentioned Indiana as one of the schools most active in his recruitment in an interview in Westfield last weekend. The Hoosiers offered him a scholarship last May.

“They’re very high on me. They really want me,” Tucker told Inside the Hall. “They just want to get me into the program so that they can develop me. Tom Crean said I can be a special player so he wants to try to make it happen.”

On the EYBL circuit, Tucker is averaging 12.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game as the Rens are off to a 5-2 start and firmly in the mix for a berth in July’s Peach Jam.

In addition to the heavy interest from Indiana, Tucker mentioned Syracuse, Maryland, Villanova, Oklahoma, USC and St. John’s as some of the schools most involved in his recruitment.

Along with Diallo and Quade Green, Tucker is scheduled to take an unofficial visit to Syracuse today and the Orange have prioritized him on their list of targets.

“I’m a New York kid. They’ve been on me since I was a freshman,” he said. “They think I can fit perfect in their system as far as being a scorer, shooter and someone that can be very impactful in their zone.”

Tucker, who holds offers from more than 30 programs, hopes to use the rest of the spring and the summer to continue working on his game so that he’s ready to make a major impact when he begins his college career in the fall of 2017.

“I think just working on my athleticism and playing hard throughout the whole game,” Tucker explained. “Sometimes I miss shots and let it get me down, but I just need to keep going.”

(Photo credit: Jon Lopez/Nike)

Q & A: Catching up with 2017 IU commit Al Durham

Class of 2017 Berkmar (Ga.) guard Al Durham committed to the Hoosiers last fall following a trip to Bloomington and remains Indiana’s lone commitment in the class.

It’s been an up-and-down start to the spring for Durham, who is ranked a 3-star prospect and the No. 207 player in the country according to the 247Composite.

Through the first two sessions on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit, Durham is averaging 13.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, but is shooting just 30.5 percent from the field and is committing 2.9 turnovers per game.

Inside the Hall caught up with the 6-foot-4 combo guard at the EYBL stop in Westfield last weekend to discuss a variety of topics. Our complete Q & A follows:

How are things going so far this spring on the circuit?

“It’s going OK so far. We just had two tough losses at the beginning of this session. We’ve just got to come back and bring the fight that we had the first session over these next two games.”

What does it take to win in this league?

“Every possession counts. You can’t take one possession off. You’ve got to play defense. You’ve got to make sure you know your assignment and the rest will take care of itself. You have to play defense and score off the mistakes the defense makes.”

This last game against CP3 seemed to get a little chippy at times. Is that just competitors getting after it?

“Yeah, we know each other and we’ve been playing against each other forever. It’s just a little competitiveness during the game and wanting to win, the will to win.”

What are you working on most right now in terms of your game?

“Repetition on my shot because that always can get better. Working on coming off of screens, footwork, two-foot jumping, ball fakes, all of that.”

What are your conversations like with Indiana at this point? What do you talk about with them?

“We talk about the process of getting ready to go up there. They gave me hints and stuff on things to start working on now so I’ll be ready when I come in.”

What do you like about the program the most? What stood out to you watching them play this season?

“They all play together. I love their team chemistry. They move the ball and everyone plays for each other. No one is really selfish. Everyone is looking to pass the ball and move and then when it is your turn, you gotta go make a play.”

You talked about your shot, what are the things you can do to improve there?

“Just repetition. Just make sure I shoot the same way, squared, follow through, elbow under the ball and then letting it go at the highest point.”

Give us a synopsis of your high school season and how it went.

“My high school season went well, we fell a little shorter than we anticipated. We played in the Sweet Sixteen and lost a tough one there, lost a couple of players, but it was a good season. We played well, but we’re going to come back next year stronger and better.”

Did you notice opponents coming after you harder after you committed to Indiana?

“It’s a lot of fun. People get up when they play against someone who is committed somewhere big. Everyone got up, they double teamed, they tried to get me off my game, trying to get into my head, but it was fun. I liked it and I love the competitiveness and I’ve got to show them why I’m going to Indiana.”

What’s your relationship like with coach (Tom) Crean and coach (Chuck) Martin? What do you like about them?

“It’s going well. They’re more similar to the people around me. They want to help me get better. They care for me and they care for all of the kids at Indiana like they are their own. I really like that. That really stands out to me.”

Five-star point guard Darius Garland has IU offer, ties to the state

One of the top prospects in the class of 2018 has taken an interest in Indiana and he has major ties to the state.

Darius Garland, a 6-foot, 160 pound point guard who attends Brentwood Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, lived in Indiana until his seventh grade year.

Garland is the son of Winston Garland, who played at Gary Roosevelt and later in the NBA for seven seasons where he spent time with Golden State, the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, Houston and Minnesota. The older Garland was named to the Indiana high school basketball hall of fame’s Silver Anniversary team in 2007 and also coached at Westside High in Gary until 2012.

Darius is building his own name as he’s currently ranked a five-star prospect by the 247Composite and is building major recruiting interest as he stars this spring for the St. Louis Eagles on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit.

As a sophomore at Brentwood Academy, Garland led the program to its second consecutive Division II-AA championship and also won Division II-AA Mr. Basketball honors. He averaged 18.6 points, 4.3 assists, 2.5 steals and two rebounds per game in his third season playing varsity.

His stellar play has continued this spring in his first season with the Eagles as he scored 51 points over three games at the EYBL stop last weekend in Westfield. The Eagles are 5-2 and in good position to qualify for July’s EYBL Peach Jam finals.

“I like it a lot (playing with the Eagles). Have some good teammates, coaches and I think I can fit really well with them,” Garland told Inside the Hall on Saturday. “We have a lot of good wings with Jordan Goodwin and Tim Finke and some solid bigs. It’s been a good fit for me, so I like it a lot.”

Not surprisingly, recruiting interest continues to pick up steam for Garland, who visited Indiana on March 6 for the Maryland game and received a scholarship offer on the trip.

In addition to Indiana, he mentioned Texas, Ohio State, UConn, Kansas, Vanderbilt, Louisville and UCLA as some of the schools involved early on.

“Everyone is in the mix right now because I’m so young,” Garland said when asked about where things stand with the recruiting process. “I haven’t been thinking about it a lot. Meeting new coaches and everything, it’s a lot of fun.”

The early March trip to Bloomington was a positive experience for the five-star floor general.

“It was really good. The atmosphere was crazy because it was senior night,” he explained. “It was really fun. They say they’re going to be on me really hard and they are here watching this weekend.”

Combine his ties to the state and the fact that he’s already been on campus and Garland’s recruitment appears to be one the Hoosiers could be in for the long haul.

“My family is up here and I’ve been liking Indiana for a while,” he said. “They just started recruiting me this year and I’m really excited about that.”

(Photo credit: The Tennessean)

2017 guard Andrew Platek talks Indiana interest

One of the nation’s best 3-point shooters is planning an unofficial visit to Bloomington.

Andrew Platek, a 6-foot-4 guard from Northfield Mount Harmon (Mass.) and the Albany City Rock on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit, told Inside the Hall over the weekend that he’ll see the IU campus early next month.

“Coach (Chuck) Martin and I’ve talked to coach (Tom) Crean on the phone as well,” Platek said. “He’s called my parents. We’re trying to set up a visit for May 7 and 8 to get out there for an unofficial.”

Through the first two EYBL sessions, Platek is shooting 54.1 percent on 3s and is averaging 14.6 points for the City Rocks, who are 5-2. In a win over Southern Stampede and 2017 Indiana commit Al Durham on April 17, Platek scored 20 points and hit four of his six 3-point attempts.

Major programs have taken notice as North Carolina extended an offer to Platek on Wednesday.

“Stanford, Indiana, UNC are schools I’m hearing from,” Platek said on Saturday. “My offers that I’ve been hearing from the most are Davidson, GW (George Washington), Butler, Miami, Rutgers and St. Joe’s.”

A 3-star prospect in the 247Composite, Platek has scored in double figures in six of his seven EYBL games this spring.

He’s known as one of the nation’s best shooters, but is working to expand his game. He said his primary strengths right now are his shooting, defense and creating open looks for his teammates, but also has a list of the areas where he’s looking to improve.

“Getting to the hole, first and foremost,” he said. “I’ve been labeled as a shooter. So I’m trying to expand my game more. Get to the rack and get to the foul line and just all aspects of my game.”

Given Indiana’s success in recent seasons from the perimeter, the mutual interest between the Hoosiers and Platek makes plenty of sense.

“I love their pace of play,” he explained. They average 83 points per game, over 50 percent field goal shooting and over 40 percent from 3. That’s really impressive to me. I love playing like that. The fast pace of play, getting up and down the court, a lot of possessions, it’s fun to me.”

Assuming his team continues its winning ways on the EYBL circuit, Platek already has a schedule in mind for how his recruiting process will play out over the next few months.

“Hopefully, if we get a Peach Jam berth, I’m going to set up some official visits for late summer, early fall,” Platek said. “And then hopefully have a decision by sometime in November.”

(Photo credit: Nike)

Q & A: Elite 2017 point guard Matt Coleman talks Indiana

Class of 2017 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) and Boo Williams point guard Matt Coleman is one of the best in the country at his position.

Ranked the No. 32 prospect nationally according to the 247Composite, Coleman continues to add offers and interest. Through seven games on Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit this spring, Coleman is averaging 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. He’s shooting 52.9 percent from the field.

Inside the Hall sat down with Coleman on Saturday morning during the second EYBL session in Westfield for an update on his recruitment and much more. Our full Q & A is available below:

How much have you been hearing from Indiana recently? Have they kept up with you recruiting wise?

“Yes, they have. As a matter of fact, I got a text before we came out here from coach (Tim) Buckley saying ‘I’m looking forward to seeing you play and I want you to know we’re still interested in you and love your game and want you to come in and run the show.'”

Which schools, as you go into your senior year, are making you a priority?

“On a daily basis, who I hear from are Arizona, Texas, Virginia, Ohio State, Florida, Indiana, Seton Hall and N.C. State. Those I hear from on a daily basis. Every day I get a text.”

What stood out to you watching Indiana play this past season and the year that they had?

“They had a really good season. Started out 7-0 in conference play. They ended up winning the conference championship. Made a good run in the (NCAA) tournament. Yogi (Ferrell) ran the show, got others involved and he was able to get the job done with putting the ball in the basket. He was their guy and he had help with Troy Williams, (James) Blackmon and those guys. Plus the freshman, Thomas Bryant. They had a really good year.”

In terms of your game, where do you feel like you’ve made the most progress recently?

“Being more aggressive and being able to take a bump. I’ve been getting a little bit stronger and I’m shooting the ball with more confidence knowing that when I shoot, it’s going to go in.”

What’s going to be your process for narrowing down a list?

“Let the summer play out. Let my four (EYBL) sessions go by. And then cut my list right after Peach Jam (in July). I know most of our seniors at Oak Hill, they made their college decisions right before the season started in October or November. So I look forward to taking my visits during that time and commit before the season starts so I can focus on my senior year.”

Do you want to take all of your official visits?

“Yeah, I do.”

Is Indiana a school you’d like to visit?

“I do want to visit. I haven’t been there and haven’t seen the campus, but I hear great things. They say it’s a college town. So everything is based on and surrounded by the university.”

(Photo credit: Jon Lopez/Nike)

2017 wing Sidney Wilson continues to build relationship with IU staff

Indiana jumped into the recruitment of class of 2017 forward Sidney Wilson last April with a scholarship offer.

The Hoosiers continue to recruit Wilson as the coaching staff watched him over the weekend at the Under Armour Association circuit stop at Best Choice Fieldhouse in Fishers.

The 6-foot-7 Wilson, who is ranked the No. 139 player nationally in the 247Composite, plays at St. Raymond’s in the Bronx, the same school that Indiana assistant coach Chuck Martin attended.

One of the things that stands out early on about the Hoosiers for Wilson is his relationship with Martin.

“We’ve got a good relationship,” he told Inside the Hall. “He just tells me to stay aggressive and keep getting better, really. Even if I don’t go to Indiana, he’s still rooting for me as a kid because he and I went to the same high school. So he’s really rooting for me any way he can.

“He’s real close to my dad, too, they talk a lot. So it’s just a really good feeling with Indiana right now.”

Through eight games this spring for New Heights on the UA Association circuit, Wilson is averaging 14.6 points on 53.2 percent shooting from the field. He’s also averaging 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 assists per game.

New Heights is 5-3 in its division and on track to qualify for the Association’s finals in mid-July just outside of Atlanta.

Wilson has been working on adding muscle to his 180-pound frame, something he knows he’ll need once he arrives in college in the fall of 2017.

“I’ve been in the weight room a lot, trying to get better and take the hits so that I can finish through contact this summer,” Wilson said. “That’s really something I’ve been priding myself on.”

As far as his recruitment goes, Wilson mentioned IU, St. John’s, Texas, Georgetown, Maryland, Iona, Florida, Temple and Cincinnati as some of the schools showing the most interest right now.

He’s already taken unofficial visits to local schools like Rutgers, St. John’s and Seton Hall, but is hoping to get a chance to see Bloomington soon.

“I was trying to visit sometime here (during this trip), but I’ve got to get back home,” he said. “I’m trying to get down here as fast as I can.”

Wilson also has a timetable for when he’ll start to get more serious about his recruitment.

“Probably at the end of the summer,” Wilson explained. “I’ll cut down my list and start taking more visits.”

(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

POTB 126: McSwain’s impact and Blackmon Jr.’s decision to test NBA waters

Podcast on the Brink is back for another episode with host Jerod Morris of The Assembly Call. The show is currently available weekly. You can access a full archive of episodes here.

In this edition of the show, Morris and Inside the Hall editor Alex Bozich are joined in the first segment by Neosho County Community College coach Jeremy Coombs to discuss Freddie McSwain. In the second segment, Inside the Hall editor Ryan Corazza joins Morris and Bozich to discuss James Blackmon Jr.’s decision to declare for the NBA draft without hiring an agent.

Among the topics discussed:

· McSwain’s skill set and how it can help Indiana
· The path McSwain took to get to junior college
· When McSwain’s recruitment took off
· Why Indiana was able to separate from other schools and earn his commitment
· What McSwain is like off the court
· Where he needs to improve to reach his ultimate goal of playing professionally
· The decision of Blackmon Jr. to enter the draft and whether it’s a good one
· How Blackmon Jr. will impact next year’s team if he returns to school
· Whether Blackmon Jr. is underrated now because of all the criticism his defense took last season

And plenty more. As always, feel free to drop the show a note at jerod@assemblycall.com.

Listen in the audio player below, download the episode, subscribe via iTunes or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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

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, Kendrick Nunn (currently suspended), Leron Black (currently suspended), Jaylon Tate (currently suspended), Maverick Morgan, Michael Finke, Mike Thorne (applying for medical hardship waiver), Jalen Coleman-Lands, 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.