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.