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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.

James Blackmon Jr. declares for NBA draft, won’t hire agent

In a Monday evening release, the Indiana men’s basketball program announced James Blackmon Jr. will declare for the NBA Draft, but won’t hire an agent.

From the release:

“James is going to test the waters and see where he stands in the eyes of the NBA at this time,” Tom Crean said. “He is going to go through the process with both eyes open with the goal of receiving the most complete and current evaluation possible.”

Blackmon Jr.’s decision to not hire an agent allows him the option to attend next month’s draft combine (if invited) in Chicago (May 11-15) and interview and work out for NBA teams while still being able to return to the Hoosiers next season.

The sophomore will get 10 days after the draft combine to make a decision on whether to stay in the draft or return for his junior season.

The Marion product played in just 13 games a sophomore before suffering a season-ending right knee ACL injury on the Monday before Indiana’s Big Ten opener at Rutgers.

Blackmon Jr. tore his left ACL while during his sophomore season at Fort Wayne Luers and also suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee this past offseason in Bloomington.

He averaged 15.8 points per game and shot 46.3 percent on 3-pointers in his second season.

Indiana junior forward Troy Williams has also declared for the NBA draft without hiring an agent while Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby both announced they will return to school next season.

OG Anunoby will return to Indiana for sophomore season

In a move that was expected, Indiana freshman forward OG Anunoby announced on Friday morning that he will return to Bloomington for his sophomore season.

The 6-foot-8 product of Jefferson City (Mo.) averaged 4.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in his first season at Indiana.

“I will not be declaring for the NBA Draft this year and will return to Indiana University,” Anunoby said in a release. ” I love my teammates and coaches and look forward to getting better every day with their help.”


Reports: Big Ten, Fox closing in on media rights deal

The Big Ten may have found a new home for 25 of its football games and 50 of its men’s basketball games beginning in the fall of 2017.

According to reports by Sports Business Daily and The Chicago Tribune, the Big Ten, led by commissioner Jim Delany, and Fox are close to an agreement for a six-year media rights deal that could pay up to $250 million annually.

The deal would put the approximately 25 football and 50 men’s basketball games on Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1, per reports.


Troy Williams entering NBA draft, will not hire an agent

Indiana junior forward Troy Williams will declare for the 2016 NBA draft, but will not hire an agent, it was announced on Monday afternoon.

The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

“After much thought and family discussion, I’ve decided to declare for this year’s NBA Draft but will not hire an agent,” Williams said in a statement. “This gives me the opportunity to explore future possibilities, while keeping my options open. Coach (Tom) Crean is always supportive and makes sure that you have the best information to help you make a decision like this and I value his input. I’m excited to go through this process.”

Williams, who averaged 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Hoosiers last season, is ranked the No. 83 draft prospect by and the No. 86 prospect by Chad Ford of

By not hiring an agent, Williams will have the option to participate in next month’s combine in Chicago (May 11-15) and also work out for teams but still return to school next season.


Troy Williams says NBA draft decision coming soon

In an interview Saturday morning on ESPN Radio 94.1 in Virginia Beach, Indiana junior forward Troy Williams said he is still undecided on his future, but plans to make an announcement soon.

“Right now, I’m still deciding,” Williams said. “I’ll be making an announcement here soon. In the next couple of days.”

Williams, who averaged 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Hoosiers last season, is ranked the No. 83 draft prospect by and the No. 86 prospect by Chad Ford of


Davis, Jones to play in Derby Festival Basketball Classic

Class of 2016 Indiana signees De’Ron Davis and Curtis Jones will play in the Derby Festival Basketball Classic at Freedom Hall in Louisville on Friday, April 15.

Teams have not been finalized, but the duo will participate in the basketball classic as well as the Night of Future Stars on Thursday, April 14 at New Albany High School.

Basketball Classic tickets are available at TicketMaster locations or, by phone (800-745-3000) or the Freedom Hall box office (502-367-5144).

Other future Big Ten players participating in the game include Derek Funderburk (Ohio State) and Micah Thomas (Maryland). Full rosters are available after the jump.


Roundup: Way-too-early preseason top 25s for 2016-2017

Following a 27-8 campaign that included an outright Big Ten championship and a trip to the Sweet Sixteen, Indiana will be looking to build on this season’s success next winter.

There are, however, plenty of questions to be answered with next year’s roster. How will IU’s retooled backcourt look without Yogi Ferrell and Nick Zeisloft? Will Thomas Bryant or Troy Williams be on next year’s team? What kind of sophomore leap will OG Anunoby take? Those are just a few questions that will be addressed over the coming weeks and months.

The uncertainty, however, hasn’t stopped the national media from having a bullish outlook on the Hoosiers for the 2016-2017 season. Several early preseason top 25s are out and we’ve rounded up those rankings below:’s Eamonn Brennan: No. 8

Indiana won the Big Ten title outright and beat a Kentucky team many (rightfully) considered a national-title contender en route to a Sweet 16 finish. It was a resounding, narrative-flipping season built in large part on the brilliant work of Yogi Ferrell, who now leaves Bloomington as one of the most productive guards (and players, period) in school history. The return of guard James Blackmon Jr. from injury is among the many reasons to stay bullish on the Hoosiers. Robert Johnson, Collin Hartman, and OG Anunoby, a basketball cyborg incrementally approaching self-awareness, are also on that list. The draft, in the end, might be the difference: If neither Troy Williams nor Thomas Bryant return — the latter especially — the Hoosiers will be a fun, competitive Big Ten team. If either comes back, or both, title contention is totally in play.