A final look at who’s coming and going in the Big Ten

  • 08/29/2016 8:40 am in

With the start of the fall semester underway on several Big Ten campuses, it’s time for our final look at who’s coming and going in the Big Ten for the 2016-2017 season. (Note: In most instances, only scholarship players are included.)

Illinois (15-19, 12th place tie)

· Returning: Malcolm Hill, Aaron Jordan, Tracy Abrams (granted medical hardship waiver), D.J. Williams, Jalen Coleman-Lands, Leron Black (suspended for six games), Jaylon Tate, Maverick Morgan, Michael Finke, Mike Thorne (granted medical hardship waiver), Alex Austin, Kipper Nichols (Tulane transfer becomes eligible)

· Arriving: Te’Jon Lucas

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

Notes: John Groce has the piece in place to put a better team on the floor, but how much better? The loss of Nunn was significant, but hardship waivers for Abrams and Thorne will help with experience.

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

· Returning: Thomas Bryant, James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson, OG Anunoby, Juwan Morgan, Collin Hartman, Josh Newkirk (Pittsburgh transfer becomes eligible), Tim Priller

· 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), Troy Williams (NBA early entry)

Notes: Indiana has its full roster on campus now after Davis and McSwain missed the summer finishing up academic requirements. This could be the deepest frontcourt rotation Tom Crean has ever in Bloomington.

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

· Returning: Peter Jok, Ahmad Wagner, Nicolas Baer, Dom Uhl, Brady Ellingson, Christian Williams, Isaiah Moss, Dale Jones

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

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

Notes: Iowa lost a ton of experience from a group that looked like it might win the league in early February. Jok will be one of the Big Ten’s best players, but who will step up to replace the four starters that graduated?

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

· Returning: Melo Trimble, Jared Nickens, Dion Wiley, Jaylen Brantley, Michael Cekovsky, Damonte Dodd, Ivan Bender

· Arriving: Micah Thomas, Anthony Cowan (247Composite top 100), Kevin Huerter (247Composite top 100), L.G. Gill (graduate transfer from Duquesne), Justin Jackson (247Composite top 100), Joshua Tomaic

· Departing: Jake Layman (graduation), Varun Rum (graduation), Rasheed Sulaimon (graduation), Diamond Stone (NBA early entry), Robert Carter (NBA early entry)

Notes: The Terps added two recruits late in Jackson and Tomaic and with a favorable league schedule, could be a sleeper to contend for the Big Ten title.

Michigan (23-13, 8th place, NCAA tournament round of 64)

· Returning: Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin, 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), Kameron Chatman (transfer)

Notes: Michigan lost four players to transfer, including Albrecht to Purdue. The good news for John Beilein is that he returns one of the league’s better perimeter units with Walton, Irvin, Robinson and Abdur-Rahkman.

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

· Arriving: Miles Bridges (247Composite top 100), Cassius Winston (247Composite top 100), Josh Langford (247Composite top 100), Nick Ward (247Composite top 100), Ben Carter (graduate transfer from UNLV)

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

Notes: The Spartans welcome the Big Ten’s best recruiting class and also have some experience on the roster with guys like Harris, Schilling and Carter, a grad transfer from UNLV.

Minnesota (8-23, 13th place)

· Returning: Nate Mason, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBryer, Ahmad Gilbert, Bakary Konate, 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), Charles Buggs (transfer)

Notes: It appears that Lynch will play this season after some legal issues in the offseason and his addition, along with Coffey and Fitzgerald, should provide a much needed infusion of talent.

Nebraska (16-18, 11th place)

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

· Arriving: Isaiah Roby, Jeriah Horne, Jordy Tshimanga, James Palmer (Miami transfer, must sit out), Evan Taylor

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

Notes: The Huskers lost White in June after it appeared he would return to Lincoln for his final season. He’ll play his senior season at Syracuse, which leaves Nebraska with a huge hole to fill on the perimeter.

Northwestern (20-12, 9th place)

· Returning: Bryant McIntosh, Nathan Taphorn, Scottie Lindsey, Vic Law, Dererk Pardon, Gavin Skelly, Jordan Ash, Sanjay Lumpkin, Aaron Falzon

· Arriving: Rapolas Ivanauskas, Barret Benson, Isiah Brown

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

Notes: Northwestern loses Olah and Demps, but returns a solid nucleus that includes McIntosh and Law, who sat out last season with a shoulder injury.

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

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

· 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: Ohio State had a ton of turnover as four of its five freshman transferred. However, the Buckeyes do return most of their core and if they can develop some depth, this group should improve on last season’s finish.

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, Satchel Pierce (Virginia Tech transfer, must sit out)

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

Notes: This should be the most talented group Pat Chambers has put on the court in State College with a pair of top 100 recruits arriving in Carr and Stevens to pair with Garner, one of the league’s better guards.

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

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

· Arriving: Carsen Edwards, Spike Albrecht (graduate transfer from Michigan)

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

Notes: Purdue will have one of the nation’s best frontcourts, but can they get reliable point guard play out of Thompson, Edwards and Albrecht? If so, the Boilermakers will be dangerous.

Rutgers (7-25, 14th place)

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

· Arriving: Issa Thiam, Matt Bullock, Candido Sa, Eugene Omoruyi

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

Notes: Steve Pikiell has a long road to make Rutgers competitive, but the program is in better hands now than the sinking ship that was the Eddie Jordan era.

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

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

· Arriving: Aleem Ford, D’Mitrik Trice

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

Notes: The Badgers return every notable player from a group that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen last season. With a full offseason under Greg Gard, Wisconsin may enter the season as the Big Ten favorite.

(Photo credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America)

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  • BL4IU

    Nice job under-hyping the home team 🙂

  • TomJameson

    The B1G is top heavy this year. Arguments can be made for any of 3-4 teams to win the B1G, but I don’t think there are any clear favorites prior to the seasons start. I’m sure things will settle down after the pre-season has had its way with everybody. That said, I’m very excited about IU this year.

    Hold home court, win some tough road games, and IU has it!

  • TomJameson

    I had that same thought, even re-read the IU part, but I guess all those “questions” about injuries, defense, and lost production are still dogging poor IU. 🙂 Personally, I think we’ll be good on all those “questions”.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    dang b1g gonna be tough this season. there may be 3 legit ncaa championship contenders: msu, wiscy, iu. hard to tell who’ll come out on top.

  • N71

    Are there any “insider” perspectives/takes/observations on what they’ve seen from De’Ron Davis and Freddie McSwain during their short time on campus so far?

  • Bill Graham

    …I have criticized CTC in the past for playing too fast… I think part of the bad Troy development could have been avoided if we would have played at a slower pace sometimes and ran through our sets…especially with a great point guard at the helm…However, this year, our offense needs to resemble the football teams offense. We need to play like one of the fastest teams in the country. We literally are 10+ deep and our sub group could be better at times than our starters…I see a ton of people being frustrated with substitutions this year b/c we are so deep…for instance CTC might leave Rob in after a turnover to see how he reacts…I can picture many of us yelling “Dangit Johson…come on Crean get Newkirk in for him!”….but that’s just a testament to how deep we are. Look at it in terms of a hypothetical depth chart.

    PG 1: Rob PG 2: Josh PG 3: James PG 4: CuJo
    SG 1: JBJ SG 2: Rob SG 3: CuJo SG 4: Josh
    SF 1: Collin SF 2: O.G. SF 3: McFly SF 4: Cujo/James or Rob (small ball lineup)
    PF 1: O.G. PF 2: DD PF 3: JM PF 4: McFly
    C 1: TB C 2: DD C 3: JM C 4: O.G.

    * we are literally 4+ deep at every position. We can run the heck out of everyone and still have fresh guys…If O.G. gets tired and JM is already on the floor big whoop Freddie is fresh on the bench…same with guards.

    Now I realize that many of you may see our depth chart differently and want to include guys like Devonte or maybe JM higher up… (most of you know how I feel about those two)…but either way your objections just add to the fact that we are super deep – now with that said I welcome objections to my hypothetical depth chart b/c I think it should make for some good banter.

  • Ole Man

    Most frontline depth Crean has had.
    Odds that he goes with a 3 guard lineup?

  • Ole Man

    While I admire your enthusiasm, I’m going to be a bit more cautious on the depth issue for two reasons:
    First, every year we hear this “great depth” mantra and it rarely plays out
    Second, until they get on the court and prove themselves, much of your projected depth is at this point nothing but potential.

  • sdpolley

    Looking at Purdues roster one thought came to mind, while they have 3 very talented forwards/center they really only have 4 guys to play those 3 spots. The big three will all start and smotherman can come in and play the 3 maybe the 4 against certain players. Obviously Mathias could play the 3 and if I thought he was any kind of good I might not question their depth. But as it is considering their style of play and looking at what else is out there in the big ten I wouldn’t be super confident if I were them.

  • BL4IU

    Guessing they’re ice tubbing quite often 🙂

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I read in a premium article on another website that had an interview with DD and he was talking about getting “dog points”. It was something to the effect of going hard after loose balls, getting boards on O and D and basically just doing the stuff that doesn’t have as much of a spotlight but helps the team. Just hustlin’. Sounded similar to what JW said last year in the preseason.

    He also talked about CTC playing him a lot at the 4 but being mobile enough to step out and drain a 3. Needless to say, everything I read got me totally stoked! Sounds like such a great guy and hard worker.

  • sdpolley

    I can guarntee he will start 3 guards and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. De’ron won’t be ready for contributing minutes for a little while I wouldn’t play Juwan and OG together. Hartman and OG starting is the most likely way we don’t see 3 guards but I could easily see crean having one of them coming off the bench. We all myself included seem to be thinking OG is ready to be a 30 minute guy and play the way we saw him flash in the 15 minutes per we saw last year. I am as big of an OG fan and believer in his potential as there is. I can only imagine the whines that would come with Hartman as our starting 4 man, but I think everyone should be ready for that.

  • BL4IU

    Unlike you, no longevity with ITH but shocked to hear you suggest folks expected “great depth” in prior years. Hell, with the preseason departures last year, I thought we had zero depth up front going into the season. Naturally, I was pleasantly surprised by Max, OG and JM.

    Feel like we know what we have with RJ/JBJ/JN/CH/TB/OG/JM, even if we just assume marginal improvement, and that ain’t bad. When you refer to “potential” depth, guessing you’re referring to backups at each position (e.g. Cujo/DG at guard, McFly at wing, DD at 4/5). Feeling better than last year about that additional depth; hope I’m right for once 🙂

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I can’t remember the last time we had this much depth in the Tom Crean era either. I upvoted you on that one.

  • Kyl470

    Back from vacation and I have some catching up to do on this site, but I’m with you that I think you could make a case for about four teams to be the favorite to win the Big 10. I think the middle of the pack is a little weak this year though.

  • StudentHoosier

    Hey everyone, so about 8-12 of you were clamoring for me to repost my funny story with Curtis Jones, so I’m happy to oblige. I’m sorry for the delay, not sure why it got deleted but here you go. (And sorry if any of the details are slightly different, it’s been about 2 months since this happened so I don’t remember everything specifically)

    Funny story about CuJo: So here on campus I am one of the student leaders for freshman orientation. And on one of my first days on the job, I was looked up at my group that I was assigned to and instantly noticed CuJo was in my group. So I had to give them all a tour of campus, etc, and man this kid loved it. Every minute of it. He was kind of quiet, but when he did talk he was usually asking me questions. Questions about IU, Kirkwood, etc, trying to take in all the information he could. You could tell he LOVED being a hoosier and it was so cool to see. He was a funny guy, and the passion he had for IU was just spewing out of him.

    The whole time this was going on, I was trying pretty hard not to ask him about the team or anything basketball related. Hell, I never even lead on that I was huge fan or that I knew exactly who he was. But finally, sort of as the day was winding down, I ended up walking besides him and only him and I decided to just go for it. Nothing too special, I said something along the lines of “Hey man, I’m a big fan of the program. I wish you nothing but the best this year. It’s gonna be a tough act to follow but I’m really looking forward to seeing this team play.”

    And then it happened. CuJo gave me this look that I’ve never seen from him, or anybody else in the world for that matter, lowered his voice, and said “Thanks for the support. But trust me, we got something realllllll special coming for Hoosier Nation this year. Watch out.”

  • Ole Man

    It’s been a “theme” every year since I’ve been on ITH, which is a number of years.
    Last year, it proved out due to the number of injuries.
    You are correct in that IU seems to have a solid seven. The others, until they have played are strictly potential. We all hope of course, but they are unknowns.

  • Ole Man

    Again, we have the potential to have great depth. How about we let them play a few games first and get their feet wet? 🙂

  • pcantidote

    MSU is not a legit championship caliber team at least until those freshman live up to the hype.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    No, I’m just saying looking back at past rosters during the pre-season, I seem to remember just about every year where we’d say “Wow! We’re looking great on guards! Just need another big man…” or vice versa. I don’t see that this year. We’re full and then some at every position UNLIKE how we’ve been in previous pre-seasons.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    YES!!!!! Thank you for posting that (again)!

  • Awesome story, thanks! And I think this season is going to be special in part because this is just a great group of kids. Not to take anything away from last year’s team, because they’ll be one of my favorites for a long time coming. It’s just I have a suspicion that this team is going to have a special kind of cohesion and motivation. It’s hard to quantify, but I think this year is going to be something special and I’m looking forward to the season more than I have in decades.

  • I think this team is deep enough and varied enough in terms of skillsets that we could see very situational starting lineups. While normally I don’t like that–I usually like to see a solid first unit get established as soon as possible–in this team’s case I think it’s okay to have some variation in who starts against which teams.

  • Agreed. I just posted above that I think we could see more of a situational starting five, based on who we’re playing. And your point is valid, I think, that we’ll see a ton of substitutions, and I think that’s okay as well. We should be able to match up really well against any kind of team if the roster is utilized effectively.

  • I agree, with one caveat: health. For example, RJ was a disruptive player toward the end of last season, right before the injury finally knocked him out. I remember being convinced that if his perimeter defense had been available against UNC, the game would have turned out differently. If RJ is at 100% to start and can remain that way all season, then I think he’ll be a dominant player. But, that’s the question: will he be healthy and stay that way? I think the same extends to a couple of other players, JM and JBJ in particular.

  • I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll keep saying it: this team really seems to be full of a bunch of great kids with great attitudes. I think we’ll see excellent team chemistry this season, if nothing else.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    That’s my thinking as well. Good team chemistry+Talent+Tenacious drive to be the best=Championship caliber team.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I think the “health” caveat is there for every team, every year.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    the movement certainly should have taught hoosier nation to not count their chickens

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    good stuff, student. respect his passion and love for iu. gives me the impression that team chemistry is really solid.

  • BL4IU

    Funny and I’m with Ya.

  • TomJameson

    For some reason, I am optimistic about this team. Yeah, I know I’m generally optimistic anyway, but I still recognize the reality of most situations. 🙂

    It’s all about the visual and verbal “clues” that have been abounding all offseason. From the videos of all the guys working their tails off, to the talk of how they like to play defense, to their praise of their teammates (a lot of praise for JN, for one), to stories like the one shared by studentHoosier . I just feel optimistic.

    I think there will be 7-8 player that will start at various times, and I don’t think there will be any jealousies amongst the players, because of their great comradery. IMO there will be both 2 & 3 guard lineups. They will play fast, TB will get a lot of touches, and our perimeter game will fare better than most think. I even think we’ll see some form of a press at times.

    The biggest surprise … I think the defense on this team will be good to start, then become outstanding. Holding off on the “elite” designation for now, but it will certainly NOT be an embarrassment! Too many other good players to cover for the guy sitting the bench for not playing defense. lol

    It is going to be another very fun team to watch this year again!

  • I am Baby Cakes

    An actual and realistic lineup… and one that’d we would likely be best off with…
    PG: Newkirk, RJ
    SG: RJ, JBJ, Jones
    SF: OG, Hartman
    PF: Morgan, DD
    C: Bryant, DD

    That is 9 deep. More than enough. No reason to go any further.

  • Agreed. Only problem is, tipoff is still a couple of months away.

  • Oh, sure, true enough. I just remember us finishing off last season with some key injury questions, primarily RJ & JM having surgery over the summer and how quickly they’d recover. I can’t think of a season recently where we’ve had quite so many health-related questions heading into it.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    They’re not gonna slack off in the meantime. No way. If that’s what you’re implying.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    You’re correct on that.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I think we have more “key” returning players than what “The Movement” had when they were coming in. I’m really more excited about the returning players versus the incoming players. Well……with the exception of DD. Dude’s gonna be awesome!

  • SilentBob

    That’s the line up I want, especially when we face the big boys, but I don’t see Crean not starting his lone senior at this point

  • Oh, heck no. I meant: I’m already tired of waiting for the season to start. 🙂

  • SilentBob

    Yea Bill I’m thinking you’re pretty far off with Juwan. He seems to be one of the clear leaders of this club from what I’ve read and seen so far this summer, even if ya don’t believe in his skill set (which I personally don’t know why you don’t), you gotta remember that kind of stuff goes a long way with Coach.

    On a different note, the one thing I love when see these predictions layed out, is the recognition of the versatility in these players. Depth isn’t too much about numbers too me. Much more about flexibility. On the flip side of that, there are a lot of combinations that coach is going to have to get right sooner rather than later with Kansas quickly approaching to start the season.

  • straight no chaser

    This pre-season should be called: The Return of the Homer.

    A Homeric Odyssey indeed. LOL.

  • straight no chaser

    We lost guys who were together making 45+ points per game, and we’re predicting championships. Amazing!!!!

  • HardRockHoosier

    Just remember that is ‘Ole Man’ speaking.. It IS his typical approach. Not saying he’s always wrong.. But on this one, I’m with you. I don’t think anyone with any astute knowledge of the situation was saying, last year that we had ‘deep’ front court. At least it wasn’t what I was reading, in commentary, on these websites.

  • Oldguyy

    Rutgers, of all places, has two seven-footers. I wonder if they can play basketball.

  • straight no chaser

    Basketball Homer!

  • dwdkc

    Starting with 7 proven players covering all the positions is a heckuva start on depth (and none of us have seen this version of Newkirk, but the scuttlebutt certainly sounds pretty convincing). Stands to reason we should be able to get something out of DD at least, and McFly as he is a little older, if needed as major minutes should not be required of either until they develop into it. Same with CuJo. All 3 have the luxury of being able to develop without a lot of pressure. Although we really need DD to be good by the end of the year to get to where we want to go.

  • dwdkc

    Also I agree there are a lot of posters that are always highly enthused coming into the year about everyone on the roster, as anyone with the uniform becomes idealized. My dad used to do that way back in the day about IU also, just made me chuckle. Last year I think the enthusiasm was partly justified as we knew we were deep in perimeter guys, but only had one true big that was also a freshman. Good thing Max, OG and Juwan all exceeded expectations.

  • IUJeff

    Ok. No bandwagon jumping later then.

  • straight no chaser