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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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?
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
Filed to: 2017-2018 Big Ten preview