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

  • 05/03/2017 12:54 pm in

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.

Michigan State

· 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.

Ohio State

· 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?

Penn State

· 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:

  • pcantidote

    Is it crazy to look at this and thing that NW and PSU might be two of the top 5 teams? That was my gut reaction.

  • Outoftheloop

    Check with your mental health professional and enjoy your summer.

  • John D Murphy

    Group 1: MSU. Alone. They will be very good.
    Group 2: Purdue, NW, IU,
    Group 3: PSU, Wisc, Minnesota
    Group 4: Mich, Maryland, Iowa
    Group 5: OSU, Nebraska, Illinois
    Group 6: Rutgers

  • John D Murphy

    Collins is building something. I think Pat Chambers has down an outstanding job at PSU and look at it in a similar light to IU Football. But like IU football that next step is really hard. Sometimes freshman aren’t better as sophomores.

  • pcantidote

    Sadly, I think at this point I’d have to swap IU and Maryland. I think losing TB was fatal to our chances of having a really strong season. Otherwise I think you’ve got it, although we won’t really know anything until all the NBA decisions are final.

  • I’d put IU in Group 3. Maybe Group 4 if JBJ doesn’t return. If we’re competing for a top 3 or 4 spot next season, then I think Archie will have done a great job of coaching.

  • BannerOrBust

    I personally see us improving without TB. DD proved time and time again that he was better in the post. With better conditioning and a year under his belt. With Hartman, Morgan, and Newkirk all guaranteed to return. IF RJ and Blackmon come back, I hope they do.We should be better than last year. Archie can actually coach and make adjustments during the game. We will be a lot better. This is just my opinion.

  • pcantidote

    Of course I hope you are right. I just see us being really thin in the front court even with DD. That is a recipe for trouble against the top teams.

  • Indiana_Banners

    I would definitely pump my brakes before declaring that Davis is the superior player to Bryant. Davis needs to be able to stay on the floor before that can happen. Hope you’re right but I don’t think DD quite proved that last year.

  • N71

    Things that stood out:
    + Penn State didn’t follow up that killer class from last year, opportunity lost I’m thinking.
    + IU and Illinois are wild cards due to new coaches, the Illinois coach sounds pretty good really.
    + How is it that MSU is always the team to beat, getting tired of green.
    + Wisconsin should have a big drop off, if they don’t, something’s wrong.
    + Why wouldn’t Swanigan just go ahead and hire an agent, he’s got to be top 15. He better not be thinking about coming back.
    + Maryland is going to feel the loss of Melo.

  • N71

    I did think DeRon was more effective than Thomas. DeRon was close to the basket doing the things no one else on the team could or would. Thomas on the other hand played away which we had a number of guys that could do the same thing. Personally I’ll take the big guy that does big guy stuff because without him we don’t have a post game. This I believe was due to Crean’s player development commitment which seemed at times to take precedent over winning.

  • TomJameson

    Especially playing on the road in the B1G. Whether fairly or not, DD will get into more foul trouble on the road than he will (or should) at home.

  • TomJameson

    So Iowa will have a player starting as a redshirt, but not counting toward a scholarship … “Arriving: Connor McCaffery (will redshirt, no scholarship)” I guess that’s one way to save his eligibility.

  • pcantidote

    I wonder if any of our current or incoming guys would be willing to go that route? Looking at you GG.

  • ForIndiana

    Swanigan probably doesn’t hire an agent because his adoptive father is an agent himself…why sign with an agent as opposed to keeping it all in the family.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Wisconsin will have no drop off and that means everything is normal. I’ve said the same thing before but they are always right there in the hunt. That being said, I hope they suck.

  • Ms hoosier

    I think your underestimating Minny.

  • Lance76

    Don’t know if Wisconsin drops off or not, but we really need to start beating them consistently. I feel more positive with present staff ability.

  • John D Murphy

    Swanigan probably isn’t going in the top 15. He is sitting near bottom of the 1st round in the mocks I have seen. I like him and wouldn’t mind my Jazz using the #30 pick on him except they already have the #24 and they aren’t likely to want to pay two 1st round 1st year players who won’t get off the bench.

  • John D Murphy

    I’m banking on Archie doing a great job. We just really couldn’t have been any worse in doing the little things that win games last year.

  • John D Murphy

    According to Bruiser (and Cal) “if you don’t have an inside presence, you’re a bit of a fraud”

  • John D Murphy

    I think you are underestimating my ability to estimate. Just kidding. You could be right.

  • John D Murphy

    This is the year!

  • N71

    CBS Sport has a recent mock draft and he’s not even in the first round…crazy. Swanigan is a beast, not sure what the knock is on him. Could be that he’s from Purdue I suppose.

  • iugradmark

    I have never thought JBJ is coming back. I only recently thought we had a chance of him returning based on comments from Archie but I still think he leaves.

    Things that have to workout for us to finish higher. DD has to really improve and play minutes without fouling. CH has to recover to close to what he was before this injury. JM has to stay healthy. A few of the Sophmores / Freshmen /McSwain (besides DD) need to give us some quality minutes especially since we will be thin for bigs and likely be playing some small ball. While there are a lot of things that have to go right, I actually think that these things are not unreasonable to expect (injuries excluded). I’ll take off my crimson colored glasses now.

  • I’m with you, that’s definitely one of the things that I think has been lacking in IU basketball for some time now — a focus on the fundamentals that allows a team to be consistently competitive. And it’s one of the things I’m most looking forward to Archie rectifying.

  • Ms hoosier

    Man…… I just think that they got two of the best guards in the B1G coming back and their front court is very solid also. They could be very hard to beat!!

  • He’s not playing next season and will play baseball.

  • SilentBob

    Probably because he’s not a good enough rim protector to be a five, and far too slow to be a four in today’s NBA. I imagine teams are looking at him as Jared Sullinger 2.0. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since he doesn’t come with the same injury concerns Sully did, but staying in shape will be tough for him. He could carve out himself a nice niche as a back up somewhere

  • John D Murphy

    His 3pt% pct is good but I think the perception is that he is an inside banger. At only 6-9, if he is an inside banger he just isn’t big enough to have upside. I think he is a guy that could really improve his position in his individual workouts if he shows he can defend on the perimeter and knock down the corner 3 and elbow jumper. I think he’s a pretty sure bet to make a day one roster even if he isn’t taken in the first round. I’m a fan, or I will be once he leaves PU.

  • John D Murphy

    Fran’s son.

  • Ole Man

    DD proved that he was a better post up man in the system that TC ran.
    He also averaged 7 fouls per 40 minutes. TB was just over 4 per 40.
    If we improve it will be because of coaching; not because TB left.
    With him IU could have been looking at second weekend.

  • Ole Man

    Nope. Reason being you have to stay on the floor to be more effective.
    TB averaged nearly 13 and 7 and was second or third on the team in assists. and blocked shots.
    DD wasn’t close to that.

  • John D Murphy

    Well said. Backup still make nice coin, especially if you can get that 2nd contract. Jeff Withey for a reference makes over $900k in his current contract and has averaged +$800k for his 4 year career. And the salaries are still going up. Damian Jones (last pick of round 1 last year) is avg $1.2 M for his rookie contract. Jones only appeared in 10 games this year (avg 8.5 mpg and 1.9 ppg in those 10). I reject the whole term “flop” or “bust” in the NBA. Anyone in the association is a success (basketball wise).

  • I think it’s safe to say that in his limited minutes, DD demonstrated more potential to be a better true center than TB. If DD improves his endurance and learns to play without fouling (which Archie said he’ll be working on hard over the summer), then I think he’ll be a better center in his second year than TB was in his.

    That’s not a knock against TB, and I’m with you in that our team would be vastly improved had he returned. Rather, I’ve pretty much settled on it being TC’s fault for not utilizing TB the right way. That includes the guards not feeding the post as much as they should have when TB was playing center (something I seem to remember them doing more when DD was at center). TB will be a player that I’ll remember as being disappointing, and not because he did anything wrong.

  • I think we’ll definitely be improved over last season, and that it’ll be due to coaching. I totally reject the addition by subtraction argument, both when it was applied to JBJ and as it’s being applied by a few people to TB. Having TB on the team would only make us better — you’d have to have zero confidence in Archie as a coach to think he’d play TB in a way that hurt the team. And there are many ways that TB could be played that would immeasurably help the team.

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    No more Nigel Hayes. No more Bronson Koenig. No more Melo Trimble. Adios!

  • Outoftheloop

    They would have to pay their own fees, tuition, housing, books etc. A preferred walking who can not dress or play.

  • Outoftheloop

    DeRon, James, Robert, and Juwan will each vie for All-B1G! I expect BIG things in year #1!

  • Outoftheloop

    Averages relate to minutes played. DeRon will average 3 fouls/30 minutes as a Sophomore! That is my prediction,

  • Outoftheloop

    What team not named KY and Duke is not thin in the front court?

  • AndyCapp

    Or even deeper into the tourney, I think. Said it before, sad he’s departing but TB is talking us up to recruits which says a lot about the young man. Wish him nothing but success and hope he continues to use his friendships among class of ’18/’19 prospects to bag us some heavyweights!

  • AndyCapp

    No question about DD’s fouling, but I think it had more to do with him 1) arriving late in training, 2) being a freshman, and 3) being trained by a coach that didn’t seem to know how to teach fundamentals. With him staying at IU over the summer I expect to see MAJOR improvement in the areas that he was the weakest.

  • Missing Moye

    I thought watching last year that Davis was much better at establishing deeper position than Bryant was, and then was much better at holding and sealing as well. I imagine some of that played into the guards’ willingness to feed the post.

    Whether that was on the player or the coaching is irrelevant at this point. Both of those ships have sailed.

  • Missing Moye

    Michigan State. Depending on NBA decisions, maybe Purdue.

  • Ole Man

    Not gonna happen. Getting down under five minutes took two years for TB and JM.
    I wish it were true, but it simply won’t happen.

  • TomJameson

    Thanks Alex, and John. Don’t know how I missed that connection. Duh. 🙂

  • Piker

    Stop looking at specific players

  • Piker

    Just no real bigs besides DD to handle BIG 5s. TB would of made this team alot deeper up front. Without TB well its a big loss in my opinion.

  • Big AL