Big Ten Power Rankings: Post-NBA early entry deadline edition

  • 05/25/2017 9:27 am in

It’s late May and more than five months separate us from the opening of the 2016-2017 season, but we just passed a significant offseason milestone on Wednesday. The deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft was Wednesday night at midnight, which means we now have a much clearer picture on who will be on each Big Ten roster.

With that, here’s our first stab at forecasting next season’s conference standings:

14. Rutgers 

· Returning: Corey Sanders, Mike Williams, Deshawn Freeman, Shaquille Dorson, Issa Thiam, Matt Bullock, Candido Sa, Eugene Omoruyi
· 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)

Outlook: Another year and another projection for the Scarlet Knights to occupy the Big Ten cellar. Rutgers should be improved once again, but the talent level here still isn’t good enough to win consistently.

13. 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
· Arriving: Caleb Wesson (247Sports Composite top 100), Braxton Beverly
· Departing: Marc Loving, David Bell (transfer), JaQuan Lyle (quit team)

Outlook: Ohio State appears to be in a free fall. Trevor Thompson left early, JaQuan Lyle quit the team and Darius Bazley, a top 100 recruit in 2018, de-committed recently. The Buckeye faithful have officially grown restless with the direction of the program.

12. Nebraska

· 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)

Outlook: Nebraska graduated Webster and lost three key contributors to transfer. Still, there might be enough talent here to outperform this projection, depending on what Palmer, Copeland and Allen bring to the table.

11. Illinois 

· Returning: Aaron Jordan, Leron Black, Michael Finke, Alex Austin, Te’Jon Lucas, Kipper Nichols
· Arriving: Mark Smith (247Composite top 100), Trent Frazier, DaMonte Williams, Mark Alstork (Wright State graduate transfer, eligible immediately)
· Departing: Malcolm Hill, Maverick Morgan, Jaylon Tate, Mike Thorne, Tracy Abrams, D.J. Williams (transfer), Jalen Coleman-Lands (transfer)

Outlook: There are rumors swirling that Coleman-Lands could transfer to DePaul (confirmed now that Coleman-Lands is seeking to transfer) and the Illini’s frontline lacks a true presence. Brad Underwood’s debut season in Champaign could face plenty of road bumps.

10. 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)

Outlook: The Nittany Lions are still young, but this season is pivotal. Penn State finished in the bottom four of the league standings last season and at some point, Pat Chambers needs to show significant progress.

9. Iowa

· 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)

Outlook: Jok is irreplaceable, but Fran McCaffery has a solid stable of young talent, led by Cook and Bohannon. Iowa should improve as the season moves along.

8. Indiana

· Returning: Juwan Morgan, Robert Johnson, Collin Hartman, Josh Newkirk, De’Ron Davis, Devonte Green, Curtis Jones, Zach McRoberts (walk-on), Freddie McSwain, Tim Priller
· Declared for NBA draft: OG Anunoby, James Blackmon Jr., Thomas Bryant
· Arriving: Justin Smith (247Composite top 100), Al Durham Jr., Clifton Moore
· Departing: Grant Gelon (transfer)

Outlook: The Hoosiers return plenty of talent, headlined by Johnson, Hartman, Davis and Morgan. The defense should be improved under Archie Miller, but scoring could be an issue.

7. Maryland

· Returning: Jared Nickens, Justin Jackson, Dion Wiley, Michal Cekovsky, Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter, Ivan Bender, Joshua Tomaic
· Declared for NBA draft: Melo Trimble
· 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)

Outlook: This is a slide backward for the Terps, who finished 12-6 in the league last season. However, Mark Turgeon should have a tournament team once again as the sophomore trio of Jackson, Cowan and Huerter returns to College Park.

6. Wisconsin

· 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)

Outlook: Happ should contend for Big Ten player of the year, but Hayes and Koenig are huge losses. Wisconsin’s streak of finishing top four of the league could be over.

5. Michigan

· Returning: Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Moritz Wagner, Duncan Robinson, Xavier Simpson, Austin Davis, Jon Teske, Ibi Watson, Charles Matthews (Kentucky transfer becomes eligible)
· Declared for NBA draft: D.J. Wilson
· Arriving: Jordan Poole (247Composite top 100), Isaiah Livers, Eli Brooks, Jaaron Simmons (graduate transfer from Ohio)
· Departing: Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin, Mark Donnal (transfer)

Outlook: Much of Michigan’s success next season will be tied to Simmons, a graduate transfer from Ohio who averaged 15.9 points and 6.5 assists. If he’s a capable fill-in for Walton, the Wolverines will a tournament team once again.

4. Purdue

· Returning: Vincent Edwards, Isaac Haas, Dakota Mathias, Ryan Cline, P.J. Thompson, Jacquil Taylor, Carsen Edwards
· Declared for NBA draft: Caleb Swanigan
· Arriving: Matt Haarms, Nojel Eastern (247Composite top 100), Eden Ewing, Aaron Wheeler, Sasha Stefanovic
· Departing: Spike Albrecht

Outlook: Swanigan is a devastating loss, but the Boilermakers have a solid nucleus returning with Edwards, Haas, Mathias and Thompson. That should be more enough to comfortably return to the tournament.

3. Northwestern

· 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

Outlook: Northwestern made the tournament last season for the first time ever and won a game. The Wildcats should be able to build on last season’s success with nearly every notable contributor returning.

2. Minnesota 

· 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)

Outlook: Minnesota laid an egg in the NCAA tournament last season, but the Gophers won 24 games a season ago and return their top four players in Mason, Coffey, Murphy and Lynch. It should be another successful season for Richard Pitino.

1. Michigan State

· Returning: Miles Bridges, Cassius Winston, Lourawls Nairn, Nick Ward, Josh Langford, Gavin Schilling, Kenny Goins, Matt McQuaid, Kyle Ahrens, Ben Carter
· Arriving: Jaren Jackson (247Composite top 100), Xavier Tillman (247Composite top 100)
· Departing: Eron Harris, Alvin Ellis, Matt Van Dyk

Outlook: Michigan State is the clearcut favorite in the Big Ten and the league’s lone national championship contender. Miles Bridges is a star and Tom Izzo has a roster that could go ten deep.

(Photo credit: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images North America)

Filed to:

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Jalen Coleman-Land just announced he’s leaving Illinois. Good luck Brad.

  • vicbert caladipo

    The first 9/10 was just gibberish. The last sentence was a clear slam at IU and what it meant was you ain’t S and any yall think you are your liars.

  • Piker

    Depending on the Big schedule, who do we play home and away, and the team’s we get at home could change the outlook. I feel like this team should defend home court against all but MSU

  • vicbert caladipo

    I would bank on his draft position being considerably better before I’d bank on us winning the title, but anything can happen. By March Archie could have these guys hitting on all cylinders. We will see how we fare against big bruiser lineups with our super thin front court. DD backing TB would have been lethal under the right coach. We’ll find out if we can make up for lack of size with better coaching, but I’m 99% sure TB’s draft position would go up after a season with a new coaching staff. My problem with TB has always been defense and I think unless he improves greatly in the NBA he will be eaten up by developmental league players. Maybe a new defensive approach would make him a better player defensively.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    wasn’t he an iu target??

  • vicbert caladipo

    yes, a ctc whiff

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    haha! one of many!

  • pcantidote

    Here is Swanigan in a couple years after his NBA career tanks. He started it.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83


  • calbert40

    I’m really excited about the changes, but I have no clue what to expect next season, and I bet we have some growing pains. I bet we lose some games early that surprise us, and follow those up with some wins later in the year that are equally surprising. This is a talented roster, but with the new regime, we have no idea how each piece fits, and it will take Arch some time to figure it out.

    I hope we all give this roster and coaching staff a little more grace than has been given over the past couple of seasons. They will probably need it.

  • About TB’s defense specifically, from what I’ve read the pack line defense that Archie uses mitigates the lack of a strong post defender/rim protector. So, while I don’t doubt that Archie would have helped TB get better defensively, perhaps mostly his defensive scheme would have hidden some of TB’s defensive limitations. The same could be said for JBJ’s limitations as well, because the pack line defense also helps make up for less athletic players.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Not sure

  • As I alluded to in another comment, I hope our B1G schedule is easier on the front end. I have no doubt that we’ll improve significantly as the season goes on, and so we’ll likely be a better team toward the end than our record indicates. If our B1G schedule is front-loaded with the toughest matchups and road schedule, then it’s going to be really hard to finish in the upper half even.

  • HoosierBballNut

    Purdont has a better stadium than AH.. Why you ask ??? There ain’t no banners there to obstruct views 😉

  • John D Murphy

    I haven’t heard much about who he is working out for. Kyle Kuzma (Utah) has already had 5 workouts and has 12 more scheduled. Maybe someone convinced TB he’d get a guaranteed deal. If not, it is a risk. I think he can make a day 1 roster, which is the big question. I think he certainly would have shown big improvements in his inside game next year but that may not improve his NBA prospects. He is not making the league as inside player. He’ll have to show he can hit the outside shot and defend reasonably well. If so he can scratch two years to try to improve the other skills before he is replaced. He will have to put in the work this summer.

  • Eli McNaughton

    $5 says IU finishes higher than NW

  • calbert40

    Good point. I typically feel the opposite, but it will be nice to catch some “easy” victories early.

  • Eli McNaughton

    I can see 2 IF DD accomplishes Archie’s summer goal for him, if CM or JS exceed freshman expectations, if JN or DG becomes a consistently strong point guard and if they play better team defense (top 150)

  • SCHoosier

    IU has a few returning players also. If the Hoosiers play better D and reduce TO’s all things are possible.Having only one legitimate big (who is still not up to his potential)is a challenge for IU. (also Arch is use to fielding a good team without a dominant big)

  • Justin Beard

    Eh.. I wouldnt call Cody overrated either.

  • Mark Bando

    By the way Alex, no offense to your prognosticating, but I think it very unlikely that the badgers slip to 6th place.

  • Jrod

    Cody was before the “Movement”

  • PBzeer

    Call me wildly optimistic, but I don’t think our offense is going to be near as bad as many seem to feel it will be. Yes, they have to learn a new offensive system, but there’s only 2 players (excluding TP) who have played the old one for more than a year. So some of the problems, like turnovers, shouldn’t be as hard to correct, and the changeover shouldn’t be as drastic.

    I really expect this group to finish in the top 5 of the B1G and make the NCAA.

  • vicbert caladipo

    They say after a diet with huge results(no pun intended) you actually get bigger. I wouldn’t be upset if it was just an off the cuff comment but he has been slamming IU ever since he explained why he chose MSU then PU instead of IU. He said IU was never an interest and a few more digs. I just wonder why he has such an axe to grind with us. It’s not the rivalry, cuz other players keep their mouth shut. It’s either just a classless person or he had a traumatic experience concerning IU. Or both. My pick is he is just classless. PS Thanks for the laugh

  • BruceA

    He’s a very good player, but my thought was (if it was aimed at IU), it’s sure a lot easier to slam the Hoosiers when you know you won’t be playing their again.

  • Doug Wilson

    exactly! Indiana players will be carrying a chip on their shoulder. Swaningan”s comments should fuel their desire too.

  • HoosierOne

    I blame it on the Midwest weather!

  • TomJameson

    I’m thinking IU will finish at #5 in the B1G, but only because of a strong finish. They’ll get better as the season progresses, and as such, you’ll see them inching up those B1G Power Rankings all season.

    But John, I think the roster is thin for the center. De’Ron will be fantastic (IMHO), but I absolutely hate the idea of using JM, FM, or CH in a steady capacity of playing center. That’s just not what they’re built for. I’m seriously hoping that Tim and Clifton Moore can provide the majority of relief minutes.

    Yeah, I know … Tim would have to improve, and Clifton would have to get up to D1 & B1G speed. But maybe the coaching change can help out in both of those regards. Either way, I think IU inches up the Power Rankings as the season (and the team) progresses.

  • TomJameson

    The old argument still rages … 🙂 Archie has played smaller lineups successfully, but not in the B1G. Not to say he couldn’t have some success there, but not with the majority of the B1G. One thing for sure, if IU finishes 8th in the B1G, they will not make the NCAA Tourney. (I’m guessing they finish 5th)

    But I totally agree with you about “all things are possible”. For probably too many reasons to enumerate, I have a very positive vibe about this team, and this season.

    I think IU will get to the Big Dance, and win two games.

  • simmons is probably the fourth-most important player on the michigan team…their fortunes are tied to three players, in no particular order:
    1. xavier simpson taking over at point from the derrick walton, who was the big ten’s best guard over the last half of the season.
    2. duncan robinson taking over the four from d.j. wilson; robinson is much better offensively but not great on the boards or (especially) defensively.
    3. moe wagner is good, but he needs to show up on both ends every night. i more confident of this than the other two.

  • John D Murphy

    I seem to be in the minority, but I think JM will do great as the starting 4 and backup 5

  • kurk81

    Isn’t it the ‘conventional wisdom’ that ‘bigs’ don’t increase in value after a couple years of college? I too think Thomas would have improved with a year with Miller, but I’m sure he had people in his ear telling him his value had plateaued and another year in school would be a waste of money.

  • kurk81

    Great idea! We could arrange for a sportswriter from Lafayette or Lexington to show up and Arch could goad the crowd into beating them up! And show a picture of Calipari while the crowd chants, “lock him up.”

  • Larry Brown

    If they finish 5th, CAM should be COY. The front line just has no scorer and no big depth

  • TomJameson

    The front line consists of Deron Davis, so no depth. Helping on the front line will be mainly 3 forwards. In the order of probability of being used the most minutes in that role will be JM, CH, and FM. Maybe a bit of Tim, Clifton Moore, and/or Justin Smith. So we agree on the no depth part.

    But between all of those guys, I think the scoring will be okay.
    De’Ron = 5.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, 48.8% FG, 75.6% FT in 13.9 minutes. That’s as a freshman playing catchup for missing the summer.

    I just don’t think the offense will struggle as much as some might think, even with the loss of our JBJ, OG, and TB. There will be a couple of players whose usages will increase, like RJ and DG.

  • TomJameson

    I love Juwan’s ability, but hate to see him wasted at the 5, and IMO that is what will happen by playing him out of position. IU hasn’t had a lot of success in playing somebody out of their natural position, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to basically “hobble” a player like Juwan.

    I do not think you’re in the minority though. I think most believe JM will do well no matter where they play him. I’m in the minority by not wanting him to play as a 5, unless as an emergency. And I hope it NEVER comes to that.

  • IULore

    IU returns some talent but does not have a great team. Going to be a rough year.