- Seth Towns (Ohio State) – Towns was the 2018 Ivy League Player of the Year, averaging 16.0 points and 5.7 rebounds. Towns is talented, but has been plagued by injuries and has not seen in-game action since the 2017-18 season.
- Rocket Watts (Michigan State) – Watts was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team and will take the reins at point guard now that Cassius Winston has graduated. Watts began to elevate his level of play just before the season was cut short, averaging 17.7 points in Michigan State’s last four games. On the season, he averaged 9.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists while shooting 38.9% from the field and 28.1% from distance.
- Aleem Ford (Wisconsin) – Ford stepped up his play once Kobe King decided to transfer, averaging 10.7 points and 6.4 rebounds in Wisconsin’s last 10 games.
- Miller Kopp (Northwestern) – Kopp led Northwestern in scoring as a sophomore, averaging 13.1 points while shooting 39.6% from deep and 89.6% from the free throw line.
- Justice Sueing (Ohio State) – The 6-foot-6 transfer from California has averaged 14.1 points in 63 career games, however he has only been on the winning team for 16 of those 63 games.
25. Joshua Langford
Class: Redshirt Senior
Langford is a wildcard for the Spartans, since he hasn’t seen in-game action since December of 2018. Before a foot injury sidelined him, Langford was averaging 15.0 points per game. It’s difficult to know what to expect from Langford, but if he can pick up where he left off, he will be an All-Big Ten performer. However, if he is not what he used to be, expect him to still bring a veteran presence and be a constant threat from deep, as he is a 40.7% career three-point shooter.
24. Eric Hunter Jr.
Last season, Hunter Jr. averaged 10.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. Hunter Jr. needs to make another jump in his game in order to lead the Boilermakers to the NCAA tournament. If he can improve upon his confidence and playmaking, he will be a great player for Purdue this season.
23. Brad Davison
Davison is the chippy, battle-tested villain of the Big Ten. After shooting poorly for the majority of the 2019-20 season, Davison heated up in the last seven games, averaging 14.8 points per game, while shooting 52.6% from distance on 38 attempts. This hot stretch included a game against Nebraska where Davison made eight three-pointers, tying Bronson Koenig’s program record. Davison was an integral part of the Badgers quest to win a share of the Big Ten title. He is a 1000-point scorer heading into his senior year, and will be gearing up to win another Big Ten title.
22. Duane Washington Jr.
There will be many new faces in Columbus this year, but one constant will be 6-foot-3 guard Duane Washington Jr., who is the leading returning scorer for the Buckeyes. He averaged 11.5 points per game while shooting 39.3% from distance. Washington Jr. will have an expanded role and will be vital to the Buckeyes NCAA tournament hopes.
21. Darryl Morsell
Morsell, an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick a season ago, has been the ultimate glue-guy and has shown consistent production across the board throughout his three years at Maryland. He averaged 8.7 points per game as a freshman and 8.5 the last two seasons. This season, however, Morsell will be looked upon to expand his role offensively as a senior leader.
20. Jordan Bohannon
Class: Redshirt Senior
Bohannon’s senior year was shortened due to a hip injury, but the NCAA granted him an extra season of eligibility. Bohannon, Iowa’s all-time leader in three-point field goals made, will have the chance to cement his legacy as a Hawkeye great. Hip injuries are tricky, and Bohannon struggled last season before having surgery, so it is difficult to speculate what level of play Bohannon will return to. Regardless, Bohannon is an elite-level sniper and will bring a veteran presence to the Hawkeyes.
19. CJ Fredrick
Class: Redshirt Sophomore
Iowa’s CJ Fredrick was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team, averaging 10.2 points and 2.8 assists per game. Fredrick led the Big Ten in three-point shooting at 46.1% and will form an elite shooting tandem alongside backcourt mate Jordan Bohannon.
18. Joey Hauser
Class: Redshirt Sophomore
For Michigan State fans that don’t know, Joey Hauser is 6-foot-9 and one of the best shooters in the country. The former Marquette standout shot 42.5% from deep as a freshman and has had a redshirt year to improve under Tom Izzo. Hauser brings a great sense of composure and a high basketball IQ. He takes his time on offense, gets to his spot, and finds a way to put the ball in the hoop. Hauser has the potential to be an All-Big Ten player.
17. Aaron Wiggins
Wiggins won Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year, despite starting 16 of Maryland’s 31 games. Wiggins is also the highest-ranked NBA prospect in the Big Ten (according to NBADraft.net, which has him going 25th in the 2021 NBA draft). Mark Turgeon will rely on Wiggins to fulfill his potential this season with Jalen Smith and Anthony Cowan now starting their professional careers. Wiggins will need to raise his field goal percentage since he has shot under 40% from the field in each of his two seasons at Maryland. Wiggins’ three-point shooting percentage dipped from 41.3% his freshman year, to 31.7% as a sophomore. If Wiggins can improve his attention to detail and raise his three-point shooting percentage back up, he has the potential to be one of the top players in the Big Ten.
16. Isaiah Livers
Although it feels like Isaiah Livers has been around forever, Big Ten fans will get to see him for one more year after he withdrew from the NBA draft. The 6-foot-7 Livers averaged 12.9 points per game and shot an impressive 40.2% from distance and 95.7% from the free throw line his junior year.
15. Franz Wagner
The 6-foot-9 Wagner had a strong finish to the season for Michigan, so there is an expectation for him to make a big leap in his game. Another year of growth will serve his developing body and game well; everyone knows that it served his older brother well to put off the NBA for an extra season.
14. D’Mitrik Trice
Class: Redshirt Senior
Trice knows how to run Greg Gard’s offense and has a great feel for the game at this point in his career. He has displayed the ability to make the correct reads and decisions within the offense, especially late in the season last year. Trice was a third-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and is the most experienced Badger, as will be turning 25-years-old by the end of the school year. With Zavier Simpson, Anthony Cowan, and Cassius Winston all graduating, Trice will start to get more recognition from the media. Last season, Trice averaged 9.8 points, 4.2 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game.
13. Trevion Williams
With Matt Haarms gone, Trevion Williams will have a bigger role and be a major piece in the Purdue offense. Williams can be dominant if he continues to grow and develop under Coach Matt Painter. He took a step forward last year, but the key for Williams will be conditioning, staying on the court, and out of foul trouble. Williams showed his potential against Michigan when he put up 36 points and 20 rebounds.
12. Geo Baker
Baker is an exciting player to watch. The 6-foot-4 guard can create offense off the dribble, posterize defenders, and step-up big in crunch time. The explosive Baker earned third-team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches, while averaging 10.9 points, 3.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Baker’s two-point field goal percentage improved by almost thirteen percent to 49.4% from his sophomore year, while his three-point percentage dipped by six percent to 28%.
11. Ron Harper Jr.
Ron Harper Jr.’s emergence last season was instrumental in the Scarlet Knights making a potential NCAA tournament appearance before the season was cut short. Harper Jr. led Rutgers in scoring with 12.1 points per game, while grabbing 5.8 rebounds. He also shot 45.2% from the field and 34.9% from three-point territory. Alongside Geo Baker, Harper Jr. will have the chance to lead Rutgers to new heights, as many college basketball pundits have them ranked in their preseason top 25 polls.
10. Myreon Jones
Jones came onto the scene in a big way and was pivotal for a Penn State team that was destined to make their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2011. Jones averaged 13.3 points, 3.0 assists, and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 44.4% from the field and 40.3% from three-point range. Now, as an upperclassman, and with Lamar Stevens gone, Jones will be the focal point of the Nittany Lions offense.
9. Aaron Henry
Michigan State lost Xavier Tillman to the NBA draft, but brought back Aaron Henry. Last season, Henry averaged 10.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. Henry has the tools to take on the lead role for Michigan State with Tillman and Winston gone. Offensively, Henry will carry more weight and should be able to succeed. He can handle the ball, shoot, get into the lane, and has great court vision for a two guard. Defensively, Henry brings a solid presence, as his length, energy, and lateral quickness makes him an effective defender. Henry has shown flashes of greatness, but he will need to be a more consistent player for Michigan State if they want to compete for another Big Ten title.
8. Micah Potter
Class: Redshirt Senior
Without Micah Potter, the Badgers were 5-5, however with him the Badgers went 16-5. At 6-foot-10, 248 pounds, Potter flirted with joining the 50-40-90 club and came up just short, shooting 86% from the charity stripe. In only 17.5 minutes per game, Potter averaged 10.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.0 block. Per 30 minutes, Potter would have been averaging 17.3 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks. Paying attention to detail is critical in the Badgers system, such as defensive rotations and defending ball-screens correctly. This limited Potter’s playing time a bit, and even with that being said, Potter had the second best plus/minus in the Big Ten, behind Xavier Tillman. With 21 games of experience in the Badger system, Potter should be better in those areas and ready to log more minutes.
7. Joe Wieskamp
Wieskamp has started every game for the Hawkeyes throughout his college career and is back for another season after averaging 14.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore. The 6-foot-6 Wieskamp earned third-team All-Big Ten honors from both the coaches and media.
6. Marcus Carr
Class: Redshirt Junior
Minnesota fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief after Marcus Carr withdrew his name from the NBA draft a day before the deadline. The Minnesota offense will go through Carr now that Daniel Oturu is gone. Last season, Carr was the eighth leading scorer in the Big Ten, averaging 15.4 points and second in assists with 6.5 per game.
5. Nate Reuvers
Reuvers led the Badgers in scoring with 13.1 points per game and earned third-team All-Big Ten honors. Reuvers provides floor spacing, as he shot 33.7% from deep while standing just under 7-feet tall. He is also one of the premier shot-blockers in the Big Ten, rejecting 1.9 shots per game. There is little doubt he will become Wisconsin’s all-time leader in blocked shots early in his senior season. Reuvers is the anchor of the Badger defense and with three years of experience under his belt, he pays a great attention to detail and consistently puts himself in all the right spots.
4. Kofi Cockburn
The 7-foot-tall, 290 pound Kofi Cockburn will be back for another season after withdrawing his name from the NBA draft. The big man was an immediate force for the Fighting Illini, winning Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Cockburn put up 13.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game, while shooting 53.2% from the field. Cockburn, who will already be turning 21-years-old in September, will need to improve upon his lateral quickness on defense to take the next step as a player.
3. Trayce Jackson-Davis
Trayce Jackson-Davis is an athletic big that plays with a high motor. Jackson-Davis made his intention known early to return for his sophomore year. In his freshman season, he was a unanimous All-Freshman pick and made third-team All-Big Ten. The 6-foot-9 Jackson-Davis averaged 13.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks.
2. Ayo Dosunmu
The NBA draft withdrawal deadline was kind to Fighting Illini fans with both their stars returning for another season. With Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn back, Illinois is looking like a top 10 team. Dosunmu will have a chance to be one of Illinois’ all-time greats, and Coach Brad Underwood said that Dosunmu could have a statue built of him when it’s all said and done. If anyone can challenge Luka Garza for the Big Ten Player of the Year, it’s the versatile and explosive Ayo Dosunmu. Dosunmu earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from the media and second-team honors from the coaches.
1. Luka Garza
The number one spot was not a tough decision, as it’s not often you get a consensus first-team All-American to return, but that’s what you have with Luka Garza. Garza was the Big Ten Player of the Year, the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award winner for the top center in the country, and the Sporting News National Player of the Year. Everyone is singing Garza’s praises heading into the season, and he will be looking to build upon an impressive junior campaign.