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Big Ten Men’s Basketball Power Rankings — Post NBA Draft Entry Decision Deadline

For the first time we can take a clear look at the 2020-21 Big Ten conference men’s basketball race.

All of the key NBA Draft early entry decisions have been made, and with that we present our first power rankings for the upcoming season.

While it wasn’t easy to pick a favorite, there is a clear hierarchy in the league.  This is how we see the Big Ten race shaking out for the 2020-21 campaign.

THE TOP TIER

1. ILLINOIS

The return of Ayo Dusunmu and Kofi Cockburn, along with other key contributors and strong freshmen guards, propels Illinois to the top of our power rankings.

Top Returning

  • Ayo Dosunmu, G, 16.6 ppg
  • Kofi Cockburn, F, 13.3 ppg
  • Trent Frazier, G, 9.1 ppg
  • Giorgi Bezhanishvili, F, 6.8 ppg
  • Da’Monte Williams, G, 2.8 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • Austin Hutcherson, G, 20 ppg (via Wesleyan)
  • Jacob Grandison, G, 13.9 ppg (via Holy Cross)

Incoming Freshmen

  • Adam Miller, G, No. 33
  • Andre Curbelo, G, No. 44
  • Coleman Hawkins, F, No. 154

Eligibility

  • Andres Feliz, G, 11 ppg
  • Kipper Nichols, F, 3.4 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • Alan Griffin, 6-foot-5 guard, 8.9 ppg
  • Tevian Jones, 6-foot-7 forward, .9 ppg

NBA Draft

  • None

2. WISCONSIN

The Badgers return almost everyone from their Big Ten co-champion squad.  Greg Gard’s system makes them a reliable pick to finish near the top once again.

Top Returning

  • Nate Reuvers, F, 13.1 ppg
  • Micah Potter, F, 10.1 ppg
  • Brad Davison, G, 9.9 ppg
  • D’Mitrik Trice, G, 9.8 ppg
  • Aleem Ford, F, 8.6 ppg
  • Tyler Wahl, F, 2.6 ppg
  • Trevor Anderson, 1.8 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • None

Incoming Freshmen

  • Ben Carlson, F, No. 98
  • Johnny Davis, G, No. 151
  • Lorne Bowman, G, No. 181
  • Steven Crowl, C, No. 223
  • Jordan Davis, F, No. 429

Eligibility

  • Brevin Pritzl, G, 8 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • Kobe King, G, 10 ppg

NBA Draft

  • None

3. IOWA

The return of Luka Garza is huge, but Iowa has no other proven size and a Fran McCaffery team has to show that it can defend at a championship level.

Top Returning

  • Luka Garza, F, 23.9 ppg
  • Joe Wieskamp, G, 14 ppg
  • CJ Fredrick, G, 10.2 ppg
  • Jordan Bohannon, G, 8.8 ppg
  • Joe Toussaint, G, 6.5 ppg
  • Connor McCaffery, G, 6.2 ppg
  • Jack Nunge, F, 6 ppg
  • Patrick McCaffery, F, 3 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • None

Incoming Freshmen

  • Ahron Ulis, G, No. 173
  • Tony Perkins, G, No. 328
  • Josh Ogundele, C, No. 379

Eligibility

  • Ryan Kreiner, F, 7.7 ppg
  • Bakari Evelyn, G, 3.7 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • Cordell Pemsl, 2.8 ppg

NBA Draft

  • None

4. MICHIGAN STATE

The Spartans have a lot of returning talent but losing Winston and Tillman won’t be easy to overcome for Tom Izzo.

Top Returning

  • Aaron Henry, F, 10.0 ppg (expected to return)
  • Josh Langford, G, DNP (status uncertain)
  • Joey Hauser, F, 9.7 ppg (transfer / 2018-19 stats)
  • Rocket Watts, G, 9.0 ppg
  • Gabe Brown, F, 6.8 ppg
  • Malik Hall, F, 4.6 ppg
  • Marcus Bingham, F, 3.5 ppg
  • Thomas Kithier, F, 3.1 ppg
  • Foster Loyer, G, 2.9 ppg
  • Julius Marble, F, 1.7 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • None

Incoming Freshmen

  • Mady Sissoko, C, No. 40
  • AJ Hoggard, G, No. 74

Eligibility

  • Cassius Winston, G, 18.6 ppg
  • Kyle Ahrens, G, 3.6 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • None

NBA Draft

  • Xavier Tillman, F, 13.7 ppg

THE NEXT FOUR

5. MICHIGAN

The Wolverines suffered big losses, but the return of Isaiah Livers along with other key pieces and good freshmen should help Juwan Howard in year two.

Top Returning

  • Isaiah Livers, F, 12.9 ppg
  • Franz Wagner, G, 11.6 ppg
  • Eli Brooks, G, 10.6 ppg
  • Brandon Johns, F, 6 ppg
  • Austin Davis, C, 4.9 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • Mike Smith, G, 22.8 ppg (via Columbia)

Incoming Freshmen

  • Hunter Dickinson, C, No. 42
  • Zeb Jackson, G, No. 87
  • Terrance Williams, F, No. 92
  • Jace Howard, F, No. 348

Eligibility

  • Zavier Simpson, G, 12.9 ppg
  • Jon Teske, C, 11.6 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • David DeJulius, G, 7 ppg
  • Colin Castleton, C, 3.5 ppg
  • Cole Bajema, F, 2.9 ppg

NBA Draft

  • None

6.  INDIANA

It is a critical fourth season for head coach Archie Miller, and he should have enough talent to make a move up the standings.

Top Returning

  • Trayce Jackson-Davis, F, 13.5 ppg
  • Al Durham, G, 9.8 ppg
  • Rob Phinisee, G, 7.3 ppg
  • Joey Brunk, F, 6.8 ppg
  • Jerome Hunter, F, 3.8 ppg
  • Armaan Franklin, G, 3.7 ppg
  • Race Thompson, F, 3.7 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • None

Incoming Freshmen

  • Jordan Geronimo, F, No. 96
  • Anthony Leal, G, No. 144
  • Trey Galloway, G, No. 145
  • Khristian Lander, G, No. 27 (reclassified from 2021)

Eligibility

  • Devonte Green, G, 10.8 ppg
  • De’Ron Davis, F, 2.7 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • Damezi Anderson, F, 2.8 ppg
  • Justin Smith, F, 10,4 ppg

NBA Draft

  • None

7. RUTGERS

The Scarlet Knights were one of the surprise teams in 2019-20, and Steve Pikiell has most of his roster back.

Top Returning

  • Ron Harper, G, 12.1 ppg
  • Geo Baker, G, 10.9 ppg
  • Jacob Young, G, 8.5 ppg
  • Myles Johnson, C, 7.8 ppg
  • Montez Mathis, G, 7.4 ppg
  • Caleb McConnell, G, 6.7 ppg
  • Paul Mulcahy, G, 3.7 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • None

Incoming Freshmen

  • Cliff Omoruyi, F, No. 48
  • Mawot Mag, F, No. 198
  • Dean Reiber, F, No. 358
  • Oskar Palmquist, F, N/A

Eligibility

  • Akwasi Yeboah, F, 9.8 ppg
  • Shaq Carter, C, 3.6 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • Peter Kiss, G, 0 ppg

NBA Draft

  • None

8. PURDUE

We’ve learned to not doubt Matt Painter, but beyond Trevion Williams this is an uninspiring roster.

Top Returning

  • Trevion Williams, F, 11.5 ppg
  • Eric Hunter, G, 10.6 ppg
  • Sasha Stefanovic, G. 9.1 ppg
  • Isaiah Thompson, G, 5.6 ppg
  • Aaron Wheeler, F, 3.6 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • None

Incoming Freshmen

  • Brandon Newman (Redshirt)
  • Mason Gillis (Redshirt)
  • Jaden Ivey, G, No. 81
  • Ethan Morton, G, No. 94
  • Zach Edey, C, No. 395

Eligibility

  • Jahaad Proctor, G, 9 ppg
  • Evan Boudreaux, F, 5.4 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • Matt Haarms, C, 8.6 ppg
  • Nojel Eastern, G, 4.9 ppg

NBA Draft

  • None

TRENDING DOWN

9. MARYLAND

It’s a long fall for Mark Turgeon after winning a share of the Big Ten title with Jalen Smith and Anthony Cowan.

Top Returning

  • Aaron Wiggins, G, 10.4 ppg
  • Darryl Morsel, G, 8.5 ppg
  • Eric Ayala, G, 8.5 ppg
  • Donta Scott, F, 5.9 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • Jairus Hamilton, F, 9.5 ppg (via Boston College)
  • Galin Smith, F, 3.1 ppg (via Alabama)

Incoming Freshmen

  • Marcus Dockery, G, No. 213
  • Aquan Smart, G, No. 376

Eligibility

  • Anthony Cowan, G, 16.3 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • Ricky Lindo, F, 1.7 ppg
  • Makhel Mitchell, F, 1.0 ppg
  • Makhi Mitchell, F, 3.0 ppg
  • Joshua Tomaic, F, 1.1 ppg
  • Serrel Smith, G, 1.5 ppg

NBA Draft

  • Jalen Smith, F, 15.5 ppg

10.  PENN STATE 

Stevens and Watkins are big losses for Pat Chambers.  The Nittany Lions will compete with toughness, but they don’t have enough firepower to contend.

Top Returning

  • Myreon Jones, G, 13.3 ppg
  • Myles Dread, G, 8.6 ppg
  • Izaiah Brockington, G, 8.1 ppg
  • Seth Lundy, F, 5.3 ppg
  • John Harrar, F, 4.3 ppg
  • Jamari Wheeler, G, 3.8 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • Sam Sessoms, G, 19.4 ppg (via Binghamton)
  • Valdir Manuel, C, JUCO

Incoming Freshmen

  • Dallion Johnson, G, No. 283
  • DJ Gordon, G, No. 353
  • Caleb Dorsey, F, No. 425

Eligibility

  • Lamar Stevens, F, 17.6 ppg
  • Mike Watkins, F, 9.7 ppg
  • Curtis Jones, G, 6.2 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • Kyle McCloskey, G, .3 ppg

NBA Draft

  • None

11. OHIO STATE

The losses outweigh the gains for Chris Holtmann as the Buckeyes might struggle to score.

Top Returning

  • Duane Washington, G, 11.5 ppg
  • CJ Walker, G, 8.7 ppg
  • Kyle Young, F, 7.5 ppg
  • EJ Liddell, F, 6.7 ppg
  • Justin Ahrens, F, 2.9 ppg
  • Ibrahima Diallo, C, 1.3 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • Seth Towns, F, 16 ppg (via Harvard)
  • Jimmy Sotos, G, 11.5 ppg (via Bucknell)
  • Abel Porter, G, 5.6 ppg (via Utah State)

Incoming Freshmen

  • Eugene Brown, G, No. 134
  • Zed Key, F, No. 142

Eligibility

  • Andre Wesson, F, 9.2 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • D.J. Carton, G, 10.4 ppg
  • Luther Mohammed, G, 7 ppg
  • Alonzo Gaffney, F, 1.8 ppg (may play professional basketball)

NBA Draft

  • Kaleb Wesson, F, 14 ppg

THE BOTTOM THREE

12. NORTHWESTERN

Chris Collins returns a nice core but the talent just isn’t there to compete at the top of the league.

Top Returning

  • Miller Kopp, F, 13.1 ppg
  • Boo Buie, G, 10.3 ppg
  • Ryan Young, C, 9 ppg
  • Pete Nance, F, 8.5 ppg
  • Anthony Gaines, G, 5.9 ppg
  • Robbie Beran, F, 5 ppg
  • Ryan Greer, G, 1 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • None

Incoming Freshmen

  • Ty Berry, G, No. 141
  • Matt Nicholson, C, No. 292

Eligibility

  • AJ Turner, F, 5.1 ppg
  • Pat Spencer, G, 10.4 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • Jared Jones, F, 2.9 ppg
  • Anthony Malnati, G, .2 ppg

NBA Draft

  • None

13. MINNESOTA

If the Gophers fall this far it might be Richard Pitino’s last run in Minnesota.

Top Returning

  • Marcus Carr, G, 15.4 ppg
  • Gabe Kalscheur, G, 11.6 ppg
  • Isaiah Ihnen, F, 3.4 ppg
  • Tre Williams, G, 3.1 ppg
  • Jarvis Omersa, F, 1.9 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • Liam Robbins, C, 14.1 ppg (Via Drake)
  • Brandon Johnson, F, 15.4 ppg (Via Western Michigan)
  • Both Gach, G, 10.7 ppg (Via Utah, immediate eligibility subject to waiver)

Incoming Freshmen

  • Jamal Mashburn, Jr., G, No. 129
  • Martice Mitchell, F, No. 150
  • David Mutaf, G (Turkey), No. 184

Eligibility

  • Alihan Demir, F, 7.1 ppg
  • Michael Hurt, F, 1.4 ppg

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • Payton Willis, G, 8.9 ppg

NBA Draft

  • Daniel Oturu, F, 20.1 ppg

14. NEBRASKA

Fred Hoiberg has his work cut out form him again with substantial roster turnover in Lincoln.

Top Returning

  • Thorir Thorbjranarson, G, 8.8 ppg
  • Yvan Ouedraogo, F, 5.7 ppg

Transfer Portal (IN)

  • Kobe Webster, G, 17.2 ppg (via Western Illinois)
  • Trey McGowens, G, 11.5 ppg (via Pittsburgh)
  • Trevor Lakes, F, 15.7 ppg (via Indianapolis – DII)
  • Teddy Allen, G, JUCO
  • Lat Mayen, F, JUCO

(Note:  Wisconsin transfer Kobe King backed out of his decision to attend Nebraska)

Incoming Freshmen

  • Elijah Wood, G, No. 410
  • Eduardo Andre, C, No. 210

Eligibility

  • Haanif Cheatham, G, 13.1 ppg
  • Matej Kavas, G, 5.3

Transfer Portal (OUT)

  • Samari Curtis, G, 1.8 ppg
  • Cam Mack, G, 12 ppg
  • Jervay Green, G, 8.2 ppg
  • Dachon Burke, G, 12.2 ppg
  • Kevin Cross, F, 7.1 ppg

NBA Draft

  • None

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