With the deadline for underclassmen to withdraw from the NBA Draft now gone and the transfer cycle starting to wind down, let’s see where the dust has started to settle around the Big Ten.
Maryland found out Justin Jackson would return for his sophomore season at the deadline, something they really needed. The deadline wasn’t as kind to Purdue and Indiana, while Tom Izzo could’ve slept all day and been fine.
Movement around the Big Ten
|Illinois||Jalen Coleman-Lands (T)||n/a||Mark Alstork|
|Indiana||Thomas Bryant (D), OG Anunoby (D), James Blackmon (D)||Robert Johnson||n/a|
|Maryland||Melo Trimble (D), Jalen Brantley(T), Micah Thomas (T)||Justin Jackson||Sean Obi|
|Michigan||D.J. Wilson (D), Andrew Dakich (T), Mark Donnal (T)||Mo Wagner||Jaaron Simmons|
|Michigan State||none||Miles Bridges||n/a|
|Minnesota||Ahmad Gilbert (T)||n/a||Matz Stockman|
|Nebraska||Michael Jacobson (T), Nick Fuller (T), Jeriah Horne(T), Ed Morrow(T)||n/a||Duby Okeke|
|Ohio State||David Bell (T), Trevor Thompson (D)||Kam Williams||n/a|
|Penn State||Payton Banks (T), Terrrence Samuel (T), Isaiah Washington (T)||n/a||n/a|
|Purdue||Caleb Swanigan (D), Basil Smotherman (T)||Vince Edwards, Isaac Haas||n/a|
|Rutgers||Ibrahima Diallo (T), Nigel Johnson (T), Jonothan Laurent (T)||n/a||Peter Kiss|
|Wisconsin||Jordan Hill (T)||n/a||n/a|
Caleb Swanigan will stay in the draft, meaning that Purdue is losing the Big Ten Player of the Year and and a Naismith trophy finalist. After a sophomore season where he averaged 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds a game, shooting 53 percent from the field and 45 percent from beyond the arc, the Boilermakers would’ve been in the mix to repeat as Big Ten Champions if he returned. However, Matt Painter will bring back Vincent Edwards and Isaac Haas, who also tested the process. They each averaged 12.6 points and about five rebounds a game, so it would’ve been catastrophic if all three walked out the door.
Speaking of catastrophic, Archie Miller will have to completely rebuild in his first year at Indiana. It was already known O.G. Anunoby would be gone, he signed with an agent early, but Thomas Bryant and James Blackmon, who entered without an agent, are staying in the draft as well. Between the two of them, that’s 29.6 points and 11.4 rebounds a game out the window. Miller will return Robert Johnson, the team’s second-leading scorer, but he has some work to do to turn the Hoosiers into contenders.
While most of the conference’s coaches were sweating out the withdrawal deadline, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo had nothing to fear. Big Ten Freshman of the Year Miles Bridges decided he wouldn’t test the draft waters this year, despite some projections that he would’ve been a potential lottery prospect. He’ll come back to attempt to improve on a season in which he finished with 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds a game while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from three. He and Nick Ward will form a tough tandem in the frontcourt, and Izzo has a title contender.
John Beilein and staff had a mixed bag at the deadline. Junior forward D.J. Wilson announced he was keeping his name in the draft, but sophomore forward Mo Wagner announced that he’d return. Jaaron Simmons also confirmed that he would come to Michigan next season, securing their final scholarship. Simmons averaged 15.9 points and 6.5 assists a night for Ohio last season, and the grad transfer announced that he would withdraw from the draft to play in Ann Arbor.
Maybe lost in the all the returns was news Illinois is adding grad transfer Mark Alstork for the upcoming season. I’ve had him for as one of the top available grad transfers for a while, after he averaged 19 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists a game for Wright State. After the season, Illinois hired Oklahoma State’s head coach Brad Underwood, and it appears to already be paying dividends.