With Kevin Huerter off to the NBA, Maryland basketball’s roster appears to be set.
Now that Wednesday’s deadline for prospects to declare themselves in or out of the 2018 NBA Draft has come and went, we have a better picture of what every team will look like in the 2018-19 season. While nothing is set in stone (surprise commitments, transfers, suspensions, etc. do happen), here’s a real early look at how the Big Ten shapes up for 2018-19:
Tier 1: These schools should at least be somewhere in the race for the Big Ten title.
Cassius Winston, Matt McQuaid, Joshua Langford, Marcus Bingham, Nick Ward
Michigan State didn’t capitalize on the glut of talent it had in 2017-18, but the Spartans are still likely to fall a bit after losing two projected lottery picks in Jaren Jackson Jr. and Miles Bridges. Freshman Marcus Bingham could slide in to help out in the frontcourt; while he’s talented, it’s unfair to expect him to replace Jackson or Bridges. Still, the talent the Spartans have left over makes them contenders.
Zavier Simpson, Jordan Poole, Charles Matthews, Isaiah Livers, Jon Teske
Michigan also loses a lot. Getting Matthews back is a good start, but the Wolverines will need to make some changes. Moe Wagner was their only consistent source of offense last season, and he’s gone. Matthews, Simpson and Poole should continue providing excellent perimeter defense, but where’s the offense going to come from?
Devonte Green, Romeo Langford, Zach McRoberts, Justin Smith, Juwan Morgan
The Hoosiers get Juwan Morgan back, and have uber-recruit Romeo Langford joining what could be an up-and-coming team.
Anthony Cowan Jr., Darryl Morsell, Aaron Wiggins, Jalen Smith, Bruno Fernando
Yep, Maryland’s here. It’s definitely weird to think of a team that loses two of its best players as one of the better teams in the conference, but Mark Turgeon brings in a talented recruiting class. And, I mean, who else seems that scary in the Big Ten?
Tier 2: You’ve already realized there’s no such thing as a Big Ten “dark horse” because no team seems that good, but, uhhh, these guys might fit the bill?
Brad Davison, Brevin Pritzl, Khalil Iverson, Aleem Ford, Ethan Happ
The Badgers return just about their whole team, and that includes Ethan Happ, one of the better offensive threats in all of college basketball. It also includes Brad Davison, one of the best non-one-and-done freshmen in the country. That’s the good news. The bad news is that this same team lost 18 games last season.
Glynn Watson, Thomas Allen, James Palmer Jr., Isaac Copeland, Jordy Tshimanga
The Huskers return most of their team, and could be on the verge of a return to the NCAA Tournament. Tim Miles better hope they get there.
Tier 3: I have no earthly idea what will happen to these teams.
Carsen Edwards, Ryan Cline, Nojel Eastern, Evan Boudreaux, Matt Haarms
The Boilermakers lose a lot. 2018-19 is looking like the start of a rebuild with four seniors leaving, but Carsen Edwards could be the Big Ten Player of the Year.
Jamari Wheeler, Shep Garner, Josh Reaves, Lamar Stevens, Mike Watkins
The Nittany Lions would’ve really been a threat with another season of Tony Carr. Now, it’s tough to say what they’ll become.
Isaiah Washington, Dupree McBrayer, Amir Coffey, Jordan Murphy, Daniel Oturu
Minnesota was bad last year, and loses one of its best players in recent memory in Nate Mason. But that starting lineup still seems solid, so maybe a rebound could be in order? I don’t know.
Tier 4: Not the worst, but don’t expect a tournament bid.
C.J. Jackson, Luther Muhammad, Andre Wesson, Kyle Young, Kaleb Wesson
Losing Keita Bates-Diop seems like it’ll make Chris Holtmann’s Year 2 look the way we expected Year 1 to be. That’s fine. Rebuilds take time.
Isiah Brown, Anthony Gaines, Vic Law, Aaron Falzon, Dererk Pardon
Northwestern fell apart last year after notching its first-ever NCAA Tournament bid the year before. They returned the whole roster from that tournament team and had a sub-.500 season. So it’s hard to put much faith in the Wildcats.
Jordan Bohannon, Isaiah Moss, Nicholas Baer, Tyler Cook, Luka Garza
Iowa’s situation resembles that of Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes are young and have one star in Tyler Cook. He’s not Ethan Happ, though, and Iowa’s not Wisconsin.
Tier 5: Call back later. These rebuilds will take time.
Geo Baker, Montez Mathis, Issa Thiam, Eugene Omoruyi, Shaquille Doorson
Rutgers lost point guard Corey Sanders to the draft a year early, and that takes a huge chunk out of the Scarlet Knights’ rebuild.
Trent Frazier, Ayo Dosunmu, Te’Jon Lucas, Kipper Nichols, Leron Black
Brad Underwood snagged another top-50 recruit, but the Illini still have a ways to go before they have the depth to compete.