The Big Ten's State of Flux

The Big Ten's State of Flux Comment Count

Ace April 24th, 2018 at 1:15 PM

Uncertainty ball. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

The deadline for putting one's name into the NBA Draft has come and gone, so we now enter the period of uncertainty as players who didn't hire agents go through the pre-draft process before deciding whether to return to school. The Big Ten already has several notable early entrants who will hire agents and stay in the draft, including Moe Wagner and the duo of Jaren Jackson Jr. and Miles Bridges at Michigan State. (Also, uh, Nebraska's Jack McVeigh?)

Even more are testing the waters without an agent, including Charles Matthews, and those decisions will go a long way towards determining the Big Ten outlook for 2018-19. College Basketball Talk's Rob Dauster put together a list of the most influential early entry decisions from a college hoops perspective; of the 12 teams listed, five are from the B1G, and two of those teams (Maryland and Nebraska) have two players with NBA choices to make.

Here's a look at who's gone, who's testing, and how the draft could impact the conference standings next season.

Gone For Sure

...bye. [Campredon]

These players have declared and will hire an agent, locking them into the draft.


F Leron Black — A big loss for an Illinois team that relied heavily on Black's scoring and rebounding. The Illini have some decent young talent and a solid incoming class but this is a setback for Brad Underwood after a rough first year. As for Black, he's probably going undrafted.


F Justin Jackson — Jackson had the misfortune of getting injured after coming back for his sophomore season, and he'd already been off to a stock-hurting start. Still, he's a talented player who made a solid impact as a freshman, and the Terps could be losing a lot depending on a couple other draft decisions.


C Moe Wagner — I don't need to tell you about the impact of this one for Michigan—we've covered it extensively and there will be plenty more to come. Wagner is currently a late first- or second-round prospect who's considered a safe pick without a ton of upside (his defense remains a sticking point).


F Miles Bridges and F Jaren Jackson Jr. — Bridges was overdue to enter and probably slipped a few spots in a loaded draft year because he returned to jack up 25-footers over a 2-3 zone. Jackson, after taking a strangely long time to make a decision that seemed quite obvious after that Syracuse game, made the obvious choice—he could go as high as #3 overall. Both are obviously major losses for an MSU team that may end up starting Kenny Goins at the four. They could lose the third member of their starting frontcourt, too.


F Jack McVeigh — Is not an NBA prospect, to be frank. He barely played for the Huskers this year after being useful rotation piece in his first two seasons. Nebraska's fates are much more closely tied to the decisions of two players who haven't hired agents.


F Keita Bates-Diop — An expected departure as KBD put together a Player of the Year-caliber junior season that earned him first-round projections. The Bucks also lose Jae'Sean Tate and Kam Williams from the starting lineup. They're set to drop back after a shockingly good first year under Chris Holtmann.


PG Tony Carr — Remember that brief moment when Penn State was a dark horse conference title contender for 2018-19? It's over now. Pat Chambers still has a team that could make some noise but they're going to have a very tough time replacing Carr's high-usage, high-efficiency offense. Carr should go in the second round.


PG Corey Sanders — A huge loss for Rutgers, as Sanders dragged that offense out of the KenPom 300s in efficiency the last couple years by taking all the bad shots he could handle and making a respectable number of them given the circumstances. While bad-shot-making is an NBA trait, Sanders isn't expected to be drafted.

[Hit THE JUMP for the water-testers.]


WTKA Roundtable 4/13/2017: Et Tu, BC?

WTKA Roundtable 4/13/2017: Et Tu, BC?


[Bill Rapai]

Things discussed:

  • Berenson remembered. Wish time didn’t happen; now it’s time to appreciate all that Red gave us, including the best damn hockey ever, Old Yost, and all the Comries.
  • Options for next guy—it doesn’t seem like the replacement has been decided, and it seems it’s not Mel anymore. Was it until recently? Yeah? Why not Babcock? Some convincing reasons, including Zach Hyman.
  • Miles Bridges stays at State…um…okay…gotta stick around for that Izzo bump I guess. DJ and Moe probably want to go to the NBA Draft but if 24th overall is the ceiling they should probably return.
  • Euphemisms that don’t need explaining explained.
  • Spring Game: position battles we’re watching.
  • OL: Big Mike O gonna be good. If Ruiz isn’t pummeled by the starting DL, pencil him in as a 4-year starter.

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.


Hoops Recruitin' Sets Officials

Hoops Recruitin' Sets Officials Comment Count

Ace August 18th, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Winston Narrows List, Stops By A2

John Beilein's top recruiting priority is to land a quality point guard in the 2016 class and U-D Jesuit four-star Cassius Winston has been the number one target on the board for a while. Michigan got a couple encouraging developments on that front this week when Winston cut down his list and then dropped by Ann Arbor for an unofficial, per The Wolverine's Chris Balas ($):

Winston trimmed his list to four recently, striking Harvard from his list and leaving Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford and Pitt. Most believe it's a U-M vs. MSU battle, and Winston added some intrigue when he visited Ann Arbor again Aug. 16. 


"He loves everything Michigan has to offer, loves the basketball," his dad said. "He really likes the academics, too."

Winston is slated to take an official visit on September 19th; he's already taken one to Stanford and is supposed to see MSU the week prior, giving M the last crack unless he adds other visits to the schedule. His father told MLive he's getting a little tired of the recruiting process and would like to make a final decision before his senior season begins. This looks like an in-state battle and the Wolverines may have a slight edge right now.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]


Hoops Recruitin' Lives And Learns

Hoops Recruitin' Lives And Learns Comment Count

Ace August 5th, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Lesson Learned

After Tyus Battle took the last available scholarship in the 2016 class only to decommit and cause Michigan to lose out on fellow five-star wing Josh Langford, it looked like John Beilein's strict adherence to not oversigning—even in the attrition-heavy environment of major conference college hoops—cost Michigan their shot at an elite wing, especially after they accepted the commitment of three-star Ibi Watson last week.

Sam Webb hinted in the wake of Watson commitment that was not, in fact, the case. When Webb broke the news that five-star wing Miles Bridges, a Flint native who plays for Huntington (WV) Prep, would visit on Monday, the picture became clear: Michigan is changing their recruiting tack and they're not done recruiting wings.

Michigan had been the only school in Bridges' top five not to offer him, since he hadn't taken a visit to Ann Arbor yet. That changed following Monday's visit, according to Webb. While Kentucky and Michigan State are the favorites to land Bridges, there's reason for optimism. Bridges is AAU teammates with top point guard target Cassius Winston, and they've mentioned a desire to play together in college. [Insert caveat about package deals here.]

This is a significant shift for Michigan, as it'd mark a change in Beilein's willingness to project attrition when recruiting. The Wolverines need a point guard in this class; it's expected commit Austin Davis will take a prep year and reclassify to 2017 to make room for one. There isn't an obvious way to make room for one more, but Beilein isn't exactly at risk of going Full Crean (never go Full Crean); with the logjam at the three and the four, plus the potential for a Zak Irvin breakout year, it'd be a surprise if every eligible member of this year's team was back in 2016-17.

It's a lesson learned the hard way, but it looks like Beilein took note of what happened with Battle and is making the requisite adjustments to his recruiting strategy.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]