Here is the first, of a now weekly power rankings article I will be putting out. The rankings are based off of performance through the entire season up to this point. Next week players will move up and down based on their performance during the week.
1. Gary Harris- Harris is a projected lottery pick in next year’s NBA draft and his play backs up the hype. Harris is second in scoring in the Big Ten at 17.9 points a game. He’s a great defensive player as well; he’s third in the conference with 2 steals a game. He also chips in 4.3 rebounds a game and 2.8 assists a game. Right now he has led his Spartans to second in the conference standings.
2. Nik Stauskas- I had a really tough time deciding who should be number 1 on my list. Stauskas is a very close second, especially with Michigan’s season sweep of Michigan State. However, this is an individual player ranking and Stauskas is not the defender Harris is. Stauskas is great offensively though; he’s fifth in the conference in scoring at 17 points a game. He also is fourth in the conference in 3 point percentage at 44.6% and shoots 49% overall. Other than being a great shooter, Stauskas adds 3.5 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game.
3. Adreian Payne- I believe Payne is the best center in the country, even if he isn’t the first center drafted. Payne is averaging 16.4 points and 7.7 rebounds a game. He is shooting 52.5% from the field and 42.6% from three. Payne is a near impossible match-up for most teams in the country with his incredible length, athleticism, and skill set.
4. Terran Petteway- Petteway has led this surprise Nebraska team into a probable tournament appearance. He is the conference leading scorer at 18.4 points a game. He also adds 5 rebounds a game and 1.6 assists a game. Plus, he has a great beard!
5. Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell- Yogi has game to go along with the best nick name in the conference. He is third in the conference in scoring at 17.7 points a game. This is a dramatic change from last year when he was more concerned about setting up his NBA talented teammates. This year he knows he has to score for Indiana to win, and he has proven he can go off at any point in the game. He’s shooting 41.8% from three, which makes him a nearly impossible man to guard because of his cat like quickness. He also is adding 3.8 assists a game. Yogi is my personal favorite player to watch in the conference, and I believe he has Chris Paul type of potential in the NBA.
6. Tim Frazier- Not even a torn Achilles can stop this incredible senior point guard. Frazier is returning from injury this season and still averaging 16 points a game. Frazier leads the conference with 5.9 assists per game. The point guard also controls the ball with only 2.8 turnovers a game. He has quick hands defensively and gets 1.7 steals a game. Frazier is the definition of a stat sheet stuffer as he also snags 4.6 rebounds per game. The Big Ten is definitely going to miss this talented point guard next season.
7. Sam Dekker- First, anybody with the name Sam is a stud. Dekker was one of the most hyped recruits Wisconsin has ever had, and he has lived up to the hype. He is averaging 13.5 points per game while shooting 47.8%. Not only does Dekker lead his team in scoring, he also leads them in rebounding at 6.3 a game. Dekker will be the first one to make fun of his floppy hairdo he sported last season, thankfully, he found a new stylist and now is looking as good as he’s playing.
8. Noah Vonleh- Vonleh is the highest ranked player on next season’s NBA mock draft boards in the Big Ten. He is a very young freshman; he reclassified his class in high school to be able to be a freshman this season. It’s hard to believe this brute should be a senior in high school this year. His 9.4 boards a game leads the conference by almost 2 rebounds a game. His 7 foot 5 inch wingspan helps him be the dominant rebounder in the Big Ten, and has NBA general manager’s salivating at his potential. He scores 11.7 points a game, shooting 53.5% from the floor which ranks fourth in the Big Ten. He also would lead the Big Ten in three-point shooting percentage if he has shot enough three’s to be considered; he shoots 54% from beyond the arc. He also chips in 1.3 blocks a game. His decision to go pro or stay another season is the hottest topic for Indiana fans right now.
9. Caris LeVert- If Durant doesn’t want the nickname “slim reaper” I’m ready to hand it down to LeVert. He killed Michigan State in the biggest game of the year this weekend scoring 23 points. He’s had a breakout season, averaging 13.3 points per game while shooting 41.2% from behind the arc. He also grabs 4.4 rebounds per game and dishes out 2.7 assists per game.
10. Roy Devyn Marble- Marble is leading the Iowa Hawkeyes to fourth place in the conference and a great season. Marble is one of the most all around talented players in the conference, and this senior deserves all the credit he gets. He is averaging 16.6 points per game, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists. He is fifth in the conference with 1.8 steals a night.
11. Frank Kaminsky- Kaminsky may be the most improved player in the conference from last season. Last season he averaged 4 points in 10 minutes of action per game. This year he is averaging 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.3 assists per game. Now that is stuffing the stat sheet. He also is fourth in the conference at 54.8% field goal percentage.
12. Aaron Craft- Craft is the best defensive guard I have ever seen play. He is a great senior leader and every team in the country would love to have him wearing their jersey. I don’t believe we will see him in the NBA next season, but I expect to find him on a sideline coaching in the very near future. He doesn’t put up mind blowing stats, but if you watch him play he dominates every game on the defensive end and is impossible to leave off my list. He is scoring 9.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and leads the conference in steals with 2.6 per game.
13. A.J. Hammons- Nobody can deny this kids talent, but coach Painter is hoping to get more consistency from him next season. He is averaging 10.3 points per game. He is fourth in the conference with 7.2 rebounds per game and leads the conference in blocks with 3 per game. He also shoots over 50% from the floor.
14. D.J. Newbill- Newbill is fourth in the conference in scoring at 17.4 points per game. He also is averaging 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Newbill and Frazier make a dynamic duo for Penn State that no team seems to be able to stop this season.
15. Drew Crawford- Fifth year senior Drew Crawford has paid his dues, put in the work, and now is reaping the rewards. He is leading Northwestern with 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He also is dishing out 2.2 assists per game. It’s impossible not to root for a great man and player like Drew Crawford.
Honorable Mention: Rayvonte Rice, Deandre Mathieu, LaQuinton Ross, Keith Appling, Aaron White