Big Ten Basketball: Ranking the Top 100 Players in the B1G
Several weeks back, I wrote an article recapping a 25 player mock draft that I took part in. Every player selected in the draft played for a Big Ten team. Comments that I received back from the mock draft were both positive and negative, though it was based on everyone involved's selections and was not a personal ranking that I had come up with.
This article takes things one step further, and I'm certain there will be both people pleased and unhappy with how this draft turned out. To explain further, the fantasy league contains 10 teams. Each team drafts 10 players, six of whom are weekly starters. Of those starters, two must be guards, two forwards, one center and one utility, while always having at least one freshmen in your starting lineup.
Centers come at a premium, as not many are listed as a C on their roster, even if their primary position is a "5". It's tough to gauge when transfer players and freshmen should be selected. There are also biases and allegiances towards certain Big Ten teams.
For instance, I went to the University of Illinois, though Rayvonte Rice was my only Illini selection. Of the other nine league members, three others cheer for the Illini, two for the Wisconsin Badgers, two for the Iowa Hawkeyes, one for the Northwestern Wildcats and one for the Indiana Hoosiers.
So before you go off berating this list, consider a few things. First, this is not my ranking, rather it's the results of a fantasy draft. Second, these players were selected as fantasy players, some of whom have greater values statistically than as real players, and vice versa.
The three categories used are points, rebounds and assists. Also, people must alter their picks based on their team's needs, by both position and class. Here is a look at the picks in order. Below this list, I will give a brief synopsis of players whom I believe were either picked too high or too low.
|1||Adreian Payne||Michigan State||F-C||SR|
|4||Aaron Craft||Ohio State||G||SR|
|5||Tim Frazier||Penn State||G||SR|
|6||D.J. Newbill||Penn State||G-F||JR|
|9||Keith Appling||Michigan State||G||SR|
|16||Gary Harris||Michigan State||G||SO|
|20||LaQuinton Ross||Ohio State||F||JR|
|21||Branden Dawson||Michigan State||F||JR|
|27||Kam Williams||Ohio State||G||FR|
|28||Marc Loving||Ohio State||F||FR|
|34||Ross Travis||Penn State||F||JR|
|39||Lenzelle Smith||Ohio State||G||SR|
|45||Sam Thompson||Ohio State||F||JR|
|46||Denzel Valentine||Michigan State||G||SO|
|54||Shannon Scott||Ohio State||G||JR|
|62||Amir Williams||Ohio State||C||JR|
|65||Brandon Taylor||Penn State||F||SO|
|71||Travis Trice||Michigan State||G||JR|
|90||Matt Costello||Michigan State||F-C||SO|
|95||Allen Roberts||Penn State||G||SR|
Picked Too High
Drew Crawford—Though he should be the Wildcats' top option offensively, he did miss last season with a shoulder injury. Crawford would have been better fit for a late first or early second round pick.
DJ Newbill—Though his numbers last season are hard to argue with, the return of Tim Frazier to Happy Valley should decrease Newbill's numbers ever so slightly.
Terone Johnson—Purdue has plenty of young talent in the backcourt, and while Johnson was the team's best player a year ago, he seems to have reached his peak.
Kam Williams—A highly-touted freshman, Williams will come off the Buckeye bench on the wing. Matta has never used deep rotations however, meaning Williams' minutes could be at a premium.
Sanjay Lumpkin—Lumpkin is battling with sophomore Kale Abrahamson for the starting power forward spot on Chris Collins' team, as Lumpkin redshirted a year ago.
Honorable Mention: Keith Appling, Ben Brust, Tracy Abrams, Marc Loving, Jordan Morgan, Chier Ajou
Picked Too Low
Gary Harris—Potentially the top player in the whole league, Harris' rebound and assist numbers from his freshman season left him on the board, leading me to happily snag him in the second round.
Sam Dekker—Dekker will be the best player and scorer on the Badgers this season. He was the team's sixth man as a freshman and has the ability to play either forward position.
Joseph Bertrand—A redshirt senior who played behind Brandon Paul and DJ Richardson for four seasons, Bertrand finally gets his chance to shine. He's an explosive athlete and jumper who is versatile on both ends.
Mike Gesell—Gesell will run the Hawkeye offense, though playing time could change each game with the team's proclaimed 11-man rotation, featuring nine returning players from last season.
Zak Irvin—Whether he starts or comes off John Beilein's bench, Irvin will produce when on the court. Mr. Basketball in the state of Indiana is quite an accomplishment.
Honorable Mention: Mitch McGary, Noah Vonleh, LaQuinton Ross, Derrick Walton, Jon Ekey, Matt Costello
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