Player Rankings: Wisconsin trio headlines Jess Settles' latest list
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Wisconsin isn’t getting much respect in the national rankings these days, checking in at No. 14 in the AP poll. But it’s getting a ton of love in my latest Big Ten Player Rankings, as Bronson Koenig joins teammates Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes on my latest list.
See my full player rankings below.
1. Peter Jok, Iowa. The Big Ten Player of the Week and the Big Ten’s leading scorer (23.8) continues to expand his game. Jok pulled down nine rebounds, to go along with 23 points, in Iowa’s upset over No. 25 Iowa State.
Last week: 2
2. Caleb Swanigan, Purdue. Swanigan could’ve put up monster numbers last week in blowout wins against Arizona State and Cleveland State, but chose to get others involved (5 assists vs. Sun Devils). He won’t be as generous to Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic on Saturday in Indy.
Last week: 1
3. Melo Trimble, Maryland. The junior took only seven shots in a victory over Jacksonville State on Monday night, and still finished with 23 points. Trimble has decided to make his young teammates better instead of audition for NBA scouts, and Maryland is rolling because of his leadership.
Last week: 4
4. Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin. Another solid all-around game (17 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals, one block) for Hayes leads to a another quality win for the Badgers, this time at rival Marquette.
Last week: 3
5. Ethan Happ, Wisconsin. Happ shows tremendous footwork at the defensive end and anticipates where the ball is heading. He is currently the Big Ten’s second-leading rebounder (9.5) and ranks fourth in steals (1.5). Not bad for a guy who’s also the Big Ten’s second-leading shooter (70 percent).
Last week: 5
6. Malcolm Hill, Illinois. The Big Ten’s second-leading scorer (18.9) is a serious player of the year candidate, and he’s starting to get a lot of help from his teammates.
Last week: 8
7. Thomas Bryant, Indiana. Here’s a crazy stat: Bryant has scored 16 points on a total of four shots in the last two games. He’s pulled down 23 rebounds and blocked eight shots in the same span. OG Anunoby is expected to return Saturday vs. Butler, giving the Hoosiers one of the nation’s best frontlines.
Last week: 6
8. James Blackmon Jr., Indiana. A showdown with Butler will draw the nation’s attention this weekend, so expect the sharpshooter to rise to the occasion, just as he did in big-time victories over then-No. 2 Kansas (26 points, six rebounds) and then-No. 3 North Carolina (14 points, nine rebounds).
Last week: 7
9. Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin. The owner of the best step-back jumper in college basketball is catching fire, hitting 31 of his last 58 shots (53 percent) in five games since the forgettable 1-of-13 performance vs. North Carolina in the Maui Invitational final.
Last week: NR
10. Scottie Lindsey, Northwestern. Arguably the Big Ten’s most improved player, Lindsey is averaging 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 0.9 steals, all while shooting 48 percent, including 47 percent from distance. He’s a big reason why Northwestern is two heartbreakers away from being undefeated.
Last week: NR