It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for my latest Big Ten Player Rankings.
No surprise here: Purdue star Caleb Swanigan remains atop the list, just ahead of Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ and Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, who continues his weekly ascent.
See my full list below.
1. Caleb Swanigan, Purdue. Swanigan averaged 25 points and 13 rebounds in victories over then-No. 25 Northwestern and No. 17 Maryland. He was 16-of-30 from the field, including a remarkable 5-10 from downtown.
Last week: 1
2. Ethan Happ, Wisconsin. Happ is a legit contender to win the national defensive player of the year. Just ask Jay Bilas. The star sophomore is averaging 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and a Big Ten-best 2.7 steals per game in conference play.
Last week: 2
3. Miles Bridges, Michigan State. The freshman phenom struggled in his first two Big Ten games, but he’s shot 55 percent and averaged 19.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.0 blocks in the six games since.
Last week: 5
4. Melo Trimble, Maryland. Amazingly, Trimble and the Terrapins finished on the wrong end of a close game in their top-25 matchup vs. then-No. 23 Purdue. While Trimble struggled from the floor, going 4-of-15, he got to the free-throw line in true Trimble fashion (14-of-15).
Last week: 3
5. Tai Webster, Nebraska. Nebraska’s Cinderella 3-0 start to conference play hasn’t continued, but the steady and consistent guard’s play remains top-level. Webster has scored in double figures every game this season, and he’s averaging 18 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
Last week: 4
6. Derrick Walton Jr., Michigan. The senior guard continued his remarkable month with a 25-point, 10-rebound explosion against rival Ohio State, but he didn’t get much help, as Michigan fell and is now 4-6 in conference play.
Last week: 9
7. Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin. Hayes registered his second double-double of the season Sunday, putting up 15 points and 10 rebounds in a closer-than-expected win vs. Indiana. Fun stat: In Wisconsin’s last two home victories over Indiana, Hayes has connected on 24-of-30 (80 percent) free throws.
Last week: 7
8. Peter Jok, Iowa. The senior sharpshooter returned from a back injury Sunday vs. Nebraska, and he looked a little rusty, missing all four of his threes. Still, Jok finished with 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists as Iowa picked up its third victory in succession.
Last week: NR
9. Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin. Koenig’s stroke has gone missing the last three games, making just 5 of his last 20 treys, but he’s picked it up as a rebounder (4.3) in the same span. Just be patient, because he’s going to catch fire again.
Last week: 8
10. Justin Jackson Maryland. One of Maryland’s trio of standout freshmen, Jackson compiled back-to-back double-doubles, performances that included 50 points, 22 rebounds and nine triples. In his latest game, vs. Purdue, though, he went for eight points and five boards.
Last week: NR