Best of the 2016-17 men's basketball season: Under-the-radar story
With the 2016-17 season in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to consider some of the best of the season that was.
Last up, in a four-part series: Under-the-radar story.
Get the BTN team’s answers below.
Did you notice all of the talented freshmen? Great freshmen dotted many rosters across the league, led by Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Other stud freshmen: Indiana’s De’Ron Davis and Devonte Green; Iowa’s group of Jordan Bohannon, Tyler Cook and Cordell Pemsl; Maryland’s trio of Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter and Justin Jackson; Michigan State’s Nick Ward, Joshua Langford and Cassius Winston; Minnesota’s Amir Coffey; Penn State’s Lamar Stevens, Mike Watkins and Tony Carr; Purdue’s Carsen Edwards; Wisconsin’s Brevin Pritzl and D’Mitrik Trice. The future looks bright. – BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart
Caleb Swanigan. The Purdue star could make a case for most improved player, as well as Player of the Year. The work he put in to make himself a more complete player was impressive and he played hard every night. – BTN analyst Shon Morris
Iowa. Of course, this team wasn’t under-the-radar to the Hawkeye faithful, who saw their team’s mini-rebuild unfold nicely under Fran McCaffery. In what many projected to be a rough year, senior Peter Jok’s load was eased by the fantastic emergence of Iowa’s crop of young talent. Freshmen like Jordan Bohannon, Tyler Cook and Cordell Pemsl had great debut seasons and nearly provided enough punch alongside Jok to get Iowa to an unlikely NCAA tournament appearance. Even with Jok’s departure, the Hawkeyes figure to be a threat for the foreseeable future with such a formidable young core. – BTN.com’s Alex Roux
Maryland’s 12 league wins. At one time this season, Maryland was 9-1 in games decided by six points or less and was a major factor in the conference race, thanks in large part to Melo Trimble’s late-game heroics and a group of freshmen who were ready for prime time. A quick exit in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments shouldn’t take away from Maryland’s excellent season while starting a trio of first-year players, and the foundation Mark Turgeon and company built. – BTN analyst Jess Settles
Impact freshmen. So many first-year players made an immediate impact, led by likely one-and-doner Miles Bridges. The future of the Big Ten is in great hands, with or without the Michigan State star. Think about this: Point guards Jordan Bohannon, Tony Carr, Anthony Cowan and Cassius Winston all are multiple-year guys. Another thing to put this class in perspective: Right or wrong, stud Nick Ward didn’t even make the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. – BTN.com’s Brent Yarina