Jess Settles, BTN Basketball Analyst, March 10, 2015

The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament is set to kick off on Wednesday, and all eyes will be on the conference's top players.

With a big week ahead, here's a look at five players to watch in this week's Big Ten tournament.

Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin: The Big Ten regular season was "Frank?s World," and the rest of the league was forced to live in it. Now, he is poised for prime time as Kaminsky and the Badgers look to sweep the conference championships. As versatile as the senior Player of the Year is, it has been his dominant post play that has baffled opposing defenses over the last few weeks. Whenever Wisconsin needs a big play, Kaminsky goes to the block and toys with slower defenders. Look for him in the paint early and often this week and look for him at the top of the ladder cutting down a net on Sunday afternoon.

Dez Wells, Maryland: Wells is so hungry for greatness right now, it?s scary for opposing defenders. He is playing with a high sense of urgency at both ends. Wells is poised to lead Maryland to a conference championship and he has the skill set to make it happen. Expect Melo Trimble to be his consistent self, but Wells needs a few games this week like he had against Wisconsin when he exploded for 26 points, seven rebounds and didn?t turn the ball over. If he protects the ball, a title is within reach.

D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State: Russell?s crossovers are lethal and his ability to score around longer defenders is uncanny. But if Ohio State is going to steal a championship in Chicago, he is going to have to have a Russell Westbrook-type week where he is scoring at will, rebounding, and assisting teammates, which he is capable of doing. The problem Russell faces is whether his teammates will rise to the occasion. Something tells me the big stage is going to bring out the best in him.

A.J. Hammons, Purdue/Aaron White, Iowa: Chicago will be dripping with NBA scouts and many will be there to evaluate Hammons and White. You can?t coach 7-feet, and Hammons has improved dramatically this year in conference play. He leads the league in blocks and was voted to the All-Big Ten defensive squad. Purdue comes into the Big Ten tournament with a lot of pressure to win a game. Hammons needs to have a huge weekend, at both ends of the court, if Purdue wants to make a run. Iowa comes into the tournament rolling because of the explosion of Aaron White?s game. He is averaging 24 points and nine rebounds over the last four games. Purdue and Iowa should clash in the third round and one of these two players has to rise up. The problem for both Purdue and Iowa is that Wisconsin will be awaiting the winner. Can Hammons or White lead their teams past the mighty Badgers and claim a championship? Anything is possible in March.

Denzel Valentine, Michigan State. The Spartans want revenge against Maryland and Wisconsin, and Denzel Valentine has to play his best if Tom Izzo's club wants to cut down the nets for the second year in a row. Travis Trice is money, but with Dawson faltering, Valentine has the skill set at both ends to carry the Spartans. Michigan State has been shaky to say the least at the end of games, but there is no denying Valentine?s ability to make plays and ruin defenses.