Jess Settles, BTN men's basketball analyst, March 1, 2016
This is it. The final week of the Big Ten regular season tips Tuesday night.
Before the final week gets underway, it's time to share my latest Big Ten Player Rankings.
See the full list below.
1. Denzel Valentine, Michigan State. Like a great quarterback, Valentine anticipates where his teammates will end up on the court, and delivers perfect dimes (7.4 apg) to those spots. His all-around brilliance, once again, has the nation bullish on the Spartans heading into March.
Last week: 1
2. Yogi Ferrell, Indiana. Two legacy impacting games are ahead this week for Ferrell. If Indiana sweeps Iowa and Maryland and Ferrell stars in the process, could the star point guard steal some Player of the Year votes from Valentine?
Last week: 3
3. Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa. Iowa has lost four out of five games, and Uthoff's struggles are a major reason why. In the four losses, the talented forward shot 35 percent form the floor and 25.9 percent from three.
Last week: 2
4. A.J. Hammons, Purdue. Purdue's star senior was impressive in the Boilers' home win over Maryland. He scored 19 points in a variety a ways and has scored in double figures in 10 straight games.
Last week: 6
5. Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin. Hayes' perseverance this season has been admirable. After a 1-4 start in Big Ten play, the Badgers are surging due to the leadership and play of Hayes.
Last week: 5
6. Peter Jok, Iowa. Jok has been under the weather, and Iowa's long-range shooting has been weary as a result. After an explosive first half against Wisconsin, the junior sharpshooter was held to four second-half points in a critical home loss. At Ohio State, he made only 4-of-13 from the field.
Last week: 4
7. Melo Trimble, Maryland. Maryland continues to fall at the wrong time. Trimble's struggles have contributed to the issues, but he showed signs of life Saturday. He has to get back to his usual self, though, if the Terps want to compete in the Big Ten tournament and be a factor in the NCAA tournament.
Last week: 9
8. Matt Costello, Michigan State. His tenacity on the glass vs. Penn State helped Michigan State overcome a poor shooting start. The senior is fractions away from averaging a double-double in conference play.
Last week: 7
9. Diamond Stone, Maryland. Stone has been solid all season long, and he's averaged 15.5 points, five rebounds and 2.5 blocks, all while shooting 52 percent, in two games since his suspension for the Minnesota game, which the Terrapins lost.
Last week: NR
10. Bryn Forbes, Michigan State. America's best shooter continues his torrid pace, connecting on 15 of his last 24 triples (63 percent) in the last three games, a span that's included just two turnovers. Only question is, will Forbes make it to 100 3-pointers in the regular season? He's at 92.
Last week: NR