Jess Settles, BTN men's basketball analyst, March 7, 2016
That was an exciting 2015-16 Big Ten season.
With the regular season in the books and the Big Ten tourney tipping off Wednesday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, it's time to take a look at my final Big Ten Player Rankings.
See my full list below.
1. Denzel Valentine, Michigan State. Valentine finishes the year in the top spot. Since assists began being recorded in 1983-1984, only Valentine has averaged 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Last week: 1
2. Yogi Ferrell, Indiana. Ferrell finished his senior season with a Big Ten title and an undefeated home record. Also, as Tom Crean likes to mention, he's the first Indiana player since Matt Nover to win two outright Big Ten titles.
Last week: 2
3. Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa. Uthoff regained his swagger heading into the postseason with an across-the-board 29-point, seven-rebound, three-block and four-steal effort in a season-finale victory at Michigan.
Last week: 3
4. A.J. Hammons, Purdue. Talk about consistency, the true game-changer has hit 7-of-10 shots in each of the last three games, while averaging 17 points, seven rebounds and 2.3 blocks.
Last week: 4
5. Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin. Nobody is better at getting to the foul line than Wisconsin's versatile star; in fact, Hayes went 11-of-13 from the charity stripe Sunday en route to scoring 30 points, his third 30-point effort of the season.
Last week: 5
6. Peter Jok, Iowa. Jok was the Big Ten's most improved player this season, and his precision shooting (40 percent from distance) and defense (1.4 steals) won a lot of games for Iowa.
Last week: 6
7. Melo Trimble, Maryland. Trimble started the year in the top spot, but a second-half slump derailed Maryland's title hopes. That said, Trimble has averaged 18 points, five rebounds, 4.3 assists and two steals in the last three games.
Last week: 7
8. Matt Costello, Michigan State. How good was Costello this season? Put it this way: The Big Ten's leading rebounder joins Draymond Green as the only Tom Izzo players to average a double-double in Big Ten play. He's the main reason why Michigan State leads the nation in rebounding.
Last week: 8
9. Malcolm Hill, Illinois. No matter Illinois' record, Hill always competes. His 39-point, 13-rebound performance in the season-ending double-overtime loss at Penn St was brilliant.
Last week: NR
10. Bryn Forbes, Michigan State. The guy is shooting a ridiculous 50.5 percent from behind the arc! Oh, and he hit a Big Ten single-game record 11 triples last week at Rutgers on his way to finishing the regular season with a Big Ten-leading 104 treys.
Last week: 10