The Terps boast five starters averaging double figures. Melo Trimble, Diamond Stone and Robert Carter Jr. lead the way for the best Maryland squad since 2002
Many would argue for Iowa atop this list. The Hawkeyes are the most experienced team in the conference with four seniors and a junior in the starting lineup, which includes Jarrod Uthoff (18.6 PPG) and Peter Jok (15.3 PPG).
3. Michigan State
Wooden Award candidate Denzel Valentine (19 PPG, 8 RPG, 7 APG) is the man for the No. 8 Spartans, who have non-conference wins over No. 6 Kansas and No. 13 Louisville.
The Hoosiers are having a terrific season even without star sophomore James Blackmon Jr. (knee surgery). Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams and Thomas Bryant carried Indiana to a win over No. 4 Iowa on Feb. 11.
The Badgers had a rough start, but they’ve now won seven straight games including résumé-building victories over Michigan State and Maryland.
Purdue is No. 18 in the country thanks to its 20-6 record. However, the Boilermakers only have one signature win – a Feb. 9 victory against Michigan State.
Caris Levert returned from injury Saturday in a win over Purdue after missing 11 games. The Wolverines are trending up, but they still have to face Maryland, Iowa and Wisconsin – the hottest team in the conference – before Big Ten tourney time.
8. Ohio State
The Buckeyes are talented, but they’re young, inexperienced and inconsistent. Early on, they fell to UT-Arlington and Louisiana Tech but beat Virginia and Kentucky. Thad Matta’s bunch is still trying to find its identity.
Andrew White (17.6 PPG) and Shavon Shields (15.7 PPG) make up one of the deadliest backcourts in the nation, but the Cornhuskers lack a post presence.
Chris Collins has injected life into the Northwestern basketball program, but it’ll take time before the ‘Cats can compete in arguably the best conference in the country.
Injuries have depleted what could’ve been a solid Illini team. Malcolm Hill (18.4 PPG) and Kendrick Nunn (16.5 PPG) are bright spots in another down year for Illinois.
12. Penn State
Senior forward Brandon Taylor (16.5 PPG) is a terrific scorer, but the Nittany Lions don’t have enough talent surrounding its best player.
The Golden Gophers are winless in the Big Ten despite four players averaging double figures.
Eddie Jordan’s Scarlet Knights have been abysmal. Freshman point guard Corey Sanders (16.2) is a player to watch over the next few years.