Big Ten basketball power rankings: Feb. 15

Illinois%27+Malcolm+Hill+shoots+a+layup+over+Wisconsin%27s+Ethan+Happ+during+the+game+against+Wisconsin+at+the+State+Farm+Center+on+Sunday%2C+January+31.+The+Illini+lost+63-55.
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Big Ten basketball power rankings: Feb. 15

Illinois' Malcolm Hill shoots a layup over Wisconsin's Ethan Happ during the game against Wisconsin at the State Farm Center on Sunday, January 31. The Illini lost 63-55.

Illinois' Malcolm Hill shoots a layup over Wisconsin's Ethan Happ during the game against Wisconsin at the State Farm Center on Sunday, January 31. The Illini lost 63-55.

Austin Yattoni | The Daily Illin

Illinois' Malcolm Hill shoots a layup over Wisconsin's Ethan Happ during the game against Wisconsin at the State Farm Center on Sunday, January 31. The Illini lost 63-55.

Austin Yattoni | The Daily Illin

Austin Yattoni | The Daily Illin

Illinois' Malcolm Hill shoots a layup over Wisconsin's Ethan Happ during the game against Wisconsin at the State Farm Center on Sunday, January 31. The Illini lost 63-55.

1. Maryland

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

2. Iowa

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.

4. Indiana

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.

5. Wisconsin

The Badgers had a rough start, but they’ve now won seven straight games including résumé-building victories over Michigan State and Maryland.

6. Purdue

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.

7. Michigan

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.

9. Nebraska

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.

10. Northwestern

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.

11. Illinois

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.

13. Minnesota

The Golden Gophers are winless in the Big Ten despite four players averaging double figures.

14. Rutgers

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.

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