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2020 Big Ten Basketball Draft Prospects

In a season in which the B1G was stacked, it will be interesting to see how the draft shakes out for these talented prospects.

Ohio State v Michigan State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

In what is said to be one of the weakest draft classes in years, it is disappointing to see that not a single Big Ten player is projected to go in the lottery of the 2020 NBA Draft. Despite being one of the toughest, deepest conferences in recent memory, no individual talent from any of the 14 teams seems great enough to garner any serious lottery buzz.

In fact, the earliest a B1G player is projected to come off the board is in the late first round. That being said, this is all subject to change given the COVID-19 outbreak which has all but halted the draft process. It is especially detrimental to players who are on the fence about entering the draft as they will not be able to “test the waters” through the combine, individual workouts with teams, and get feedback.

Underclassmen have until April 26 to make a decision on whether they will test the waters. Players who could have used the national spotlight of the NCAA tournament to boost their draft stock are also left in a bit of no man’s land now.

There is usually a great deal of change on projection boards between the National Championship and the actual draft late June, but this is an unprecedented situation that has turned into a waiting game to see how the NBA and NCAA handles the draft process. It is looking likely that the draft will be postponed, and Kentucky Coach John Calipari has even called for the Early Entrant Withdrawal Deadline to be pushed back from June 15.

I have gone through ESPN, CBS, and Bleacher Report’s draft projections and compiled a list of all Big Ten players listed, coupled with each player’s status as to whether they have declared with an agent, are “testing the waters” (did not sign agent which means they are eligible to come back to college), or have yet to make a decision regarding there NBA status.

Here’s where the conference stands as of April projections:

  1. Xavier Tillman (Junior, PF, Michigan State)

Decision: Testing the waters

21 on CBS / 48 on ESPN / 43 on BR

2. Cassius Winston (Senior, PG, Michigan State)

Decision: Declared

26 on CBS / 29 on ESPN / 30 on BR

3. Aaron Henry (Sophomore, F, Michigan State)

Decision: No decision at this time

54 on CBS / 61 on ESPN / 40 on BR

4. Jalen Smith (Sophomore, PF, Maryland)

Decision: No decision at this time

29 on CBS / 30 on ESPN / 27 on BR

5. Ayo Dosunmu (Sophomore, G, Illinois)

Decision: No decision at this time

32 on CBS / 87 on ESPN

6. Daniel Oturu (Sophomore, C, Minnesota)

Decision: Declared

44 on CBS / 37 on ESPN / 34 on BR

7. Joe Wieskamp (Sophomore, G, Iowa)

Decision: No decision at this time

52 on CBS

8. Luka Garza (Junior, PF, Iowa)

Decision: No decision at this time

84 on ESPN

9. Kaleb Wesson (Junior, PF, Ohio State)

Decision: Declared

65 on CBS / 54 on ESPN / 48 on BR

10. Isaiah Livers (Junior, F, Michigan)

Decision: Testing the waters

100 on ESPN

11. Jon Teske (Senior, C, Michigan)

Decision: Declared

88 on ESPN

12. Trayce Jackson-Davis (Freshman, F, Indiana)

Decision: No decision at this time

45 on BR

This list will be updated closer to the April 26 deadline for player decisions, although that date very well may not be set in stone given the current volatile state of the sporting world.

As you can see, a dozen players from 8 different B1G schools have drawn buzz in prospect rankings thus far, but only four of those dozen have actually declared for the draft. All four of those players were seniors for the 2019-20 season. It’s difficult to project how any of this going to play out, but these decisions in the coming weeks/months will undoubtedly have major implications on Big Ten basketball for the 2020-21 season.

If potential first round picks like Ayo Dosunmu, Xavier Tillman, Jalen Smith and Daniel Oturu decided to forego their high draft stocks amidst the uncertainty and return to college, the Big Ten could be even scarier next season than it was this past one.