Big Ten Basketball stars to watch
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Dosunmu was an All-Big Ten caliber player that could have easily taken his talents to the NBA this offseason. He averaged 16.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game as a sophomore last year and will reprise his role as Illinois’ top star. Kofi Cockburn is a great player alongside him as well, but it will always be Dosunmu with the ball in his hands when it comes to crunch time.
The 6-5 in-state product was a straight killer in the clutch last year and he is the type of player that could carry Illinois to wins when it matters most. Guard play is essential in the single-elimination NCAA Tournament and Dosunmu is the type of self-creator that every contending team needs. He is a legit preseason contender for Big Ten Player of the Year.
Marcus Carr, Minnesota
Marcus Carr has been underrated throughout his time at Minnesota, in my opinion. Because the Golden Gophers haven’t been particularly successful, he has flown under-the-radar but is one of the top guards in the conference. He is fresh off a campaign in which he averaged 15.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists per game and will be hungry for more. He is now the clear-cut leader for Minnesota with Daniel Oturu heading to the NBA this offseason.
While I admit that I am contributing to underrating Minnesota by placing them at No. 11 in my rankings, I wouldn’t be shocked if Carr leads them to blow that projection out of the water. If all of the transfers gel right away, they have plenty of talent. Carr is an All-Big Ten-level player and is really tough to defend. He is an excellent passer, scores at all three levels, and almost never needs a breather.