basketball-men-d1 flag

Amelia Rayno | December 30, 2015

Big Ten's best post players

  Maryland Terrapins center Diamond Stone defended by Marshall Thundering Herd forward Ryan Taylor.

Recruiting is never easy, but identifying and luring -- and then developing -- an immediate-impact big man is a special kind of challenge. This season, though, the Big Ten is loaded with standouts in the post. Performances under the hoop will shape the league landscape as much as any year in recent memory. Who will have success? Who will struggle? It could be a case of the haves and have nots. My picks for the Big Ten's five best big men:

A.J. Hammons, Purdue: The 7-footer returned to Purdue for his senior season and so far, Hammons has not disappointed despite being upstaged by his own teammate at times. He's upped his scoring from 11.9 points per game to 14.4 and is pulling down 8.5 rebounds after averaging 6.6 per game last season. He had 24 points and seven rebounds in Tuesday's 61-55 win over Wisconsin.

Thomas Bryant, Indiana: The freshman's still growing, but his efficiency can't be denied. Bryant, incredibly only the fourth-best scorer on the Big Ten's top-scoring team, is hitting a blazing 72 percent of his shots from the field. His .763 percentage on two-point shots is second best in the nation.

Diamond Stone, Maryland: There is something to be said for a freshman being so productive -- 11.2 points and 4.8 rebounds, to be exact -- on a team with such great talent and the league's preseason Player of the Year in Melo Trimble. Stone has been mostly steady for Maryland early and has shown a natural nose for rebounds, especially on the offensive end. (MORE: How Diamond Stone - and others - got their names)

Deyonta Davis, Michigan State: There will be no guarantees under the basket this year for Michigan State opponents -- Davis plays a huge role in the Spartans' last line of defense with 1.3 blocks per game, which lands him in the top 10 nationally among freshmen, and he's averaging 8.4 points and 5.5 rebounds while doing things like leading the team to an overtime victory over Oakland (Mich.) sans star Denzel Valentine last week.

Isaac Haas, Purdue: It might not seem fair that Purdue has two of the league's top five big men (and perhaps a third, freshman Caleb Swanigan), but such is the case in West Lafayette. The 7-2, 297-pound sophomore has taken over the starting job, throwing down 11.8 points per game and drawing a nation's best 9.2 fouls per 40 minutes heading into Tuesday's games.


This article was written by Amelia Rayno from Star Tribune and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Leaky roof, buzzer beater, more upsets add to wild college basketball season

Put Wednesday night down as another wacky night that fuels an even wackier college basketball season. Vanderbilt ended a 28-game SEC losing streak, and Butler turned a leaky roof into a buzzer-beater. What else is new?

Women's basketball: Sabrina Ionescu's record breaking week headlines this week's Starting Five

Oregon's superstar, Sabrina Ionescu had a record-breaking week, surpassing Hall of Famer Gary Payton as the all-time Pac-12 assist leader in both men's and women's basketball.

Iowa wrestling is rolling and what else we learned from a wild weekend in the Big Ten

The No. 1 Iowa Hawkeyes showed off in the most dominant way possible this weekend against Indiana and Purdue, winning both duals by 41-0.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners