The preseason AP Poll for college basketball was released last week, and it included a whopping seven teams from the Big Ten — No. 5 Iowa, No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 8 Illinois, No. 13 Michigan State, No. 23 Ohio State, No. 24 Rutgers and No. 25 Michigan.
The Big Ten is going to be a very deep league once again, not only because of returning players like Luka Garza, Rocket Watts and Kofi Cockburn, but also because of the incoming freshmen class. And there are some really talented freshmen coming in looking to be the next superstars of the league.
For this list, I limited it to one player per program. I could have included a couple guys from Illinois, for example, but I wanted to be able to include the best of the bunch from four Big Ten programs. I also did not include any Michigan players, just like I did with last year’s list.
Khristian Lander, PG, Indiana
The lone five-star prospect heading to the Big Ten in the 2020 class is point guard Khristian Lander, who was heavily courted by Juwan Howard and company before he committed to Indiana back in February.
He should be an immediate plug-and-play for the Hoosiers, considering great guard play is how Archie Miller likes to operate his offenses. He should be able to fit in nicely and make a name for himself early in his collegiate career. With Jerry Meyer comparing him to De’Aaron Fox, it appears the sky is the limit for Lander.
Lander, who reclassified from 2021 to 2020, was the No. 6 ranked point guard in the class.
Adam Miller, SG, Illinois
Another guard formerly recruited by Howard and the Wolverines is Adam Miller. Unlike with Lander, there was talk of a possible de-commitment heading into National Signing Day, but he stayed true to his word and signed his LOI to Illinois.
Miller is another player who should be an instant contributor in the Big Ten. He may not start right away thanks to junior Ayo Dosunmu opting to stay in college another year rather than head to the NBA Draft, but he should see the court more often than not thanks to his versatility on both offense and defense.
Mady Sissoko, C, Michigan State
Michigan State always brings a ton of talent to East Lansing, and that is no exception this season. Its most talented prospect in the 2020 class was four-star center Mady Sissoko. At 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds, he is essentially a clone of Xavier Tillman, who just left the program this offseason to go to the NBA.
Sissoko looks to be an immediate replacement for Tillman. He has the size and skills down low to be a big problem for Big Ten teams right off the bat.
Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue
The Boilermakers have had plenty of good guards over the years, with the most recent being Carsen Edwards. Perhaps Ivey can be the next great one in West Lafayette.
At 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds, Ivey can play either guard spot for head coach Matt Painter. He is a quality shooter and has solid ball-handling skills. Ivey should be an impact guy sooner rather than later, especially given the fact Painter was giving him some praise last week.