With the official begin of follow lower than per week away, UM Hoops and Inside the Hall have as soon as once more partnered to deliver you our annual preseason breakdown of the top 25 players in the Big Ten.
The sequence is damaged into 5 elements and our third installment of players 15-11 for the 2022-23 season is obtainable under:
Previously: 25-21, 20-16
15. AJ Hoggard, (*25*) State (6-foot-4, guard, junior)
Hoggard led the nation in help charge and used a staff-excessive 25.7 % of (*25*) State’s possessions final season, however solely performed 20.2 minutes per recreation. He was masterful in a lot of (*25*) State’s greatest wins (at Wisconsin, (*25*) and Indiana stand out) however battled sickness down the stretch and by no means managed to completely lock down the place to begin guard spot.
At 6-foot-4, 210-kilos, Hoggard has the measurement and passing potential to steer (*25*) State’s offense. He can defend and he is efficient pushing the ball in Tom Izzo’s vaunted transition assault. He’s additionally the greatest participant on the MSU roster at making one thing occur when the offense breaks down because of his potential to place his head down and bully his option to the rim.
The two issues holding him again are turnovers and taking pictures. Hoggard turned it over on 22.4 % of his offensive possessions final 12 months and (*25*) State completed final in the convention in turnover charge. He additionally shot simply 21.9 % from 3-level vary on solely 32 makes an attempt and 63 % at the charity stripe.
There’s a possibility for Hoggard to step into an much more distinguished function this season, probably enjoying alongside Tyson Walker. If he can enhance in these two areas, there’s a possibility for a giant step ahead.
14. Chucky Hepburn, Wisconsin (6-foot-2, guard, sophomore)
Wisconsin was Johnny Davis’ staff final season, however Hepburn ran the present. Hepburn began each recreation as a freshman and performed 77.5 % of obtainable minutes for Greg Gard.
The record of lead guards who performed that many minutes as a freshman, particularly for a staff that was at the top of the convention, is not lengthy. Most of the players on it both performed for Northwestern (Bryant McIntosh, Michael Thompson, Dave Sobolewski) or turned fixtures in the league (Trey Burke, Tony Carr, Talor Battle, Melo Trimble, Eric Gordon, D’Angelo Russell).
Hepburn’s low utilization and mediocre taking pictures inside the arc (42.4 %) are a reminder of how a lot room he has to develop, however given the stability of Wisconsin’s program it will be a shock if he would not construct on his freshman 12 months success.
Hepburn should improve his offensive workload from final 12 months’s 15.4 % utilization, however his expertise makes him one in all the safer bets at level guard in the league this season.
13. Dawson Garcia, Minnesota (6-foot-11, ahead, sophomore)
This is basically an upside wager on Garcia, who’s now at his third faculty in three seasons. A member of the 2020 recruiting class, Garcia was the No. 35 prospects nationally popping out of Prior Lake High School.
Over two seasons at Marquette and North Carolina, Garcia averaged 11.5 factors and 6.2 rebounds whereas taking pictures 45.7 % from the discipline. He left North Carolina’s staff final season to return house to Minnesota as a consequence of household medical points. A couple of months later, he introduced a switch to Minnesota to play for Ben Johnson.
The lefty ahead is exclusive due to his potential to step out to the perimeter. He’s a profession 36.2 % 3-level shooter. Garcia ought to slide proper into the beginning lineup alongside Jamison Battle in Minneapolis. Talent has by no means been a query with Garcia and this is perhaps the season the place his potential is absolutely realized.
12. Zed Key, Ohio State (6-foot-8, ahead, junior)
The Big Ten has been outlined by its elite publish-up scorers over the previous couple of seasons and Key was usually the forgotten man. He was overshadowed by his NBA-sure teammates EJ Liddell and Malaki Branham final season, however his low-publish potential might be a necessity for Chris Holtmann’s staff this season.
Key performed 44.6 % of minutes as a sophomore, up from 28.9 % as a freshman. He averaged 7.8 factors and 5.6 rebounds per recreation and his late-season ankle harm was a giant a part of why Ohio State’s season fizzled down the stretch. With Liddell and Kyle Young’s departures, he ought to see one other vital enhance in enjoying time and utilization.
Key completed seventh in the Big Ten in factors scored per recreation out of publish-ups, and three players who completed forward of him – Kofi Cockburn, Trevion Williams and EJ Liddell – are shifting on this season.
He’ll want to enhance his conditioning, keep out of foul bother and keep wholesome, but when he does he needs to be amongst the league’s greatest inside scorers this season.
11. Matthew Mayer, Illinois (6-foot-9, ahead, fifth 12 months)
A member of Baylor’s 2020-21 nationwide championship staff, Mayer is utilizing his further season of eligibility as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Champaign.
After coming off the bench as a junior in Waco, Mayer slid into the beginning lineup final season for Scott Drew and averaged 9.8 factors, 5 rebounds, 1.2 steals and an help in 22.8 minutes per recreation. He began 33 video games for the Bears and was the staff’s third-main scorer. Those numbers had been strong, however a bit of underwhelming for a participant who was named to the Wooden Award watch record in the preseason.
At Illinois, he’ll probably step into a bigger function with extra scoring alternatives. Brad Underwood known as Mayer an “elite shot maker” in an interview with Blue Ribbon Yearbook. Mayer can play a number of positions, can rating at the rim, from the midrange and from the perimeter.
Alongside Coleman Hawkins, Mayer will give Underwood two frontcourt players that may step away from the basket, which might be a very totally different look from the publish-heavy offense of the previous three seasons with Kofi Cockburn in the paint.
(Photo credit score: Baylor Athletics)
Filed to: 2022-23 season preview