The 2016 NBA All-Star weekend is coming up soon and the Big Ten was fortunate enough to send one of its young stars to compete. Former Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell made the NBA Rising Stars Challenge, which features some of the top young players in the game. This season, Russell is averaging 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.
According to a report from Corey Evans, the Terps recently received a visit from 2017 prospect DJ Harvey. He comes out of Hyattsville, Maryland and is rated as the No. 1 shooting guard in the class and as the No. 1 player in the state of Maryland. Harvey is listed at 6'6" and 185 lbs and is also receiving major interest from Arizona, Duke, Louisville, NC State, and Notre Dame among others. Maryland curently has no commitments in its 2017 recruiting class.
CBSSports recently posted its big board of top prospects for the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft and the Big Ten was well represented. In total, 17 players made the cut. These players were (ranking included): #17 Denzel Valentine, #19 Caris LeVert, #21 Thomas Bryant, #23 Diamond Stone, #27 Melo Trimble, #32 Deyonta Davis, #33 Nigel Hayes, #34 Jarrod Uthoff, #35 AJ Hammons, #51 Troy Williams, #52 Jake Layman, #66 Yogi Ferrell, #69 Malcolm Hill, #86 Keita Bates-Diop, #100 Robert Carter, #101 Vince Edwards, and #113 Isaac Haas.
The Big Ten has a total of six teams currently in the NCAA Tournament according to Fox Sports' latest bracketology. They are (listed by seed): No. 1 Iowa, No. 3 Michigan State, No. 4 Maryland, No. 5 Purdue, No. 7 Indiana, and No. 9 Michigan. Last season, the Big Ten sent a nation's best seven teams to the 2015 NCAA Tournament. With several of these teams matching up this weekend, expect these to change shortly.
Purdue center A.J. Hammons was named as one of ten finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. The award goes to the nation's top center and it's easy to see why the Boilermakers big man is a finalist. So far this season Hammons has averaged 14.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in only around 23 minutes a night.
According to a report from Corey Evans, the Buckeyes have put out an offer to 2017 prospect Markell Johnson. He comes out of Cleveland, Ohio and is rated as the No. 19 point guard in the class and as the No. 2 player in the state of Ohio by 247Sports. Johnson is listed at 6'0" and 160 lbs and also has interest from Cleveland State and Louisville among others. Ohio State currently has one commitment in its 2017 class.
Nebraska posted on Twitter their throwback jerseys they'll be wearing as a tribute to Black History Month. The jerseys will be honoring Wilbur Wood, the first Cornhuskers hoops player all the way back in 1908.
Recently, the finalists list was released for the 2016 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award and two Big Ten players were fortunate enough to make the cut. These players were Illinois' Malcolm Hill and Michigan's Caris LeVert. This season, Hill is averaging 18.5 points, 5.8 rebounds. and 3.2 assists per game. LeVert has sat out most of Big Ten player with injury, but was averaging 17.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game. Other notable players nominated for the award include Duke's Grayson Allen, Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, and Villanova's Josh Hart.
Purdue's AJ Hammons has been named as the Big Ten Player of the Week for week 12 of the season. Last week, Purdue scored a road win over Minnesota and a home win over Nebraska and Hammons was certainly a big part of that effort. In total, Hammons averaged 24.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game in the two wins. This is the fifth weekly Big Ten award for the Boilermakers, including the third Player of the Week honor for Hammons this season.
Michigan State's Deyonta Davis and Wisconsin's Ethan Happ have been named as the Big Ten Freshmen of the Week for week 12 of the season. Last week, Davis averaged 11.0 rebounds, 4.0 blocks and 7.0 points per game in two wins over Northwestern and Rutgers. Meanwhile, Happ averaged 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game in wins over Indiana and Illinois. This is the second time Davis has won this award this year and the third time for Happ, including the third time in a row.