Big Ten Basketball Outlook: Conference Will Undergo Major Changes Before 2021-22

By David Wertheim on March 23, 2021 at 1:15 pm
Luka Garza
IndyStar- USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten is kind of like a family.

I began my Ohio State student career in 2017. The exact same coaches in the Big Ten my freshman year were the same my senior year, with the exception of three. John Beilein was replaced by Juwan Howard in 2019-20, Fred Hoiberg replaced Tim Miles at Nebraska the same year, and Penn State's Pat Chambers was let go just before the start of this season and replaced by interim Jim Ferry.

The Big Ten is a conference of relative stability. When you show up to the arena for a game between Ohio State and Iowa, you aren't going to see a battle of high-flying one-and-dones who will be battling in the NBA next year. Instead, you're going to see 20 and 21 year olds banging inside before kicking it out to an almost-24-year-old Iowa native for three. You've seen the same guys play a million times on the Big Ten Network and it seems like you can recite rosters from memory at this point.

But for the first time in a while, there are going to be major changes inside the conference going into what should be a very interesting offseason. Here is a rundown of the expected changes.

Coaching Changes

Barring something unforeseen, it appears that *three* will be the final number of schools that changed coaches this offseason.

  • Indiana fired Archie Miller and has not hired a replacement at this time.
  • Penn State fired Jim Ferry and hired Purdue assistant Micah Shrewsberry
  • Minnesota fired Richard Pitino and hired alumnus/former assistant/current Xavier assistant Ben Johnson

The three new coaches are the most since the 2017 offseason, when Brad Underwood, Chris Holtmann, and Miller were all hired. 

Player Changes


We will start with the transfers. Several have already been announced, and surely there will be more coming.

  • Teddy Allen (Nebraska) 
  • Akol Arop (Nebraska) 
  • Izaiah Brockington (Penn State) 
  • Trent Buttrick (Penn State) 
  • Al Durham (Indiana)
  • Armaan Franklin (Indiana) 
  • John Harrar (Penn State) 
  • Myreon Jones (Penn State) 
  • Seth Lundy (Penn State) 
  • Jamal Mashburn (Minnesota) 
  • Yvan Ouedraogo (Nebraska) 
  • Jamari Wheeler (Penn State) 
  • Elijah Wood (Nebraska) 

As can be seen, this is an extremely incomplete list that features a lot of athletes from schools that have fired their coaches. It will be interesting to see how much attrition the schools that made the NCAA Tournament suffer, as those decisions should surely be released relatively soon.

NBA Draft/Graduation

Some of the conference's brightest stars will be on their way out, as well.

Minnesota's Marcus Carr is expected to enter the NBA Draft, although he has said that he is not ruling out a return to college basketball at a different school. Illinois is expected to lose Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn to the NBA, while Luka Garza will graduate from Iowa. Ohio State will lose veteran point guard C.J. Walker.

So just a year after being called the best conference in history before falling flat on their face in the Big Dance, the Big Ten is shaping up for what will be an offseason filled with major change for the first time in a while. 

The family will look a little different next year. 

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