Iowa Men's Basketball

Big Ten getting emptied out by NBA

Tony Carr, Jaren Jackson Jr., entered NBA Draft Monday

Iowa forward Tyler Cook (5) fouls fellow sophomore Miles Bridges of Michigan State as he shoots during the first half of their basketball game at Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Feb. 6. Bridges is headed to the NBA. Cook will test the NBA Draft process before deciding where he plays next season. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Iowa forward Tyler Cook (5) fouls fellow sophomore Miles Bridges of Michigan State as he shoots during the first half of their basketball game at Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Feb. 6. Bridges is headed to the NBA. Cook will test the NBA Draft process before deciding where he plays next season. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

As Michigan was hours from trying to become the first NCAA men’s basketball championship team from the Big Ten since 2000, the league got weaker in the sport.

To no surprise, Michigan State freshman forward Jaren Jackson Jr., announced Monday that he was headed into the NBA Draft. He’s a potential top-five pick, and a certain lottery selection.

Less than an hour later, Penn State sophomore guard Tony Carr announced he will hire an agent and declare for that draft. It wasn’t a shock, but a disappointment to Penn Staters nonetheless. Especially after Carr helped the Nittany Lions to the NIT championship last week, and they have some other excellent players returning.

The coaches’ first-team All-Big Ten players and their plans:

Bridges, NBA Draft

Carr, NBA Draft

Keita Bates-Diop, jr., Ohio State, NBA Draft

James Palmer, jr., Nebraska, testing NBA Draft process

Carsen Edwards, soph., Purdue, testing NBA Draft process

Michigan junior Moritz Wagner, who tested the Draft process a year ago, will surely turn pro instead of return for his senior season.

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Maryland sophomore forward Justin Jackson and Rutgers junior guard Corey Sanders have entered the Draft and are expected to sign with agents.

Also testing the NBA Draft process (not hiring agents, which keeps the door open for a return to college) are sophomores Tyler Cook of Iowa and Nick Ward of Michigan State, and juniors Isaac Copeland of Nebraska and Leron Black of Illinois.

Michigan is losing Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson the old-fashioned way. They’re seniors.

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