The Big Ten conference tournament begins in earnest Thursday with teams vying for a NCAA Tournament berth or improved seeding in action. For some players, there’s more on the line than just an opportunity in March Madness. Here’s a look at some of the top 2022 NBA draft prospects from the Big Ten, and how a run in the conference tournament could improve their respective stocks.
Jaden Ivey, Purdue Boilermakers
Ivey is a consensus top-5 pick among most draft analysts, and there’s a lot of reasons why. The guard has been Purdue’s engine on both ends of the floor, leading the team to one of its best seasons in recent memory. Ivey has made the jump from his freshman to sophomore season, improving his statistics across the board. If he makes a big run in this tournament, he could be in the conversation for the top pick and Purdue might get a No. 1 seed in the tournament.
Johnny Davis, Wisconsin Badgers
Davis is in the mix for the country’s top player of the year, averaging 20.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He’s been the biggest revelation for the Badgers, who have gotten huge contributions from unexpected sources in this championship season. The guard likely won’t be able to rebound at this rate in the NBA but he can score and make plays defensively. A charge through this conference tournament will likely solidify him as a first-round pick.
Keegan Murray, Iowa Hawkeyes
Murray was one of the country’s top scorers early in the season and maintained that pace amid some turmoil with the program. He’s got the body type of the NBA’s current perimeter stars, so the physical profile is there. His two-way ceiling is tremendous, but there’s reason to wonder whether his current production is sustainable against top competition. If Murray makes a deep run here, he could vault into the lottery while Iowa improves a few seed lines in the bracket.