College Basketball is in full swing as the ACC/Big Ten Challenge gets underway this week. The Big Ten, as with every year, is chock full of talented basketball players. Here's my "Big 3" to watch this season:
CARSEN EDWARDS, PG, Purdue
A Junior who averaged 18.5 pts last year and has already improved on that number in 6 games in 2018, now averaging 25.3 per night. A shooting guard who fouls less than twice a game and nails 40%+ of his 3-point attempts. Edwards was a second-team All-American (NABC) and won the Jerry West Award given to the nation's top shooting guard in 2017-18 and looks to lead a Purdue team that's only projected to finish 5th in the conference.
Keys to Success: Improved his assist/turnover to 1.63 (104/64) last year from 0.97 (62/64) as a freshman. Scored in double figures in 35 of 37 games, including in 20 straight games to end the 2017-18 season. Must be the team leader for Purdue to thrive.
CASSIUS WINSTON, G, Michigan State
The man with the headband looks to lead the Big Ten conference favorite as the Spartans are loaded with talent, but maybe none are as important as Winston. He was a 12.6 point 6.9 assist performer in his Sophomore season and has already shown improvement this early in the season, chalking up 18 pts & 7.5 assist so far in 2018. He's known for his exceptional passing and vision and high basketball IQ. A guard that not only puts up almost 20 a night but also gets others involved is certainly a threat to all opponents.
Keys to Success: Find a way to continue producing 20 points a night while getting Nick Ward, Xavier Tillman and Joshua Langford involved each game. Play defense on some of the most talented guards in the nation in the Big Ten while staying out of foul trouble.
Ethan Happ, F, Wisconsin
Could arguably be considered one of the best Centers in the Big Ten but is listed as a forward. The 6'8" redshirt Junior looks to catapult Wisconsin above the otherwise middle of the pack outlook for the 2018 campaign. Happ has already improved his stat line, averaging 17.8 points 12.5 rebounds and 5.7 assist so far this season. Known as dominant in the paint but also an elite passer, with a plethora of three point shooters as teammates. Don't be surprised if Happ averages a triple double by season's end, and perhaps make a run at the Big Ten title.
Keys to Success: Own the paint in a conference with an abundance of high level guards. Be a great team player, Wisconsin returns all 5 starters from last year.
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Host of "Beck's Work Week in Review" - show has been on hiatus but will return in December, airing every Friday from 2-4pm EST