The collective Big Ten basketball rosters boast 21 international players from 18 different countries, including five apiece from Illinois and Nebraska. Our beat writer breaks down the top 10:
1. Matt Haarms, Purdue
The Boilermakers’ 7-foot-3 center saw his minutes and production grow last year as a sophomore. Purdue needs the Dutch big man to show the same growth this coming season.
2. Giorgi Bezhanishvili, Illinois
Bezhanishvili was the only Illini to start all 33 games last season, and the 6-9 Georgian was the team’s third-leading scorer. His role will only grow in 2019-20.
3. Akwasi Yeboah, Rutgers
Jeff Boals leaving Stony Brook for Ohio sent Yeboah moving, too. The UK native grad transfer fills an immediate need at Rutgers after Eugene Omoruyi left for Oregon.
4. Marcus Carr, Minnesota
The Pitt transfer sat out last season after failing to secure a waiver. This season? The Gophers need the 6-2 Canadian point guard to start and run their offense.
5. Andres Feliz, Illinois
It took the Dominican guard half the season to settle in after making the transition from JUCO ball. He finished the year strong, averaging 10.8 points in last 14 games.
6. Matej Kavas, Nebraska
The 6-8 Slovenian grad transfer gives new coach Fred Hoiberg a legit stretch 4 after knocking down 46 percent of his three-pointers in his final season at Seattle.
7. Franz Wagner, Michigan
Wagner’s older brother turned into an NBA draft pick playing for John Beilein at Michigan. The 6-7 German gives new coach Juwan Howard an immediate threat on the wing.
8. Kofi Cockburn, Illinois
The Illini 7-footer — and likely game one starting center — might have honed his game at NYC power Christ the King and national power Oak Hill, but he has Jamaican roots.
9. Isaiah Ihnen, Minnesota
Ihnen won’t fill Jordan Murphy’s shoes right away, but the 6-9 German forward with international experience will certainly help bolster the Gophers’ frontcourt.
10. Yvan Ouedraogo, Nebraska
The four-star recruit represented France in last year’s U16 European Championship (averaging 12.7 points and 9.7 rebounds) and won’t even turn 18 until next March.