Big Ten Basketball: Top candidate for a surprise 2020-21 breakout year

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Illinois Basketball: Andres Feliz

Illinois Basketball: Andres Feliz. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Big Ten Basketball is loaded with talent this year, even with the departure of a few of its best players. But who could come out of nowhere to be a force in the conference?

Last year Big Ten Basketball was extremely competitive and had a lot of top-tier talent leading the way. Cassius Winston was great once again for Michigan State and Luka Garza took a huge step up and became one of the best players in the country. Winston is gone, but Garza returns to wreak havoc on the Big Ten once again.

Ayo Dosunmu didn’t disappoint for Illinois, but he was helped by freshman Kofi Cockburn who burst onto the scene to make up one of the best one-two punches in the conference. They both return for the Fighting Illini after flirting with the NBA draft.

But for every player, we saw making a big impact there are still ones that sneak upon us. Daniel Oturu made a jump for Minnesota and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors, while Nate Reuvers was probably the least talked about player on Wisconsin and he ended up being their top guy and got recognized for it.

We even had surprise teams in Rutgers being nearly unbeatable at home and on their way to a possible NCAA berth. Penn State made it all the way to number 10 in the country and Wisconsin came out of nowhere to claim a share of the Big Ten title.

While the teams you can kind of see coming, there will always be a player that steps up and becomes one of the best players in the Big Ten. So who will it be this year?

As we looked around the conference there were a bunch of different candidates that we think could jump off the page, but a lot has been talked about some.

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