Busting Brackets

Big Ten Basketball: Top 10 biggest impact freshmen from the 2023-24 season

Iowa v Illinois
Iowa v Illinois / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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For a sport that was consumed for so long by the phenomenon of the "one-and-done," the Big Ten has often felt like a throwback in this regard. It's a league that, in comparison to many of the other power conferences, sees players stay in school and develop their skills over the course of a four or five year college career. That's certainly the case today, with veterans like Zach Edey, Boo Buie, and Jahmir Young leading the way throughout the 2023-24 campaign.

With that being said, there are still numerous freshmen throughout Big Ten country making their presence felt in a major way this winter, all of whom should continue to play significant roles during the final stretch of the regular season and into the conference tournament. Even among those not putting up gaudy stats, they are worth watching, with an eye towards 2024-25 and beyond.

These 10 first-year players in particular have impressed the most, and proven the league is in good hands for years to come. But first, a couple of honorable mentions who just missed the cut.

Honorable Mention: Nolan Winter, Wisconsin

Stats: 9.9 MPG, 2.9 PPG, 1.9 RPG

Nolan Winter was considered a big get for the Wisconsin Badgers, as the program went into the state of Minnesota and landed a Gopher legacy whose father played on Minnesota's 1997 Final Four team. Winter appears to still be adjusting to the college game and he hasn't been much more than a rotational piece so far for the Badgers, but the future is bright for the 6'11" forward. He's displayed really nice touch around the rim and an offensive game with ample potential, even if his defense needs work. Keep your eye on him as a breakout candidate for 2024-25, even if Steven Crowl returns for his senior season.

Honorable Mention: Myles Colvin, Purdue

Stats: 8.7 MPG, 3.9 PPG, 46% 3-Point

Playing on a Purdue team with serious National Title aspirations, it's no surprise that Myles Colvin has struggled to carve out a significant role. Yet, the freshman has proven that he can come on and provide much-needed floor-spacing with his three-point shooting, and he's hitting them at a 46% clip in 2023-24. Look no further than the Xavier win in Maui for evidence of Colvin's impact and his long-term future in West Lafayette, as his trio of treys helped the Boilermakers win by 12.