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The Detroit News' top 15 returning Big Ten basketball players in 2020-21

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

Go through the gallery above to view The Detroit News' top returning Big Ten players for the 2020-21 college basketball season. Click here if you have trouble viewing the gallery.

There will be a changing of the guard when it comes to top players in the Big Ten next season.

Guard Rocket Watts will be returning for his sophomore season at Michigan State.

Michigan State’s Cassius Winston and Maryland’s Anthony Cowan Jr. both have departed after capping their careers with a piece of the conference’s regular-season crown. Lamar Stevens is moving on after his four-year run at Penn State.

Premier big men like Maryland’s Jalen Smith, Minnesota’s Daniel Oturu and Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson are forgoing their remaining eligibility and leaving early to turn pro.

Then there’s the batch of underclassmen who are testing the draft waters. That group includes Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman and Aaron Henry, Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn, Michigan’s Isaiah Livers, Iowa’s Luka Garza and Minnesota’s Marcus Carr, though Dosunmu appears more committed than others to keeping his name in the draft.

But with the NCAA’s withdrawal date pushed back to Aug. 3 — or 10 days after the NBA Draft Combine, which still has not been scheduled — those programs likely won’t be finding out who’s staying or going anytime soon.

Regardless of those looming decisions, the Big Ten still has its share of talent that’s coming back. With that said, here’s an early look at the league’s top 15 returning players (in alphabetical order) for the 2020-21 season — excluding those who still have an NBA choice to make.

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins