Once again, the post is where the action is in the Big Ten.

The conference is loaded with big men, making most league games a fierce battle for supremacy in the paint. Let’s take a look at Saturday Tradition’s 10-player Preseason All-B1G Team, which features 5 of the best bigs in the country.

Eric Ayala, Maryland

Maryland guard Eric Ayala was one of the biggest surprises of last season, when he saw his scoring average nearly double (up to 15.1 points per game) in going from a role player to an often starring role. Of course, now the expectation level will be to do it again, if not more, on a Terrapins team that has a ton of new pieces. Ayala loves to step up when the lights are on, like in the postseason last year, when he increased his scoring average to 19 and had 23 points in Maryland’s NCAA victory over UConn.

Geo Baker, Rutgers

There might not be a better big-game, clutch player in the Big Ten than Rutgers point guard Geo Baker. Having to battle through injuries — yet again — last season, Baker averaged 10.4 points, 3.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds, while compiling 30 steals in 25 games. The year before, Baker showed his knack for late-game heroics, getting game-winning shots against Nebraska and Purdue, and scoring 23 points after halftime, including the game-tying shot in regulation, to beat Northwestern in overtime.

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Kofi Cockburn, Illinois

The most physically imposing player in the Big Ten in recent memory, Kofi Cockburn is a load for any defender. A preseason All-American and the Big Ten’s preseason Player of the Year, as voted on by the conference and media, Cockburn made a surprise return for his junior season at Illinois after being the only player in the NCAA to average at least 15 points and 9 rebounds while shooting at least 60 percent. When the 7-foot, 285-pound athletic big man gets the ball deep in the paint, he’s nearly impossible to stop.

Andre Curbelo, Illinois

Playing behind All-Big Ten guard Ayo Dosunmu as a true freshman last season, Andre Curbelo had to try his best to make an impact in short stints off the bench. And boy did he. The point guard was named the Big Ten’s best sixth man after averaging 9.1 points and 4 rebounds, averages he upped to 12.7 and 5.6 in the last 10 games of the season. The 6-1, 175-pounder is quick, able to break down defenses to get into the lane, and has the moxie to finish, but he’s a prototypical point too, in that he’s able to find others as well.

Hunter Dickinson, Michigan

Michigan big man Hunter Dickinson made a late return to Ann Arbor after testing the NBA waters following a magnificent freshman season. In his debut year, Dickinson recorded 6 double-doubles, while averaging 14.1 points and 7.4 rebounds, both highs for the Wolverines. At 7-1 and 260s, Dickinson can be a difficult matchup inside because of his array of post moves and surprising quickness. And he’s an incredible passing big man, as well, making opponents pay for double-teams by finding an open teammate.

Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers

Rutgers guard Ron Harper Jr. was on a tear at the start of last season, looking like he might roll to a bunch of postseason honors, including potentially Big Ten Player of the Year. He cooled in the second half of the season, yet still averaged nearly 15 points and 6 rebounds. A big, physical guard at 6-6, 245 pounds, Harper can overpower defenders on his way to the basket, but is at his best when the outside shot is working too. In his early non-conference games last season, Harper hit 36 percent of his 3-pointers, but saw that number drop to only 29 percent in Big Ten play.

Jaden Ivey, Purdue

Purdue guard Jaden Ivey might be primed for the biggest leap, after showing signs of his vast potential during his freshman season in West Lafayette. The dynamic combo guard averaged 11.1 points, even though he shot less than 40 percent from the field and only 26 percent from 3-point range. But over the last half dozen games, he started to find his groove, averaging 18.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists while increasing the shooting percentages to 47 and 35, respectively. Ivey is one of the most athletic guards in the Big Ten, and probably the country, with a quickness that allows him to get into the lane and power to be able to finish.

Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana

A 6-9, 245-pounder, Trayce Jackson-Davis proved last season that he was willing — and more than able — to bang with opposing bigs, who are frequently slightly bigger in the B1G. The Indiana center (who should really be playing the 4) averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds, the only major-school player to average such numbers. He’s highly efficient in the paint, usually because he’s quicker than his defenders and can keep them off-balance, and he can attack off a quick dribble as well.

EJ Liddell, Ohio State

EJ Liddell is a big man, at 6-7 and 240 pounds, who can draw defenders outside the paint and make them pay for their inability to guard. It’s a matchup headache, which gives Ohio State a big advantage. Last season, Liddell averaged 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds, and he hit 27 3-pointers, nearly 1 per game, at a 34 percent clip. And he might need to be relied upon even more this season, especially on the perimeter, for an OSU team hungry for shooters.

Trevion Williams, Purdue

Purdue center Trevion Williams shows soft touch around the basket, with a variety of moves that make it difficult for defenders to anticipate what he’s going to do. Last season, the 6-10, 255-pounder averaged 15.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists, the latter statistic showing off his ability to pass out of the post. He can face up to shoot and occasionally can take a dribble to the basket, but he’s at his best when he can plant deep in the post to operate.