Walking down a hallway Tuesday at Target Center, Dawson Garcia ran into his old Gophers basketball teammate Jamison Battle, who was leaving a room after an interview at Big Ten media day.

Garcia was the Gophers' leading scorer last season. Battle was Minnesota's leading scorer the year before that and represented Minnesota at media day last fall before finishing the season and transferring to Ohio State.

"It was a little bit weird, I'm not going to lie" Garcia said after seeing Battle. "... But I always wish the best for him."

That's college basketball in 2023, where the transfer portal and money from name, image and likeness (NIL) rights are forming a totally different landscape. Battle will play his old program in the Big Ten opener on Dec. 3 in Columbus.

"It's all love right now," Battle said. "But once we get on the court, we're all competitors."

On Tuesday, Battle said he had every intention of turning pro when he told Gophers coach Ben Johnson his plans last season about not being back. But the chance to get a fresh start away from home, make the NCAA tournament, and get paid more in NIL were factors in deciding to use a fifth year of eligibility.

"The biggest thing for me was looking myself in the mirror and understanding you could go pro right now, but I didn't have the year I really wanted to have," Battle said. "Obviously, you can say what you want about NIL, but I think it was more that I felt like I left a lot out on the table."

Battle's case is rare but not surprising these days. Several Big Ten teams underwent roster changes involving the transfer portal, with players coming and others going. Hunter Dickinson, a two-time All-Big Ten center, also transferred from Michigan to Kansas. But sometimes players stick around at one school to maximize NIL opportunities.

Case in point: returning Big Ten and national player of the year Zach Edey.

"There's no doubt if it wasn't for name, image and likeness, he would be in the NBA," Purdue coach Matt Painter said Tuesday. "[NIL] for our sake brought him back here. So, for him to make very similar money to what he would make."

Purdue's the favorite to win the Big Ten title again this season. The 7-4 Edey reportedly is making close to $1 million in NIL deals, more than any other Big Ten player not named Caitlin Clark.

Illinois' Terrence Shannon, an all-league first team guard, returned to help his draft stock, but NIL was part of the conversation after that announcement.

"Me going back to school put me in a better position to enter in the draft next year," he said Tuesday. "And then I talked about NIL with my school."

Wisconsin returns all five starters, but a few of them reportedly turned down potentially bigger NIL paydays elsewhere to try to compete for a Big Ten title.

"We won't go all the way where it's just about NIL," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "It's a small fraction of what we talk about, but it's been a very good faction. Our collective has done a good job, and I think we had some very generous people step up with their care about the program."

Purdue, Michigan State and Wisconsin return most of their players who benefit from staying in school with NIL. Ohio State finished 13th but newcomers like Battle have the Buckeyes seventh in the media's Big Ten preseason poll.

The Gophers, who finished 9-22 last season, also lost guards Ta'Lon Cooper (South Carolina) and Jaden Henley (DePaul) to the portal. And they let five-star 7-foot recruit Dennis Evans III out of his letter of intent. Evans signed with Louisville, a program with larger NIL deals.

But Johnson has the most players returning since he's been on the job. Garcia, Pharrel Payne, Braeden Carrington and Joshua Ola-Joseph ignored the portal, which were among the U staff's biggest recruiting victories this offseason.

And now Johnson will hope the Gophers can keep building their NIL reserves to give future players even more reason to stay.

"We're not just signing checks and giving free money," Johnson said. "This is a new piece we have to sell and embrace and I think we will."