By: David Kay
With the exception of the four teams who finished within a game of each other atop the Big Ten standings, the conference as a whole has to be considered a disappointment. Teams like Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota failed to meet the expectations put upon them in the pre-season.
Still, the junior class running the Big Ten put forth some tremendous seasons. Time now for me to hand out my Big Ten post-season awards:
ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM
(POY) Evan Turner, Ohio State, Jr, G/F (19.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 5.8 apg, 1.8 spg, 53.8 FG%)
His “Royal Smoothness” is not only the obvious choice for Big Ten Player of the Year, but also so the National Player of the Year, so let’s stop using the word “may” when talking about Turner’s chances.
Talor Battle, Penn State, Jr, PG (18.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.2 apg)
He led the Penn State Talor Battles in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and not sucking. I wish he actually played on a good team because he is a ton of fun to watch.
Demetri McCamey, Illinois, Jr, PG (14.9 ppg, 6.8 apg, 3.2 rpg)
McCames is still allergic to defense but did finish the season a few assists shy of breaking the Big Ten single season record. At times he was brilliant for the Illini this season, but like we have seen the past couple weeks, he also has a lot of maturing left to do.
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State, Jr, PG (14.8 ppg, 3.9 apg)
I was so close to putting Lucas on the second team but because he is the floor leader and calming presence for the Spartans, he barely makes it onto the first team. His numbers may not be overly-impressive but there is no questioning his importance for Michigan State.
ALL-BIG TEN SECOND TEAM
Manny Harris, Michigan, Jr, G (17.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 4.1 apg)
His numbers are impressive all across the board (minus his sub par shooting percentages) but his inconsistent play was part of the reason the Wolverines finished massively below expectations. That loses points in my vote.
Robbie Hummel, Purdue, Jr, F (15.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
Hummel just kept doing the right things to help his Boilermaker team before suffering a torn ACL late February.
JaJuan Johnson, Purdue, Jr, F/C (14.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.0 bpg)
The lengthy big man continues to improve and was important in Purdue’s run to co-conference champions because he is the only real big man on the team.
Trevon Hughes, Wisconsin, Sr, PG (15.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.7 apg)
To nobody’s surprise, a senior in Bo Ryan’s system steps up and has the best season of his career. To everybody’s surprised, he played well enough to be a top-11 finalist for the Bob Cousy Award for the nation’s top point guard.
John Shurna, Northwestern, Soph, F (18.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg)
Shurna filled in for the injured Kevin Coble and helped carry the ‘Cats early in the season before they crapped the bed at the start of conference play.
ALL-BIG TEN THIRD TEAM
DeShawn Sims, Michigan, Sr, F (16.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg)
Like his boy Manny Fresh, Sims put up nice numbers but hurt his team with off-nights as much as he helped it.
William Buford, Ohio State, Soph, SG (14.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.2 apg)
Overcame a poor shooting start to the season to serve as a nice wingman to Evan Turner. It will be interesting to see if he can become the star at OSU next year when Turner’s in the league.
Draymond Green, Michigan State, Soph, PF (10.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
Despite standing just 6-6, Green emerged as a valuable bench/energy guy for the Spartans and has been their one reliable low post presence.
Raymar Morgan, Michigan State, Sr, F (11.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg)
He is still not at the level he was as a sophomore, but Morgan put together a solid but not spectacular senior season that included a rough stretch during the Spartans’ early February skid.
Jason Bohannon, Wisconsin, Sr, SG (12.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 41.1 3-PT%)
J-Bo was cold to start the season from distance but really picked up his play once the calendar changed to 2010. He came up especially big for the Badgers when Jon Leuer was sidelined for an extended time.
Verdell Jones III, Indiana, Soph, G (14.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.3 apg)
Jon Leuer, Wisconsin, Jr, PF (14.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg)
Juice Thompson, Northwestern, Jr, PG (13.9 ppg, 4.2 apg)
Mike Tisdale, Illinois, Jr, C (11.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 57 FG%)
ALL-BIG TEN FRESHMAN TEAM
(FOY) Christian Watford, Indiana, F (12.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
Cully Payne, Iowa, PG (8.3 ppg, 3.8 apg, 3.0 rpg)
D.J. Richardson, Illinois, G (10.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg)
Drew Crawford, Northwestern, G/F (9.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
Eric May, Iowa, G/F (9.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg)
COACH OF THE YEAR
Bo Ryan, Wisconsin
Gee, another year where the Badgers are picked to finish in the middle-lower end of the conference, and yet they end up in the top four. That sounds like a pretty familiar script. Can I give an anti-Coach of the Year to Michigan’s Jon Beilein?
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
Draymond Green, Michigan State, Soph, PF
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Chris Kramer, Purdue, Sr, G
With all due respect to Minnesota’s Damien Johnson, Kramer epitomizes what it means to devote yourself one-hundred percent to the defensive end to help yourself win. He doesn’t care about getting shots or points, and every game draws the assignment of guarding the other team’s best player. He can lock down somebody on the perimeter or bang down low with somebody bigger and more physical than he is.