Casting My USA Basketball Writers Association Awards Ballot


jared sullinger

A secret ballot? Nah, when it comes to college basketball, I’ll shout my opinions and evaluations from the mountain top. I’ve covered a lot of teams both in the Big Ten and the Big East this past season: Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame and DePaul, so let’s begin.

We start by choosing my District: V. of course, covering Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Indiana, or as well call it The Sports Bank territory. Here’s who excelled in representing the Great Lakes/Upper Midwest.

By Paul M. Banks


So my all-district team looks like this, in no particular order:

Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin

Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame

Jared Sullinger, Ohio State (who also takes home my vote for District Player of the Year and National Freshman of the Year Award)

E’Twaun Moore and JaJaun Johnson, Purdue

Kalin Lucas, Michigan State

Demetri McCamey, Illinois

Keith Benson, Oakland

Mike Brey, Notre Dame is Coach of the Year, and also get my national coach of the year (Henry Iba Award)


National All-America Team

Johnson and Sullinger make this team

Jimmer Fredette, BYU (National Player of the Year)

Kemba Walker, UConn

Terrence Jones, Kentucky

Talor Battle, Penn State

Marcus Morris, Kansas

Nolan Smith, Duke

Jordan Hamilton, Texas

Derrick Williams, Arizona

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter, Yardbarker Network, and Fox

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

He also does a regular guest spot each week for and  Chicagoland Sports


  1. davidkay says

    Talor Battle? really? that’s is pure man-crush coming through… I wouldn’t put him on my all-big ten first team (Moore, Leuer, Taylor deserve it over him)…

  2. paulmbanks says

    oh he’s all Big ten first team! all the way.

    since penn is out of district, I had to give him love in the all-america team. couldnt do it for the regional team.

    jimmer poy???

  3. Well it pretty obvious your voting privileges need to be revoked! Talor Battle isn’t event the top point guard in his conference let alone one of the best in the country (and I like Battle). I shouldn’t be surprised since you are the guy who picked Northwestern to finish ahead of the Badgers last year “just because Bo’s due for a bad year”. Side note: just keep picking the Badgers to be top 4 and then on the rare occasion they don’t you won’t look as bad :)!

    Look at the Battle vs. Taylor stats in Big Ten games only (since these “like” games are the best measuring stick). Other than having scored 12 more point total in those games (on a team where he is option #1, #2 & #3) show me another meaningful point guard stat Battle is better than Taylor. Battle deserves credit for keeping his team in NCAA contention. He doesn’t for taking most of the first 30 minutes of games off and then filling it up in the final 10 (which he did in both games vs. UW by the way).

    This isn’t Battle hate, honestly. He can carry Taylor water anytime he wants but come on man. The numbers and our eyes don’t lie.

  4. paulmbanks says

    Frazier has been playing pt for the Lions this yr. So Battle’s spent a lot more time off the ball than usual. So it’s not a fair comparison.

    also, at least my bias involves an out of market player. your comment is above is UTTER HOMERISM.

    btw, I plan on voting for Bo Ryan for b10 coach of the year, so I’m nto always anti-badgers!

    you were one of our best ever podcast guests, so we’ll have to have you back on soon. and we can discuss this further.

    and yes, I’m never picking the Badgers below 5th ever again

  5. Around here UTTER has a very different meaning! Wait for it… yes! I’d say Bo or Painter for not letting Hummel loss sink Boilers. Glad to see you’ve learned your lesson about Big 10 preseason picks. At least you didn’t pick Vander Blue! Keep up the great anti-Badgers work!

  6. davidkay says

    If Battle is for sure first team all-big ten, I am anxious to see who you leave off the team… team success has to be factored in in these situations and while Penn State is a slim chance bubble team, you just cannot put him as an All-American over other guards like Ben Hansbrough, Dwight Hardy, or Xavier’s Tu Holloway… and I would even put Jordan Taylor in that list…

  7. Peter Chrisitan says

    Battle? Come on Mr. Banks. If he’s getting debate as to whether he’s First Team All Big Ten or not (which he is) he can’t be an All American. Just doesn’t work that way. And there is especially no way he should be ranked ahead of Derrick Williams or Jordan Hamilton.

    This might (might…) top the time that Schmidt claimed that JaJuan Johnson would be one of the top 5 big men in the NBA.

  8. Nick Grays says

    I have Battle as First Team All-Big Ten. I had to leave Jordan Taylor off which really hurt, but it was the right move. Penn State has been decent and Battle has been great, ranks near the top of almost every scoring stat in the conference. Additionally, he had a historic year at Penn State where he is re-writing the record books.

    Taylor will get his chance to reach the first-team next season. Oh yeah, Battle also gets additional credit because he doesn’t have Jon Leuer.

  9. Justin Mertes-Mistretta says

    Boy, I have to disagree with you on this one. Taylor flat out deserves it over Battle. I understand Battle is second in the league in scoring, but he was second last year and wasn’t a first-teamer. I’m not taking anything away from Battle, but he has every opportunity to score on Penn State. He’s one of their only options. What Taylor is doing in a limited possession-based offense is remarkable. He is also winning games single-handedly for the Badgers, something Battle has not done. I would be shocked if Taylor didn’t get first-team.

  10. paulmbanks says

    Paul Schmidt JaJuan Johnson level?? wow that is a compliment.

    casting my all big ten ballot now

  11. Pau, I just watched the Badgers win at IU & a thought kept going through my head, anyone who left of Jordan Taylor off their Big Ten 1st team ballot or even didn’t vote him Player of the Year in the conference must feel pretty silly right now. I just wanted to make sure your OK? :)

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