All-Big Ten All-2000s Team

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By Paul M. Banks

The 2000s was a great decade for a few programs in the Big Ten. Indiana, Ohio State and Illinois all had a national runner-up season. In 2005, the Illini tied the record for the most single season victories. Wisconsin and Ohio State treated us to an epic #1 vs. #2 game during one of their two 2007 meetings. And Michigan St. started the decade off with a national title and also ended 2009 playing for the title, and threw in two more Final Four seasons between 2000 and 2009. So clearly Tom Izzo was the conference coach of the decade.

And when you take a look at the list of the decade’s top individual performers you’ll see that…these Big Ten programs won with coaching and the stressing of team concepts. The conference clearly LACKED when it came to marquee stars, and if I composed a list like this for the ACC, Big East or Pac 10, the names on it would certainly be more impressive than those listed here.

First Team

Alando Tucker, Wisconsin- The all-time school leader in points, also set records for points in a single season and was a finalist for every major award, not to mention a first team All-American.

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Jared Jeffries, Indiana- Led the Hoosiers to the ’02 NCAA title game before losing to the Maryland Terrapins. Jeffries received the 2002 Silver Basketball from the Chicago Tribune as the Most Valuable Player of the Big Ten.

Terence Dials, Ohio St- During his four-years in Columbus, he scored 1,566 points and grabbed 876 rebounds in 132 games. The 2005–06 conference player of the year was never drafted into the NBA. The Silver basketball award winner is currently playing for the Paderborn Baskets in Germany.

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Dee Brown, Illinois- The ’04-‘05 Big Ten Player of the year is still the individual most closely identified with the Fighting Illini program. And Illini fans will go to their graves claiming Dee invented the “poppin the collar” maneuver. His speed was unbelievable, he streaked back and forth across the screen like, well remember the John Madden football game for Sega Genesis, and when you would be controlling Randall Cunningham, and Barry Sanders. The “one man fast break” was just that ridonkulously quick.

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Kalin Lucas, Michigan St MSU Head Coach Tom “H to the” Izzo named his child after Mateen Cleaves, but Coach will also be the first to tell you he has another point guard just as special in Lucas. Kalin was Big Ten player of the year as a sophomore in 08-09, so perhaps the best is still yet to come from this lightning quick guard?

For more Michigan St coverage click here

2nd Team

Devin Harris, Wisconsin- The 2003–2004 season saw Harris establish himself as one of the top players in the nation. He received Big Ten Player of the Year and the Silver Basketball award, and was named a Second Team All-American. He then skipped his senior year to play in the NBA, where he’s had a very solid career. He’s currently the New Jersey Nets’ biggest star; which is kind of like being the manliest Jonas brother.

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Brian Cook, Illinois- His game didn’t really translate to the professional level, but he was still the Silver basketball winner in 2003, fourth all time in Illinois scoring history, and averaged over 20 points per game his senior year. Quite simply, he was the most underrated player of the decade for the Illini, and maybe, yes just maybe the 2000s MVP for Illinois.

Deron Williams, Illinois- Remember the 2005 Chicago Regional Final versus Arizona? When D Will turned it on in the second half and took the Illini to the Final Four? Down 15 points with 4 min to go, the Illini were left for dead, Williams made the shot to tie the game. He made the 3s to put it away in Overtime. D Will had 22 points and five 3’s in the second half of that game. My one and only man-crush was born that night.

For more Illinois coverage, click here

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Paul Davis, Michigan St.- Davis finished his college career 7th in school history in points, and 4th in rebounding, before playing three uneventful years with the LA Clippers (but is any season eventful when you’re a Clipper?). Also the Spartans all time leader in free throws.

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D.J. White, Indiana- The current member of the Oklahoma City Thunder racked up numerous honors during his time in Bloomington: 2005 Freshman All-American, Big Ten Freshman of the Year. In 2008 he was named Big Ten Player of the Year and to the First Team All-Big Ten. He was also named Second Team All-American in 2008.

Special Mention

Greg Oden, Ohio State- Was the #1 overall pick but missed a big chunk of his only season with injuries; a prelude to his shell of a NBA career; which has been exceedingly injury-plagued.

Mike Conley, Ohio State- Averaged 11.7 points and leader in the conference in with 6.1 per game during his one year in school.  Conley led the Buckeyes to the Big Ten championship game, where they defeated Wisconsin to receive a number one seed into the NCAA tournament. He and fellow freshman star Oden then led Ohio State to the national championship game.

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Maurice Ager, Michigan State- Among MSU scorers, finished 11th in program history, and the last to score more than 35 in a game (2005 Maui Invitational loss to Gonzaga) Ager also finished 5th in school history in 3-pt field goals made.

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Vincent Grier, Minnesota- Truly a complete player, his junior year Grier led the Big Ten in steals, was 13th in rebounding and third in scoring.

Other College Basketball All-Decade teams

Minnesota

Michigan St.

Illinois

Northwestern

Wisconsin

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Comments

  1. Strange to believe that the Big Ten has only produced 2 NBA All-Stars from this decade…

  2. it was all the 1 and done guys who went on to do something in the NBA, everyone who stayed 3 and 4 years hasnt really had much of a pro career

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