The one-on-one battle for SB Nation's Big Ten Player of the Year - USA TODAY Sports
The Big Ten blogs of SB Nation have collaborated to name their own all-Big Ten Teams and post-season award winners.
This has been fun. The blogging contingent for the Big Ten on SBNation has responded to the call and all 12 schools were represented in the final balloting. Before revealing the results of the first SBNation all Big Ten Awards I wanted to thank the contributors to this poll, as it was open to basketball contributors at each SBNation Big Ten site (UPDATE: The Daily Gopher and Maize N' Brew have sent late ballots, so they are now included).
Travis Miller, Juan Crespo, Steve Landrey
KJ, Chris Vannini, Jameson Draper
Phil Mitten, Jack Moore
John M., Austen Kas
Ross Binder, James Merchant
So, here are the results:
First Team All-Big Ten:
Cody Zeller - Indiana
Trey Burke - Michigan
Victor Oladipo - Indiana
Deshaun Thomas - Ohio State
Trevor Mbakwe - Minnesota
For the most part this was a simple one. Zeller, Burke, Oladipo, and Thomas were unanimous selections for the First Team across all 19 ballots. Mbakwe gets the fifth spot, but it was fiercely contested between him and three of those that were on the second team. For the record, voting was calculated as 3 points for a first team vote, 2 for a second, and 1 for a third. That means those four were named to the First Team and received three points on all 19 ballots for a total of 57 points. I don't think the four unanimous selections are any surprise.
Second Team All-Big Ten:
Aaron Craft - Ohio State
Adreian Payne - Michigan State
Gary Harris - Michigan State
Brandon Paul - Illinois
Jared Berggren - Wisconsin
Craft, Payne, and Harris all spent time throughout the balloting on the first team before Mbakwe was able to pull away. The unanimous selections finished with 57 points, while Mbakwe had 36. Craft was just behind at 33, with Payne having 31 and Harris getting 29. Berggren gets the last spot with 26 points.
Third Team All-Big Ten:
Christian Watford - Indiana
D.J. Newbill - Penn State
Aaron White - Iowa
Tim Hardaway Jr. - Michigan
Andre Hollins - Minnesota
It was nice to see a player like Newbill get respect for having a great season on a bad team. He was able to put together 13 points with a ton of Third Team votes. Hardaway just misses the Second Team with 25 points, a point behind Berggren and ahead of Hollins. Watford had 17. White had 14 and Newbill 13 for the final spot.
Roy Devyn Marble - Iowa, Keith Appling - Michigan State, A.J. Hammons - Purdue, Ben Brust - Wisconsin, D.J. Richardson - Illinois, Jermaine Marshall - Penn State, Jordan Hulls - Indiana, Terone Johnson - Purdue, Dylan Talley - Nebraska, Derrick Nix - Michigan State, Glenn Robinson III - Michigan, Sam Dekker - Wisconsin, Nik Stauskas - Michigan, Ryan Evans - Wisconsin, Kevin Ferrell - Indiana, Branden Dawson - Michigan State.
Hammons is the highest Purdue player with six points, even appearing on a non-Purdue affiliated ballot on the Second Team. Marble (9 points) and Appling (11 points) came closest to making the Third Team.
Big Ten player of the Year:
Trey Burke - Michigan
This was a two player race with Burke edging out Oladipo 12-5 over the first 17 ballots. The Indiana balloting was split with one going to Oladipo and one to Burke. I don't think there is a huge argument here as both players were more than worthy. The Daily Gopher and James from BHGP went in a different direction, casting a vote for Zeller.
Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year:
Will Sheehey - Indiana
No, this was not a "Player fans most want to punch in the face" poll. Sheehey was named on half the ballots, with Harris and Dekker splitting the rest. It's interesting that he was the best 6th man, but did not receive a single all-Big Ten vote.
Big Ten Freshman of the Year:
Gary Harris - Michigan State
This was a landslide, as Harris received 15 of the 19 votes. Nik Stauskas, Sam Dekker, and A.J. Hammons each got votes. I suppose if you were going to name an all-Freshman team is would be Harris, Hammons, Dekker, Stauskas, Robinson, and Ferrell as they were the only freshmen with votes on the all-Big Ten teams.
Big Ten Coach of the Year:
Bo Ryan - Wisconsin
It says something about the coaches of the Big Ten that Ryan won with a plurality of eight votes, while six coaches split the other 11. Matt Painter (1 vote), Fran McCaffery (1 vote), John Beilein (1 vote), Tom Izzo (1 vote), Thad Matta (4 votes), and Tom Crean (3 votes) were all named on at least one ballot. It wasn't all homerism either. McCaffery was on a Michigan State ballot, Izzo on a Purdue, Beilein on a Penn State, Matta on an Indiana, and Crean on a Michigan State. In fact, the most homer of all was my own vote for Painter, which was very much based on a "he survived a frustrating season that started to show results only after 28 games because the players finally listened to him" vote.
So those are the results. This was an incredibly fun project over the last two days and I am hoping to do something similar in the preseason next year.