It has become a tradition here at Hammer & Rails to go around our league peers at the various SB Nation blogs and select our own all-Big Ten teams. Last season 18 writers voted and Caleb Swanigan was the unanimous Player of the Year in the conference. Two years ago we had 15 writers. This season I managed to get 19 writers on board with full ballots. I asked them to name the following:
- all-Big Ten First Team (5 players) - 3 points per first team vote
- all-Big Ten Second Team (5 players) - 2 points per first team vote
- all-Big Ten Third team (5 players) - 1 point per first team vote
- Player of the Year
- Freshman of the Year
- Defensive Player of the Year
- 6th Man of the Year
- Coach of the Year
Let’s get to the teams:
SB Nation all-Big Ten First Team
- Keita Bates-Diop - Ohio State - 56 points
- Carsen Edwards - Purdue - 54 points
- Tony Carr - Penn State - 54 points
- Miles Bridges - Michigan State - 52 points
- Ethan Happ - Wisconsin - 46 points
For the first time since I have been doing this there was not an unanimous First Team selection. Bates-Diop was close, but one person had him on their second team. Carsen Edwards and Tony Carr would make one hell of a back court. Happ was all over the map for the fifth spot from First Team on some to not even listed on others. Overall this is a solid first team. Happ was a first team selection last season. Bridges jumped from Second Team to First Team.
SB Nation all-Big Ten Second Team
- Isaac Haas - Purdue - 37 points
- James Palmer Jr. - Nebraska - 34 points
- Vince Edwards - Purdue - 32 points
- Jordan Murphy - Minnesota - 31 points
- Cassius Winston - Michigan State - 28 points
Voting was pretty tight here, as Winston grabbed the last spot on the final ballot. Purdue places three players in the top 10, as you can see. Many people has Haas on their first team at center, too. Vince moved up from Third Team to Second Team this year.
SB Nation all-Big Ten Third Team
- Juwan Morgan - Indiana - 27 points
- Mo Wagner - Michigan - 26 points
- Anthony Cowan - Maryland - 22 points
- Jaren Jackson Jr. - Michigan State - 15 points
- Nate Mason - Minnesota - 13 points
Last season Mason was the top Second Team selection, but his team’s struggles likely knocked him down to third team this year. He fared better than Bryant McIntosh, who went from Second Team to “Not receiving a single vote”.
SB Nation all-Big Ten Honorable Mention:
The following players were named on at least one ballot (listed in decreasing order of votes received):
- Leron Black - Illinois
- Nick Ward - Michigan State
- Jordan Bohannon - Iowa
- Corey Sanders - Rutgers
- Jae-Sean Tate - Ohio State
- Kevin Huerter - Maryland
- Mohammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman - Michigan
- Dakota Mathias - Purdue
- Lamar Stevens - Penn State
- Mike Watkins - Penn State
- Isaac Copeland - Nebraska
- Trent Frazier - Illinois
- Tyler Cook - Iowa
- Dererk Pardon - Northwestern
- Scottie Lindsay - Northwestern
- Josh Reaves - Penn State
SB Nation Big Ten Player of the Year: Keita Bates-Diop - Ohio State
This was near unanimous, as 16 of the 19 ballots listed him as the Player of the Year. Carsen Edwards was named on two of the other three, with one ballot picking Penn State’s Tony Carr. Averaging a near 19 and 9 every night is more than worthy for Bates-Diop, especially if you pull a team predicted to finish well back of the pack to 15-3.
SB Nation Freshman of the Year: Jaren Jackson Jr. - Michigan State
This was almost unanimous too, as Jackson was picked on 15 of 19 ballots. The freshman was a defensive ace with over three blocked shots per game. he averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds to help Michigan State to a league title. The only other players named were Brad Davison, Trent Frazier, Gio Baker, and Caleb Wesson.
SB Nation Defensive Player of the Year: Jaren Jackson Jr. - Michigan State
Voting for this was all over the map, but Jackson had 8 votes, Josh Reaves 4, and the rest scattered with Ethan Happ, Mike Watkins, Dakota Mathias (two votes), DeShawn Freeman, and Bates-Diop all being considered.
SB Nation 6th Man of the Year: Matt Haarms - Purdue - We had votes all over the map here, from Haarms to “Nebraska’s Walk-ons”, but Haarms took the most with 6 votes. the only other player with more than one was Nick Ward.
SB Nation Big Ten Coach of the Year: Chris Holtmann - Ohio State
This was the lone unanimous selection across all 19 ballots. There was no doubt Holtmann did a fantastic job at Ohio State. The Buckeyes were picked by some to finish in the bottom 4 of the league. They nearly won it all. He took a veteran team and got them pointed in the right direction. There is not a doubt he was the best coach in the league this year.
So there you have it. As always, thank you to my Big Ten colleagues for helping me out by voting on this list. This is always fun to do and I hope you all enjoy it.