The Big Ten conference announced their awards yesterday, around 12:15 PM on a Tuesday for some unknown reason, and we’ve already covered the big awards. So you should know by now that Zach Edey was first team all conference and the player of the year. You should also know that Matt Painter won the AP award for coach of the year, shared with Northwestern head coach Chris Collins. What you might have missed is that three other Boilermakers also earned honors from the conference.
Freshman guards Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer were both honorable mention all conference. This means that they appeared on at least one ballot for a first, second, or third team. The conference provides no indication of the number of votes someone receives when they release their list but it’s still an impressive start to the careers of the freshman. Braden Smith was named to the all-freshman team as well.
The conference also announced their sportsmanship award winners for each team. Matt Frost won the honor for Purdue. Given everything we know about the type of person Matt Frost is, and the unfortunate adversity he’s had to face this year with the knee injury, it’s great to see him earn some recognition. Being a scholarship basketball player in the Big Ten is hard, laborious work. Being a walk-on basketball player in the Big Ten is even harder. Kudos to Frost for sticking with it despite the injury guaranteeing him zero playing time in his last year with the team.
Congratulations to all the young men who received these honors. The team is next in action on Friday in the Big Ten Tournament.