COLUMBUS, Ohio- Evan Turner was named the Big Ten Conference player of the Year Monday by both the league coaches and media while Thad Matta was named the conference coach of the year by league media.
Turner was the unanimous selection by the media for the top honor and was picked on all ballots by both coaches and media as a 2010 First Team All-Big Ten honoree. He is the fifth Ohio State player to earn the award and the sixth all-time. Dennis Hopson was the 1987 recipient. Jim Jackson won it twice (1991, 1992) followed by Scoonie Penn (1999) and Terence Dials (2006).
Matta was tabbed as the league’s top coach for the third time in his sixth season in Columbus. He is the fourth Ohio State coach to earn the honor, won by Ohio State coaches a total of eight times-Eldon Miller (1983), Randy Ayers (1991, 1992), Jim O’Brien (1999, 2001) and Matta (2006, 2007, 2010).
All five Ohio State starters were honored in the annual voting for the Big Ten’s best.
League media selected junior David Lighty and sophomore William Buford Third Team All-Big Ten while adding junior Jon Diebler to the Honorable Mention team.
Big Ten coaches put Buford on the Third Team. Lighty and Diebler were Honorable Mention. Junior Dallas Lauderdale made the league’s all-defensive team.
Ohio State shared the Big Ten regular-season title with Purdue and Michigan State, all with 14-4 conference records. The Buckeyes started 1-3 in league play but rallied under Matta’s direction to win 13 of the final 14 conference games, including a streak of six-consecutive road games.
Turner led the conference in scoring (19.5 ppg.), rebounding (9.4 rpg.) and was second in assists (5.8 apg.). No player in the history of the league has finished among the Top 2 in those three categories in a given year. Turner also was second in steals with 1.8 a game.
Lighty, who missed the majority of the 2008-09 season with a broken foot, returned to finish among the league leaders in scoring (T17th, 12.4 ppg.), field goal percentage (15th, .491), steals (7th, 1.6 spg.), 3-point field goal percentage (11th, .385) and minutes played (8th, 35.9 mpg.).
Diebler ended the regular season as the conference’s top 3-point shooter. He made a league-high 93 treys (3.0 a game) while shooting 42 percent from long range (93-222) for the season, that percentage was third among Big Ten players.
Lauderdale led the league with 65 blocks, an average of 2.2 a game. He also led the league in field goal percentage, making 77 percent of his shots for the year (91-118).
Buford averaged 14.3 ppg. to finish 13th in scoring during the regular season. His 5.5 rebounds a contest rated No. 15 while his 3.2 assists a game was 13th. He also finished among the Top 10 conference players in free throw percentage (7th, .792), assist/turnover ratio (5th, +2.0) and defensive rebounds (10th, 4.1 drpg.).
Kyle Madsen, a fifth-year season who already has graduated from Ohio State, was selected as the Buckeyes’ Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.
Ohio State finished the regular season with a 24-7 record and earned the No. 1 seed in the annual conference tournament. The Buckeyes open at noon Friday in Indianapolis vs. the winner of the No. 8 seed Michigan vs. No. 9 Iowa game, which will be played Thursday at Conseco Fieldhouse.