The Big Ten Conference office announced on Monday the 2010 All-Big Ten men’s basketball teams and individual award winners. Ohio State’s Evan Turner captured the conference’s highest honor, as he was named Big Ten Player of the Year in voting by conference coaches and media. A unanimous pick by both the coaches and media, Turner was joined on both first teams by fellow juniors Demetri McCamey of Illinois, Kalin Lucas of Michigan State, and Purdue’s Robbie Hummel and E’Twaun Moore. Nine of the 16 standouts named to the All-Big Ten first, second and third teams were juniors while three sophomores and four seniors were also honored.
In addition to the All-Big Ten teams, the conference announced the men’s basketball individual award winners. Turner earned the nod as the Player of the Year while Purdue’s Chris Kramer was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year by the coaches. Illinois’ D.J. Richardson was tabbed the Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the coaches while Northwestern newcomer Drew Crawford was recognized by the media. Michigan State’s Draymond Green was selected as the Sixth Man of the Year by the coaches. Two mentors shared Big Ten Coach of the Year accolades, as Purdue’s Matt Painter was chosen by his peers and Ohio State’s Thad Matta was honored by the media.
Turner became the fifth Buckeye to earn Big Ten Player of the Year honors, joining Dennis Hopson (1987), Jim Jackson (1991, 1992), Scoonie Penn (1999) and Terence Dials (2006). The third-year swingman is also the seventh junior to earn the conference’s highest honor along with Jackson (1992) Penn (1999), Illinois’ Dee Brown (2005), Michigan’s Roy Tarpley (1985), Michigan State’s Mateen Cleaves (1999), and Wisconsin’s Devin Harris (2004). Turner led Ohio State to its first Big Ten Championship since 2007 while ranking first among all players in conference games with 20.1 points per outing. He also ranked among the Big Ten’s top two in rebounding (first at 8.3 per game.), steals (first with 2.0 per game) and assists (second at 5.9 per game) to become the only player in conference history to finish in the top two in each category since assists became an official stat during the 1983-84 season. Only five players in Big Ten history have finished in the top 10 of those categories since 1983-84, and no Division I player has achieved those minimums since at least 1996-97.
In other individual accolades, Kramer picked up his second Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year laurel after claiming his first honor in 2008. The senior guard is the fourth Boilermaker to earn the award along with Ricky Hall (1984), Porter Roberts (1996) and Kenneth Lowe (2003 and 2004). Widely regarded as one of the nation’s top defenders, Kramer was a key component to a Purdue defense that rated second in the Big Ten by holding opponents to 40 percent field goal shooting while allowing only 61.0 points per game. The lockdown defender completed his four-year career ranked second among active Division I players in multi-steal games (76) and third in total thefts (265). One of only three players in Purdue history to record 150 steals and 300 rebounds, Kramer also stands as Purdue’s all-time steals leader. With the selection, Kramer becomes the first conference standout to be named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team for four straight seasons. He is joined on this year’s squad by Northwestern’s Jeremy Nash, Ohio State’s Dallas Lauderdale, Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson and Wisconsin’s Trévon Hughes.
Two newcomers were recognized for their instant impact during the 2009-10 campaign as Illinois’ Richardson and Northwestern’s Crawford were named Big Ten Freshmen of the Year by the coaches and media, respectively. The dual-selection marked only the second time in conference annals and the first since 2000 that the honor was shared among two freshmen. Richardson is Illinois’ third first-year player to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year along with Cory Bradford (1999) and Brian Cook (2000), while Crawford becomes the first-ever Wildcat newcomer to receive the honor. Richardson finished the year with 10.1 points per game in conference outings, good for third on the team, and ranked ninth amongst all players in three-pointers made with 33. Meanwhile, Crawford completed his initial conference season averaging 10.7 points to rank third among all Wildcats. His inaugural campaign was highlighted by a memorable 35-point performance, which marked the second-best point total by any freshman in the country this season. Crawford, Richardson and Indiana’s Christian Watford were unanimous selections on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, and were joined by Iowa’s Eric May and Purdue’s Kelsey Barlow.
Greeen became Michigan State’s first Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year since the award’s inception in 2006. The Spartan sophomore started only three of 31 games this season and led MSU with 7.8 rebounds per game while grabbing double-figures off the glass in nine contests. Further demonstrating his versatility, Green also ranks first on the team in steals (40), second in blocks (24), third in assists (95) and fourth in scoring (10.1 ppg). In addition, despite coming off the bench in a majority of the contests, Green ranks fourth on the squad in minutes per game (25.2 mpg) and recorded a team-best six double-doubles on the year.
For only the second time in Big Ten history and the second straight year, the Coach of the Year award was shared by a pair of mentors in Purdue’s Painter and Ohio State’s Matta. Painter received the nod from his peers after guiding the Boilermakers to a share of the Big Ten title on the strength of a 26-4 overall record and 14-4 mark in conference play. In his fifth season at the helm of his alma mater’s program, Painter became the third-fastest coach in school history to earn 100 victories, accomplishing the feat in just 153 contests. Under Painter’s direction, the Boilermakers opening the 2009-10 slate with a 14-game win streak to equal its best start in program history and lay the foundation for its fourth straight 20-win campaign. The championship season was highlighted by four victories over teams ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll, marking the first time in program history a Boilermaker squad has defeated a quartet of top-10 foes. The selection marks the ninth Coach of the Year honor in Purdue history and the second for Painter since earning his first laurel in 2008.
Matta was honored by the media after earning a share of his third Big Ten Championship and guiding the Buckeyes to a 24-7 overall record, despite using a bevy of starting lineups due to illness and injury. Ohio State posted a 14-4 conference mark, the program’s most Big Ten triumphs in a season since posting a 15-1 record during the 2006-07 campaign. The sixth-year Buckeye skipper piloted OSU to its sixth straight 20-win campaign, marking his ninth consecutive season with 20-plus victories as a head coach. Matta further ingrained his name in OSU coaching lore by becoming just the fifth mentor to pace 200 games on the Buckeye sidelines while tying Fred Taylor for the best start through 200 games in school history with a 147-53 record (.735). Matta, currently 151-53 at OSU, picks up his third Coach of the Year accolade, including after the 2006 and 2007 campaigns, and is one of only four Buckeyes to be decorated with the honor in program history.
The conference office also announced honorees from each team for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Honorees for men’s basketball are Illinois’ Bill Cole, Indiana’s Brett Finkelmeier, Iowa’s Jarryd Cole, Michigan’s Deshawn Sims, Michigan State’s Isaiah Dahlman, Minnesota’s Paul Carter, Northwestern’s John Shurna, Ohio State’s Kyle Madsen, Penn State’s Andrew Jones, Purdue’s Kramer and Wisconsin’s Jason Bohannon. These 11 student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.