COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State sophomore Evan Turner, a 6-foot-7-inch guard from Chicago, was named 2009 First Team All-Big Ten by the league coaches and media, the Big Ten Conference office announced Monday. Turner is the 47th Buckeye all-time to earn the award. The Buckeyes have had a first team member in each of the last four seasons.      

Turner led Ohio State in nearly every statistical category this season. He topped the Buckeyes in scoring (16.8 ppg.), rebounding (201/6.9 rpg.), assists (112), steals (50), minutes (1,044/36.0 mpg.), field goals made (165), free throws made (201), offensive rebounds (48) and defensive rebounds (153).

He earned the league’s player of the week honor three times and led the Buckeyes in scoring in 15 games, reaching 10 or more points 24 times and 20 or more in seven games.

Turner was the only unanimous first team selection by both the coaches and league media.

Thad Matta, head coach of the Buckeyes, is not surprised by Turner’s improvement.

“Evan is very important to our team,” Matta said. “He does a lot of different things for us on both ends of the floor. He had a tremendous offseason. We saw signs last year of his ability to do a lot of different things and we saw that develop this year.”

A pair of Ohio State rookies also were recognized.

Freshman William Buford, a 6-5 guard from Toledo, Ohio, was selected as the conference freshman of the year. He led all league rookies with an average of 11.1 points a game, earning one player of the week award along the way. He finished third offensively among his Buckeye teammates and scored the second most field goals (124) and third most 3-pointers (38). At the foul line he led the team in shooting percentage making 37-of-40 charity tosses (92.5 pct.).

Charting Buford’s progression has been enjoyable to the coaching staff, Matta said.

“I think William Buford has made tremendous strides during the course of the season,” Matta said. “He is a very talented young man. Watching his progress from where he started and where he is today, as a coach, is exciting.”

Ohio State has earned five Big Ten freshman of the year honors since it was first introduced by the league in 1986. Buford joins fellow Toledo native Jim Jackson (1990), Greg Simpson (1993), Michael Redd (1998) and Greg Oden (2007).

Classmate B.J. Mullens, a 7-1 center from Columbus, was tabbed the league’s sixth man of the year. He played in 29 games, starting two. He came off the bench to average 9.1 points a game while scoring on 65 percent of his field goals (111-172) to set an Ohio State freshman record for shooting accuracy. He lead the conference in both overall and league only (78-111/.703) shooting percentage this season. Mullens averaged 4.8 rebounds and blocked 33 shots, second on the team.

Matta said using Mullens off the bench was not necessarily the plan at the start of the season.

“It was not in the plans,” Matta said. “As we went through the course of the season, especially when David Lighty went down, William Buford came off the bench and gave us points. B.J. is someone who was able to come in and give us points. Dallas Lauderdale starts but both guys are starters so it was not an issue with us.”

Mullens is Ohio State’s second honoree as sixth man of the year. Daequan Cook claimed the award for the Buckeyes in 2007.

Buford and Mullens were both selected to the all-freshman team while Buford earned honorable mention (coaches) all-Big Ten honors as well.

Jon Diebler, a 6-7 guard from Upper Sandusky, Ohio, was selected honorable mention All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media. He averaged 11.2 points a game, second on the team, and knocked down 82 3-pointers, good for the No. 3 spot in a single season at Ohio State. His eight made 3s at Northwestern this year rate No. 2 all-time in a single game at Ohio State. He owns three of the Top 6 single game records for 3-pointers made and is already among the Top 10 career 3-point shooters at Ohio State with 130 made to date.

Since Thad Matta joined the Buckeyes for the start of the 2004-05 season, Ohio State has had five first team All-Big Ten honorees, two freshman of the year award winners and one Big Ten player of the year.

The Buckeyes open Big Ten Conference tournament play at 2:30 p.m. Friday as the No. 5 seed vs. No. 4 Wisconsin. The event is being held at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

First Team All-Big Ten Under Matta
2006     Terence Dials
2007     Mike Conley, Jr.
2007     Greg Oden
2008     Jamar Butler
2009     Evan Turner

Big Ten Player of the Year
2006     Terence Dials

Big Ten Freshman of the Year
2007     Greg Oden
2009     William Buford

Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year
2007     Daequan Cook
2009     B.J. Mullens

Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
2007     Greg Oden

All-Big Ten Freshman Team
2007     Greg Oden
2007     Mike Conley, Jr.
2008     Kosta Koufos
2009     William Buford
2009     B.J. Mullens