Scott Powers' Big Ten awards ballot

March, 5, 2012
3/05/12
5:56
PM CT
Here’s my ballot for the Big Ten all-conference teams and individual awards:

Player of the Year: Michigan State’s Draymond Green

Explanation: Green was consistently the most dominant player in the Big Ten this season. He averaged 16.7 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.6 steals and led Michigan State to a piece of the Big Ten title. Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger was runner-up.

Coach of the Year: Indiana’s Tom Crean

Explanation: Indiana went from a 12-20 overall and 3-15 Big Ten during the 2010-2011 season to being 24-7 overall and 11-7 this season. The Hoosiers also defeated three top-5 teams. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo was a close second.

Freshman of the Year: Michigan’s Trey Burke

Explanation: Burke was the reason Michigan earned a share of the Big Ten title. He averaged 15.8 points in Big Ten play, only once scoring less than double figures in 18 games. He also averaged 4.3 assists, which was third best in the Big Ten. Indiana’s Cody Zeller finished second.

[+] EnlargeDraymond Green
Greg Bartram/US PresswireDraymond Green's versatility and leadership have been invaluable to Michigan State.
First team

Trey Burke
, Michigan, freshman, guard

Explanation: See above.

Draymond Green, Michigan State, senior, forward

Explanation: See above.

Robbie Hummel, Purdue, senior, forward

Explanation: Hummel played some of his best ball of the season down the stretch. He scored 24 or more points in four of Purdue’s last seven games. He averaged 16.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks during Big Ten play.

John Shurna, Northwestern, senior, forward

Explanation: The Wildcats are closing in on their first NCAA tournament because of Shurna. He won the Big Ten scoring title, averaging 20.0 points. He scored 20 or more points in 10 Big Ten games. He also averaged 4.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.7 blocks.

Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, sophomore, center

Explanation: Sullinger looked like a lock for the player of the year early in the Big Ten season, but his play dipped as the season went on. He still averaged 17.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

Second team

Tim Frazier
, Penn State, junior, guard

Explanation: Penn State wasn’t always great, but Frazier was. He nearly led the Big Ten in scoring, assists and steals. He finished first in assists (5.6) and steals (2.4) and finished second in scoring (19.6 points).

Matt Gatens, Iowa, senior, guard

Explanation: Gatens came on strong during Big Ten play. He had two games of 30 or more points. He averaged 17 points and 1.4 steals during the Big Ten season.

Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin, senior, guard

Explanation: Taylor led the Badgers back to a top-four conference finish. He stepped up his play during the Big Ten slate after an up-and-down non-conference season. He averaged 16.3 point, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals in Big Ten play.

DeShaun Thomas, Ohio State, sophomore, forward
Explanation: Thomas and teammate William Buford’s numbers were very similar, but Thomas was the more consistent player. Thomas scored in double figures in 15 Big Ten games. He averaged 14.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in conference play.

Cody Zeller, Indiana, freshman, center
Explanation: Zeller was the Hoosiers’ missing piece. He averaged 15.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. He also led the Big Ten with a .616 field-goal percentage.

Third team

Keith Appling
, Michigan State, sophomore, guard

Explanation: Appling took over Kalin Lucas’ role and helped the Spartans to a share of the Big Ten title. He averaged 11.7 points, 4.1 assists and 1.4 steals in Big Ten play.

Tim Hardaway Jr. , Michigan, sophomore, guard

Explanation: Hardaway Jr. had a short inconsistent stretch, but he came on strong late in the year and helped Michigan to a share of the Big Ten title. He averaged 14.1 points in the Big Ten and had two games of 25 or more points.

Meyers Leonard, Illinois, sophomore, center

Explanation: Leonard was at times the conference’s most dominating big man. He was near a double-double every game, averaging 13.4 points and 8.3 rebounds. He also ranked third in blocks (1.5).

Brandon Paul, Illinois, junior, guard

Explanation: Paul was among the league leaders in nearly every category. He averaged 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks. He scored 43 points in a win over Ohio State.

Rodney Williams, Minnesota, junior, forward

Explanation: Minnesota remained a competitive team after losing to Trevor Mbakwe to injury because of Williams. He averaged a team-best 11.7 points and 6.1 rebounds.
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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