Chicago Colleges: Manny Harris

The Big Ten announced its all-conference awards on Monday. Here are the lists as voted by the coaches and the media.

All-Big Ten team as voted by the coaches:

FIRST TEAM
Demetri McCamey, Illinois
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
Evan Turner, Ohio State
Robbie Hummel, Purdue
E'Twaun Moore, Purdue

SECOND TEAM
DeShawn Sims, Michigan
John Shurna, Northwestern
Talor Battle, Penn State
JaJuan Johnson, Purdue
Trevon Hughes, Wisconsin

THIRD TEAM
Manny Harris, Michigan
Draymond Green, Michigan State
Raymar Morgan, Michigan State
William Buford, Ohio State
Jason Bohannon, Wisconsin

HONORABLE MENTION
Mike Tisdale, Illinois
Verdell Jones III, Indiana
Aaron Fuller, Iowa
Matt Gatens, Iowa
Lawrence Westbrook, Minnesota
Michael Thompson, Northwestern
Jon Diebler, Ohio State
David Lighty, Ohio State
Chris Kramer, Purdue
Jon Leuer, Wisconsin

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
D.J. Richardson, Illinois
Christian Watford, Indiana
Eric May, Iowa
Drew Crawford, Northwestern
Kelsey Barlow, Purdue

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
Jeremy Nash, Northwestern
Dallas Lauderdale, Ohio State
JaJuan Johnson, Purdue
Chris Kramer, Purdue
Trevon Hughes, Wisconsin

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Evan Turner, Ohio State

DEFENSIVE PLAYER
OF THE YEAR:

Chris Kramer, Purdue

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:
D.J. Richardson, Illinois

SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR:
Draymond Green, Michigan
State

COACH OF THE YEAR:
Matt Painter, Purdue

All-Big Ten team as selected by the media:

FIRST TEAM
Demetri McCamey, Illinois
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
EVAN TURNER, Ohio State
Robbie Hummel, Purdue
E’Twaun Moore, Purdue

SECOND TEAM
DeShawn Sims, Michigan
John Shurna, Northwestern
Talor Battle, Penn State
JaJuan Johnson, Purdue
Trévon Hughes, Wisconsin

THIRD TEAM
Manny Harris, Michigan
Draymond Green, Michigan State
William Buford, Ohio State
David Lighty, Ohio State
Jason Bohannon, Wisconsin

HONORABLE MENTION
Mike Davis, Illinois
Mike Tisdale, Illinois
Verdell Jones III, Indiana
Raymar Morgan, Michigan State
Lawrence Westbrook, Minnesota
Drew Crawford, Northwestern
Michael Thompson, Northwestern
Jon Diebler, Ohio State
Chris Kramer, Purdue
Jon Leuer, Wisconsin

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Evan Turner, Ohio State

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:
Drew Crawford, Northwestern

COACH OF THE YEAR:
Thad Matta, Ohio State

Inconsistent Illini need big finish

February, 23, 2010
2/23/10
4:41
PM CT
[+] EnlargeManny Harris
David Stluka/Icon SMIManny Harris averages 18.5 points and 6.2 rebounds for Michigan.

It’s amazing how a team’s situation can quickly change in college basketball as March approaches and crunch time hits.

No one knows this better than the Illini.

Two weeks ago, Illinois was on top of the world. There weren’t many players in the country playing better than junior Demetri McCamey. Every shot seemed to fall, and his teammates chipped in as needed. That combination led to wins over Michigan State and at Wisconsin, put the Illini atop the Big Ten standings and had them in the NCAA Tournament. Illinois was even on the verge of being ranked.

Today, the Illini are in a whole different position. McCamey may be distributing assists at an all-time rate, but his shooting percentage has dropped, his teammates haven’t done enough to compensate and the team’s defense has been too inconsistent. Together, it led to losses to Ohio State and Purdue. All of a sudden, Illinois find itself in fifth place in the conference with a 9-5 record, again on the NCAA bubble and entering a crucial four-game stretch to their season.

The road begins Tuesday night at Michigan, a team even more desperate than Illinois. The Wolverines need wins now just to salvage an NIT berth. The Illini may be the better team, and Michigan has struggled at home, but the Wolverines also have the capability of being a spoiler when Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims are clicking. Michigan has wins over Ohio State (though without Evan Turner) and Connecticut and narrowly lost to Michigan State and Wisconsin.

Then Illinois hosts Minnesota on Saturday. The Golden Gophers are in a slightly worse predicament than the Illini. Minnesota needs to win almost all of its remaining games and have a decent Big Ten Tournament showing to give itself a shot at an NCAA Tournament berth. The Gophers haven't played well on the road (2-6) but they have the athletes to compete with Illinois.

The Illini are then off to Ohio State on March 2. The Buckeyes handed it to Illinois in Champaign on Feb. 14 and are coming off another dominant performance at Michigan State. There’s a good chance they could do it again to the Illini in Columbus. Illinois will need to play at its very best to beat the Buckeyes in what will likely be Turner’s final home game.

Finally, Illinois caps its regular season with Wisconsin on March 7. The Badgers may be out of the Big Ten race, but they will look for revenge at Illinois after its home winning streak was snapped by the Illini earlier this month. Wisconsin also has Jon Leuer back.

None of the games are gimmes. When you look inside the numbers (71 RPI rank, 62 strength of schedule, 7-5 in their last 12 games, 5-2 on the road, 0-5 neutral court, 2-2 vs. top 25 RPI, 2-2 vs. 26-50 RPI, 2-2 vs. 51-100 and 5-2 vs. 101-200), it’s easy see that Illinois needs to win these games.

In retrospect, as Illinois has returned to an NCAA Tournament uncertainty, there is also some doubt that arises again over its Michigan State and Wisconsin wins. Leuer (14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.3 blocks) was missing for the Illinois game, and the Badgers went 6-3 without him and have gone 14-4 with him. The Spartans were missing their top player in Kalin Lucas when they played Illinois, too.

The Illini can put those doubts back to rest and do a whole lot more for themselves if they can close out the regular season with an exclamation point. Two wins are likely mandatory. Three would benefit them extremely. Four would be the moon.

Tuesday night their work begins.

SPONSORED HEADLINES