By TOM LEA
Having seen plenty of players throughout the Big Ten and having paid attention to Big Ten basketball throughout the course of the season, I thought it would be beneficial to announce my first, second and honorable mention All-Big Ten teams.
So here goes.
G- Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin): 14.6 points, 4 assists, 3.8 rebounds
The dish: Yeah, the numbers are down. I get that. But when teams didn’t have to key in on Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil all season long what do you expect. If you’re trying to defend the Badgers you go from having to deal with three players who were capable of scoring 20-plus (including Taylor) on a given night a year ago to one (Taylor) this season. Teams weren’t afraid of Ryan Evans, Mike Bruesewitz, Josh Gasser or Jared Berggren like they were Leuer and Nankivil, at least to start the season. So yeah, Taylor absolutely deserves it.
G- Tim Frazier (Penn State): 18.6 points, 6.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds
The dish: So what if he plays on the worst team in the Big Ten. The fact that he gets his teammates involved as much as he does (he’s the leagues top assist man) is testament enough. He scores and he passes the ball. That doesn’t happen enough. He also served as the rock to a Penn State squad that continually played hard for first-year head coach Pat Chambers throughout.
F- John Shurna (Northwestern): 19.8 points, 5.3 rebounds
The dish: I had a really difficult time deciding between Shurna and Purdue senior Robbie Hummel. But in the end I had to go with a guy that has Northwestern in position to play for its first ever NCAA tournament bid. Plus, there really isn’t a more dynamic scorer in the league.
F- Draymond Green (Michigan State): 16.2 points, 10.3 rebounds
The dish: He’s the leagues player of the year in my mind. He averages a double-double and he serves as the vocal and visual leader of a team that looks very much like a Final Four contender. What else do you want in a first-team All-Big Ten player?
F- Jared Sullinger (Ohio State): 16.9 points, 9.3 rebounds
The dish: I’m not the biggest fan of Sullinger’s game, mostly because he gets the benefit of the doubt from the official more often than not, but you can’t argue with his production. He’s essentially a walking double-double and one of the toughest players to defend in the league. Like Green, Sullinger has Ohio State poised for a deep run in both the league and national tournaments.
G- Matt Gatens (Iowa): 15.7 points per game
G- Tre Burke (Michigan): 14.6 points per game
F- Robbie Hummel (Purdue): 16.8 points per game
F- Drew Crawford (Northwestern): 16.4 points per game
C- Cody Zeller (Indiana): 15.7 points per game
G- Bo Spencer (Nebraska): 15.1 points per game
G- William Buford (Ohio State): 15.1 points per game
G- Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State): 15.1 points per game
G- Brandon Paul (Illinois): 15 points per game
G- Tim Hardaway Jr. (Michigan): 14.5 points per game
F- Christian Watford (Indiana): 11.8 points per game
F- Ryan Evans (Wisconsin): 10.7 points per game
C- Meyers Leonard (Illinois): 13.4 points per game
C- Jared Berggren (Wisconsin): 10.4 points per game
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