With the regular season officially in the books, Corey and I decided to put together our All-Conference selections. Not that we weren't already aware, but it's amazing how many talented underclassmen the conference has to offer. Typically, the media and coaches are a little hesitant to heap honors on freshmen but they may not have a choice this season. The BigTen Network will announce the coaches All-Conference selections at 6pm during Big Ten Tonight.
Starting with the major individual awards, those were a slam dunk for both of us:
- Player of the Year: DJ White
- Coach of the Year: Matt Painter
- Freshman of the Year: Eric Gordon
Painter and White were obvious choices. Painter's Boilers ooze confidence and chemistry and you gotta give him credit for that considering their youth while White has been unstoppable down low playing with a passion we hadn't seen until this season. We like Gordon for FOY but there's no doubt legit arguments could be made for Robbie Hummel, E'Twaun Moore and Manny Harris.
Moving on to the All-Conference 1st and 2nd teams, we start to see some variations.
|Drew Neitzel, Michigan State||Manny Harris, Michigan|
|Jamar Butler, Ohio State||Jamar Butler, Ohio State|
|Eric Gordon, Indiana||Eric Gordon, Indiana|
|Kosta Koufos, Ohio State||Brian Butch, Wisconsin|
|DJ White, Indiana||DJ White, Indiana|
I know I'll take some heat for putting Koufos on my first team while Corey went with Brian Butch but it's not just me homering out. Koufos averaged slightly more points, rebounds and blocks in addition to shooting a better percentage from the floor, downtown and the charity stripe. On the flip side, Butch is a beast serving as the leading scorer and rebounder on the conference's best team.
At the point, Corey took Harris over Neitzel for the same reasons I took Koufos over Butch. Harris has the slight edge in numbers and did an admirable job of carrying the scoring load while running the offense for the undermanned Wolverines. I just can't overlook the intangibles Neitzel brings and his ability to carry the Spartans when he gets hot. Plus, I've had a man crush on him ever since the two incredible games he had against the Buckeyes in 2007. Dude's been a horse for Izzo.
Moving on, our Second Team looks like this:
|Raymar Morgan, Michigan State||Raymar Morgan, Michigan State|
|E'Twaun Moore, Purdue||E'Twaun Moore, Purdue|
|Robbie Hummel, Purdue||Robbie Hummel, Purdue|
|Kevin Coble, Northwestern||Kevin Coble, Northwestern|
|Brian Butch, Wisconsin||Kosta Koufos, Ohio State|
Our All-Conference Second Team's are exactly the same with the exception of the previously discussed Koufos/Butch variation. The two kids from Purdue have been large, Morgan's an underrated player for Sparty and we threw Coble a bone for his steady production albeit on a horrific team.
Next up, the All-Freshman 1st Team has a lot of familiar names considering five made our 1st or 2nd team all-conference rosters. We're more than a little perimeter heavy on the 2nd team but we're content to play small ball with that group. One thing's for sure, the future of the conference looks bright with all these kids playing significant roles on their respective teams.
|1st Team||2nd Team|
|Manny Harris, Michigan||Kalin Lucas, Michigan State|
|E'Twaun Moore, Purdue||Talor Battle, Penn State|
|Robbie Hummel, Purdue||Michael Thompson, Northwestern|
|Eric Gordon, Indiana||Evan Turner, Ohio State|
|Kosta Koufos, Ohio State||Blake Hoffarber, Minnesota|
I'm sure you guys have your own thoughts so where'd we screw up? And don't say Matt Terwilliger for Player of the Year.