Regular season play has concluded in the Big Ten which means the annual conference tournament is right around the corner. It also means that the league is set to announce their All-Conference selections and award winners; that will take place on Monday night at 5:00pm CT on the Big Ten Network.
Our friends over at Hammer and Rails are compiling votes for the SBNation Big Ten awards; each site on the Big Ten network has the opportunity to vote. We'll be linking to it on Facebook/Twitter/etc once it's published, but make sure to keep an eye out for that post. Here's the ballot we submitted:
First Team All-B1G
- D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State
- Dez Wells, Maryland
- Sam Dekker, Wisconsin
- Branden Dawson, Michigan State
- Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
Just want to give a quick disclaimer: I tried to keep this strictly position-based. Instead of taking three guards and two forwards, I went with a point guard, shooting guard, small forward, etc.
In my opinion, D'Angelo Russell, Branden Dawson, and Frank Kaminksy are locks for First Team All-B1G; they've each had outstanding seasons. Dez Wells got off to somewhat of a slow start thanks to an injury, but his monster contributions down the stretch run are what set him apart from other candidates. For the final spot, I elected to give the nod to Sam Dekker over Aaron White.
Second Team All-B1G
- Kevin Ferrell, Indiana
- D.J. Newbill, Penn State
- Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
- Aaron White, Iowa
- A.J. Hammons, Purdue
Yogi Ferrell missed the game-tying free throw against Michigan State this weekend, but he's still the second-best lead guard in the conference. It came down to Terran Petteway and D.J. Newbill for the Second Team honors--I went with Newbill because he's far more consistent. A.J. Hammons was an integral part of Purdue's surprising regular season run and he was an easy choice behind Frank Kaminsky.
Third Team All-B1G
- Melo Trimble, Maryland
- James Blackmon Jr., Indiana
- Rayvonte Rice, Illinois
- Malcolm Hill, Illinois
- Alex Olah, Northwestern
Dynamic freshmen Melo Trimble and James Blackmon Jr. comprise the Third Team's backcourt. If Rayvonte Rice hadn't missed time with a hand injury/suspension, I would've put him on the Second Team. Love him or hate him, he's had perhaps the best season in the 'post 2005' era of Illinois Basketball. It was extremely close, but I decided to give the nod to Malcolm Hill over Indiana's Troy Williams; both players showed drastic improvements during their sophomore campaigns, but only one suits up for the beloved.
B1G Player of the Year: Frank Kaminsky
No contest. Frank Kaminsky is, without a doubt, the best player in the Big Ten.
B1G Defensive Player of the Year: A.J. Hammons
B1G Freshman of the Year: D'Angelo Russell
D'Angelo Russell is/was my favorite college basketball player this year. Where would the Buckeyes be without him? I'm looking forward to watching him in the NBA next season.
B1G Coach of the Year: Mark Turgeon
When you think about it, it's incredible what Maryland has done in their first year as a member of the Big Ten. The Terps finished in second place with a conference record of 14-4 while the coaching staff and players had to completely adjust to the playing styles of 13 new teams on the fly. Fantastic job by Mark Turgeon.