Presenting Land of 10’s 2017-18 All-Big Ten Team
Land of 10’s Big Ten Player of the Year
Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State
After sitting out for most of last season following a stress fracture in his left shin, Keita Bates-Diop’s name got lost in the preseason college basketball shuffle. It probably didn’t help that his team had undergone a coaching change and looked poised to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten.
Once he finally returned to the court, Bates-Diop showed all the skills that made him a top-30 recruit in the Class of 2014.
Bates-Diop was second in the Big Ten in scoring with 19.2 points per game and tied for second in rebounds with 8.9 per game. A couple duds down the stretch (he shot only 25 percent on 2-point baskets in losses to Michigan and Penn State), don’t cancel out his remarkable efforts all season, including a 32-point domination in Ohio State’s breakout upset win over Michigan State in January.
So while coach Chris Holtmann deserves plenty of credit for Ohio State’s quick turnaround, he couldn’t have led the Buckeyes to a 24-7 record without his dominant star.
Runner-up: Carsen Edwards, Purdue
Coach of the Year
Chris Holtmann, Ohio State
Chris Holtmann entered Ohio State during an awkward transition in the offseason, and after the coach dismissed one player and suspended another from a team that didn’t even make the NIT, the Buckeyes were understandably not a popular pick in the Big Ten. But the former Butler coach made the most of what he had, and turned Ohio State from a team that ranked 99th in KenPom’s defensive efficiency a year ago to one that ranks 13th.
Runner-up: Tim Miles, Nebraska
Freshman of the Year
Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
Michigan State’s freshman big man was the complete package. Jaren Jackson Jr. was incredibly efficient, shooting 41.6 percent on 3s and 60.5 percent on 2-pointers. His 6-foot-11 size helps him as not just an excellent shot-blocker, but as a fundamentally great defender. His per-game stats (11 points, 6 rebounds) won’t blow you away, but it’s easy to look past those and see everything else he does on the court. Jackson is almost assuredly leaving for the NBA after this season, so enjoy him while you can.
Runner-up: Brad Davison, Wisconsin
Land of 10’s All-Big Ten First Team
G- Tony Carr, Penn State
Tony Carr is everything to Penn State. The sophomore takes 26 percent of Penn State’s shots while still managing an impressive assist rate of 28 percent. Don’t let his 40 percent shooting on 2-pointers distract you from the point here. Carr is a scoring maestro, and his 46 percent shooting on 3s should spell even better things for his future.
G- Carsen Edwards, Purdue
Carsen Edwards is a huge reason why Purdue got even better despite losing Caleb Swanigan, one of its most talented players ever, to the NBA. The sophomore improved every part of his game, shooting 54 percent on 2-pointers and 40.5 percent on 3s while playing aggressive defense and occasionally posterizing defenders.
F- Miles Bridges, Michigan State
Miles Bridges returned for his sophomore year to help bring a championship to East Lansing, and he’ll have a chance to do just that. He’s playing sort of out of position on the outside, but Bridges can still dominate when he needs to. Look no further than his efficient 20-point performance in a 68-65 win over Purdue, which of course included his game-winning 3-pointer.
F- Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State
He’s our player of the year in the Big Ten. He’s good.
C- Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
Ethan Happ returned for his junior season in Madison to find the cupboard mostly bare. Gone were Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig and Zak Showalter, and gone too were Wisconsin’s chances at contending. Still, Happ put up numbers even as the overwhelming focus of every opponent’s game plan.
Sixth man of the Year: Devonte Green, Indiana
Land of 10’s All-Big Ten Second Team
G- Anthony Cowan – Maryland
G- James Palmer – Nebraska
F- Juwan Morgan, Indiana
F- Vince Ewards, Purdue
C- Isaac Haas, Purdue
Land of 10’s All-Big Ten Third Team
G – Cassius Winston, Michigan State
G – Nate Mason, Minnesota
F – Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
F – Jordan Murphy, Minnesota
C – Moe Wagner, Michigan
Land of 10’s All-Big Ten Freshman Team
G – Brad Davison, Wisconsin
G – Trent Frazier, Illinois
F – Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
F – Luka Garza, Iowa
C- Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State
Voters: Ryan Connors, Stephen Pianovich, Scott Dochterman, Rachel Lenzi, Ryan Donnelly, Sean Keeler
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