The Big Ten will announce its All-Big Ten teams and awards later this evening on BTN (5:00 p.m.), but here is our 2017-18 UM Hoops All-Big Ten Team.
- Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State (Player of the Year): Bates-Diop’s production might have slumped in a few late losses that cost Ohio State the Big Ten Championship, but he averaged 19.4 points per game in conference play and helped Ohio State to a tie for 2nd place.
- Carsen Edwards, Purdue: The best guard in the Big Ten, Edwards can do it all. He has a lethal jump shot off the dribble, he gets to the basket, distributes and plays terrific defense as well.
- Miles Bridges, Michigan State: Bridges hit the 3-pointer that, for all intents and purposes, won Michigan State the Big Ten Championship. He averaged 16.7 points per game in league play and shot 50% on twos and 39% on threes.
- Cassius Winston, Michigan State: Winston made 37-of-66 3-point attempts in Big Ten games and led the conference in assists at 6.5 per game. His ability to hit big time threes (he was 6-of-6 on Sunday in Madison) is crucial to the Spartans’ success given their lack of depth in the backcourt.
- James Palmer Jr., Nebraska: Palmer’s was the No. 3 scorer in the league at 18.8 points per game and he’s one of the league’s best “get a bucket” scorers in the conference with his ability to attack the rim off the bounce.
- Moritz Wagner, Michigan: There might not be another player in the league who forces coaches to deviate from their defensive principles more than Wagner. The pick-and-pop big man forces teams to play switch-everything small ball or watch him carve up their traditional big man off the bounce.
- Ethan Happ, Wisconsin: Happ has first team numbers (18.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists per game), but Wisconsin just wasn’t relevant at the top of the league this year.
- Tony Carr, Penn State: Carr led the conference in scoring at 20.1 points per game, but he only shot 37% on 2-point attempts in Big Ten games. It was the improved perimeter shooting (42% in league games this year, up from 32% last year) that led him to a breakout season.
- Isaac Haas, Purdue: The most dominant post-up player in the country at 10.6 points per game on post-ups, per Synergy, Haas flourished in a larger role after the departure of Caleb Swanigan.
- Vince Edwards, Purdue: Edwards was the glue that held Purdue together, but he limped to the finish this year with four underwhelming performances and two missed games due to injury.
- Juwan Morgan, Indiana: Morgan’s production as an undersized five-man in a league with plenty of very good centers stands out. He averaged 17.9 points per game in league play with a 61.2 eFG%.
- Nick Ward, Michigan State: Ward is a per-40 All-American. He is the best offensive rebounder in the country, drew 8.2 fouls per 40 minutes in league games and was ranked 5th in the league in block rate while shooting 61% on 2-pointers. The drawback? He only played 48.7% of available minutes in Big Ten play — less than he played last year.
- Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Michigan: Perhaps his numbers don’t jump off the page, but Abdur-Rahkman consistently made winning plays for Michigan.
- Anthony Cowan, Maryland: Cowan is one of the most dynamic guards in the conference and was forced to carry the load almost by himself after injuries plagued the Terps. He led the Big Ten at 38.9 minutes per game in league play and was ranked 2nd at 5.7 assists per game.
- Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State: Jackson should be the first Big Ten player to hear his name at the NBA Draft in June and rightfully so. When Jackson was on the floor in Big Ten games, per Hoop Lens, MSU opponents only made 36.8% of their 2-point attempts.
Coach of the Year
- Chris Holtman, Ohio State: he walked into a situation better than any of us were smart enough to realize — not many coaches start a new job with the league’s Player of the Year — but the coaching job that Holtmann did this year was impressive. He got everything he could out of an Ohio State team that needed an early enrollee and a former walk-on as a scholarship graduate transfer just to fill out a roster in the summer.
- Jaren Jackson, Michigan State (Freshman of the Year)
- Trent Frazier, Illinois
- Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State
- Luka Garza, Iowa
- Bruno Fernando, Maryland
Jaren Jackson Jr. is the league’s best freshman, but several other newcomers deserve mention. Kaleb Wesson and Luka Garza are going to be dominant post-up scorers in this league for a while and Illinois guard Trent Frazier is the most dynamic freshman guard in the conference.
- Jaren Jackson, Michigan State (Defensive Player of the Year)
- Josh Reaves, Penn State
- Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
- Dakota Mathias, Purdue
- Zavier Simpson, Michigan
Zavier Simpson transformed Michigan’s defense at the point of attack while Dakota Mathias and Josh Reaves are two of the conference’s best at taking a single player out of any game. But Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. is our Defensive Player of the Year with his ability to protect the rim and he anchored the best 2-point and block percentage defense in the country.
Shot charts via Krossover.