Some Predictions for Individual Big Ten Awards This Season

Posted by jnowak on November 12th, 2012

With the season getting under way, the Big Ten Microsite writers put their heads together and predicted who will come away with some conference hardware this season. Take a look:

  • Big Ten Player of the Year: Cody Zeller, Indiana — A pretty easy choice, all things considered. Zeller is the best player returning to the consensus No.1 team in the country, and a near unanimous selection to be an Associated Press preseason All-American. The sophomore center has it all — good hands, smarts, a nose for the ball around the basket, and runs the floor well. This is his award to lose.
  • All-Big Ten First Team: Cody Zeller, Indiana – see above; Trey Burke, Michigan – the conference’s best point guard who had a breakout season as a freshman and flirted with the NBA; Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State — another AP preseason All-American poised to be a star with the departure of Jared Sullinger; Tim Frazier, Penn State – the conference’s most dangerous scorer, but with plenty of pressure on his shoulders; Drew Crawford, Northwestern — Crawford should be the go-to guy in Evanston this season, with the perimeter all to himself to do what he does best.

No surprise here: Indiana’s Cody Zeller is our preseason Big Ten Player of the Year (Sandra Dukes/US Presswire)

  • All-Big Ten Second Team: Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota – a constant double-double threat on the mend from ACL surgery; Aaron Craft, Ohio State — perhaps the best floor general and defensive player in the league; Keith Appling, Michigan State – a true scorer who can find his groove in Michigan State’s fast-paced offense; Brandon Paul, Illinois – the best player on an Illinois team trying to find itself; Roy Devyn Marble, Iowa – a big part of the resurgence in Iowa City. (Others considered: Mike Bruesewitz, Wisconsin; Derrick Nix, Michigan State; Terone Johnson, Purdue)
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Craft, Ohio State – A predictable choice for a guy who has already won the award once and has been on the All-Big Ten Defensive Team each of his first two seasons in Columbus.
  • Breakout Player of the Year (tie): Roy Devyn Marble, Iowa – see above;  Terone Johnson, Purdue  it’s a rebuilding year at Purdue, but Johnson will give fans something to cheer about now; Andre Hollins, Minnesota — we saw flashes of Hollins’ great talent during last year’s NIT run.
  • Newcomer of the Year: Sam Dekker, Wisconsin – Ranked No. 13 overall in this incoming class by Rivals.com, Dekker was a McDonald’s All-American and is one of the most high-profile recruits Bo Ryan has brought to Madison. With Mike Bruesewitz out early and Josh Gasser done for the season, Wisconsin will need him.
  • Sixth Man of the Year (tie): Sam Thompson, Ohio State – a gifted athlete whose minutes should spike this year; Travis Trice, Michigan State — the best true point guard the Spartans have; Melsahn Basabe, Iowa – led the team in blocks last year.
  • Coach of the Year (tie): Thad Matta, Ohio State – it will be interesting to see how much Matta expands his bench and how he uses his multitude of athletes this season; John Beilein, Michigan – the best collection of talent in Ann Arbor since maybe the Fab Five ; Fran McCaffery, Iowa — the Hawkeyes are finally on their way back to Big Ten relevance.
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