RTC All-Big Ten Teams

Posted by Brendan Brody on March 9th, 2015

With the end of the regular season now here, it’s time to reveal our award winners for the 2014-15 campaign. Over the next couple of days we’ll be unveiling our all-conference teams and superlatives for a number of individual awards. We’ll start today with our three all-Big Ten teams and Honorable Mentions. With 14 teams to choose from, these 15 players separated themselves in numerous different ways. Let us know where you disagree in the comments.

First Team

Frank Kaminsky is on our First Team All B1G team, and may well pick up a National Player of the Year award as well. (Espn.com)

Frank Kaminsky is on our First Team, and may well pick up a National Player of the Year award as well. (Espn.com)

  • Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (18.4 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 55.9% FG)
  • D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State (19.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.6 SPG)
  • Aaron White, Iowa (15.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 81.4% FT)
  • Melo Trimble, Maryland (16.1 PPG, 3.1 APG, 1.3 SPG, 87.6% FT)
  • AJ Hammons, Purdue ( 11.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.8 BPG, 53.5% FG)

Hammons anchored a defensive resurgence for Purdue, blocking 88 shots in the middle while developing from a leadership standpoint. Trimble was outstanding from day one for Maryland, becoming the best Maryland point guard since Greivis Vasquez in the process. His abilities to shoot from deep and get to the free throw line were primary reasons why Maryland finished the regular season ranked among the top 10. White went nuts at the end of the season, adding a three-pointer to his offensive arsenal to supplement everything else he does for the Hawkeyes. As Iowa finished the season on a 6-0 tear, the senior forward averaged 21.2 PPG and 9.2 RPG while knocking down 8-of-13 three-pointers. Russell was quite simply one of the best players in the country all season long, becoming the first Ohio State player to record a triple-double since Evan Turner. If the Buckeyes make an NCAA Tournament run later this month, it will be because Russell explodes for a stretch. Kaminsky took the improvements he made during his junior year and built on them this year. He finished the season with the best offensive rating in the country for any player who used more than 28 percent of his teams possessions, and did so by a wide margin. Once Traveon Jackson was injured, he refined his game to average 3.1 APG from the center position. He blocks shots, scores from all over the court, and helped the Badgers rack up the third-best defensive rebounding rate in the nation (25.5%). He’s on the short list of many National Player of the Year awards, and deservedly so.

Second Team

  • Dez Wells, Maryland (15.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG,1.3 SPG, 50.0% 3FG)
  • Yogi Ferrell, Indiana (16.0 PPG, 5.0 APG, 42.0% 3FG, 84.9% FT)
  • Rayvonte Rice, Illinois (17.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.8 SPG, 46.2% 3FG)
  • Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin (12.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 52.0% FG, 37.5% 3FG)
  • Denzel Valentine, Michigan State (14.5 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 4.2 APG, 42.0% 3FG)

Valentine really distinguished himself this season with his shooting, rebounding and assist numbers improving across the board. Hayes took a huge leap forward for Wisconsin in his second season in Madison. His vast improvement is one of many reasons why the Badgers are a bona fide national title contender. Rice missed eight games due to injury and an untimely suspension but his numbers were stellar when he was on the floor. His offensive rating improved from 107.3 to 123.9 while using roughly the same number of possessions this season. Ferrell led the most potent offense in the Big Ten, doing so as both a facilitator and the leading scorer for an undersized Indiana unit that at times was the most fun offensive team to watch in the country. Wells also missed time and he struggled when he first returned from injury, but his late season numbers of 18.4 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and a 55.2 percent mark from the field as the Terps closed the season with an 8-1 mark cannot be ignored.

Third Team

  • Sam Dekker, Wisconsin (13.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 51.5% FG)
  • DJ Newbill, Penn State (20.7 PPG, 3.2 APG, 16 games over 20 points)
  • Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa ( 12.2 PPG, 1.6 BPG, 39.6% 3FG)
  • Terran Petteway, Nebraska (17.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.8 APG)
  • Raphael Davis, Purdue  (11.0 PPG, 2.7 APG, 47.9% FG)

Davis was arguably the best perimeter defender in the league, and he still managed to be Purdue’s second-leading scorer, only getting more confident in his jumper as the season progressed. Petteway’s somewhat disappointing junior season mirrors how Nebraska also fell off. He still had his moments as one of the best scoring wings in the league, however, as he notched games of over 20 points 12 different times. Uthoff really came into his own as arguably the most talented player on the Iowa roster — his ability to play both inside and on the perimeter helped the Hawkeyes on numerous occasions. Newbill gets a raw deal here because of how Penn State fared as a team. The league’s leading scorer certainly isn’t to be faulted for the Nittany Lions’ 4-14 conference mark, as any Big Ten coach would love to have him on his roster. Dekker struggled to start the season as he dealt with an ankle injury, but he returned to average 13.8 PPG in Big Ten play as one of the best second options in the country.

Honorable Mentions

  • Branden Dawson, Michigan State (11.6 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 54.3% FG)
  • Jake Layman, Maryland (13.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 38.1% 3FG)
  • Troy Williams, Indiana (13.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 55.9% FG)
  • Travis Trice, Michigan State (14.8 PPG, 5.4 APG, 3.39/1 ASST/TO)
  • Alex Olah, Northwestern (11.7 PPG, 1.8 BPG, 7 Double-Doubles)
  • Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin (7.8 PPG, 39.8% 3FG, 2.76/1 ASST/TO
  • Spike Albrecht, Michigan (7.4 PPG, 4.0 APG, 90.9% FT)

Albrecht averaged 13.2 PPG and 5.2 APG since the start of February for a team that needed him to perform without the services of their best two players for much of the season. Like Albrecht, Koenig assumed primary ball-handling duties after an injury and immediately showed how valuable he is. Olah was part of a huge late turnaround for Northwestern, as he’s improved more than nearly anyone in the Big Ten since the beginning of last season. Trice was often the glue for Michigan State, as he led a team that finished the season seventh in the country in assist rate. Williams was often the best player on Indiana’s roster, showcasing freakish athleticism and the ability to play bigger than his size for a team that sorely needed it. Layman was part of perhaps the best trio in the league, playing as a do-it-all stretch four and enhancing his draft stock in the process. Dawson could have been a First Teamer at one point, but inconsistency and a late injury dropped him from higher consideration. Michigan State will need a big March from the senior to exceed expectations after a 21-10 regular season mark.

Brendan Brody (307 Posts)

Brendan Brody is in his fourth season covering the Big Ten for RTC. Email him at brendan.brody@gmail.com, or follow him on twitter @berndon4.

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