In the eight days leading up to the start of the Big Ten Tournament, we here at the Big Ten microsite have decided to unveil our all-Big Ten team. Since we aren’t doing a second team, third team or honorable mention, we went with a seven-member squad based on what we have seen at this point in the season. We all voted over the weekend, and after tabulating the results have come up with our list. Check back over the next week as we will be releasing the team members in ascending order, one by one. Our seventh selection is Michigan sophomore Caris Levert.
- Why Caris LeVert is the seventh best player in the league: In a recent post, our own Deepak Jayanti highlighted some specifics about Levert’s offensive abilities, noting how smoothly and efficiently LeVert plays in John Beilein’s offensive system. His individual statistics aren’t eye-popping nor are they as good as some of the players left off of our list. But anybody who has seen Michigan play this season knows the impact that LeVert has had on a team that wrapped up its first outright conference regular season championship in nearly three decades on Tuesday night. He’s kind of like a top-shelf glue guy. That means that he does a lot of things to fill up the stat sheet like a normal x-factor or glue guy, but he also is talented enough to take over the game if he needs to. LeVert is one of only three Big Ten players to average over 13.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 1.0 SPG this season (Gary Harris and Tim Frazier are the other two), but the star sophomore is the only one in that group who is making over 40 percent of his threes. After averaging only 10.8 MPG in his freshman year playing in a loaded rotation, he has taken huge strides this campaign, so much so that he’s on the short list for most improved player in the both the Big Ten and nationally.