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.
- 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. Read the rest of this entry »