This Week in the Big Ten



June 27, 2010

[ONE // it's a honda for hodge]
What a week for awards!  We begin the week with a major award that was given on Monday to Penn State volleyball's Megan Hodge.  She joined Connecticut basketball's Maya Moore as co-winners of the Honda-Broderick Cup, recognizing the top Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.  It is the second time in the history of the Collegiate Women's Sports Award that two female athletes have tied for the Broderick Cup.  Hodge is the first Penn State player to earn the honor and the second Big Ten student-athlete to earn the designation. Wisconsin track and field athlete Suzy Favor won the award for the 1989-90 season.

[TWO // hodge named big ten's top female]
And just days after Megan Hodge was honored as one of the nation's top female student-athletes, she was recognized Wednesday as the Suzy Favor Female Big Ten Athlete of the Year.  The Suzy Favor Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year was selected by a panel of conference media members from nominations submitted by each institution. Hodge led the Penn State team that became the first in NCAA Division I volleyball history to win three straight national titles. The outside hitter was named co-winner of the Honda-Broderick Cup, honoring the top female student-athlete in collegiate athletics. Hodge was named the AVCA National Player of the Year and also took home her second Big Ten Player of the Year award in 2009, having first earned the honor as a freshman in 2006.

[THREE // big ten names turner top male]
On the men's side, Ohio State basketball player Evan Turner was named the Jesse Owens Male Big Ten Athletes of the Year, the conference office announced on Wednesday.  Turner became the first Ohio State basketball player to earn the Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year Award and the third Buckeye in any sport to take home the trophy. A junior guard from Chicago, Turner racked up a slew of national accolades, winning the Wooden Award, Naismith and Oscar Robertson trophies as well as being named National Player of the Year by the Associated Press, Basketball Times, National Association of Basketball Coaches and Sporting News. The conference's consensus Player of the Year, Turner was the Most Outstanding Player of the Big Ten Tournament and was named to a litany of All-America teams. He set a Big Ten record with 10 career Player of the Week selections, including seven in 2009-10.

[FOUR // other top conference standouts recognized]
Twenty other Big Ten male and female student-athletes were nominated for the coveted Jesse Owens Male and Suzy Favor Female Big Ten Athletes of the Years awards.  In addition to winners Evan Turner and Megan Hodge, congratulations to Illinois' Scott Langley (golf) and Angela Bizzarri (cross country/track); Indiana's Derek Drouin (track & field) and Kate Fesenko (swimming); Iowa's Jay Borschel (wrestling) and Tricia Dean (field hockey); Michigan's Chris Cameron (gymnastics) and Lexi Zimmerman (volleyball); Michigan State's Greg Jones (football) and Floor Rijpma (field hockey); Minnesota's Jayson Ness (wrestling) and Kelci Bryant (diving); Northwestern's Mike Kafka (football) and Katrina Dowd (lacrosse); Ohio State's Sam Marder (softball); Penn State's Jason Yeisley (soccer); Purdue's David Boudia (diving) and Maude-Aimee LeBlanc (golf); and Wisconsin's Blake Geoffrion (ice hockey) and Maggie Meyer (swimming). 

[FIVE // hodge and turner up for espys]
The big week continued for Ohio State's Evan Turner and Penn State's Megan Hodge.  Just a day after of winning the conference's top annual honor, the pair was nominated Thursday for an ESPN ESPY award.  Turner was named a choice for Best Male College Athlete, while Hodge was tabbed for Best Female College Athlete. Fans can select the winners by voting online or by mobile device at espn.com/espys or on the ESPN Facebook page: facebook.com/espn.

[SIX // winners announced for other television awards]
It's promising news for Ohio State's Evan Turner and Penn State's Megan Hodge regarding the ESPN ESPY awards, because the duo took home Big Ten Network awards on Wednesday.  Turner was named the Big Ten's Breakout Performer of the Year and added a hand, or was that a 3-point heave, to give his Buckeyes the Best Finish award, which came against Michigan at the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.  Hodge's Nittany Lions were named the Best Women's Team of the Year, while her coach, Russ Rose, was tabbed as the Women's Coach of the Year.  Michigan State's Tom Izzo was named Men's Coach of the Year and Iowa wrestling was selected as Men's Team of the Year.  Most Dominating Performance was given to Purdue diver David Boudia and the Iowa/Ohio State football thriller was picked as Game of the Year.

[SEVEN // turner taken second in nba draft]
This week proved to be a memorable one for Ohio State's Evan Turner as in addition to all his accolades, he was selected as the second pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in Thursday's NBA Draft.  Turner became the sixth Ohio State player under the direction of head coach Thad Matta to be selected in the opening round of the draft.  Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., and Daequan Cook, all freshmen from Ohio State's 2007 NCAA runner-up squad, were taken in the opening round of the 2007 NBA Draft. Freshmen centers Kosta Koufos (2008) and B.J. Mullens (2009) also were first round selections.  Since 1947, 47 Ohio State basketball players have been drafted by NBA teams, including 22 first round selections.

[EIGHT // reive ready for new post at iowa]
A warm welcome to JD Reive, who was announced Thursday as the new head men's gymnastics coach at Iowa.  Reive replaces former Hawkeye mentor Tom Dunn, who retired at the end of the 2010 season.  Reive, who is the seventh head coach in the program's 82-year history, comes to Iowa City after serving as an assistant coach at men's gymnastics powerhouse Stanford for the past seven seasons. Reive helped the Cardinal to four top-three team finishes at the NCAA Championships, including the 2009 NCAA national championship.  Ironically, Reive's alma mater, the University of Nebraska, is the newest member of the Big Ten Conference.

[NINE // purdue women's hoops to open season early]
The Purdue women's basketball team will get a jump start on its conference competitors as the Boilermakers will take part in the 2010 Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament, it was announced on Wednesday.  Purdue will be playing host to Austin Peay on Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. in Mackey Arena.  A win by the Boilermakers would pit them against the winner of the Toledo/St. Francis game. The full bracket is posted here.  The 16-team, invitation-only Preseason WNIT field features 14 teams coming off postseason play, with half of those teams winning their conference tournaments. The preseason WNIT is an exempt event that is played as a three-game guarantee format.

[TEN // nine named all-america in track and field]
Six female and three male Big Ten student-athletes were selected to the 2009-10 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Track and Field and Cross Country Teams, as chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America, it was announced on Thursday morning.  On the women's side, two conference athletes were named to the first team, including Illinois' Angela Bizzarri and Minnesota's Heather Dorniden. Gopher teammate Megan Duwell was selected to the second team and was joined by Penn State's Bridget Franek. Two other conference standouts were selected to the third team, including Michigan's Kaitlyn Peale and Indiana's Wendi Robinson.  On the men's side, Wisconsin's Jack Bolas was selected a first-team member, having been chosen for the second team in 2009. A pair of Minnesota student-athletes made the teams as Mike Torchia earned a spot on the second team, while teammate Aaron Studt was a third-team selection.

[ELEVEN // making his pitch]
Finally this week, Ohio State's Alex Wimmers was named Monday as one of three finalists for the College Baseball Foundation National Pitcher of the Year Award. The Foundation, in conjunction with the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America, will announce its winner July 2 in Lubbock, Texas, during the College Baseball Awards Show streamed on MLB.com. The event will follow the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony July 1 in Lubbock.  Wimmers, a junior from Cincinnati and the 2010 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, is joined as a finalist along with Mississippi junior Drew Pomeranz and Florida Gulf Coast junior Chris Sale.