March 5, 2012
Park Ridge, Ill. - The Big Ten men's basketball All-Conference teams and individual award winners were announced on Monday, with Michigan State's Draymond Green earning Big Ten Player of the Year honors from the conference's coaches and media panel. Spartan head coach Tom Izzo earned Coach of the Year laurels from both groups, while Indiana's Cody Zeller picked up Freshman of the Year accolades from the coaches, and Michigan's Trey Burke earned the honor from the media. Ohio State's Aaron Craft was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while Purdue's D.J. Byrd was voted the Sixth Man of the Year.
Green takes home the Player of the Year Award after leading Michigan State to a share of the Big Ten title, averaging 16.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game en route to top honors. Green leads the Big Ten in rebounding, ranks sixth in scoring and ninth in assists, and is the only Big Ten player to rank among the top 10 in all three categories. The senior earns the seventh Player of the Year honor in program history and the first for Michigan State since 2009.
Izzo led the Spartans to a 24-7 overall record and a 13-5 mark in Big Ten play this season, good for the team's 13th conference title and the third in the last four years. Izzo now ranks fifth in Big Ten history with seven conference crowns. The Coach of the Year award is his third after taking home the honor in 1998 and 2009, and is the fifth by a Michigan State coach.
Zeller leads all Big Ten freshmen in scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.4 points and 6.4 boards per game. The Hoosier newcomer finished the regular season eighth in scoring and sixth in rebounding among all players en route to Indiana's ninth Freshman of the Year honor and the program's first since 2008.
Burke collects top freshman honors after averaging 14.6 points and 4.6 assists per contest to help the Wolverines earn a share of the Big Ten Championship. Burke leads all freshmen and finished the regular season second in the conference in assists, becoming Michigan's first Freshman of the Year since 2003.
Craft collects Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year laurels after spearheading Ohio State's defensive efforts and pushing the Buckeyes to a share of the Big Ten title. Craft leads the conference with 2.4 steals per game and helped lead a defensive unit that allowed the second-fewest points per game in the Big Ten at 58.5. Craft earns the fourth Defensive Player of the Year award in Ohio State history and first since 2007.
Byrd averaged 8.5 points per game off the bench for Purdue, finishing the regular season sixth in the Big Ten by shooting 43.2 percent from three-point range en route to Sixth Man of the Year accolades. The honor marks Purdue's first since the award's inception in 2006.
Green was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten choice by the coaches and media, while Northwestern's John Shurna, Ohio State's Jared Sullinger and Purdue's Robbie Hummel were also first-team picks by both groups. Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor was a first-team selection by the coaches, while Penn State's Tim Frazier rounded out the media's first-team choices. Hummel collects first-team accolades for the third time, while Sullinger and Taylor earn the honor for the second consecutive year. Green, Shurna and Frazier each earn first-team status for the first time.
Zeller and Burke lead the way on the coaches' All-Freshman Team, unanimously earning spots on the five-person squad. Joining the pair are Iowa's Aaron White, Michigan State's Branden Dawson and Northwestern's Dave Sobolewski. Craft was a unanimous choice for the All-Defensive Team and is joined by Green, Frazier, Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Wisconsin's Josh Gasser.
The Big Ten also announced 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. This season's honorees are Illinois' Sam Maniscalco, Indiana's Jordan Hulls, Iowa's Matt Gatens, Michigan's Stu Douglass, Michigan State's Austin Thornton, Minnesota's Ralph Sampson III, Nebraska's Brandon Richardson, Northwestern's Nick Fruendt, Ohio State's Craft, Penn State's Billy Oliver, Purdue's Hummel and Wisconsin's Rob Wilson.
The complete list of All-Conference honorees and individual award winners can be found in the PDF at the top of the page.