Wisconsin's Tucker Named Big Ten Player Of The Year By Coaches And Media
March 6, 2007
Park Ridge, Ill. - Wisconsin's Alando Tucker captured the conference's highest honor as he was named the Big Ten Player of the Year in voting by both the coaches and the media. He is the second Badger in the last four years to earn the award as Devin Harris claimed Wisconsin's first Player of the Year laurel in 2004. In Big Ten games only, Tucker ranked second in the conference in scoring (19.7 ppg) and tied for eighth in rebounding (6.1 rpg). The senior forward led UW to a school-record 13 victories in the Big Ten, while also tallying a 17-game win streak earlier in the season, the longest in school history. This year, Tucker became the second Badger and the 23rd Big Ten standout to reach 2,000 career points. He enters this week's Big Ten Tournament with 2,125 points and is close to breaking UW's all-time scoring record held by Michael Finley (2,147 points from 1992-95).
Ohio State's Thad Matta was tabbed the Big Ten Coach of the Year by the media for the second consecutive year, while also picking up coaching accolades from his peers. In his third season in Columbus, Matta guided the Buckeyes to their second consecutive outright Big Ten title for the first time since OSU won three in a row from 1960-62. The Buckeyes have also tied a school record for wins with an overall mark of 27-3.
In other individual accolades, Ohio State's Greg Oden was named Freshman of the Year by the coaches and media, joining former Buckeyes Michael Redd, Greg Simpson and Jim Jackson, who were honored in 1998, 1993 and 1990, respectively. Oden led the conference in rebounding (8.9 rpg) and blocked shots (3.44 bpg) in Big Ten games only, while ranking seventh in the Big Ten with 15.1 points per game. The 7-1 center was joined by four other first-year standouts on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. The five-man squad included Iowa's Tyler Smith, Michigan State's Raymar Morgan, Northwestern's Kevin Coble and Ohio State's Mike Conley Jr.
Oden also became the first freshman in Big Ten history to claim Defensive Player of the Year laurels and the first Buckeye since Ken Johnson won back-to-back honors in 2000 and 2001. He was joined by Illinois' Chester Frazier, Michigan State's Travis Walton, Purdue's Chris Kramer and Wisconsin's Michael Flowers on the conference's All-Defensive Team.
Ohio State's Daequan Cook, who recorded only one start in 30 games this season, is the conference's second recipient of the Sixth Man of the Year award. The freshman guard provided a spark off the bench for the Buckeyes this season, averaging 11.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in all games.
A total of seven of the 15 selections on the 2007 All-Big Ten teams were underclassmen and have a chance to return to their teams next season. Both All-Big Ten first-team squads included Tucker, Iowa's Adam Haluska, Michigan State's Drew Neitzel and Ohio State's Oden. Purdue senior Carl Landry was honored by the coaches, while the media named Ohio State's Conley to the top squad. UW'S Tucker earned first-team laurels for the second-consecutive year.
The conference office also announced honorees from each team for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Honorees for men's basketball are Illinois' Trent Meacham, Indiana's Errek Suhr, Iowa's Haluska, Michigan's Brent Petway, Michigan State's Neitzel, Minnesota's Jamal Abu-Shamala, Northwestern's Tim Doyle, Ohio State's Oden, Penn State's David Jackson, Purdue's Chris Hartley and Wisconsin's Tucker. These 11 student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.
The complete list of the All-Big Ten teams and awards follows.
Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Honorees