Men's Hoops Season-in-Review

May 18, 2015

Kaminsky the Consensus National Player of the Year:
Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky was named the recipient of the 2015 John R. Wooden Award, becoming the fifth Big Ten player, and third in the past six years to claim the annual honor. As the winner of the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy and Oscar Robertson Trophy, along with National Player of the Year nods from the Associated Press and Sporting News, Kaminsky was tabbed the consensus National Player of the Year. Other Big Ten national players of the year in the last six seasons were Ohio State's Evan Turner in 2010, Michigan State's Draymond Green in 2012 and Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Michigan's Trey Burke in 2013.

Shields and Gesell Named Academic All-Americans:
Nebraska's Shavon Shields and Iowa's Mike Gesell were named to the Capital One Academic All-America teams, with Shields claiming first-team honors and Gesell securing third-team accolades. Shields became the first Husker men's basketball player to earn first-team academic All-America honors, while Gesell became the first Hawkeye to earn the national academic award since Adam Haluska in 2007.

Wollenman Wins Elite 89 Award:
Michigan State's Colby Wollenman was the recipient of the Elite 89 award for the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. The Elite 89 award, founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships.

Consensus All-Americans:
Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell and Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky earned consensus All-America laurels, marking the fourth time in the last five years that two Big Ten standouts were tabbed consensus All-Americans. Other Big Ten consensus honorees in the last five years were Ohio State's Jared Sullinger and Purdue's JaJuan Johnson in 2011, Sullinger and Michigan State's Draymond Green in 2012 and Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Michigan's Trey Burke in 2013.



An NCAA to Remember:
Seven Big Ten teams were selected to the NCAA Tournament, marking the eighth time in the last 10 years that the conference has had six or more teams in the bracket and the seventh straight year the Big Ten has had five or more teams advance to the NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin received the conference's automatic bid after winning the Big Ten Tournament, while Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue received at-large berths.

Big Ten Final Four History:
With Michigan State and Wisconsin's berths in the national semifinals, current Big Ten programs have now combined for 49 Final Four appearances, including seven in the last seven seasons. The Spartans and Badgers advanced to the Final Four on the heels of Wisconsin reaching the national semifinals in 2014, Michigan's appearance in 2013, Ohio State's run to the Final Four in 2012, and Michigan State's back-to-back national semifinals appearances in 2009 and 2010.

Multiple Final Four Berths:
For the first time since 2005, two Big Ten teams advanced to the Final Four with Michigan State and Wisconsin appearing in the national semifinals. The Big Ten has sent two teams to the national semifinals on six official occasions. In 2005, Illinois and Michigan State both advanced to the Final Four. The conference also sent a pair of squads in back-to-back years for the first time in Big Ten history in 1999 (Michigan State, Ohio State) and 2000 (Michigan State, Wisconsin). Illinois and Michigan both advanced to the national semifinals in 1989, while Iowa and Purdue accomplished the feat in 1980 and Indiana and Michigan advanced to the Final Four in 1976. The Big Ten also sent two teams to the Final Four in 1999 (Michigan State, Ohio State) and 1992 (Indiana, Michigan), but the appearances by the Buckeyes and Wolverines were later vacated by the NCAA.

Wisconsin Advances to National Championship Game:
Wisconsin defeated Kentucky in the Final Four to reach the national championship game, becoming the fifth Big Ten team in the last 11 seasons to accomplish the feat. Michigan advanced to the title game in 2013, Michigan State played for the national championship in 2009, Ohio State played in the 2007 title game and Illinois reached the final in 2005. Current Big Ten programs have made 23 all-time appearances in the national championship game.

NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player Honors:
For the first time since 2005, the Big Ten had multiple standouts earn Most Outstanding Player honors at their respective NCAA regional sites. Michigan State's Travis Trice was named the East Region Most Outstanding Player, while Wisconsin's Sam Dekker collected Most Outstanding Player honors in the West Region. The Big Ten has had at least one standout claim NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player honors in each of the last four seasons, including Ohio State's Jared Sullinger in 2012, Michigan's Trey Burke in 2013, Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky in 2014 and Trice and Dekker in 2015.

Wisconsin's Historic Season:
Wisconsin claimed a school-record 36 wins during the 2014-15 season, becoming just the second Big Ten team to win 36 or more games in conference history. Illinois posted a conference-record 37 victories in the 2004-05 campaign.

Big Ten Standouts Earn All-Region Honors:
Michigan State and Wisconsin were well-represented on the Regional All-Tournament Teams. The Spartans' Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine were named to the East Regional All-Tournament Team, while the Badgers' Sam Dekker, Josh Gasser and Frank Kaminsky were recognized in the West Region. The Big Ten boasts 22 NCAA All-Regional team honors in the last four years.

How Sweet it is:
For the eighth straight year, the Big Ten sent at least two teams to the Sweet 16, as Michigan State and Wisconsin competed in regional semifinals. The Big Ten has seen at least one team advance to the Sweet 16 in each of the last nine years.

Big Ten Champions:
Wisconsin finished the Big Ten season with a 16-2 record, clinching its first outright Big Ten Championship since the 2007-08 season. The Badgers have won 18 Big Ten Championships. Wisconsin also earned the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2008.

Wisconsin Wins Tournament Title:
Wisconsin captured the Big Ten Tournament title in Chicago, defeating Michigan in the quarterfinals, Purdue in the semifinal round and Michigan State in the championship game. It marked the Badgers' third Big Ten Tournament Championship.

Final Rankings:
The Big Ten was well-represented in the final USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll with three teams among the top 20 and a pair of top-10 squads. Wisconsin finished the season ranked No. 2 in the poll, followed by No. 7 Michigan State and No. 16 Maryland. Iowa, Ohio State and Purdue also received votes in the final ballot.

Attendance Records Set:
The Big Ten set conference records for total attendance (3,076,641) and attendance in conference games only (1,677,589) this season. It marks the first time in history that the conference has eclipsed the three-million mark in total attendance.

Seven Big Ten Teams Boast 20 or More Triumphs:
Seven Big Ten teams ended the 2014-15 season with 20 or more wins - Wisconsin (36), Maryland (28), Michigan State (27), Ohio State (24), Iowa (22), Purdue (21) and Indiana (20). In addition, Illinois finished the campaign with 19 victories. The Big Ten has seen at least seven teams collect 20 or more wins in each of the last four seasons.

Ryan and Turgeon Collect District Coach of the Year Honors:
Maryland's Mark Turgeon and Wisconsin's Bo Ryan were named NABC District 7 Coaches of the Year, while Ryan picked up USBWA District V Coach of the Year honors. In Maryland's inaugural season in the Big Ten, Turgeon led the Terrapins to a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 2 seed. Under the guidance of Ryan, Wisconsin won the outright Big Ten title for the first time since 2008.

Big Ten Standouts Garner All-District Honors:
Eleven Big Ten players were named All-District performers by the NABC and USBWA:

District 7 First Team

Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
Melo Trimble, Maryland
D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State
A.J. Hammons, Purdue
Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin

District 7 Second Team
Aaron White, Iowa
Dez Wells, Maryland
Branden Dawson, Michigan State
D.J. Newbill, Penn State
Sam Dekker, Wisconsin

USBWA • District V
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
COACH OF THE YEAR: Bo Ryan, Wisconsin

District V Team
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
Branden Dawson, Michigan State
Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State
A.J. Hammons, Purdue
Sam Dekker, Wisconsin
Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin

Big Ten Standouts:
The 2014-15 All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners were announced in advance of the Big Ten Tournament. Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky earned Big Ten Player of the Year honors from the conference's coaches and a media panel. Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon claimed Coach of the Year laurels from the media, while Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan was named Coach of the Year by his peers. Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell picked up Freshman of the Year accolades from the coaches and media. Purdue's Rapheal Davis was named the Defensive Player of the Year and Iowa's Gabe Olaseni was voted the Sixth Man of the Year by the coaches.

We Are the (Stat) Champions:
Several standouts secured statistical titles in Big Ten conference games only during the 2014-15 season:
• With 20.3 points per game, Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell became the first freshman since Indiana's Eric Gordon in 2007-08 to lead the conference in scoring. Russell also led the Big Ten with 49 three-point field goals made.
• Michigan State's Branden Dawson became the third Spartan in the past seven years to lead the Big Ten in rebounding with 9.8 boards per contest, joining Goran Suton in 2008-09 and Draymond Green in 2011-12.
• Indiana's Yogi Ferrell paced the Big Ten with 5.2 assists per outing, becoming the first Hoosier to lead the conference in helpers since assists became an official statistic in the 1974-75 season.
• Ohio State's Sam Thompson led the conference with 1.8 steals per game, the fifth time in the past six years that a Buckeye has paced the Big Ten.
• Purdue's A.J. Hammons led the conference with 2.8 blocks per game, the third straight season he has topped the Big Ten in rejections.

Stay CLASS-y:
Penn State's D.J. Newbill and Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky were named Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-Americans in men's basketball. Newbill and Kaminsky were named two-of-10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award in mid-February. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Illinois Collects NIT Bid:
Illinois earned a No. 3 seed in the 2015 National Invitation Tournament. The Fighting Illini dropped a first-round decision at Alabama.

Among the Nation's Best:
Big Ten teams finished the season ranked among the top 10 in the nation in several statistical categories. Wisconsin was tied for sixth in the nation in scoring offense with 76.0 points per game, while Iowa was tied for ninth at 75.5 ppg. Indiana ranked seventh in the nation in free throw percentage at 85.0 percent, Iowa was eighth in the country with a 48.8 percent field goal percentage, while Michigan State was fifth in field goal percentage defense (.371), Ohio State (.373) ranked sixth and Maryland (.379) was seventh. Indiana ranked fourth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.500), while Maryland was 10th (.425). The Hoosiers led the nation in three-point field goal defense (.154) and Michigan State was fifth (.232), Purdue was fourth in rebounding margin (+13.0), while Maryland was tied for third in the country in blocks (6.0 bpg) and Ohio State was tied for seventh (5.0). Wisconsin was eighth in the nation in assist/turnover ratio (1.6), and Indiana ranked third in three-point field goals made per game (11.0).