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Monday, March 10, 2008

All-Big Ten Awards Announced

Butch named first team; Bohannon wins Sixth Man of the Year
The Big Ten Conference announced its 2007-08 awards live on the Big Ten Network Monday afternoon, a first in college basketball. Wisconsin's Brian Butch was the lone Badger named to the All-Big Ten first team. He was selected by both the coaches and the media.

D.J. White and Eric Gordon are the Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, respectively. Purdue's Robbie Hummel was a first-teamer on both ballots also, while Matt Painter was named the Coach of the Year. The coaches chose Marcus Landry for the second team and Michael Flowers for the third team; the media flip-flopped Flowers (second-team) and Landry (third).

It's a little surprising to see a conference champion with such little representation overall, but understandable. Not a single Badger was honored as the conference's player of the week throughout the season. You will notice quite a contrast in the statistics between Wisconsin players and Wisconsin as a team.

Despite naming Drew Neitzel to the first team, the coaches did get one thing right and that was naming Jason Bohannon the Sixth Man of the Year unanimously. Bohannon is a true representative of the "sixth starter" concept, much like a Jason Terry has with the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA.

Before you go ballistic about Michael Flowers being passed over for Defensive Player of the Year laurels, remind yourself that it is a good idea to not take such awards too seriously. History could have predicted that scoring average would be a big indicator of what players are picked for first team recognition. It seems the same can be said for steals and the Defensive POY. When the award went to Purdue's Chris Kramer, it was not completely unexpected, but still highly disappointing for Badger fans who have seen how good Flowers really is for four years now.

Kramer was tops in the Big Ten season with 2.6 steals per game, while Flowers was only seventh with 1.6 spg. But Mike averaged fewer fouls than all but two of those ahead of him in steals per game and plays better position defense in my observation. Flowers will have to take pride in knowing he clearly is a superior all-around player.

As for other Badgers, Trevon Hughes was a honorable mention pick on both ballots. Joe Krabbenhoft joined Flowers on the coaches' All-Defensive Team. Krabby strikes me as the type of guy that might laugh when informed of the news and then point towards his new Big Ten Championship hat and t-shirt.

The Big Ten still has some integrity in this process though. Elsewhere, the awards are getting out of hand. As we saw with the high school All-State team selected by the WBCA and now the All-Big East Awards, these designations are nowhere near exclusive anymore. There were 11 players named First Team All-Big East -- that doesn't make any sense!

This just reminds me of children's leagues like YMCA flag football where everyone gets a participation trophy. Enough coddling ...

: : :

Jeronne Maymon has been named the AP's state Player of the Year; Jamil Wilson was also named to the first team.

1 comment:

  1. How absurd. 11 players on the all Big-East Team. The Big East is even more a joke to me now. Ha.


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