Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Sports News

Big Ten announces men's basketball postseason honors

Illini senior guards Paul, Richardson named 3rd-team all-conference

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[March 12, 2013]  PARK RIDGE -- The Big Ten men's basketball all-conference teams and individual award winners were announced Monday, with Illinois seniors Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson garnering honors. Paul was voted a third-team all-Big Ten selection by the league's coaches and media, while Richardson also was a third-team all-Big Ten pick by the coaches and an honorable mention choice by the media.

Paul leads the Illini and ranks fourth in the Big Ten in scoring on the season, averaging 16.3 points. He had a 35-point game in Illinois' Dec. 8 win at current No. 1 Gonzaga to earn National Player of the Week honors and was named MVP of the Maui Invitational after leading the Illini to the title. Paul has nine 20-point games on the year and has scored in double figures in all but three games. He averaged 14.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game during Big Ten play. Paul receives all-conference accolades for the second straight season after also being named third-team all-Big Ten as a junior by the coaches.

Richardson led the Illini in scoring for most of the Big Ten season before being passed by Paul in the final game. He averaged 14.2 points per game in conference action to rank ninth in the league. Overall, Richardson is averaging 12.8 points and has hit a team-high 75 3-pointers, ranking fourth in the league with an average of 2.3 treys per game. Richardson has scored in double figures in each of the last 13 games -- the longest streak of his career -- and earlier this season was named to the all-tournament team at the Maui Invitational after helping Illinois to the title.

Michigan's Trey Burke earned Big Ten Player of the Year honors from the conference's coaches and a media panel. Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan claimed Coach of the Year laurels from both groups, while Michigan State's Gary Harris picked up Freshman of the Year accolades from the coaches and media. Indiana's Victor Oladipo was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while teammate Will Sheehey was voted the Sixth Man of the Year.

Burke takes home the Big Ten Player of the Year award after leading the conference in scoring and assists, averaging 20.2 points and 6.4 assists in Big Ten contests only. Burke also boasts the top assist-to-turnover ratio in the country, dishing out 212 assists to just 61 turnovers for a ratio of 3.5 in all games. The sophomore earns the fourth Player of the Year award in program history and the first for Michigan since Glen Rice was honored in 1989.

Ryan has led the Badgers to a 21-10 overall record and a 12-6 mark in Big Ten play this season, marking the 11th time in 12 seasons that Ryan has guided Wisconsin to a top-four finish in the conference standings. Ryan ranks first among active Big Ten coaches with a .723 winning percentage and is just 11 wins shy of his 300th victory at Wisconsin. He collects his third Big Ten Coach of the Year award after taking home back-to-back honors in 2002 and 2003.

Harris becomes Michigan State's first Big Ten Freshman of the Year after leading all conference newcomers in scoring and steals, averaging 13.7 points and 1.6 steals in Big Ten games only. Harris also finished the conference season second in 3-point field goal percentage (.472).

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Oladipo collects Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year laurels after helping the Hoosiers win their first outright Big Ten title since 1993. Oladipo leads the conference with 2.2 steals per game in all contests, regularly guarding the opposing team's best perimeter player. Oladipo earns the third Defensive Player of the Year award in Indiana history and first since Dane Fife in 2002.

Sheehey is averaging 9.5 points per game off the bench for Indiana and shooting nearly 50 percent in all contests. He becomes Indiana's first Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year since the award's inception in 2006.

Burke, Oladipo, Indiana's Cody Zeller and Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas were each voted unanimous first-team all-Big Ten selections by the media, while Burke and Oladipo were also unanimous selections by the coaches. Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. was a first-team selection by the coaches, while Ohio State's Aaron Craft rounded out the media's first-team choices.

Joining Harris on the coaches' All-Freshman Team were Indiana's Yogi Ferrell, Michigan's Glenn Robinson III, Purdue's A.J. Hammons and Wisconsin's Sam Dekker. Oladipo and Craft were unanimous choices for the All-Defensive Team and were joined by Michigan's Jordan Morgan, Ohio State's Shannon Scott and Wisconsin's Jared Berggren.

The Big Ten also announced 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees. 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. This season's honorees are Illinois' Brandon Paul, Indiana's Derek Elston, Iowa's Eric May, Michigan's Hardaway Jr., Michigan State's Adreian Payne, Minnesota's Andre Hollins, Nebraska's Brandon Ubel, Northwestern's Reggie Hearn, Ohio State's Sam Thompson, Penn State's Nick Colella, Purdue's Dru Anthrop and Wisconsin's Berggren.

For the complete list of all-conference honorees and individual award winners, click here.

[Text from news release received from University of Illinois Fighting Illini]


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