Monday, March 5, 2012

Green, Izzo earn Big Ten top honors

To no one's surprise, Draymond Green was named Big Ten Player of the Year by both the media and the coaches on Monday. He beat out Ohio State's Jared Sullinger. Green becomes the seventh Spartan to win the award, joining Jay Vincent, Scott Skiles, Shawn Respert, Mateen Cleaves and Kalin Lucas.

Tom Izzo won his third Big Ten Coach of the Year award, notably over Michigan's John Beilein and Indiana's Tom Crean.

The All- Big Ten first team was:
Draymond Green: 16.2 pts, 10.3 rebs, 3.5 asts, 1.5 stls
John Shurna (Northwestern): 19.8 pts, 5.3 rebs
Jared Sullinger: 16.9 pts, 9.3 rebs
Robbie Hummel (Purdue): 16.8 pts, 7.0 rebs,
Jordan Taylor (coaches, Wisconsin): 14.6 pts, 4.1 asts
Tim Frazier (media, Penn State): 18.6 pts, 4.8 rebs, 6.3 asts, 2.3 stls

Keith Appling was named to the third team by coaches and media. Branden Dawson was named to the All-Freshman team by the coaches and All-Big Ten honorable mention by media. Dawson joins Shannon Brown, Drew Nietzel, Raymar Morgan and Delvon Roe among Spartans to earn the honor, which began in 2003.

Green was also named to the conference's All-Defensive team. Austin Thornton won the team's Sportsmanship Award.

For the full list of honors, click here. What do you think?

Here are the quotes released by MSU on the awards.


“I think this award is a team award because if the players didn’t do what they did, the coaches wouldn’t get the credit,” Izzo said. “There are a lot of great coaches in this league this year and they are just as deserving as I am. I just thank God that I’ve got the right players that helped us become a championship team. If the team does well, the individual awards will come and this year is a perfect example of that.

“I thought there were a lot of other worthy candidates for Coach of the Year. I thought Tom Crean did an incredible job putting his Indiana team on the biggest upswing from last year. John Beilein has done a great job at Michigan and I think Fran McCaffery has done an incredible job at Iowa. If you look at all the coaches, I could make arguments for all of them. It isn’t always about winning a championship, and I think there were a lot of great coaches this year. I guess I was just lucky enough to win.”

"If an individual award is voted on by the coaches and the media, that is the ultimate compliment for a player because it shows how valuable you are. When people vote on something like that, they look at scoring, rebounding, assists and leadership. There were a lot of great candidates for Player of the Year. I thought Jared Sullinger and Jordan Taylor were both very good, but I thought what Draymond did for his team made him most deserving, although I’m biased. I’m very proud of him and I’m happy for him. He joins some elite athletes from Michigan State who have previously won the Player of the Year award.”


“Coming into the season, being named Player of the Year was something that Coach Izzo and I had talked about, but everyone thought it would be Jared Sullinger. Usually the best player on the best team gets a lot of publicity, and as we got better and started to win more games, I started getting thrown into that conversation. As my play started getting better, it became more of a realistic goal to have. It was a goal I set because I like to set goals, but it seemed so far out of reach coming into the season.

“Winning the Big Ten Championship was an incredible accomplishment, even though we had to share it. I’m also proud that I’m a leader of this team and we were able to come together and accomplish as much as we have with such young players. One of my biggest honors is to say that I was on the team that got this program back to where we are used to being and that I helped raise this program up even more.”

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