Purdue forward JaJuan Johnson leads the AnnArbor.com Big Ten basketball awards
Big Ten basketball coaches think it will be a close race, although most wouldn't divulge their vote for the conference's Player of the Year award.
"I'd be shocked if it wasn't one of the closer votes in Big Ten history," Indiana coach Tom Crean said of the vote, which includes strong contenders in JaJuan Johnson of Purdue, Jared Sullinger of Ohio State and Jordan Taylor of Wisconsin.
In AnnArbor.com's unofficial survey of 12 voting media members, it wasn't so close. Johnson was the runaway choice.
The Big Ten will announce its award winners at 7 p.m. tonight on the Big Ten Network. Coaches and media will select a Big Ten Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year.
The network will also reveal the coaches’ selections for Defensive Player and Sixth Man of the Year. Interviews from select award winners will also be included during the 30-minute program.
Johnson secured nine of 12 votes in the second annual AnnArbor.com media panel. At least one member of the panel regularly covers each team in the Big Ten. The group was also polled on the All-Big Ten team, All-Rookie team and other awards.
Unanimous votes are denoted with an asterisk. Otherwise, the total votes earned are in parentheses.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JaJuan Johnson (sr., F), Purdue (9).
Others receiving votes: Jared Sullinger (fr. F), Ohio State (2); Jordan Taylor (jr., G), Wisconsin (1).
ALL-BIG TEN TEAM: Jared Sullinger (fr., F), Ohio State*; JaJuan Johnson (sr., F), Purdue*; Jordan Taylor (jr., G), Wisconsin*; E’Twaun Moore (sr., G), Purdue (10); Talor Battle (sr., G), Penn State (7).
Others receiving votes: Jon Leuer (sr., F), Wisconsin (5); Darius Morris (so., G), Michigan (1); David Lighty (sr., G/F) Ohio State (1).
ALL-ROOKIE TEAM: Jared Sullinger, Ohio State*; Tim Hardaway, Michigan*; Aaron Craft, Ohio State*; Melsahn Basabe, Iowa*; Jordan Morgan, Michigan (5).
Others receiving votes: Jereme Richmond, Illinois (4); Josh Gasser, Wisconsin (1); Keith Appling, Michigan State (1); Adreian Payne, Michigan State (1).
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Jared Sullinger, Ohio State*.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Matt Painter, Purdue (6).
Others receiving votes: Thad Matta, Ohio State (4); Bo Ryan, Wisconsin (1); John Beilein, Michigan (1).
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Darius Morris (so., G), Michigan (8).
Others receiving votes: Jeff Brooks (sr., F), Penn State (2); Jordan Taylor (jr., G), Wisconsin (2).
MOST OVERRATED PLAYER: Demetri McCamey (sr., G), Illinois (6).
Others receiving votes: Durrell Summers (sr., G), Michigan State (4); John Shurna (jr., F), Northwestern (2).
MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER: David Lighty (sr., F), Ohio State (4).
Others receiving votes: Jeff Brooks (sr., F), Penn State (2); Lewis Jackson (jr., G), Purdue (2); William Buford (jr., G), Ohio State (1); Keaton Nankivil (sr., F), Wisconsin (1); Juice Thompson (sr., G), Northwestern (1); Darius Morris (so., G), Michigan (1).
GAME OF THE YEAR: Feb. 12: Wisconsin 71, Ohio State 67 (9).
How many teams will the Big Ten qualify for the NCAA tournament?: Six (9), Five (3).
The AnnArbor.com panel: Scott Dochterman, Cedar Rapids Gazette; Joe Rexrode, Lansing State Journal; Michael Rothstein, AnnArbor.com; Mike Osipoff, Post-Tribune; Jeff Rice, Centre Daily Times; LaMond Pope, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette; Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland Plain Dealer; Rob Schultz, Madison.com; Lindsey Willhite, Daily Herald; Paul Klee, Champaign News-Gazette; Myron Medcalf, Minneapolis Star-Tribune; Dustin Dopirak, Bloomington (Ind.) Herald-Times.