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Posted on Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

Michigan's Trey Burke splits Big Ten Freshman of the Year awards with Cody Zeller, Tim Hardaway Jr. is third-team all-conference

By Nick Baumgardner


Michigan's Trey Burke and Indiana's Cody Zeller battle for the ball during the Hoosiers' 73-71 win in Bloomington, Ind., on Jan. 5. The two Big Ten newcomers shared this year's Freshman of the Year award.

AP Photo

Apparently, it was too close to call.

Michigan basketball freshman point guard Trey Burke and Indiana freshman forward Cody Zeller both took home Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors Monday, as announced by the league.

Burke earned the media vote, while Zeller took home the coaches award.

"We love the media," Michigan coach John Beilein joked on his radio show Monday night.

Both players earned seven Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors this season, leading all conference rookies.

Burke finished the season as Michigan's leading scorer with 14.6 points per game, while also leading the Wolverines in assists (4.6 per game) and minutes (35.9 per game).

He led all Big Ten freshmen in assists, 3-pointers made and minutes played.

"It's great, but it's just great to be able to come in here and play with a great group of guys and have three great seniors in Zack (Novak), Stu (Douglass) and Corey (Person)," Burke told the Big Ten Network on Monday. "I definitely would not have been able to win this without my teammates hitting shots and making plays."

Zeller, meanwhile, led all Big Ten freshmen in scoring (15.4 per game), rebounds (6.4), field goal percentage (63.5), steals (41) and blocked shots (40).

Burke was also Michigan's lone representative on the All-Big Ten Second Team, earning the distinction from both the coaches and the media.

"We all felt (Burke) probably deserved first team," Beilein said on his radio show. "He's worked really hard, but it's OK. He'll be back next year working his tail off trying to make sure his team wins.

"And if his team wins the same way they are, then he'll be a big part of it."

Michigan sophomore wing Tim Hardaway Jr. earned third team mention by both the coaches and the media. Hardaway finished the regular season with 14.5 points per game, finishing five points behind Burke for the team lead.

The Wolverines also received recognition on the media's honorable mention team, as Novak was one of 12 players to earn that distinction.

Douglass was Michigan's Big Ten Sportsmanship Honoree.

Michigan State senior forward Draymond Green was the unanimous choice for the Big Ten Player of the Year, while Spartans coach Tom Izzo was the league's unanimous Coach of the Year.

During the Big Ten Network's live awards program, the league's "Facebook Fan Vote" for Coach of the Year went to Beilein. The Michigan coach, however, offered his congratulations to Izzo for the honor via his radio show.

"Tom Izzo was coach of the year, (he) was great," Beilein said. "(He) was great, give him the respect, there, he did a great job."

Green, Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, Northwestern's John Shurna and Purdue's Robbie Hummel were unanimous first team selections, while Penn State's Tim Frazier (media) and Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor (coaches) also received first team honors.

Zeller and Burke both earned unanimous second team honors, as did Ohio State's William Buford. Taylor (media), Frazier (coaches), Iowa's Matt Gatens (media) and Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas (coaches) were also given second team consideration.

On the third team, Hardaway, Northwestern's Drew Crawford and Michigan State's Keith Appling were unanimous decisions. Also receiving third team honors were Gatens (coaches), Thomas (media), Ohio State's Aaron Craft (media) and Illinois' Brandon Paul (coaches).

Craft was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year, and was joined on the league's All-Defensive team by Green, Frazier, Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Wisconsin's John Gasser.

For all the 2011-12 Big Ten postseason awards, visit

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Sun, Mar 11, 2012 : 4:20 a.m.

Congrats to izzo for coach of the year. To jim, michigan was ranked 18 preseason and michigan state wasn't ranked at all, so to say beilein took the wolverines to some unexpected place is incorrect. Izzo nearly had abrand new team and want expected to even compete.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 4:53 a.m.

Come on. Don't be a bunch of homers. I'm a Michigan fan but even I can acknowledge that Cody Zeller is a phenomenal player. He had a great season. And since when is the Freshman of the Year award only given to a player if his team won the conference title? The answer is since never. Didn't LaVell Blanchard win that award?


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

Same could be said about MSU football in 2010. Three way tie for first place and first Big 10 championship since when?

M 4 ever

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

2nd time the media out smarted the coaches. 1st: 1997 National Champion Football squad. 2nd: Trey Burke Frosh of the Year. Should not have a co in front of it.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

First of all MSU was unranked in the preseason as michigan received all possible hype it could. Secondly they still had 8...count them 8 losses. Yes MSU had 7 but they played a much tougher non-conference schedule. Don't even try to say memphis and ucla were tough. And for the Burke/Zeller debate and how burke won the big 10 title, im pretty sure all you clowns have been saying how D-Nard deserved POY and Heisman on a 7-6 team last year in football. ps- Nice banner..first since?


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

Non-conference strength of schedule: MSU - 16 UM - 164 look it up


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 4:47 a.m.

I wouldn't be bragging about Michigan State's difficult non-conference schedule considering they lost all of those tough games. Michigan played Duke, too. And lost by 2 more points than MSU did. Also on a neutral court. And I'll be considerate and not talk about the North Carolina game. Memphis is every bit as good as Florida State and Gonzaga. They're a win or two away from being in the top 25. FSU and Gonzaga are a loss or two from dropping out. The reality is this: Michigan and Michigan State have had very similar seasons. They split their series, both won Big Ten titles, both lost to Duke by practically the same score, both split with OSU and both had a couple crappy conference losses that were against inferior teams. Hopefully we'll meet again in the B1G tournament.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

Sour - Michigan State was picked 3rd in the conference preseason and Michigan was picked 4th. This a basketball article - stay pure to the game.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

Okay, good point MSU had one more win. But they also had more chokes.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

Don't be a sour puss and answer the question...what place did Cody Zeller's team finish in the biig Ten this year? Or was Cody not the team leader of the Hoosiers? Just another point why Trey should have the award all to himself.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

Absolutely ridiculous that blozo is coach of the year. No problem draymond as player. But no way Beilein or Crean should have been passed over by crybaby blozo. Especially after msu chokes on their last 2 games. What a load of crap.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

Crean - good call Beilin - better call Izzo - ???????


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

Trey Burke deserved the freshman of the year award over Cody Zeller! Someone help me remember...didn't Trey lead his team to a Big Ten title? What place did Cody Zeller's team finish at?


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

Unfortunately, people who vote typically use stats, not the true value of a player. Lots of unmeasured talent, like defense, is not in the stats. But Indiana did finish 15th in the rankings with a better record than higher ranked WI. Also of note is that Zeller's stats were compiled in much less time. His minutes per game was 28.2. Give him that extra eight minutes per game that Trey played and Trey may not have won the media award. It is also I think folly to compare players at the extremes, a point guard compared to a center. Guards with high point output are better shooters since their shots are from way out there. But centers take a lot more of a whooping bumping with the big guys. Guards don't block shots or are responsible for rebounding. Assists are easier to roll up than rebounds and blocked shots. So with such different skill sets to be successful it just seems odd to me to compare those positions for an overall best award. I guess the best is the player who is the biggest pain in the rear to opposing teams. Tough call here, but I think this is a good solution, one award to each player. They both earned it. Would have preferred a tie for both awards.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:56 a.m.

Lets hope the kid stays through his junior year!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:27 a.m.

Glad to see that Northwestern and Penn State players received some recognition. Sharing a Big Ten title is much more significant due to the depth of good players within the conference.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:17 a.m.

Coach Beilein was clearly the coach of the year in the Big 10. Taking a team that wasn't predicted to be there all the way to the championship wins it in my book. Coach Izzo had a good year, but Coach Beilein had an amazing year!


Sun, Mar 11, 2012 : 4:27 a.m.

And I also must say that anybody watching closely sees that although this michigan team has done well, they have a ways to go and fall a bit short of osu, msu this year in consistency and talent. You gotta give coaches credit for the success of their players.


Sun, Mar 11, 2012 : 4:23 a.m.

michigan was ranked 18 preseason and michigan state wasn't ranked at all, so to say beilein took the wolverines to some unexpected place is incorrect. Izzo nearly had abrand new team and wasn't expected to even compete.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 4:17 p.m.

I agree with Jim. Borsef raises a good point too, but I put not merit in preseason polls. If you look at the ranking through the season, MSU was ranked high, undeservedly I think, and they tanked their last two games, letting an outright championship out of their grip like a bad turnover. Hate to say it, but Matta from OSU did a pretty good job too with a very young team. So Beilein, Matta and Izzo are all good choices but I do not think anyone, including myself, figured Michigan would tie for the championship and I think that is by Coach Beilein deserved the award by a close vote.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

Not an entirely invalid point, brosef.. but as the season shook out, Izzo had the (well-deserved) B1G PoY and a third-teamer. Beilein had a 2nd and 3rd teamer with one of them being a freshman pressed into service by the departure of Darius Morris. There's a strong argument for Beilein.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 12:33 p.m.

True brosef, the national media had Michigan ranked and MSU not. However, look at the B1G preseason media poll and MSU was picked to finish 3rd while U of M was not in the top three(That is all they post). I put more stock in the local beat writers that actually follow the league.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:52 a.m.

MSU wasn't ranked pre-season, but UM was, so by your definition, Izzo is more deserving. HAIL FAIL.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:40 a.m.

Gipped (sp?) twice. Izzo for coach of the year is BS. I'm too hungry to put any more of an argument together. About to have some pot pie. Yeah!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 1:46 a.m.

How did Burke not make first team? That said, I will take championships over awards so PSU can have their first teamer while Michigan has rings.