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