It’s the moment we have all been waiting for: the Deep Dish West Lafayette B1G Men’s Basketball ’15-’16 Awards!
Okay, so maybe it’s not the moment everyone has been waiting for…but all of us at Deep Dish are excited for our first year of handing out our season awards!
Voting was done by Clinton Cole, Kyle Holderfield, Josh Lehe, Jordan Kessler, and Rob Dupre. Here are all of our awards, presented in all their glory!
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Denzel Valentine
Denzel Valentine. Denzel Valentine. This was a unanimous decision amongst our voters. Kyle Holderfield summed it up best, “Valentine’s numbers speak for themselves. Without him, Sparty is not very good. He has them playing at an extremely high level. He will be sensational at the next level.”
For the record, Valentine finished 1st in the conference in both scoring and assists, 7th in rebounding, and was in the top 5 in both 3-point and free throw shooting percentages.
Voting Breakdown: Valentine (5)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: A.J. Hammons
This was another unanimous vote. A few of our contributors mentioned Raphael Davis in their thought process, but in the end every one of us selected Hammons.
“This was a tough one between Raphael Davis and A.J. Hammons. I gave the edge to A.J. because of the defensive presence he provides. He allows Purdue’s guards to play aggressively due to his ability to block and alter shots.” – Jordan Kessler
Purdue was a completely different team with Hammons on the floor.
Voting Breakdown: Hammons (5)
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Ethan Happ
This vote was a little closer with votes also coming in for Diamond Stone and Thomas Bryant. Here are my thoughts on Happ:
“Happ had the biggest role on his team amongst the freshman up for consideration. Among freshman in the conference he finished second in scoring and third in rebounding. An underrated stat, he also led the conference in steals.”
The B1G had some great freshman this year, but Happ had the best season of all of them. He will be a force to be reckoned with for at least a few more years.
Voting Breakdown: Happ (3), Stone (1), Bryant (1)
COACH OF THE YEAR: Tom Crean
This was our closest vote with Greg Gard finishing slightly behind Crean. While Gard had a great year as well, Crean’s IU squad finished two games in front of the field.
“It is simple, IU won the B1G regular season championship. He had a team that was playing awful in the non-conference, then lead them to be regular season champs.” – Kyle Holderfield
IU was able to overcome injuries to James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson. A large part of that was Crean’s ability to manage and get production from much of his roster.
Voting Breakdown: Crean (3), Gard (2)
ALL CONFERENCE TEAMS
- Denzel Valentine – Michigan State
- Yogi Ferrell – Indiana
- Jared Uthoff – Iowa
- J. Hammons – Purdue
- Nigel Hayes – Wisconsin
Voting Breakdown: Valentine (5), Ferrell (5), Uthoff (5), Hammons (5), Hayes (3), Trimble (2)
- Melo Trimble – Maryland
- Bryant McIntosh – Northwestern
- Andrew White III – Nebraska
- Peter Jok – Iowa
- Malcolm Hill – Illinois
- Thomas Bryant – Indiana
Voting Breakdown: Trimble (4; 2 first team & 2 second team), McIntosh (2), White III (2), Jok (2), Hill (2), Bryant (2), Diamond Stone (1), Bryn Forbes (1), Matt Costello (1)
*Note: Only 3 of our panelists submitted votes for 2nd Team All-Conference
Now that we’ve handed out the hardware, we can officially look forward to the B1G Tournament beginning on Wednesday! Please let us know your feedback about our selections, and be on the lookout for out upcoming podcast previewing the conference tournament.