Even if it is, I love compiling all-Big Ten teams. This is mostly stats-based as I haven’t seen a lot of Big Ten games outside of MSU’s games to date. I’ve included scoring average plus a few tempo-free goodies for each player.
Pre-Conference Season All-Big Ten Team
- Talor Battle (PSU): 19.4 pts/game, 42.9% 3pt%, 32.6% assist rate, 57.2% FT rate
Battle appears to be the focus of the Nittany Lions offense, while playing 90.0% of available minutes, and is scoring and distributing the ball quite efficiently (albeit against supbar opposition).
- Manny Harris (UM): 20.3 pts/game, 87.5% FT%, 55.6% 2pt%, 20.2% assist rate
The conference player of the year to date. I thought Harris took a bit too much flack for his inefficiency last season (94.8%) as he was often the sole reliable scoring option on the floor for Michigan. With an improved supporting cast, his offensive rating is up to 117.6 this season, with an even higher usage rate (32.9% vs. 30.5%).
- Evan Turner (OSU): 16.9 pts/game, 21.% DefReb%, 61.4% FT rate, 25.2% assist rate, 6.1% steal rate
TAFKATBTW: “When did Evan Turner become Derrick Rose?”
- Robbie Hummel (PUR): 15.8 pts/game, 56.5%/45.5%/93.3% shooting line, 19.6% DefReb%, 9.4% TO rate
Hummel has managed to get even more efficient this season. He’s increased his offensive rating from 126.7% to 134.0%, while also using more of his team’s possessions than last season (22.1% vs. 19.8%). Could easily live up to his preseason-player-of-the-year billing.
- DeShawn Sims (UM): 16.9 pts/game, 58.9% 2pt%, 11.9% OffReb%, 19.5% DefReb%, 10.% TO Rate
Sims has become about as well-rounded a big man as you could ask for as a junior. And, yes, that’s two Wolverines on the first team. Can the supporting cast be consistent enough to make Michigan a factor in the conference title race?
- Al Nolen (MIN): 9.2 pts/game, 34.6% assist rate, 5.7% steal rate
- Kalin Lucas (MSU): 11.0 pts/game. 37.7% assist rate, 8.4% TO rate
- Trevon Hughes (WIS): 12.1 points/game, 48.6% 3pt%, 21.1% assist rate, 14.3% TO rate
- Craig Moore (NW): 13.8 pts/game, 61.1% 2pt%, 48.2 3pt%
- Matt Gatens (IOWA): 10.1 pts/game, 132.2 OffRat, 57.1% 3pt%, 95.5% FT%
- Raymar Morgan (MSU): 16.0 pts/game, 72.0% 2pt%, 71.6% FT rate
- Kevin Coble (NW): 15.2 pts/game, 41.0% 3pt%, 8.4% TO rate
- Mike Davis (ILL): 13.0 pts/game, 55.0% 2pt%, 27.3% DReb%
- Tom Pritchard (IU): 56.0% 2pt%, 16.7% OffReb%, 70.2% FT rate
- Dallas Lauderdale (OSU): 7.6 pts/game, 10.4% OffReb%, 20.1% block rate
Not enough data to sort those next ten guys out into two teams yet. I took the Major League Baseball all-star approach and included at least one player from all 11 teams.
Dallas Lauderdale is your defensive player of the year so far, having blocked one of every five shots the opposition has put up when he’s on the floor. He’s been the linchpin of an Ohio State defense that ranks 4th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency (one spot behind Purdue, BTW).
Arguably, the two biggest disappointments in the conference to date have been E’Twaun Moore and Marcus Landry. Moore is shooting just 30.2% from 3-point range and 69.2% from the free throw line. Landry has posted very mediocre rebounding rates: 13.4% on defense, 6.4% on defense. Both players will no doubt be major factors in the conference before all is said and done, though.
Buckeye freshman B.J. Mullens (6.4 points/game, 46.9% 2pt%) has also failed to live up to preseason expectations–expectations that were probably a little too lofty. Mullens has been unduly burdened by following in the (extremely large) footsteps of Greg Oden.
Final note: It’s the year of the sophomore. There are four of them on my first team, plus Nolen, Lucas, Davis, and Lauderdale among the honorable mention group. Manny Harris is the only obvious early-entry candidate among those eight players (maybe Evan Turner?). The Big Ten–which currently ranks behind only the ACC in average RPI, Sagarin rating, and Kenpom rating–could be very good for quite a long time.