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Posts Tagged ‘kalin lucas’

I’ve decided not to post any commentary of a forward-looking nature until we get over to the new site. For now, let’s revel in the season that has been.

One of the things that made this season so special was the number of guys who stepped up at various times during the season to get the team to 31 wins, despite multiple injuries disrupting the regular lineup during the season.  For the season, nine different players led the team in scoring at least once, seven different players led the team in rebounding at least once, and five different players led the team in assists at least once (including ties in all three cases).

To look back at some of those contributions, I’ve put together a list of the top ten individual performances over the course of the season.  I’ve split the list into five regular season performances and five postseason performances.

Regular Season Performances

5. Raymar Morgan vs. Oklahoma State
29 points on 9-11 FG shooting and 11-13 FT shooting, 5 rebounds
Few MSU fans got to see this game, after MSU dropped the opener in the Old Spice Classic, but Morgan put up some huge numbers against a team that would eventually make the NCAA Tournament.

4. Delvon Roe at Michigan
14 points on 5-7 FG shooting, 10 rebounds
From the game recap: “Delvon Roe finally put together the kind of game we’ve been hoping for against a smaller lineup: 14 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes.  He took advantage of the mismatch against Zach Novak and the other guards that were matched up with him inside–and made 4 of 6 free throws to boot.”

3. Kalin Lucas at Illinois
18 points on 7-14 FG shooting, 4 assists, 1 turnovers
You could put Lucas on this list as many times as you wanted, but we’ll go with his extremely efficient performance in MSU’s best win of the Big Ten season.  That performance included a layup Lucas created out of nothing to put MSU ahead 60-58 with 5 minutes go after Illinois had rallied from a 7-point second-half deficit.

2. Durrell Summers at Ohio State
26 points on 6-9 three-point shooting, 4 rebounds
From the game recap: “The tale of the first half was Durrell Summers single-handedly keeping the team afloat, scoring 16 of the team’s 26 points as the rest of the team struggled with turnovers and 3-point shooting against the Ohio State 3-2 zone.”

1. Goran Suton vs. Wisconsin
16 points on 6-6 FT shooting, 10 rebounds, 2 assists
From the game recap: “Suton was a warrior.  After not starting the game (apparently to reward Tom Herzog–he of the graceful reverse layup–for his hard work in practice), Suton posted 16 points and 10 rebounds–most of them in the second half.  He pulled down a couple huge offensive rebounds, as did Raymar Morgan (5 rebounds in 17 minutes), during the comeback from 12 down.  Give Suton credit for keeping his composure after the airballed 3-pointer (his third 3-point miss of the game) and leading the team to victory.”

Honorable Mention: Travis Walton’s back-to-back 16-point performances at the Old Spice Classic.  Marquise Gray’s back-to-back 12-point performances in the same setting.  Suton’s 18-point performance against Texas in just his second game back from the knee injury.  Morgan’s 22-point/13-rebound performance against Northwestern to help MSU open the conference season with two road wins.  Chris Allen’s 17-point performance (on 4-7 three-point shooting) in the same game, against the 1-3-1 zone.  Lucas’ 21-point performance against Purdue in the regular season finale.  And just for Mrs. SW: Austin Thornton’s 9-point performance (on 3-3 three-point shooting) in the opener against Idaho.

Postseason Performances

5. Goran Suton vs. North Carolina
17 points on 3-4 three-point shooting, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks
While the outcome of the game was a disappointment, let’s not forget Suton went toe to toe with one of the most celebrated post players in the history of college basketball and matched him almost play for play.

4. Kalin Lucas vs. Kansas
18 points on 7-7 FT shooting, 7 assists, 4 steals
From the game recap: “Kalin Lucas could not be any more clutch.”  I think this play will forever pop into my head whenever I hear the phrase “and one.”

3. Raymar Morgan vs. UConn
18 points on 7-13 FG shooting, 9 rebounds, 5 steals
From the game recap: “Raymar Morgan played the best game of his career . . . against the very epitome of the kind of tall, athletic opponent he normally struggles against.  I thought his confidence would melt away after he had his first shot of the game blocked by Thabeet, but MSU retained the ball (on a team rebound) and Morgan came right back and knocked down a shot.  From there, his confidence swelled.”

2. Goran Suton vs. Louisville
19 points on 3-5 three-point shooting, 10 rebounds, 4 assists
From the game recap: “Tom Izzo’s game plan in the half-court offense was to put Suton in the middle of the top two defenders in Louisville’s 2-3 zone and use Suton’s shooting/passing skills to break down the defense.  Suton responded beautifully, almost single-handedly keeping MSU even with the Cardinals through the first 20 minutes.  On defense, he completely shut down Samardo Samuels.  On his first three touches of the ball in the post, Samuels traveled, missed a shot, and got called for an offensive foul.  Samuels never bounced back and went scoreless for the game.”

1. Travis Walton vs. USC
18 points on 8-13 FG shooting, 2 assists, 2 steals
From the game recap: “On the first possession of the game–when USC came out employing the box and one–Walton got the ball about 18 feet from the basket in an open spot in the zone.  Usually, you’d expect him to hesitate at least briefly before shooting the ball so early in the game.  But, instead, he immediately squared up and knocked down the shot.  From their, his confidence ballooned; eventually he knocked down a couple shots where he had to adjust the arc of the shot due to an onrushing USC defender.”

Honorable Mention: Chris Allen’s 17-point performance against Minnesota in the conference tournament.  Korie Lucious’ 16-point performance to try to mount a comeback against Ohio State in the conference tournament.  Draymond Green’s 16-point performance against Robert Morris.  Suton’s 20-point/9-rebound performance against Kansas.  Lucas’ 21-point/5-assist performance against UConn.

Who would have thought that Travis Walton, of all players, would end up making having arguably the key offensive performance of the entire season?  And we’re not even talking about his defense.  The games in which he locked down A.J. Abrams, Manny Harris, and A.J. Price could have easily been included on the lists above.

Coffee Talk: What do all of you think?  Which performance merits top billing?  What great individual performances did I miss?

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ford field msu uconn

The Spartans run, not walk, past the Huskies 82-73 in a 74-possession game. StatSheet box score.

At this point, it’s hard to find more words to describe how well this team is playing.  This game was almost a carbon copy of the Louisville game in terms of scoring flow: It was back and forth in the first half with the two teams basically playing even.  MSU eventually wore the opponent down with their depth and game plan to build a double-digit lead in the final minutes.  (The mini-collapse at the end was a little troubling, but I think there was a certain shock factor in adjusting to an opponent suddenly pressuring you full-court after playing a fairly passive defense for 35+ minutes.)

It was pretty apparent early that Tom Izzo had not consulted Digger Phelps about the game plan: The plan was to run early and run often.  By doing so, MSU was able to create scoring opportunities near the basket without Hasheem Thabeet in position to block shots.  For the game Thabeet, blocked just two shots (a stat I had a hard time believing when I saw the box score).  UConn totaled 7 blocks–just 13.2% of MSU’s 2-point attempts, which was right in line with the percentage that USC and Louisville blocked.

Looking at the four-factor numbers, things played out as we hoped they would:

We won the turnover battle decisively (looking at the stats they put up on the scoreboard at Ford Field, it seemed like were “stuck” on 6 turnovers forever), kept the rebounding margin even, and ended up taking 13 more shots from the field that the Huskies did.  We didn’t shoot the ball all that well (47.2% on 2-pointers, 31.6% on 3-pointers), but it was good enough to hit 1.11 on the offensive points-per-possession meter.  (That’s two straight games above 1.10 against two of the top three defenses in the entire country.)

As the numbers predicted, UConn took more shots from the line (33 vs. 20, with the gap narrowed by UConn’s intentional fouls at the end).  But they weren’t efficient in turning those opportunities into points, shooting just 63.6% from the stripe.  Kemba Walker’s 3-9 performance had to be particularly demoralizing to the Huskies, as Walker missed his first 5 attempts from the line.

Hasheem Thabeet and Jeff Adrian were dominant early on.  The two players finished with a combined 30 points on 23 FG attempts.  But Izzo stuck with the strategy of playing them straight up and, eventually, they couldn’t continue to provide consistent scoring.  A.J. Price was forced to try to create offense for UConn, but Travis Walton made him take 20 shots from the field to get to his 15 points.  Even better for us, Price had just 1 assist.

For the game, UConn recorded an assist on only 8 of their 25 made field goals.  MSU forced them to make individual plays to beat them and, in the end, the Huskies couldn’t make enough of those plays.  Stanley Robinson played with tremendous efficiency (15 points on 6 FG attempts and 13 rebounds) but he still seemed like a secondary player in UConn’s overall scheme.

For MSU, this was yet another “team” effort, in every sense of the word.  I was particuarly struck by how well the three freshmen played.  Here they were, less than five months into their college careers, playing in front of 72,000 people, and none of the three seemed the least bit intimidated:

  • Korie Lucious was huge in the first half, scoring 11 points (on a total of 8 FG attempts for the game) to help keep MSU within striking distance.  With UConn playing a fairly passive defense, it was a great situation for Lucious to shine, and he came up huge.
  • Delvon Roe had 4 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 21 minutes of play.  He played with composure against the UConn big men, with one of his baskets coming off a move that seemed to involve at least three pump fakes.
  • Draymond Green somehow scored 8 points in just 12 minutes of play.  The man simply has no fear.  How about the confidence he demonstrated in knocking down that open 18-footer late in the game?

Moving on to the big-number performances, one came from an expected source, and one did not:

  • Kalin Lucas put up 21 points on 3-6 three-point shooting to go with 5 assists.  At this point, the only other point guard out there I’m willing to concede can match the combination of ability and moxie that Lucas has will be on the other side of the court when Monday’s game tips off.  That move Lucas made on the fast break to split the two UConn defenders was pure brilliance.
  • Raymar Morgan played the best game of his career: 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 steals against the very epitome of the kind of tall, athletic opponent he normally struggles against.  I thought his confidence would melt away after he had his first shot of the game blocked by Thabeet, but MSU retained the ball (on a team rebound) and Morgan came right back and knocked down a shot.  From there, his confidence swelled.

Your other six Spartan contributors:

  • Travis Walton made A.J. Price’s life miserable, dished out 9 assists, stole the ball twice, and didn’t record a single turnover.  With those contributions, we can live with a 1-6 shooting night.
  • Goran Suton only scored 4 points.  He wasn’t going to have any success down low, and the UConn players seemed focused on not letting him get good perimeter looks.  But he was fairly effective in denying Thabeet position (getting into foul trouble in the process), and chipped in 7 rebounds, 2 assists (including the gorgeous backdoor pass to Summers in the final minute), 2 steals, and a block.
  • Durrell Summers had a pretty nice dunk, if I recall correctly.  For the game, he posted 10 points and 6 rebounds.  At this point, I’d hope that national commentators have seen enough of his play (not to mention that of Lucas, Morgan, and Allen) to stop saying we’re lacking “talent.”
  • Chris Allen wasn’t on, shooting just 1-6 from the field in 9 minutes.  But he’s now reached the point where he’s no longer a major liability on the floor when he’s not scoring.
  • Marquise Gray scored on a dunk early in the first half.  That play doesn’t register in my memory banks; I’ll have to take note when I rewatch the game on DVR later today.
  • Idong Ibok did what he needed him to do: absorb fouls.    Three fouls and 2 rebounds in 6 minutes.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any MSU team play 80 minutes of basketball as well as this team has played them over the last two games.  Everyone’s contributing right now.  That’s created a versatility that’s allowed us to win back-to-back games of completely different tempos: 56 possessions against Louisville, 74 against UConn.  We forced an up-tempo, pressing team to play a slow-down game, and we forced a great half-court defensive team to play up up-tempo game.  Tom Izzo has now thoroughly out-coached two (fellow) future hall-of-fame coaches in two consecutive games on the sport’s biggest stage.

Speaking of stages, the scene at Ford Field was pretty darn cool.  At least 40,000 of the 72,000 seats were occupied by Spartan fans.  But what really created an advantage was having the students there.  The Izzone members initiated  the loudest cheering, as the rest of the fans followed their lead.  The sizable fan advantage certainly wasn’t the deciding factor, but it did seem to help keep UConn off balance when MSU made their run to extend the lead to double digits in the second half.

Celebrity sightings:

  • Outside the arena: Jim Boeheim, Derrick Coleman.
  • On the concourse: Mark Dantonio, Emeka Okafor, Charles Rogers.
  • In the MSU section behind the basket: Greg Kelser, Drew Naymick (with whom Goran Suton spent 10 minutes chatting after the game), Antonio Smith, Mike Chappell.
  • Walking up the aisle in the corner of the MSU section (where the Spartans Weblog clan was seated): Most of the MSU players.  Mrs. SW was able to obtain the autograph of Mr. Draymond Green.

It was the most magical night yet in this storybook run–a run that could now end with a classic storybook ending: Beating a nemesis that humiliated us by 35 points earlier this season in the very same locale.  More on that later today.  For now, let it sink in: This team has now taken us farther than all but two other teams in the one-hundred-plus history of the Michigan State basketball program.

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The Spartans claw their way past the Jayhawks 67-62 in a 66-possession game.  StatSheet box score.

It’s 1:49 in the a.m. as I begin this game recap.  So what I write below may or may not be coherent.

Further, from my seat in section 242 of Lucas Oil Stadium, this game much more as an emotional experience than it was an analytical experience.

And, even if one tried to systematically analyze this game, where would you start?  This four-factor graph makes no sense whatsoever to me:

Instead, I give you a dozen random bullets:

  • Kalin Lucas could not be any more clutch.  18 points, 7-7 FG shooting, 7 assists, 4 steals.
  • Goran Suton scored 20 points tonight (to go with 9 rebounds and 5 steals), and he didn’t even really look completely on his game.
  • Draymond Green just keeps getting better.  He played the fifth most minutes (21) of any Spartan tonight, believe it or not.
  • Durrell Summers showed up: 9 key points and 5 big rebounds
  • 11-19 assist-turnover ratio for Kansas.  That caught up with them in the end.  As good as Sherron Collins (20 points on 9-13 FG shooting) and Cole Aldrich (17 points, 14 rebounds) were, they combined for 10 of those turnovers.
  • What was Tom Izzo thinking putting Raymar Morgan back in the game with 2 minutes left, after sitting him for almost all of the second half?  (Apparently something happened to his nose?)  Regardless, it worked, as he dunked the ball off a pass from Lucas on the first play he was back in.
  • 16-17 FT shooting for the team.  Huge.  Miss a couple of those and the game is out of reach in the final few minutes.
  • Key play most people won’t be talking about tomorrow: Durrell Summers scoring on the sequence when we got like 3 offensive rebounds but couldn’t get the ball to go in.  If Summers doesn’t finally score, Kansas is up 5 with the ball and only 3 minutes left.
  • Gotta love Idong Ibok trying to inbound the ball off an MSU made free throw.  He still looks nothing at all like a basketball player, but he’s an awfully nice luxury to have in a game like this one.
  • Pretty good MSU contingent down here–although not as big a numbers advantage over the Kansas contingent as I expected.  Arena was 75% Cardinal red.  Sunday’s game will effectively be a road game.

This was a pretty ugly win.  I’m disappointed the team came out looking so tight–Raymar Morgan, in particular.  But, consistent with the resilience they’ve shown all year, they never caved in to their own failures.  I think I’m correct in saying that this team still has yet to lose a game that’s within a single possession with 2-3 minutes to go.

I think it’s safe to say that Louisville isn’t shaking in its boots right now.  We’re going to have to play much better than we did tonight, and the Cardinals are going to have to play considerably worse than they did tonight, for us to have a chance on Sunday (2:20 tip-off).  Two things Arizona did that I don’t expect us to, though: (1) Play a zone defense that gives Louisville two dozen clean 3-point looks and (2) fail to attack the full court press for easy baskets.

Tom Izzo, master short-timeframe game planner, has his work cut out for him: get the team prepared for both a full court press and a half court zone in a period of 38 hours.

That’s all for now.  I’ll get some sort of game preview up tomorrow for Sunday’s game, but I’m not sure exactly when.

GO STATE!  ELITE EIGHT!

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lucas-si-cover

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I’m leaving for Indy some time this afternoon.  Hopefully, I’ll be posting something each night.  And we’ll have open threads for as many games as MSU advances to this weekend.

For now, here’s a thread to talk about today’s events in Indy.

Discussion question: Who would you rather see advance out of the 8/9 game (noon, BTN): Minnesota or Northwestern?

P.S. I didn’t think Kalin Lucas going pro was something to be particularly concerned about, but it’s still good to hear these words:

Unlike [D.J.] Augustin, one challenge Lucas doesn’t plan to take on after his sophomore season is the NBA.

“I will be back next year,” Lucas said.

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OK, it’s already “later tonight” and the all-Big Ten selections have been released.

Your Spartan awardees:

  • Kalin Lucas was selected as the conference Player of the Year–and a first-team all-conference pick–by both the coaches and the media.  Chalk up another rock-solid preseason prediction for the all-knowing, all-seeing Spartans Weblog.  (You’ll recall that Lucas didn’t even make the preseason all-conference team.)
  • Tom Izzo was named Coach of the Year by the coaches; Ed DeChellis was picked by the media.  (If he had to pick only one, I’d think Izzo will value being selected by the coaches more than he would be by the media.)
  • Travis Walton was named Defensive Player of the Year by both the coaches and the media.
  • Goran Suton was named to the all-conference second team by both the coaches and the media.  (I was ready to throw a full-size blogger hissy fit if this didn’t happen.)
  • Raymar Morgan was granted honorable mention status by both sets of voters; Walton received that status in the media voting only.
  • Delvon Roe was named to the All-Freshman Team.

That’s a very nice haul of awards–appropriate for a team that finished in first place by 4 games.

I have to say, I have almost no gripes with any of the selections made by either the coaches or the media.  I had jotted down a rough draft of the three all-conference teams in a meeting earlier today–and the names match almost exactly what I had.

The first team (Harris/Lucas/Turner/Battle/J. Johnson) seemed pretty clear to most observers, I think.  Manny Harris and Talor Battle both struggled some in conference play (Harris more than Battle), but both were very, very good in nonconference play and both made some huge plays to get their teams into NCAA Tournament position down the stretch.

You can argue what order to put the 10 guys who made the 2nd/3rd teams in (reflecting the league’s parity this season), but the list is a solid one (click through to see it).  The only name that jumps out at me as out of place is E’Twaun Moore.  For a guy who’s only real role is to score, a shooting line of .487/.333/.778 doesn’t impress.  But I don’t necessarily have a better pick.  (Surprisingly, this turned out to be a better year for post players than for perimeter guys.)  Walton might deserve a spot, but the all-conference teams tends to focus on offense, with the defensive awards as a consolation.

On that note, you can’t argue with one iota of the All-Defensive Team (Frazier/Walton/D. Johnson/Kramer/J. Johnson).  Walton and Damian Johnson would both have made deserving Defensive Players of the Year.  And Gatens/Roe/Buford/Mullens/Jackson is a good looking All-Freshman Team.

In short: I’m glad I didn’t too much time compiling my picks, as it would have been an exercise in redundancy.

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Original PORPAG post is here.  The basics:

  • As a refresher, this stat is an attempt to measure the marginal points per game a player contributes to his team on offense above what a “replacement-level” player would provide.
  • Major caveats: (1) Basketball is a team, not an individual, sport and (2) this stat tells you nothing whatsoever about defense.
  • I’ve set the pace factor at 61.5 (the average number of possessions in Big Ten games this season).  I’ve left replacement level at an offensive rating of 88.0.
  • This stat is meant to measure cumulative, rather than average, offensive impact.  So missing time due to injury hurts you (Hummel/Morgan).
  • This is conference-only data (unfortunately for Manny Harris and, to a lesser extent, Talor Battle).
  • The table below includes all the players that showed up in the StatSheet leaderboards for all three stats that go into the calculation.  That’s basically every player who’s played at least 40.0% of his team’s minutes in conference play, with a few exceptions.
Player Team OffRtg Poss% Min% PORPAG
Evan Turner Ohio State 108.3 29.7 94.8 3.52
Kalin Lucas Michigan State 110.3 27.1 83.3 3.10
Jon Diebler Ohio State 119.8 16.0 95.6 2.99
Marcus Landry Wisconsin 112.8 23.9 77.7 2.83
Joe Krabbenhoft Wisconsin 118.9 19.2 77.3 2.81
JaJuan Johnson Purdue 112.4 24.1 72.7 2.62
Matt Gatens Iowa 112.4 19.1 89.2 2.55
Jason Bohannon Wisconsin 120.3 15.0 84.0 2.51
Craig Moore Northwestern 107.9 22.2 90.2 2.44
Kevin Coble Northwestern 106.2 25.6 85.1 2.44
DeShawn Sims Michigan 108.7 24.2 76.6 2.36
Talor Battle Penn State 102.4 28.4 93.8 2.36
Goran Suton Michigan State 114.1 20.0 68.6 2.20
William Buford Ohio State 108.2 21.0 82.3 2.14
Michael Thompson Northwestern 107.7 19.2 83.7 1.94
Lawrence Westbrook Minnesota 107.1 26.2 61.0 1.88
Stanley Pringle Penn State 103.1 23.5 78.1 1.71
Demetri McCamey Illinois 101.7 24.7 78.5 1.63
Matt Roth Indiana 119.8 14.6 56.7 1.62
B.J. Mullens Ohio State 108.0 23.1 56.1 1.60
Manny Harris Michigan 97.3 32.1 81.0 1.49
Jake Kelly Iowa 98.5 26.8 85.0 1.47
Zack Novak Michigan 109.9 12.9 77.7 1.34
Robbie Hummel Purdue 107.4 20.6 54.5 1.34
Andrew Jones III Penn State 114.4 12.2 66.2 1.31
Trevon Hughes Wisconsin 98.5 24.5 82.7 1.31
Mike Davis Illinois 101.1 20.5 78.1 1.29
Mike Tisdale Illinois 104.0 20.6 63.4 1.28
Trent Meacham Illinois 104.5 16.6 74.6 1.26
Luka Mirkovic Northwestern 118.5 15.4 43.4 1.25
E’Twaun Moore Purdue 97.6 25.1 84.4 1.25
Jamelle Cornley Penn State 97.2 22.5 90.7 1.16
Jeremie Simmons Ohio State 104.1 20.5 54.1 1.10
Damian Johnson Minnesota 101.4 19.3 68.1 1.08
Ralph Sampson III Minnesota 108.2 15.4 55.7 1.07
Delvon Roe Michigan State 105.7 20.2 47.6 1.05
Jarryd Cole Iowa 109.6 14.1 55.3 1.03
Durrell Summers Michigan State 101.3 21.4 56.3 0.99
Chester Frazier Illinois 101.7 13.4 85.8 0.97
Devan Dumes Indiana 99.1 25.7 54.8 0.96
Raymar Morgan Michigan State 103.4 21.4 45.3 0.92
Chris Allen Michigan State 101.2 24.5 46.0 0.91
Chris Kramer Purdue 105.3 12.7 64.4 0.87
Jon Leuer Wisconsin 97.1 24.4 59.5 0.81
Keaton Grant Purdue 97.8 17.8 69.3 0.74
Verdell Jones III Indiana 93.2 27.3 80.1 0.70
Laval Lucas-Perry Michigan 98.4 22.3 49.7 0.70
Devan Bawinkel Iowa 101.2 12.1 65.0 0.64
Nick Williams Indiana 94.6 22.1 65.5 0.59
John Shurna Northwestern 98.3 21.3 42.6 0.58
Travis Walton Michigan State 99.1 11.5 71.5 0.56
Jeremy Nash Northwestern 97.4 14.1 55.2 0.45
Danny Morrissey Penn State 98.2 14.9 46.8 0.44
Lewis Jackson Purdue 92.9 20.7 58.8 0.37
Stu Douglass Michigan 93.2 17.0 55.0 0.30
P.J. Hill Ohio State 94.6 14.4 45.4 0.26
Al Nolen Minnesota 90.7 20.1 62.2 0.21
Blake Hoffarber Minnesota 92.2 14.7 52.6 0.20
Marcus Green Purdue 92.5 15.6 40.4 0.18
Devoe Joseph Minnesota 90.9 21.6 45.1 0.17
Tom Pritchard Indiana 86.4 20.6 71.6 (0.14)
Colton Iverson Minnesota 85.0 18.6 41.1 (0.14)
Aaron Fuller Iowa 82.8 18.0 41.2 (0.24)

Your conference Player of the Year is either Evan Turner or Kalin Lucas, hinging on whether you’re a “one guy who clearly put his team on his back” or a “less dominant player who was part of a deeper/more successful team” kind of a person.  The only other plausible candidate in my book is JaJuan Johnson, if you account for his defensive value as a shot blocker.

I didn’t have time to do a complete set of all-conference picks this year.  That won’t stop me from critiquing the coaches’ and media’s picks later tonight, though.

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