The Big Ten season is well past its halfway point with March quickly approaching. Here is an early look at how conference awards are shaping up.
All-Big Ten Team
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
- Ferrell is the driving force in Indiana’s high-powered offense, ranked the fifth-most efficient in the nation on Kenpom. He has a top-10 offensive rating in Big Ten games, as well as top-15 assist and turnover rates. Ferrell got off to a slow start in conference play, but in the last six games he is averaging 19.3 points, 3.5 assists and 1.5 turnovers
D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State
- Russell is really freakin’ good. The freshman is carrying a Ohio State team ranked No. 14 in Kenpom with 19.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. Russell came into college known more for his scoring — which he is still doing plenty of at an efficient clip — but he also leads the Big Ten in assist rate.
Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
- Hayes is following up an impressive freshman year with a tremendous sophomore season. He was supposed to be the fourth- or fifth-best player on Wisconsin this season, and instead you could make the argument he is the second-best after Frank Kaminsky. He can post up, shoot, get to the foul line and rebound.
Sam Dekker, Wisconsin
- Dekker is No. 5 in offensive efficiency during Big Ten play. Not only is he shooting the ball extremely well from the field, but he also has the second-best turnover rate in league competition. Dekker’s 12.8 points per game are not overwhelming, but anybody who watches Wisconsin play knows he is worth well more than that.
Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (Player of the Year)
- Kaminsky is a National Player of the Year candidate. Playing for the team that is running away with the conference title, he is the leader in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage. He is also second in steals.
Sixth Man of the Year
Gabriel Olaseni, Iowa
- Olaseni has been phenomenal for Iowa in Big Ten play, averaging 7.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game. He leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounding percentage and fouls drawn per 40 minutes in conference games. He is also No. 11 in block percentage and No. 17 in offensive efficiency.
Nate Mason, Minnesota
- Mason is a freshman point guard with a high assist rate and a low turnover rate. That’s a sign of good things to come in the Minnesota backcourt. The Golden Gophers have the Big Ten’s three leaders in steal percentage in conference play, and Mason is No. 3 at 4.0.
Matt Costello, Michigan State
- Costello gives Michigan State a big lift when he checks in, particularly on the defensive side with his 8.0 block percentage in conference play. He is also one of Michigan State’s leaders in offensive efficiency and averages 5.9 points on 51.1 percent shooting against Big Ten teams.
Collin Hartman, Indiana
- Hartman provides great offense off the bench with an effective field-goal percentage of 69.2 percent, the best in Big Ten play.
Freshman of the Year
D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State
- You read about him above.
Coach of the Year
Bo Ryan, Wisconsin
- The Badgers are leading the Big Ten by three games, and 7 of their 10 league wins have come by double figures. Ryan had no Final Four trips up until a year ago, and by the end of this season he could have his second in a row.
Mark Turgeon, Maryland
- Maryland was supposed to take a year or two to become a contender in the Big Ten. Instead, the Terrapins are competing in year one. The Terps are tied for second place at 7-4 and have been in the top 15 in both the AP Poll and Kenpom at points this season. However, a recent 2-3 stretch with an 19.7-point average margin of defeat in the three losses has cooled them off.
Tom Crean, Indiana
- Crean entered the season on the hot seat and instead has a borderline Top 25 team that should make the NCAA Tournament. Crean is succeeding with a young group, as all but three players in the Hoosiers’ rotation are freshmen and sophomores.