Dee Brown Named Big Ten Media's Preseason POY

On Sunday afternoon, the Big Ten media congregated in Chicago and released their preeason awards. Illinois' Dee Brown was named the Preseason Player of the Year, while Michigan State was selected as the pre-season favorite to win the Big Ten Championship

Park Ridge , IL - Michigan State, one of two league teams to reach the Final Four last season, has been selected as the preseason Big Ten favorite for the 2005-06 men's basketball season, as voted upon by members of the media attending Big Ten Basketball Media Day. Fellow Final Four participant Illinois, the defending conference champion, and Indiana are ranked second and third, respectively. In addition, Fighting Illini guard Dee Brown was named the Preseason Player of the Year and was joined on the Preseason All-Big Ten Team by Indiana's D.J. White, Michigan State's Paul Davis, Minnesota's Vincent Grier and Wisconsin's Alando Tucker.

The Spartans return four starters and three of their top four scorers from a team that finished with a 26-7 overall record and earned a trip to the 2005 Final Four. Entering his 11 th season in East Lansing, head coach Tom Izzo ranks 15 th in league annals with 117 Big Ten victories and boasts a record of 233-97 at MSU, the second-most wins in school history. He is one of only two coaches in NCAA history to lead his team to four Final Fours in his first 10 years as head coach.

Illinois has been picked at the No. 2 preseason slot and will be guided by the reigning National Coach of the Year in Bruce Weber, who became the first coach in league history to win back-to-back outright titles in his first two seasons on campus. The Fighting Illini return a pair of three-year starters, Brown and James Augustine, that led the program to a school-record 37 wins last season. Illinois wrapped up the season by advancing to the national championship game for the first time in school annals.

Earning the No. 3 preseason nod, Indiana returns four starters and four of its top five scorers from last season, headed by White, the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The Hoosiers also add a trio of impact transfers including senior forward Marco Killingsworth, who led the Big Ten Foreign Tour Team in scoring and rebounding this summer. The Hoosiers tied for fourth place in the Big Ten standings last year with a 10-6 mark and a 15-14 overall record, while advancing to the postseason for the fourth time under head coach Mike Davis.

Brown was tabbed Preseason Player of the Year after being named the National Player of the Year by The Sporting News and earning consensus first-team All-America honors as a junior. He averaged 13.3 points, 4.54 assists and 1.79 steals per game, while sweeping both the Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards last season, joining Michigan's Gary Grant (1988) as only the second league standout to claim both accolades. Brown picks up Preseason Player of the Year honors for the second time in his career as he was also selected in 2003. Illinois has claimed at least a share of Preseason Player of the Year honors in each of the last six seasons, a group that includes Deron Williams in 2004, Brian Cook in 2002, Frank Williams in 2001 and Cory Bradford in 2000.

The five-man Preseason All-Big Ten Team is highlight by to first-team All-Big Ten returnees in Brown and Grier. Davis and Tucker were named to the third team and White was an honorable mention choice and a member of the All-Freshman Team.

2005-06 Top Three Preseason Picks
Team, 2004-05 Final Records
1. Michigan State, 26-7, 13-3 Big Ten (2nd)
2. Illinois, 37-2, 15-1 Big Ten (1st)
3. Indiana, 15-14, 10-6 Big Ten (T4th)

2005-06 Big Ten Preseason All-Conference Team Player, 2004-05 Final Stats
Dee Brown, ILL, SR, G 13.3 ppg, 4.54 apg, 1.79 spg, 2.42 A/TO ratio
D.J. White, IND, SO, F 13.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.21 bpg
Paul Davis, MSU, SR, C 12.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg, .541 FG pct.
Vincent Grier, MINN, SR, G/F 17.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.97 spg
Alando Tucker , WIS , JR, F 15.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg

2005-06 Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year
Dee Brown, ILL

Story courtesy the Big Ten Office

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