Column: My picks for all-B1G honors

The all-Big Ten teams will be announced Monday night by the Big Ten Network. Each school has three media members who vote for the awards and I have one of the Indiana votes. Here is how I came out for the player, coach and freshman of the year honors in the Big Ten this season.

The all-Big Ten ballots were due Sunday night at 9 p.m. for the media to select the all-Big Ten teams, coach of the year, player of the year and freshman of the year.

Each school has three media members that represent it in the voting. Two of them are writers and one is a broadcaster.

I've been lucky enough for many years to be one of the writer votes.

With all of that in mind, I thought I would share my thoughts on the voting for this year. Not sure all of my fellow voters will do the same but I always like to be on the record with my selections. The all-Big Ten teams will be announced at 6 p.m. Monday night on the Big Ten Network.

I just want to focus on the three major awards that we were able to vote on. We also voted for the first, second and third team all-Big Ten, too, but I'm not going to list all of those nominees.

I just wanted to focus on the big awards and two of the three, in my opinion, were particularly difficult.

For me any way, player of the year came down to two players: Michigan's Nik Stauskas and Nebraska's Terran Petteway.

Both had big years on teams that did really well. Yes, Nebraska was the sentimental favorite because the Cornhuskers came out of nowhere to finish fourth in the Big Ten but Michigan won 15 games in a league where it was the only team that truly dominated.

At the end of the day, I just thought the player of the year should come from a team on top rather than one that finished fourth and that's why I selected Stauskas as my Big Ten player of the year. Petteway was obviously on my first team but Stauskas was the player I went with.

My coach of the year decision came down to Nebraska and Michigan, too.

This one was even tougher because with the 9 p.m. deadline the Nebraska-Wisconsin game was still being played. And I really thought a lot hinged on that game. If Nebraska lost and finished 10-8 and the No. 5 seed in the tournament it still would have been a major accomplishment but not as impressive as 11-7, the No. 4 seed and a first round bye.

And John Beilein is a great coach who has done great things with a team that was without Mitch McGary this season. There's a lot of talent on that team but I just felt Beilein had done a terrific job and clearly deserved to be in the top two.

At the end of the day on this one, however, I went with Tim Miles as my Big Ten coach of the year. And here's why: Nebraska was picked last in the Big Ten. This wasn't a team that was expected to even challenge for an NCAA Tournament spot. And the Huskers finished strong, beating Indiana in Bloomington and Wisconsin at home in the final week (although I wasn't completely sure of that when I voted).

But I think Miles just did a superlative job this season with a team that wasn't expected to do anything. Beilein did a superlative job with a team that came with lofty expectations. No, he shouldn't be penalized for that but I do think Miles deserves to be rewarded.

That's why I went with Miles as my coach of the year.

The freshman of the year? I went with Noah Vonleh. There were some really talented freshmen in the Big Ten this season and the all-freshmen team will be an impressive group, but I just believed Vonleh was a step above the rest.

This wasn't a call based on bias. I just simply thought Vonleh deserved Big Ten Freshman of the Year recognition.

So those were my picks. We'll see on Monday night just how close I came.

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