HoosierNation.com All-Big Ten Teams Unveiled

HoosierNation.com hands out its postseason hardware, honoring the first, second and third-team All-Big Ten squads with the regular season now concluded...

First Team-
Center - Terence Dials, Ohio State
The presence of Ohio State's big man in the middle of the Buckeye offense makes Coach Thad Matta's team go. Dials averaged 16.3 points (ranks 9th in the Big Ten) and 8.4 rebounds (fifth) during conference games while shooting 59.9 percent from the floor. What's puts him over the top is his play down the stretch – Dials had five straight double-doubles heading into the final week of the regular season when the Buckeyes took control of the conference title chase. That included a 19-point, 10-rebound performance in a win at Michigan State and a 24-point, 11-rebound effort in a road win at Wisconsin. Those road victories separated Ohio State from its league foes.
Forward – Greg Brunner, Iowa The 6-7 Brunner became Iowa's all-time leading rebounder this season, and he's as good as the league has with his back to the basket. He led the Big Ten in overall rebounding (9.9) and in league games (9.6) while ranking 12th in scoring in conference games with 14.4 points per contest. He can score in a variety of ways and his hard-working approach helped Iowa overcome a mid-season injury to Jeff Horner and eventually earn the No. 2 seed in this week's Big Ten Tournament.

Forward – Alando Tucker, Wisconsin – Tucker is a throw-back – the 6-5 forward led the Big Ten in scoring in league games (20.0/game) by doing the majority of his damage with a potent mid-range game. Tucker had only nine 3-pointers in 16 Big Ten games, but was the league's best point producer by scoring in transition, slashing to the basket, and knocking down the mid-range jumper. He also averaged 6.2 rebounds in league games (10th) and did his damage despite being the top defensive priority of every coach that matched up with the Badgers.

Guard – Dee Brown, Illinois - Brown shot only 37 percent from the floor and 33 percent from behind the 3-point arc, but the reigning conference MVP still has earned his spot on the first-team unit as a senior. Why? He's a big-game player who can take over a game on either end of the floor. He ranked in the top five in the Big Ten with 1.5 steals/game and was tied for first with 5.56 assists/contest. His 40 3-pointers in Big Ten games ranked third behind Robert Vaden and Jeff Horner (41 each) and he's the best in the Big Ten running the fast break.

Guard – Daniel Horton, Michigan As a freshman, Horton was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and appeared destined to be a multi-year first-team All-Big Ten player. As a senior, he finally lived up to that potential. Horton capped his season with a 34-point outing Saturday against Indiana, upping his scoring average to 19.8 points/game in league games, which ranked second to Tucker. Horton demolished Steve Alford's Big Ten free-throw shooting record, shooting 97.8 percent (89-of-91) in league games. Horton also made good use of his ability to knock down free throws by attacking the basket off the dribble and getting to the line. Michigan faltered down the stretch thanks to some inconsistent play from the likes of Courtney Sims, but Horton certainly wasn't to blame.

Coach of the Year – Thad Matta, Ohio State – At the start of the year there were about four or five teams that were considered legitimate Big Ten title contenders, but Ohio State wasn't necessarily one of them. Matta assembled a team that was devoid of stars, but ran the inside-outside game better than anyone. Ohio State shot a Big Ten-best 36.8 percent from deep during conference games, and they also turned the ball over a league-low 11.1 times/contest. In six years as a Division I head coach he's led his teams to four regular season conference titles (Butler 2001, Xavier 2002-03, Ohio State 2006) and he's likely to earn his third coach of the year honor in his third different conference.

Player of the Year – Dials gets the nod thanks to the Buckeyes first outright Big Ten title since 1992. His presence in the paint opened up opportunities on the perimeter for the likes of Je'Kel Foster, Ron Lewis and Jamar Butler. His play down the stretch keyed the Buckeyes' championship run, giving him the slightest of edges over Brunner.

Second Team
Center – James Augustine, Illinois –
The perfect compliment to Dee Brown's fast-paced style, Augustine is the Big Ten's best big man in transition. Averaged 12.6 points and 8.9 rebounds in Big Ten games and is a versatile defender who can match up with centers or power forwards. Foul trouble plagued him in league games, though, which likely cost Illinois a chance of the Big Ten crown.

Forward – Marco Killingsworth, Indiana – When he was on, one of the Big Ten's most dominant offensive players. Struggled with turnovers, though, and wasn't the same sort of presence on the defensive end. After shooting nearly 60 percent in non-conference games, field goal shooting dipped to 51.2 percent in Big Ten games.

Guard – Je'Kel Foster, Ohio State – Shot 38 percent from behind the 3-point arc during league games, and led the conference in steals with 2.1/game. Also averaged 3.6 assists and anchored a deep and versatile Buckeye backcourt.

Guard – Shannon Brown, Michigan State – Brown is occasionally overshadowed by Paul Davis and Maurice Ager, but Brown was the most consistent player on a underachieving Spartan squad during league games. Brown's 18.8 points/game ranked third in the conference, and he also ranked among the league leaders in steals (1.3/game), rebounds (5.4/game) and 3-pointers (1.8/game).

Guard – Jeff Horner, Iowa – Teamed with Greg Brunner to lead Iowa's march to an 11-5 record and a No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tourney. Ranked second in Big Ten games with 5.2 assists/game while averaging 13.4 points. While he wasn't among the league leaders in point production, he continued to be one of the league's best down the stretch of games with big shots.

Third Team
Center – Paul Davis, Michigan State –
Averaged 16.7 points and 8.7 rebounds, but didn't dominate like many expected him to this season.

Forward - Vedran Vukusic, Northwestern - Averaged more than 18 points/game, but was pretty one dimensional. Didn't earn many trips to the free-throw line, wasn't a shut down defender or a very good rebounder.

Forward - Geary Claxton, Penn State Helped Coach Ed DeChellis' team to a surprising 5-11 league mark, averaging 15.9 points and 8.0 rebounds in conference games. He's only 6-5, but was a hard-worker in the paint and proved to be a match-up problem for most teams.

Guard – Maurice Ager, Michigan State – Looked like a potential All-American in the non-conference, but slipped to 16.5 points/game during MSU's 8-8 conference run. After leading MSU in scoring in eight of its 14 non-conference games, he led the team only five teams once Big Ten play opened. Shot only 35 percent from 3-point range in league games and had a negative assist-to-turnover ratio.

Guard – Robert Vaden, Indiana – Early on, Vaden played like a first-team All-Big Ten player while helping IU to a 5-2 conference start. But as speculation of Mike Davis' future continued to swirl, Vaden's play dropped off.

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