Devin Harris named Big Ten Player of the Year

Forward Mike Wilkinson named consensus second-team all-conference; complete Big Ten awards list

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After leading Wisconsin to a 12-4 conference record and a No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament, juniors Devin Harris and Mike Wilkinson received well-deserved praise Tuesday morning, when the league announced its awards.

 

Harris reaped top honors when league coaches and media named him the Big Ten's Player of the Year. He is the fifth Badger in history and the first since Don Rehfeldt in 1950 to earn the award and was also the coaches' and media's only unanimous choice for first-team All-Big Ten. Harris, who was named the preseason conference Player of the Year by the coaches, also earned his third Big Ten Player of the Week honor Monday.

 

Harris is the third underclassmen to collect Big Ten Player of the Year honors in the past four years, following with sophomores Jared Jeffries of Indiana (2002) and Frank Williams of Illinois (2001). Illinois senior Brian Cook won the award last season.

 

The 6-foot-3 guard just missed becoming the first Badger since Rehfeldt to win the Big Ten scoring title. He finished the season averaging 20.9 points per game in conference games only, one-tenth of a point behind Minnesota's Kris Humphries. Harris was also second in the league in 3-pointers per game (2.75), fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.21), sixth in assists (3.88), free throw percentage (.830) and 3-point percentage (.419) and seventh in steals (1.62).

 


Mike Wilkinson

Junior forward Mike Wilkinson was also honored, earning second-team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media. It is the first time in school history that Wisconsin has had a consensus first-team and second-team all-conference player in the same season.

 

Wilkinson finished third in the league in rebounding during conference games at 7.5 per contest. His 13.9 points per game were good for 12th in the league. He was also among the leaders in blocked shots (fourth, 1.38), field goal percentage (eighth, .528) and free throw percentage (11th, .760). Wilkinson, who is third on Wisconsin's all-time list for offensive rebounds with 217, finished fourth in the league in offensive boards at 2.88 per game.

 

Both Harris and Wilkinson stepped up their games during the conference season, leading the Badgers to a 12-4 conference record and the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament. In non-conference games, Harris' shooting percentage was .400, his 3-point percentage was .276 and his free throw percentage was .759. During conference play, those numbers increased to .479, .419 and .830, respectively. His scoring average went from 17.0 to 20.9. For Wilkinson, his scoring average increased from 10.6 to 13.9 during the conference season, his rebounding went up from 6.5 to 7.5 per game, his field goal percentage increased from .451 to .528 and his free throw percentage went from .673 to .760.

 

Northwestern's Bill Carmody was tabbed as the Big Ten Coach of the Year by the media, making him the first Wildcat mentor to collect that honor in the 32-year history of the award. Carmody's squad produced an 8-8 conference mark this season, the best finish of his four years in Evanston and the first .500 record for the program in more than 35 years. Wisconsin's Bo Ryan had won the last two Coach of the Year honors.

 

Humphries was the easy choice for conference Freshman of the Year after becoming the first frosh in Big Ten history to lead the league in both scoring (21.0 points per game) and rebounding (9.5). He became just the sixth player in league history to lead the conference in those categories and the first since Purdue's Glenn Robinson accomplished the feat 10 years ago.

 

Purdue's Kenneth Lowe became just the fourth player in Big Ten annals to collect Defensive Player of the Year accolades in consecutive seasons, joining Ohio State's Ken Johnson (2000-01), Michigan's Gary Grant (1987-88) and Illinois' Bruce Douglas (1985-86) as two-time winners.

 

Big Ten honors (coaches)

 

First Team

 

Devin Harris, junior guard, Wisconsin

Paul Davis, sophomore center , Michigan State

Kris Humphries, freshman forward, Minnesota

Deron Williams, sophomore guard, Illinois

Jitim Young, senior guard, Northwestern

 

Second Team

 

Mike Wilkinson, junior forward, Wisconsin

Dee Brown, sophomore guard, Illinois

Chris Hill, junior guard, Michigan State

Kenneth Lowe, senior guard, Purdue

Bracey Wright, sophomore guard, Indiana

 

Third Team

 

Lester Abram, sophomore wing, Michigan

Jeff Horner, sophomore guard, Iowa

Pierre Pierce, sophomore guard, Iowa

Velimir Radinovic, senior center, Ohio State

Bernard Robinson Jr., senior wing, Michigan

 

Honorable Mention

 

James Augustine, sophomore forward, Illinois

Jan Jagla, junior forward, Penn State

Roger Powell, junior forward, Illinois

Marshall Strickland, sophomore guard, Indiana

David Teague, sophomore guard, Purdue

Kelvin Torbert, junior guard, Michigan State

Vedran Vukusic, sophomore forward, Northwestern

 

All-Freshman Team

 

Shannon Brown, guard, Michigan State

Dion Harris, guard, Michigan

Kris Humphries, forward, Minnesota

Courtney Sims, center, Michigan

Marlon Smith, guard, Penn State

 

Player of the Year

 

Devin Harris, Wisconsin

 

Freshman of the Year

 

Kris Humphries, Minnesota

 

Defensive Player of the Year

 

Kenneth Lowe, Purdue

 

Big Ten honors (media)

 

First Team

 

Devin Harris, junior guard, Wisconsin

Paul Davis, sophomore center , Michigan State

Kris Humphries, freshman forward, Minnesota

Deron Williams, sophomore guard, Illinois

Jitim Young, senior guard, Northwestern

 

Second Team

 

Mike Wilkinson, junior forward, Wisconsin

Dee Brown, sophomore guard, Illinois

Chris Hill, junior guard, Michigan State

Kenneth Lowe, senior guard, Purdue

Bracey Wright, sophomore guard, Indiana

 

Third Team

 

Lester Abram, sophomore wing, Michigan

Jeff Horner, sophomore guard, Iowa

Pierre Pierce, sophomore guard, Iowa

Kelvin Torbert, junior guard, Michigan State

Bernard Robinson Jr., senior wing, Michigan

 

Honorable Mention

 

James Augustine, sophomore forward, Illinois

A.J. Moye, senior forward, Indiana

Velimir Radinovic, senior center, Ohio State

Roger Powell, junior forward, Illinois

Vedran Vukusic, sophomore forward, Northwestern

 

Player of the Year

 

Devin Harris, Wisconsin

 

Freshman of the Year

 

Kris Humphries, Minnesota

 

Coach of the Year

 

Bill Carmody, Northwestern


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