2011 UM Hoops All-Big Ten Teams

Dylan Burkhardt

The Big Ten will announce the official All-Big Ten teams live at 7:00 PM tonight on the Big Ten Network. For now, we decided it would be a good time to put together our own teams with a bit of a twist. These teams were picked based on conference only statistics. This helps level the playing field and provides a fair estimate of how players played against each other. Sticking with that theme, all stats listed below are conference-only numbers. The players on each team are listed in order with player of the year honors in bold.

First Team

PPG RPG APG Ortg Usage eFG%
JaJuan Johnson
20.7 8.3 2.5 (blks) 113.0 27.5 49.8
Jordan Taylor 20.1 4.1 4.9 132.8 28.4 55.1
Jared Sullinger 17.1 9.4 1.2 117.0 26.6 53.8
Jon Leuer 18.3 7.3 1.4 113.8 30.2 50.5
E’Twaun Moore 17.7 4.7 3.4 113.4 26.1 52.0

The five selections for this team were relatively routine and I fully expect to see the same five names on the official teams. Selecting the player of the year was much more difficult. I eventually opted with JaJuan Johnson because he’s the most balanced player on the list. He might not be the most efficient offensive player of the bunch but he is arguably the best defender, and still put up very impressive numbers. Jordan Taylor is a statistical marvel, but closing the season with 8 points in a blowout loss to Ohio State leaves a bitter taste. Sullinger finishes third but as the best player on the best team, he was tough to move out of the way as well.

Second Team

PPG RPG APG Ortg Usage eFG%
Talor Battle 20.3 3.7 3.2 115.5 28.2 53.0
William Buford 15.2 3.3 2.6 123.6 21.3 59.0
Kalin Lucas 18.4 2.1 3.3 107.6 28.2 47.5
Trevor Mbakwe 14.1 11.0 1.4 (blks) 112.4 23.1 56.5
Darius Morris 14.6 4.2 6.3 103.6 31.5 48.3

Talor Battle and Kalin Lucas are both scoring guards in point guard bodies that were forced to carry their teams this season. William Buford was ridiculously efficient and is the key to Ohio State’s season going forward. Those three were easy, the next two were not. Mbakwe’s team wilted down the stretch without a point guard but the athletic big man was not at fault, his 14 points and 11 rebounds per game deserve a spot. I actually narrowed things down to Morris and Hardaway for the final spot. I was originally going to choose Hardaway, the more efficient scorer, but eventually decided to take Morris. Morris used more possessions in conference play, mostly because Michigan needed him to. Morris was responsible for roughly half of Michigan’s offense and was the primary reason that the Wolverines overachieved.

Third Team

PPG RPG APG Ortg Usage eFG%
Tim Hardaway Jr. 14.9 3.8 1.9 111.8 24.8 58.2
David Lighty 11.8 4.1 3.1 110.0 21.3 52.2
Demetri McCamey 14.5 3.5 5.4 107.4 26.4 52.8
Draymond Green 12.4 7.9 4.1 106.0 25.6 46.0
Jeff Brooks 14.4 5.6 1.8 122.7 21.2 63.0

All three teams are dominated by players from the top seven teams because ideally the best players play on the best teams. Hardaway was one of the best players in the conference over the second half but an inconsistent first half relegates him to the third team. Draymond Green had a rough year shooting the ball but he does so much else for Michigan State that he deserves a spot. Lighty is in a similar situation, he doesn’t have gaudy scoring numbers but he’s a tremendous defender and is the quintessential glue guy. McCamey’s year was disappointing and plagued by inconsistency but he is still one of the better guards in the league with very solid numbers. Jeff Brooks figured everything out this season but it would have been great if he had one more year of eligibility.

Freshman Team

PPG RPG APG Ortg Usage eFG%
Jared Sullinger 17.1 9.4 1.2 117.0 26.6 53.8
Tim Hardaway Jr. 14.9 3.8 1.9 111.8 24.8 58.2
Melsahn Basabe 13.0 7.3 1.3 (blks) 111.9 24.7 58.1
Aaron Craft 8.1 2.7 4.6 104.6 18.9 50.0
Jordan Morgan 9.5 7.1 .7 (blks) 106.9 19.7 66.0

Sullinger, Hardaway, Basabe and Craft were locks. Sullinger also is a shoe-in for Freshman of the Year. The final spot came down to Jordan Morgan and Jereme Richmond. I think Richmond’s potential is sky high but Morgan posted the better numbers this year, averaging more points and rebounds per game.

  • gpsimms

    what about coach of the year? i think beilein deserves it (i’m biased, obviously), but i don’t think he’ll get it. if painter gets it, i don’t think we can complain, but i really hope matta doesn’t get it.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      I would go Painter.

  • mgolax

    I agree with your first team, although I did laugh to see you call out Jordan Taylor for laying an egg against OSU, even though Johnson just dropped one to IOWA. I guess he got his in that game though.

  • KAB

    Joe Lunardi made a mistake on his latest bracket.He has Michigan as the last four in and it should be State.We are an 11 seed in the bracket and State is a 12 seed…

    • Jack

      Check the RPI and SOS numbers, MSU is still higher than Michigan. Both are at 9-9 in conference too. Head-to-head is very low on the committee’s list. Both are in good shape compared to the rest of the bubble though, regardless of where Lunardi has them right now.

    • Josh

      In Lundardi’s current projection, a round 1 win over Vandy would set up a matchup against SDSU and Fisher

      • We’d be eaten alive by their bigs. If we thought Mbakwe was bad, Leonard would be much worse.

        • Azad

          I think SDSU would be a bad matchup; but I think the bigger issue would be Leonard would be a really tough matchup for Hardaway to do much with. They are big inside but they don’t have anyone as big and strong as Mbakwe. I think it’s safe to say we won’t play against someone with Mbakwe’s strength the rest of the season.

          • Gary

            I appreciate how much fun it is to speculate on these things, but with all the things that happen in conference tournaments, I have little enough faith in anyone’s ability to accurately determine exactly which bubble teams will be in or out a week before selection. But, I have zero faith in their ability to actually correctly place teams into locations and matchups within the bracket. I suspect that the chance that UM will actually face Vandy in the first round and SDSU in the second is about the same as for any other random event.

        • mgocanada

          we’ve already played the best teams in the league (KU and OSU) and we played great against them. I’m not expecting any Sweet Sixteen runs but nor do I think UM has to fear any one matchup. Weird things can happen in the tournament. Personally, I’d like to see a matchup with UNC if this is mathematically possible.

      • Joel

        That would be an unreal match-up if we met up with SDSU, I would love to see that happen.

        • mgocanada

          I wouldn’t want to see us play SDSU, cause I am kinda hoping Fisher goes all the way and shows us that the dream of the 90s is still alive… in San Diego.
          SDSU can be a sloppy team but man they have the athletes I’ve been begging JB for. Then again, BYU swept them with something resembling B10 basketball (admittedly aided by one of the most annoyingly prolific scorers in history), so you never know.

  • Azad

    Out of curiosity, is there any obligation for the people picking the All Big 10 teams to adhere to a positional lineup? Or could the first team have been all point guards if those were the 5 best players in the conference?

  • Fred_Ex

    I just looked at Lunardi’s bracket, he has us as an 11 seed and Sparty as the last four in. According to his bracket, we are playing 6 seeded Vanderbilt (I like this match-up) and playing the winner of San Diego State (Steve Fisher’s impressive squad) and Indiana State. Oh we’re in playing in San Antonio. Not that at matters after the conference tournament, the whole bracket will change.

  • UM Hoops Fan

    The current bracket I’m looking at has MSU as the last four out, so maybe the typo was fixed:


    I would take this bracket no questions asked. Not scared at all by Vandy, then a possible follow-up with SDSU — not scared of them, and more pub for late 80’s, early 90’s glory days history. So let it be written, so let it be done!

  • I have absolutely no beef with where the MSU players are placed here. Really disappointed that we don’t have anyone who played up to a All-Freshman team level.

  • AG2

    I know the NCAA needs to have some sub-regional cites out west, but why do they choose such difficult to reach places? Tuscon? Boise? Spokane? What’s next, Barstow? Flagstaff?

  • Rob Pollard

    Good list with good explanations. A small suggestion: perhaps list the players team and position in the chart? I know space is limited, but it would help. For the first and second team, I know everyone, but for the 3rd team and freshman, I was less sure.

  • eddie

    Is there a most improved player award? If so, DMo all the way!

  • ToBlav

    The selections were ‘spot on’. How dull is that? :)

  • chitownblue

    at justcoverblog.com, we did an all Big 10 team as well, and tried to keep them positionally true. It ended up:

    1st team:

    1. Taylor
    2. Moore
    3. Lighty
    4. Sullinger
    5. Johnson

    2nd team:

    1. Morris
    2. Buford
    3. Green
    4. Mbakwe
    5. Leuer


    1. Lewis Jackson (iffy, I know, torn to give it to Battle)
    2. Lucas
    3. Hardaway Jr.
    4. Brooks
    5. Besabe (he was better than Sampson)

    our POY was Johnson, COY was Painter, Most Improved was Morris, Freshman was Sullinger.

    Just for conversation’s sake.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Lewis Jackson over Battle?

      • chitownblue

        I felt sort of awful about it. But Battle wasn’t really his team’s PG this year (though it’s admittedly what he did the year prior), and due to the self-imposed strictures of “MUST…CHOOSE…PG”, I went with Jackson.

  • Joel

    I enjoy all the speculation over who/where we would play in the tourney, but my attitude towards the Illinois game is that it’s a must-win (regardless of if it is or not). The rest of the weekend will be a lot less stressful if we make the conference semifinals!