Green gets Big Ten’s top player

Published 2:34 am Tuesday, March 6, 2012

PARK RIDGE, Ill. (AP) — Michigan State’s Draymond Green was chosen as player of the year in the Big Ten by two panels, one comprised of media, the other made up of coaches. Green averaged 16.2 points and a league-best 10.5 rebounds as the Spartans shared the regular-season title with Michigan and Ohio State.

Michigan State’s Tom Izzo was selected as coach of the year for a third time as the Spartans finished 24-7 and 13-5 in the league after starting the season unranked.

“This is a little bit of a surprise. … There were a lot of deserving guys,” Izzo said.

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Joining Green on both the coaches and media first team were conference scoring leader John Shurna of Northwestern, Ohio State star Jared Sullinger and Purdue’s Robbie Hummel. The coaches selected Wisconsin guard Jordan Taylor to the first team, and the media gave the nod to Tim Frazier of Penn State.

There was a split for freshman of the year: the media tabbed Trey Burke of Michigan, and the coaches chose center Cody Zeller of Indiana.

Zeller led conference freshmen in scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.4 points and 6.4 boards per game. Burke averaged 14.6 points and 4.6 assists for the Wolverines.

Burke and the Wolverines found themselves in an unlikely position. They had to root for Ohio State to beat Michigan State so they could share the three-way title.

“It was crazy,” Burke said. “We all flooded the hallways and were jumping up and down everywhere.”

The coaches also honored Ohio State’s Aaron Craft as defensive player of the year, and D.J. Byrd of Purdue as sixth man of the year.

On the media’s second team were Zeller, Burke, Taylor, Matt Gatens of Iowa and Ohio State’s William Buford, who made the game-winning shot in a 72-70 victory over Michigan State on Sunday. Tim Hardaway Jr. of Michigan, Keith Appling of Michigan State, Northwestern’s Drew Crawford, Craft and Deshaun Thomas of Ohio State comprised the media’s third team.

Zeller, Burke, Buford, Thomas and Frazier are on the coaches’ second unit. Brandon Paul of Illinois, Gatens, Hardaway, Appling and Crawford made up the third team.