Sophomore Guard Evan Turner lost out to Michigan State's Kalin Lucas for Big Ten Player of the Year on Monday, but was named to the All-conference 1st team.
While no Buckeyes were named to the 2nd or 3rd team, sophomore guard Jon Diebler and freshmen guard William Buford were honorable mentions. Buford was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, while center B.J. Mullens was voted Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year, and both were named to the conference's All-Freshman team.
Turner and Lucas were joined on the All-Big Ten 1st team by Talor Battle of PSU, Michigan's Manny Harris and JuJuan Johnson of Purdue. Turner put up slightly better numbers but Coach Thad Matta could understand rewarding the best player on a Spartan team that went 25-5, won the conference title by four games and is ranked No. 7 in the country.
"I think there's a lot of validity in that," Matta said. "As close as it was this year between Evan and Lucas, you can see where people would say, 'Michigan State won the Big Ten, we'll give it to him.' "
Lucas averaged 14.8 points, 4.6 assists, two turnovers, 2.2 rebounds, 0.9 steals and shot 39.5 percent from the field and 39.5 percent on 3-pointers.
Turner averaged 16.8 points, 3.9 assists, 3.5 turnovers, 6.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals and shot 51.6 percent from the field and 40.9 percent on 3-pointers.
If POY honors actually went to the best player statistically, and not necessarily the best player from the team that won the conference or had the best W/L record, Turner would have and should have gotten the nod over Lucas.
Michigan State is more of a complete team than the Buckeyes, especially without David Lighty, so the Spartan's success this season can be attributed to several players.
While Deibler, Buford, Mullens and Dallas Lauderdale have all made contributions for the Buckeyes, Turner has been the most consistent and shown the ability to put the team on his back in the clutch.
Turner's performance in the all-important Northwestern game was a prime example of that
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