Big Ten Tournament 2013: Predictions for Tournament's Top MVP Candidates
The Big Ten Tournament will feature some of the better college players in the game today, but there are some who are more likely to take home the tournament's Most Valuable Player honors than others.
Victor Oladipo has been so instrumental in Indiana's success this season with what he does on both sides of the floor, and he will continue to play a major role for Indiana as they try to make a run at a national title.
There's no telling where Michigan would be without Trey Burke, who has been the steady hand for the Wolverines all season and has brought the best out of the team's younger players.
Deshaun Thomas is an incredibly talented scorer who has been the rock of the Ohio State Buckeyes offense during the 2012-13 season.
Let's take a closer look at each of these players and what to expect from them in the Big Ten Tournament.
Victor Oladipo, Guard, Indiana Hoosiers
Oladipo has been a great all-around player for the Hoosiers this season and despite all the talent on their roster, his ability to be everywhere gives this future top pick in the 2013 NBA draft a great chance to win the tournament's MVP.
For the season, Oladipo is averaging 13.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.2 steals and nearly one block per game. Those numbers have given him a great chance to win the Wooden award, as well as earned him consideration as the Big Ten Player of the Year.
Not only can Oladipo take over a game on the offensive end with his shot and ability to drive to the hoop, but he can also play lockdown defense on an opposing team's best player. His energy and effort is infectious to the rest of his team as well.
There will be plenty of great players Indiana will have to deal with in this tourney and that's where Oladipo will shine the most. He will help neutralize the top players in the Big Ten and his offensive prowess will be on full display throughout, which will lead to Indiana winning this tourney.
Big Ten Tournament Stat Prediction: 16 points, six rebounds, two steals, one assist, one block.
Trey Burke, Guard, Michigan Wolverines
Everything Michigan does on offense goes through its point guard and that easily makes Burke the most important player on the Wolverines this season.
Burke is also having a great year that has garnered him consideration for the Wooden award and he has already been named Big Ten Player of the Year. The Michigan floor general is averaging 19.2 points, 6.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per contest.
As impressive as Burke is on the offensive end, he can also be a game-changer on defense as evidenced by his rebounding and steal totals.
Burke is surrounded by several young and inexperienced players this season, so the pressure of this tourney might be a bit much for his teammates to handle. As a result, Burke will have to step his game up offensively, which shouldn't be a problem until he runs into Oladipo and Indiana at some point in the tourney.
Big Ten Tournament Stat Prediction: 23 points, eight assists, two rebounds and one steal.
Deshaun Thomas, Forward, Ohio State
Thomas was the major catalyst on offense for the Buckeyes this season and was named to the All-Big Ten first team for his efforts.
The Ohio State forward led the team with 19.7 points and grabbed 6.1 rebounds to go along with a little over one assist per contest. Thomas hasn't put up gaudy numbers on the defensive end by any means, but he's still no slouch in that department.
Thomas' contribution to this team has been invaluable this season. Not only has his scoring been consistent throughout the course of the season, but Thomas can also be counted on the log a ton of minutes and his effort is rarely questioned.
Expect Thomas to keep up his scoring success in this tourney and the Buckeyes will need him to produce epic numbers in order to get by some of the tougher teams in the bracket. Thomas will raise his point per game totals while stepping up for his team and look for him to hit the boards even harder than he did in the regular season.
Big Ten Tournament Stat Prediction: 22 points, eight rebounds, two assists.
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