Purdue Boilermakers Basketball: JaJuan Johnson Wins Big Ten Player of the Year

James EvensCorrespondent IMarch 8, 2011

CHAMPAIGN, IL - FEBRUARY 13: JaJuan Johnson #25 of the Purdue Boilermakers takes a shot against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Assembly Hall on February 13, 2011 in Champaign, Illinois. Purdue defeated Illinois 81-70. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

JaJuan Johnson capped off a night that was special for Purdue fans around the nation Monday night. The Boilermakers dominated the awards announcements and gained some well-deserved respect around the nation with the picks.

Matt Painter earned Coach of the Year while JaJuan Johnson won Player of the Year along with Defensive Player of the Year. Along with the three major awards, Johnson and Moore were both named First Team All-Big Ten while Lewis Jackson was an honorable mention.

Following the loss at Iowa, this was a huge moral victory for Boilermaker fans and players, and bittersweet for everyone who has watched JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore grow from scrawny freshmen to prime time players.

Johnson's main competition for Player of the Year was Ohio State freshman Jared Sullinger. Sullinger is getting a lot of attention nationally, but JaJuan Johnson was the most consistent player this season, and there is no arguing that point.

The Defensive Player of the Year was a shocker for a lot of people. It could be argued that David Lighty deserved the award. Both players were great defensively, and it seems as though they more than likely should have been Co-DPOY.

It was not a surprise for Boilermaker fans to see E'Twaun Moore selected first team and it was great to see underrated point guard Lewis Jackson get some love.

Overall, it was a great night for the Boilermakers and maybe, just maybe, these announcements will open the eyes of the national media and allow JaJuan Johnson to get some more consideration for National Player of the Year.

James Evens serves as a National Featured Columnist for college football and basketball as well as the FC for the Purdue Boilermakers.  Follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook