Notebook: Who’s the Big Ten Player of the Year?

  • 03/11/2013 9:09 am in


ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Many voters for the Big Ten player of the year said this week they would wait until after Sunday’s game to make their decision on who should win the award. The consensus seems to be that it is down to Michigan’s Trey Burke and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, who matched up against each other at times in Indiana’s 72-71 win at Michigan.

Burke finished the game with 20 points on 7-of-20 shooting, four assists, three rebounds, three steals and four turnovers. Oladipo had 14 points on 7-of-18 shooting, 13 rebounds (seven offensive), three assists and two turnovers.

Indiana’s Cody Zeller outplayed both Burke and Oladipo on Sunday, finishing the game with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

So who’s the player of the year?

“I’ve been saying all year long he should be the player of the year,” Oladipo said.

“Who should?,” he was asked.

“Cody, Cody, Cody Zeller should be the player of the year,” Oladipo said. “If you guys don’t give it to him, no disrespect, but there’s something wrong with y’all.”

Zeller wasn’t so sure.

“If the team wins, hey, we’ll see what happens,” he said.

The winner will be announced tonight on the Big Ten Network.

Hoosiers dominant on the glass

Indiana shot a dreadful 13-of-37 from the field in the first half against Michigan, but the Hoosiers stayed in the game and trailed by only three points at the half because of their work on the offensive glass.

The Hoosiers had 24 offensive rebounds in the game, and outrebounded the Wolverines 53-30 overall.

“Everybody’s dissecting this and that, bottom line is we weren’t rebounding the way we needed to rebound,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “We weren’t getting enough offensive rebounds, we were giving up too many. Our guys really understood that the rebounding was gonna be paramount. It was one of the absolute keys to this game.”

Bench produces in second half

Crean played a lot of players in the first half on Sunday, including Hanner Mosquera-Perea, who hadn’t played since Feb. 19. The lineups were sometimes head-scratching, and the results weren’t great. At least offensively.

The Hoosiers’ bench players combined for zero points on 0-of-8 shooting in the first 20 minutes.

In the second half, though, they provided much more of a spark, especially Will Sheehey and Jeremy Hollowell. Sheehey had 10 huge points and four rebounds, and Hollowell had five points and five boards. The duo had back-to-back 3-pointers during one stretch in the second half that helped the Hoosiers recapture the lead.

Crean, though, didn’t see anything wrong with the first-half performance he got from his bench.

“They did? Define struggle,” Crean said when told his bench players struggled in the first half. “I thought they played fine. Jeremy Hollowell had a great game, and we knew it was coming. I mean a great game. I’m not looking at the offense, I don’t even know that. I’m looking at, ‘Are they engaged? Are they on the glass? Are they talking on defense? Are they trying to play the coverages the right way?’ And even if the score’s not being impacted when they’re in the game, are they bringing fatigue to the game?”

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  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Victor Zeller is player of the year.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Victor Zeller is player of the year.

  • Matt S

    Someone is wrong on the internet! Clearly the Player of the Year should be Cody Oladipo.

  • Hoosierlu

    Each deserves to win. When either does, they will acknowlwdge the other…love these guys!

  • The only right and just thing, is Zeller and Oladipo, B1G Co-MVPs.

  • I thought the POY was Burke’s to lose coming into this game. I think the poor shot selection and missed free throw at the end sealed the deal. The best player in college basketball wins important games. Burke didn’t do that, so he doesn’t deserve the POY award in the conference or nationally.

  • PDXHoosier

    I love CTC’s comments about the bench. He makes great points. Although I’m sure I’m not the only one that was whining about the subs in the 1st half.

  • SCHoosier

    I thought his bench comments were..well I won’t use the word. He doesn’t care or pay attention to his benches scoring.?? Come on..without that scoring yesterday we lose big. The sub patterns in the first half tended to support his comments though..never will figure that one out.

  • SCHoosier

    Anybody actually know when the voting for those honors begins and ends? My concern is that IU’s two candidates Cody and VO will split an IU vote..and Burke will slip in the side door with the highest individual total.

  • MillaRed

    No way in H will IU have co-MVPs. It will be painful enough for the media and coaches to give one of them the award.

    As far as Cody and Victor go, I have to give Vic the nod. He was more consistent, made more game changing plays, and is the B1G Defensive POY.

    As far as Vic and Burke go, it was decided on the court yesterday. IU is the B1G champs, Vic filled the stat sheet, held Burke to 35% shooting and made the big plays late in the game Burke could not.

    Victor Oladipo is the 2013 Big Ten POY.

  • MillaRed

    No way in H will IU have co-MVPs. It will be painful enough for the media and coaches to give one of them the award.

    As far as Cody and Victor go, I have to give Vic the nod. He was more consistent, made more game changing plays, and is the B1G Defensive POY.

    As far as Vic and Burke go, it was decided on the court yesterday. IU is the B1G champs, Vic filled the stat sheet, held Burke to 35% shooting and made the big plays late in the game Burke could not.

    Victor Oladipo is the 2013 Big Ten POY.

  • MillaRed

    It’s on BTN tonight. Check your local listing.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Man, that is a tough question.

    But I know he wears candy stripes.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    I thought that answer was silly, and I think he knew it was silly. But he’s not gonna hang the players out to dry. Nor should he.

    But c’mon, 0-8 and they were fine? No way.

  • Hoosieriniowa

    most VALUABLE player as good as Trey is cant go to him because he wasn’t the player that led his team to a championship. I may have to go with co-MVP.

  • jack_j100

    I would vote for Mitch McGary. I believe his thug approach in defending gave Cody that little edge to “go off”. Thanks Mitch.

  • jack_j100

    I totally agree.

  • PDXHoosier

    I love to root for the Indiana boys, but that guy is a goon

  • jack_j100

    True, sure wish he would have been one of those missing the front end at games end.

  • jack_j100

    True, sure wish he would have been one of those missing the front end at games end.

  • iu1

    with a minute to go and sole possession of the title on the line, Cody delivered and
    earned Player of the Year. The Michigan game was really a microcosm of the entire
    season, the good the bad and the ugly. Olidipo won my heart and if he wins I won’t
    be upset but in the end the Big Handsome brought home what IU has been waiting
    20 years to celebrate.

  • B

    I would have to go with Zeller, although he did it quietly compared to Victor. Victor would also be very deserving of most improved player.

  • HoosierCruz

    HAH well he did miss a wide open layup as well as a 3-4ft jumper in the final minutes

  • jack_j100

    And don’t think for a minute I did not truly enjoy it. I also have problems rooting against an Indiana kid, but he makes it so darn easy.

  • Geoff_85

    You guys are going to kill me, but I believe it’s Trey Burke. I believe it’s also because of not only how well he plays, but also a product of their system. They give Trey Burke the ball, have 2 guys stand in the corners, have 2 guys stand on the wings, he drives the lane, and if there’s not a shot, he kicks. It’s hard to defend the guy one-on-one, so there will be help from somewhere more than likely. If there is not shot for him, he will kick to a wide open man most times. That’s why the guy gets so many assists. He also hits some HUGE shots. Every single one of his 3’s yesterday was huge. Actually, pretty much every shot he hit was huge. They defended the hell out of Trey Burke yesterday. There were a few times the defender went under a screen and Burke nailed an open 3, but other than that he was extremely well defended, and he had pretty darn good numbers. Having said that, if you put Trey Burke on Indiana’s team, his numbers go way down. You put Victor Oladipo on Michigan, his numbers go up, or stay the same, but they would not go down. These kinds of awards are very statistic-based though, and that’s a huge part of why I think Burke will narrowly win Big Ten and NCAA Player of the Year.

  • MillaRed

    Something tells me he is not lighting it up in math class.

  • Hoosierfan2335

    no no no no. It’s Cotor Oladeller

  • HoosierCruz
  • marcusgresham

    They weren’t taking bad shots, though. Hanner had a miss, but I thought the cut he made into the lane to get the pass was probably the best example of recognition I’ve seen from him all season. Sheehey did take a 3 that I would have prefered him not to take–he ball-faked in the corner and then slid a step or two to his left, which is difficult for a right-hander, but he was open.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    That might be true, but at this point in the season, results are all that count. It doesn’t matter if they are good shots if they aren’t going in in the championship game.

    I’m not blaming the players, but we had Hollowell, Perea and Remy on the floor at the same time. They aren’t ready for that load yet.

    And I don’t think of WS as a bench guy. He’s earned his minutes by performing. Crean says it all the time, and I think it’s true: we have six starters.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    I just don’t think he’s efficient enough. Yesterday is a great example: 20 points, but it took 20 shots, and a 1:1 Asst: TO ratio.

    The way they played in the second half reminded me of Kobe Bryant-style hero ball.


    All season we discussed this alot. Truth is CTC obviously has some plan in place to get everyone some playing time because he believes it benefits the whole effort. Whether it designed to get starters a few minutes rest, or is a motivation device ( nobody likes to see a box score without their name listed) to keep everyone engaged. It also has the effect of allowing players to get minutes in a real game, so when they are needed they are somewhat ready and not scared. When the 4th MU center came in yesterday he looked like he was out to lunch, likely because he’s only seen minutes in mop up time and was not ready for the sitution. I firmly believe Hollowell is where is is today becasue he has gotten mimutes along the way. He is more motivated and more prepared.

  • Geoff_85

    But he leads the nation in Ast/TO ratio. We have to look past yesterday’s game when choosing a player for a season award. A lot of people are giving it to Oladipo because of yesterday’s game. I’m ok with that I guess, but a season award should be given because of the entire season the player has had.

  • And_One

    POY and MVP are two different things. Given the relative importance to his team, Burke may be MVP, I will grant you, but POY must go to our Vic. I am looking forward to the show this evening. I’m really interested in whether Craft gets bumped to 2nd team All-B1G.

  • Robert Weber

    Couldn’t agree more. I’ve made this point to friends on many occasions.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    That’s actually a really good point. What does “Player of the Year” imply? It can be interpreted as something entirely different than “Most Valuable Player”. On Indiana’s team for example, I think there’s little question that Cody’s the MVP. When the offense doesn’t go through him or when he has an off night, the team suffers. Whereas IU has played some solid minutes without Victor. Cody impacts the team more, and they do worse without him than with him.

    But the other side of the argument is: Does “Player of the Year” have connotations outside of being “Most Valuable”? I’d say it’s definitely legitimate to read it that way. I could go so far as to argue that is that it’s more about the player who’s had the the greatest achievements than the one who’s been the core and backbone of the team. And that definition tilts things towards Victor. I mean, let’s face it, Cody was *expected* to be dominant. The expectations were so insanely high that there are folks who actually (as crazy as this sounds) say they’re disappointed in his season, that he didn’t reach his potential and that he needs to stay another year to develop (note: I do NOT agree with this, so don’t bash me for it! Go on the ‘net and slap *those* folks who are saying it, not me please!). Whereas you can contrast that to Victor, who’s not only exceeded all expectations with his improvements, but has done so in such a spectacular fashion that he’s come out of nowhere to be talked about as a lottery draft pick. As recently as last year, the knock on him was “spectacular leaper, but has no jumper”. But this year, it’s “NBA talent through-and-through”.

    So, what’s the definition that Big Ten PotY goes by? I don’t know; I haven’t looked into it. But I do see that it can be interpreted in different ways, and each of those ways will point in different directions this year. It’s definitely an unusual year for it to be unclear like that, but that’s also an indicator of one heck of a year talentwise.

  • I have this sinking feeling in my gut that somehow Craft gets D POY and Burke gets POY. I’m going to go nuclear if it happens…but I feel like our two studs will get shafted somehow.

  • SCHoosier

    No but he’s acing sumo wrestling and “push hard aerobics”

  • HoosierTrav

    We all know that Vic nor Cody will be. We are one of the 3 most hated universities. If there is a small reason to snub in anyway, the fans, media, and NCAA will do everything in their power to keep us from succeeding. Cody made 3rd team AA by sporting nation behind Thomas, McDermott, and some other clowns. Olynyk made first team before Zeller and Plumlee. How do you lead the nations best conference in scoring and rebounding and not make 1st team. LAME! Win a banner and shove it up their asses Cody!

  • calbert40

    I did some research today on this, and this could go to any of the three. Nearly all are Top 10 or close in any statistical category of importance. You could look at it one of two ways: is it more impressive to have a great statistical season as the no-doubt #1 option on your team, or on a team with numerous options, which makes it difficult to stand out.

    B1G Games only: * = Conference leader, ^ = Top 10

    Burke: 20.2* PPG, 6.4* APG, 2.0^ Steals Also led B1G in A:TO ratio by a wide margin

    Oladipo: 13.9 ppg, 6.7^ RPG (also 3rd in O Rebounds), 2.0^ Steals. Also led B1G in FG % (57.2), and 7th in FT %.

    Zeller: 17.1^ PPG, 8.2^ RPG, 1.3 Steals. Also, 5th in FG %, 10th in FT %, 2nd in O Rebounding.

    It just depends on what stats you want to pick out. My issue with Burke is that his 20.2 ppg comes from his prolific number of attempts. He took 273 shots in B1G play! No wonder he scored that many points.

    By contrast, Oladipo took only 159 and Zeller took 192. If Oladipo had taken as many shots as Burke and still hit a similar percentage (let’s say 55 % b/c you know it would go down somewhat), Oladipo could have hit 26-27 MORE shots than Burke did. Burke is a great scorer, but he is a volume scorer. Oladipo and Zeller are efficient.

    I’d lean Oladipo based on his ability to dominate on both ends of the floor, play well as a guard, wing or even in the post. He is easily the most versatile of the three listed, and I think in a year where it is so close, I’d give him the nod.

  • I’m more interested in the Coach of the Year award. hope Crean didnt piss any voters off with that professional misunderstanding

  • arsenal926
  • Hoosieriniowa

    I retract my earlier position on Trey Burke not being Player Of the Year. I was thinking the title was most valuable player….That would be Zeller or Oladipo. But flat out player of the year regardless of importance to the team goes to Burke in my book.

  • indiana.austin

    Burke can have all the individual awards that he wants. IU (26 sports, 1 team) will gladly win all the TEAM awards.