Buckeyes’ Bates-Diop, Holtmann are AP’s Big Ten top honorees
Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop is The Associated Press player of the year in the Big Ten Conference and the Buckeyes’ Chris Holtmann is its coach of the year.
Bates-Diop and Purdue’s Carsen Edwards were unanimous picks to the AP All-Big Ten team also announced Wednesday, the first day of the conference tournament in New York. Michigan State freshman Jaren Jackson Jr. was picked as newcomer of the year and defensive player of the year in voting by 12 journalists who cover the league.
Joining Bates-Diop and Edwards on the all-conference first team are Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ and Penn State’s Tony Carr. Happ is a repeat first-team pick. Bridges was on the second team last year.
Bates-Diop is second in the conference in scoring (19.2 points per game) and tied for second in rebounding (8.9 per game). The 6-foot-7, 235-pound junior’s 12 double-doubles are tied for second in the Big Ten. Edwards averages a team-leading 18.2 points for Purdue, has scored 10 or more points in 14 straight games and is averaging 23.1 points per game in February.
The second team is made up of Purdue’s Vincent Edwards and Isaac Haas, Michigan’s Moritz Wagner, Nebraska’s James Palmer Jr., and Michigan State’s Cassius Winston.
Jackson is the second straight Michigan State player to be named newcomer of the year, following Bridges. Jackson averages 11.4 points per game, and his 3.29 blocked shots per game ranks fourth nationally. His 102 blocks are a school record.
Holtmann, hired in June after spending the previous three years at Butler, took over a team that finished 11th in the Big Ten and returned just five players. The Buckeyes finished the regular season 24-7 and second in the conference at 15-3, more than double the number of Big Ten wins of a year ago.
The 24 wins are the most by a first-year coach in program history, and the 15 league wins are the Buckeyes’ most since 2011.
The 2018 AP All-Big Ten team, with players listed with school, class, height, weight and hometown (“u” denotes unanimous selections):
u-Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State, Jr., 6-7, 235, Normal, Illinois.
Miles Bridges, Michigan State, So., 6-7, 225, Flint, Michigan.
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin, Jr., 6-10, 235, Milan, Illinois.
u-Carsen Edwards, Purdue, So., 6-1, 200, Atascocita, Texas.
Tony Carr, Penn State, So., 6-5, 204, Philadelphia.
Vincent Edwards, Purdue, Sr., 6-8, 225, Middletown, Ohio.
Isaac Haas, Purdue, Sr., 7-2, 290, Hokes Bluff, Alabama.
Moritz Wagner, Michigan, Jr., 6′11, 245, Berlin, Germany.
James Palmer, Nebraska, Jr., 6-6, 210, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Cassius Winston, Michigan State, So., 6-0, 185, Detroit.
Coach of the year — Chris Holtmann, Ohio State.
Player of the year — Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State.
Newcomer of the year — Jaren Jackson, Michigan State, Fr., 6-11, 242, Carmel, Indiana.
Defensive player of the year — Jaren Jackson, Michigan State.
AP All-Big Ten Voting Panel: Kyle Austin, MLive.com (Lansing, Michigan); Nathan Baird, Lafayette (Indiana) Journal and Courier; Lee Barfknecht, Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald; Marcus Fuller, Minneapolis Star Tribune; Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune; Adam Jardy, Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch; Chad Leistikow, Des Moines (Iowa) Register; Don Markus, Baltimore Sun; Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star; Jim Polzin, Madison.com (Madison, Wisconsin); Scott Richey, Champaign (Illinois) News-Gazette; Keith Sargeant, New Jersey Advance Media.