Men's Basketball | Poll shows Michigan State as Big Ten champions

Adam Jardy
ajardy@dispatch.com

Michigan State has been chosen to repeat as Big Ten champions in the 2018-19 media poll conducted jointly by the Dispatch and the Athletic.

The Spartans, who finished one game ahead of Ohio State and Purdue last season at 16-2 in conference play, return three starters under coach Tom Izzo. They received 22 of the possible 28 votes to finish ahead of No. 2 Michigan, which received four first-place votes, and No. 3 Indiana, which received one. The Boilermakers, picked to finish in fifth behind Nebraska, also received a first-place vote.

Purdue’s Carsen Edwards was named the preseason player of the year, garnering 23 votes after being named a second-team All-American and first-team all-Big Ten player a season ago for averaging 18.5 points per game. He is the conference’s top returning scorer.

Edwards was also a unanimous selection for the media’s all-conference team alongside Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ. Nebraska’s James Palmer Jr., Michigan State’s Cassius Winston and Indiana’s Juwan Morgan round out the team. Hoosiers freshman Romeo Langford, who became the first top prospect from Indiana to commit to the Hoosiers since Eric Gordon in 2007, was a unanimous choice for Big Ten freshman of the year.

The Buckeyes were projected to finish eighth in the Big Ten, one spot behind Maryland and just ahead of Minnesota. No Ohio State players received any votes for individual honors. The Buckeyes were picked as high as fifth in the Big Ten by two voters and as low as 12th by a pair of others. One year after picking them to finish 12th, I have them eighth this year.

Here’s how the voting finished, with a first-place vote counting for 14 points, a second-place vote counting for 13 points and so on. First-place votes are in parenthesis.

1. Michigan State – 386 (22)

2. Michigan – 360 (4)

3. Indiana – 305 (1)

4. Nebraska – 293

5. Purdue – 269 (1)

6. Wisconsin – 263

7. Maryland – 240

8. Ohio State – 177

9. Minnesota – 168

10. Iowa – 154

11. Penn State – 134

12. Northwestern – 95

13. Illinois – 65

14. Rutgers – 31

Player of the Year

Carsen Edwards, Purdue: 23

Also receiving votes: Ethan Happ, Wisconsin: 4; Charles Matthews, Michigan: 1

Freshman of the Year

Romeo Langford, Indiana: 28

All-conference                

Carson Edwards, Purdue: 28

Ethan Happ, Wisconsin: 28

James Palmer Jr., Nebraska: 23

Cassius Winston, Michigan State: 16

Juwan Morgan, Indiana: 12

Also receiving votes: Nick Ward, Michigan State: 9; Jordan Murphy, Minnesota: 7; Romeo Langford, Indiana: 6; Charles Matthews, Michigan: 5; Anthony Cowan Jr., Maryland: 4; Isaiah Livers, Michigan: 1; Zavier Simpson, Michigan: 1

The voting panel consisted of 28 writers with two from each beat in the Big Ten. Here’s who participated this year:

Scott Richey – Illinois | Champaign News-Gazette

Jeremy Werner – Illinois | Scout

Alex Bozich – Indiana | Inside the Hall

Zach Osterman – Indiana | Indianapolis Star

Mark Emmert – Iowa | The Des Moines Register

Chad Leistikow – Iowa | The Des Moines Register

Emily Giambalvo – Maryland | Washington Post

Patrick Stevens – Maryland | The Athletic

Nick Baumgardner – Michigan | Detroit Free Press

Dylan Burkhart – Michigan | UMHoops

Graham Couch – Michigan State | Lansing State Journal

Brendan Quinn – Michigan State | The Athletic

Marcus Fuller – Minnesota | The Star Tribune

Ryan James – Minnesota | 247Sports

Chris Basnett – Nebraska | Lincoln Journal Star

Christopher Heady – Nebraska | Omaha World-Herald

Teddy Greenstein – Northwestern | Chicago Tribune

Shannon Ryan – Illinois/Northwestern | The Chicago Tribune

David Jones – Penn State | Harrisburg Patriot-News

Audrey Snyder – Penn State | The Athletic

Nathan Baird – Purdue | Lafayette Journal & Courier

Brian Neubert – Purdue | Rivals

Adam Jardy – Ohio State | The Columbus Dispatch

Bill Landis – Ohio State | Cleveland.com

Jerry Carino – Rutgers | Asbury Park Press

Joshua Newman – Rutgers | Asbury Park Press

Jim Polzin – Wisconsin | Wisconsin State Journal

Jeff Potrykus – Wisconsin | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy