Michigan State guard Cassius Winston and Purdue coach Matt Painter on Monday won the Big Ten’s top men’s basketball awards. Winston swept Player of the Year and Painter swept Coach of the Year in separate voting done by league coaches and media.
Painter led the Boilermakers to a 16-4 record in the Big Ten standings for their second league title in three seasons. They shared the title with Winston’s Spartans.
It marks Painter’s fourth Big Ten Coach of the Year accolade, good for the third most in league history behind Purdue’s Gene Keady (seven) and Indiana’s Bobby Knight (five) and tied with Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan.
The Boilers entered the year with just one returning starter and opened the season with a 6-5 record following a loss to Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic. Since that loss, the Boilers have won 17 of their last 20 games.
Painter owns a 318-157 record in 14 years at Purdue and has moved into the all-time Big Ten top 10 wins list. His 10 NCAA Tournament appearances at Purdue are the sixth most in league history entering this season.
Purdue has been the Big Ten’s best program over the last three years, posting a 45-11 league mark during that span.
Purdue junior guard Carsen Edwards was voted unanimously to the All-Big Ten first team on both coaches and media ballots. Edwards and Michigan State’s Winston were the only unanimous selections on either ballot.
Edwards became the first Purdue player since E’Twaun Moore (2010, 2011) to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors in consecutive seasons after leading the Big Ten in scoring (21.4 points per game) and 3-pointers (60) in league games only.
Edwards enters this week’s Big Ten Tournament with a 23.4 scoring average for all games, tops in the Big Ten and the most for a Big Ten player since Michigan State’s Shawn Respert in 1995 (25.6).
Edwards recently moved into 10th place on the Purdue career scoring list and his 1,770 points are the most for a Purdue player in school history through his junior season.
Earlier Monday, Edwards was named a Sporting News third-team All-American, making him the first Purdue player since Glenn Robinson in 1993-94 to earn All-America honors in consecutive seasons.
The media had Winston, Edwards, Maryland’s Bruno Fernando, Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ on its first team. The coaches had Winston, Edwards, Fernando, Happ and Penn State’s Lamar Stevens.
Indiana’s Romeo Langford made the coaches second team and the media’s third team. Teammate Juwan Morgan joined him on the media’s third team. Langford made the coaches All-Freshman team and Purdue’s Nojel Eastern made the coaches All-Defense team. (The media does not pick all-freshman and all-defense teams).
The coaches selected Penn State’s Josh Reaves as Defensive Player of the Year, Michigan’s Ignas Brazdeikis as Freshman of the Year and Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman as Sixth Player of the Year. The media also chose Brazdeikis as the top freshman and did not have the other awards.
OSU CLEARS WESSON
Ohio State center Kaleb Wesson will play in the Big Ten tournament after missing the last three games because of a suspension.
Coach Chris Holtmann announced the status of his star player Monday during a Big Ten coaches’ conference. No. 8 seed Ohio State opens against No. 9 seed Indiana on Thursday in Chicago.
Wesson was suspended March 1 for an unspecified violation of athletic department policy.
The 6-foot-9, 270-pound sophomore was Ohio State’s leading scorer and rebounder when he was suspended by Holtmann. Without Wesson, Ohio State lost at Purdue and Northwestern and then at home in the regular-season finale against Wisconsin.
MSU’S WARD TO PLAY
Nick Ward is expected to play for Michigan State at the Big Ten tournament nearly a month after having surgery on his left hand.
Ward is Michigan State’s second-leading scorer at 15.1 points a game and third-leading rebounder at 6.7 per game. He returned to school this season after putting his name in the NBA draft last year.
Coach Tom Izzo said Ward will practice with some contact this week while his surgically repaired hand protected in some way. The top-seeded Spartans will face the winner of the Ohio State-Indiana game on Friday in the conference quarterfinals in Chicago.
“I do expect Nick to play. How much? I don’t know,” Izzo said Monday. “I’m 99 percent sure he’s going to play unless there’s a setback.”
The Spartans (25-6, 16-4 Big Ten) won a share of their second straight conference championship with Ward out for the last five games and third-leading scorer Joshua Langford missing the last 18 games with an injured left foot that needed season-ending surgery.