With the Big Ten creeping up on postseason, award season will soon be upon us. In the Big Ten conference, the most prestigious award is Big Ten Player of the Year, given to the conference’s most outstanding player. Last year, Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan took home the hardware.
This year, there are plenty of worthy candidates, but only one will take it home. Let’s take a look at the case for each of the hopeful candidates.
|Keita Bates-Diop||No. 16 Ohio State||19.5||8.8||1.6||22-7|
|Miles Bridges||No. 2 Michigan State||17||6.9||2.8||26-3|
|Tony Carr||Penn State||19.6||4.6||4.9||19-10|
|Carsen Edwards||No. 9 Purdue||17.4||3.8||2.9||24-5|
|Moritz Wagner||No. 17 Michigan||14.5||7.3||0.7||22-7|
*Stats as of Feb. 19 2018*
1.) Keita Bates-Diop
Not many people predicted Keita Bates-Diop being this good after a season ending injury last year but, for a while, Bates-Diop was the leading scorer in the conference. Now, he is second in the conference in scoring with 19.5 points per game, but the No. 16 Ohio State Buckeyes have shocked the conference. He has risen to the occasion in big moments for the Buckeyes this season, which is why Ohio State stands second in the conference. Bates-Diop once had a strong lead on this award, however, the pack has narrowed the gap in the recent weeks.
Signature Moment: The game-winning putback at No. 3 Purdue
2.) Miles Bridges
It is actually quite simple—Miles Bridges is the best player on the best team in the conference. Currently, Bridges averages 17 points per game for the Spartans, who have lost just three contests all year. Bridges has been a favorite to take home this award and has held up his end of the bargain so far. A strong performance down the stretch could catapult him to the award.
Signature Moment: Game winning three at No. 3 Purdue.
3.) Tony Carr
Penn State has been a surprise in the Big Ten this season. Sophomore guard Tony Carr has single handily carried the Nittany Lions to to sixth in the conference. The current leading scorer in the Big Ten will be a first round pick in the NBA if he decides to enter the draft. With Penn State needing some big wins down the stretch to make the NCAA Tournament, Carr has an opportunity to come out of nowhere and take home this award.
Signature Moment: The buzzer-beating three to beat No. 13 Ohio State on the road.
4.) Carsen Edwards
The sophomore guard has been excellent for the Boilermakers this season. Carsen Edwards currently leads Purdue in scoring with 17.4 points per game. Without Edwards, the No. 9 Boilermakers would not be near the top of the Big Ten. The biggest flaw with this resume is that Edwards has not had a signature moment this year.
Signature Moment: Yet to come, however he did have a nice dunk in No. 9 Purdue’s latest win against Penn State.
5.) Moritz Wagner
When you look at the statistics for Mortiz Wagner, they are not eye-popping. However, Wagner has proven to be the best player for No. 17 Michigan. Last season, the Wolverines got hot at the right time, won the Big Ten tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. A lot will have to happen for Wagner to win the award, but he is certainly a wild card in the race.
Signature Moment: Career-high 27 points in a win against No. 4 Michigan State.