Zach Osterman and Dustin Dopirak, both of whom I respect, are having a twitter conversation about all-conference awards. The conversation has arisen from this morning's Big Ten conference call, and specifically involves a discussion of Christian Watford's placement.
So I throw it out here for discussion. Here's my take:
First Team: Zeller, Oladipo, Thomas, Burke. I think that Watford belongs here, but it will likely be either Hardaway or Appling, depending upon where those two teams finish. And it's hard to argue with that. Payne may get a shot, too. As for Watford: if he maintains the trajectory of his play since the end of the Illinois game throughout the rest of the season, then he makes it easier for voters to put three guys from one team on the first team. Otherwise, it will likely go to one of the guys from MSU.
Second Team: The three who don't make first team of the group including Watford, Appling, Hardaway and Payne, plus two from the rest of this group (in order, I think): Craft, Brandon Paul, Aaron White, Trevor Mbakwe, Hollins (and don't ask me which one), Jared Berggren, Ben Brust, Reggie Hearn, Harris, Nix. This may depend upon who rises and falls in the conference rankings. Minnesota appears to be in free-fall. If Iowa and Illinois can play themselves into or over the bubble, then Paul and White should get the nod. Can Sheehey play himself into this group?
Freshmen: Yogi, Harris, McGary, Hammons. And then: Stauskus? Traevon Jackson?
POY: Burke. He's deserving. He may not be more deserving that either Zeller or O, but the reality is that both of those guys will split some votes. Besides, I'd rather have a conference championship. Give this to Burke as a consolation prize.
Defensive POY: O. Craft will get some love, but I think that this is Vic's to lose, now. Defensive first team (if there is such a thing): O, Craft, Mbakwe, Bruesewitz, and....Yogi? Nah, probably Nix or Payne.