Michigan is a football school.
Let’s try that again.
Michigan is a basketball school. Better. Now, the Wolverines will forever be remember for their winged helmet and storied tradition on the gridiron, but that doesn’t mean basketball is nonexistent. They have been at the top of the Big Ten for 3 years in a row, winning at least a share of two of the conference championships in those years. A lot of things could be held responsible for that; Good coaching, good play, and talent coming in each year. That is what has helped Michigan basketball be relevant again, really the first time in duration since the Fab Five. It was the same case last year, with Trey Burke winning the Player of the Year, and leading the Wolverines to the National Title Game. Coach John Beilien has the same recipe for success this season, and it showed once again.
|All Big Ten Award Winners. Photo Credit-Michigan Basketball|
Nik Stauskas has won the Big Ten Player of the Year award. He was one of, if not the biggest reason for the Wolverines success this season, and he has been rewarded for his efforts. Stauskas should also be considered in the race for National Player of the Year, but that will come in time.
Derrick Walton Jr. Named Big Ten Freshman All-Freshman Team on Monday. Walton Jr. did not have an easy start in his freshman season, but when he laced up his shoes against Michigan State on January 25th, something changed.
Walton Jr. was responsible for 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in that game; eventually helping the Wolverines take down the Spartans, then ranked number 3 in the nation. He was one of the biggest factors in that game, and since then has showed the conference that he is not messing around.
Michigan’s Head Coach John Beilien has won the Big Ten Coach of the Year in a year that most expected a down season. The hardest part to wrap my head around is how he continues to make diamonds out of players that were written off after they graduated high school. Players like Nik Stauskas, Spike Albrecht and Caris LeVert were not expected to do half of what they have done for the program, and that is all due to hard work, and coaching. Beilien, like Stauskas, will be in contention for a national award, when he makes his case for National Coach of the Year.
Overall, Michigan had 4 players receive praise from the Big Ten Conference, and also their head coach. Glenn Robinson III was an Big Ten Team Honorable Mention, Nik Stauskas was a 1st team selection, (unanimous) Caris LeVert was a 2nd team selection, and Derrick Walton was named to the Freshman team. It has been a nice season for the Wolverines, but they still have more to work on, and more to build on now.