Winning 16 of 18 games in Big Ten play usually means good things are coming your way when postseason awards are handed out, and that was the case on Monday night as the Badgers were featured prominently in the Big Ten Awards.
Senior center Frank Kaminsky was named the Big Ten Player of the Year in perhaps the most obvious of votes. He ended the regular season as the only player in major college basketball to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks.
Kaminsky joins some rare company in UW lore, as he is just the third player to be named the Big Tenâ€™s Player of the Year. His name will go alongside Devin Harris in 2004 and Alando Tucker in 2007 as the only Badgers to win the award.
It has been an interesting and well-documented rise from unheralded freshman to no-doubter Big Ten Player of the Year. Kaminsky also couldnâ€™t believe the rise when asked about it by BTN Liveâ€™s Mike Hall.
“I would have called you a liar, honestly,” Kaminsky said. “I couldnâ€™t have expected this, just the progression Iâ€™ve made throughout my career.
“Itâ€™s been awesome so far. Itâ€™s awesome to win this award and Iâ€™m really happy about it, but we know thereâ€™s a lot left in this season and hopefully weâ€™ll get some bigger awards.”
Head coach Bo Ryan was also honored by the Big Ten as the Co-Coach of the Year by his fellow coaches, but Marylandâ€™s Mark Turgeon was the pick of the media. It was the fourth Big Ten Coach of the Year honor for the Hall of Fame nominee.
Ryan was also named league coach of the year in 2002, â€™03 and â€™13.
The awards werenâ€™t done there though, as Kaminsky was also a first team selection. Joining him wereÂ Indianaâ€™s Yogi Ferrell, Ohio Stateâ€™s Dâ€™Angelo Russell, Iowaâ€™s Aaron White and Marylandâ€™s Dez Wells.
The media team featured Kaminsky, Russell, White, Ferrell and Marylandâ€™s Melo Trimble.
Sam Dekker was a unanimous second-team pick after averaging 13.1 points andÂ 5.5 rebounds per game and shooting 52.0% from the field.
The awards continued to pile up though, as Nigel Hayes was a unanimous third-team pick and senior guard Josh Gasser was named to the All-Defense team.