Well, the results are finally out. Trey Burke is Big Ten Freshman of the Year...kinda. Burke won Freshman of the Year in the media poll, but Cody Zeller from Indiana won in the coaches' poll. Zeller had an outstanding year, but Burke definitely seemed to have a better resume, especially if the voters were to consider that Michigan won the Big Ten Championship and Indiana finished in 5th place.
Along with this, Tom Izzo was named the Coach of the Year for the Big Ten in one of the most surprising picks I've ever seen. Certainly Michigan State was not predicted to win the Big Ten, but it's not as if anybody predicted Michigan to finish better than last year with a freshman point guard and actually win the conference championship. Beilein has done a fantastic job with this team and it's a shame that he hasn't gotten more appreciation for his work. Simply having the "best" team should not make you the coach of the year. Beilein's team is composed of players that most teams wouldn't even recruit, let alone win a conference championship in the best basketball conference in the country.
However, even though Burke did not win Freshman of the Year outright and Beilein was overlooked in shocking fashion, the All Big-Ten team selections were very, very questionable. Obviously, players like Sullinger and Green should be instant inclusions, but somehow the media and coaches decided that Jordan Taylor from Wisconsin and Tim Frazier from Penn State were better than Trey Burke. There is always room for opinion, but I was simply amazed by this selection.
Frazier was certainly a solid player on a horrible team, but that's important to note. Penn State was horrid this year in Big Ten play. They beat no Big Ten team of significance in 18 attempts. Burke was the key factor Michigan was able to defeat teams like Michigan State and Ohio State and won its first Big Ten title since 1986. Team success should not be the only factor, but it's not as if Burke didn't have the stats to back him up. He was consistently good all year.
I mean, look at the stats on that. Not only are Burke's stats comparable with Frazier''s, but his are actually better than those of Jordan Taylor. It simply does not make sense to pick Frazier or Taylor over Burke because he not only had individual success, but his team did great as well. Even look at the results. Neither Taylor nor Frazier were listed on both the Media and Coaches' All-Big Ten teams. That's right, Taylor was 1st All-Big Ten for the coaches, but didn't even make the media poll. Frazier did the same on the reverse. To me, this clearly shows how the inconsistency of these selections. The best point guard in the Big Ten is Jordan Taylor or Tim Frazier, but they don't even make the Top 3 on the other list? Something doesn't add up there.
Regardless, it was still a good night for Michigan as Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway were both listed as All-Big Ten selections and Burke won Freshman of the Year in the Media Poll. Perhaps in the future these selections will be less random, but Michigan will still have its championship rings to show, even if it didn't fare as well in these awards.
Photo Credit: AnnArbor.com