Nunn, Rice Earn Big Ten Honors
March 10, 2014
ROSEMONT, ILL. - The Big Ten men's basketball All-Conference teams and individual award winners were announced Monday. Illinois rookie Kendrick Nunn was selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, while junior Rayvonte Rice was an honorable mention All-Big Ten honoree by the league coaches and media.
Nunn earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team after improving throughout the season. He was the Illini's third-leading scorer in conference play, averaging 8.6 points. Nunn shot 47.1 percent from the field, and was sixth in the league in 3-point shooting at 43.9 percent. He moved into the starting lineup last month and averaged 12.1 points over the final eight games of the regular season. Nunn scored in double figures in five of those starts, setting a season-high with 19 points at Penn State (Feb. 9) and matching that effort with 19 at Minnesota (Feb. 19). On the season, Nunn is averaging 6.2 points and shooting 41.1 percent from behind the arc.
Rice was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection after carrying a heavy load for the Illini and standing as the only player in the conference to lead his team in points, rebounds and steals on the season. He is averaging 15.7 points, ranking eighth in the league in scoring. He has scored in double figures 27 times with nine 20-plus point performances, led by a career-high 29 points vs. Indiana (Dec. 31). Rice is 10th in the league in rebounding, averaging 6.1 boards. He also ranks seventh in the conference in steals with an average of 1.6 per game. Rice was named Big Ten Player of the Week twice, earning the honor on Dec. 2 and again Dec. 30.
Michigan's Nik Stauskas earned Big Ten Player of the Year honors from the conference's coaches and a media panel. Michigan head coach John Beilein claimed Coach of the Year laurels from the media while Nebraska head coach Tim Miles was named Coach of the Year by his peers. Indiana's Noah Vonleh picked up Freshman of the Year accolades from the coaches and media. Ohio State's Aaron Craft was named the Defensive Player of the Year while Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes was voted the Sixth Man of the Year by the coaches.
Stauskas was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and the media. Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble, Michigan State's Gary Harris, Nebraska's Terran Petteway and Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky joined him on the first team for both the coaches and media.
Joining Nunn, Vonleh and Hayes on the coaches' All-Freshman Team were Michigan's Derrick Walton Jr. and Purdue's Kendall Stephens. Craft was joined on the All-Defensive Team by his teammate Shannon Scott, Harris, Purdue's A.J. Hammons and Wisconsin's Josh Gasser.
The Big Ten also announced 12 Sportsmanship Award Honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. This season's honorees are Illinois' Joseph Bertrand, Indiana's Will Sheehey, Iowa's Mike Gesell, Michigan's Jon Horford, Michigan State's Denzel Valentine, Minnesota's Austin Hollins, Nebraska's Shavon Shields, Northwestern's Drew Crawford, Ohio State's Lenzelle Smith Jr., Penn State's Tim Frazier, Purdue's Travis Carroll and Wisconsin's Ben Brust.
The complete list of All-Conference honorees and individual award winners can be found here.