Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan Named Big Ten Player Of The Year

(AP) Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan is The Associated Press player of the year in the Big Ten Conference, and Minnesota’s Richard Pitino is its coach of the year.

Swanigan was a unanimous pick for both player of the year and the AP all-Big Ten team, also announced Tuesday, in voting by 13 journalists covering the conference.

Michigan State freshman Miles Bridges was the choice of all voters for newcomer of the year.

Joining Swanigan on the all-conference first team are Minnesota’s Nate Mason, Maryland’s Melo Trimble, Iowa’s Peter Jok and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ. Jok and Trimble were second-team picks in 2016.

Swanigan is second in the conference in scoring (18.7 points per game) and first in rebounding (12.6 per game), and he leads the country with 25 double-doubles. The 6-foot-9, 250-pound sophomore forward posted four 20-20 games for the Boilermakers, who won their first outright Big Ten regular-season championship since 1996.

Bridges, one of the nation’s most celebrated recruits last year, overcame an ankle injury early in the season to lead the Spartans with 16.6 points and 8.3 points per game.

Bridges is joined on the second team by Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr., Northwestern’s Bryant McIntosh, Illinois’ Malcolm Hill and Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy. Hill also was on the second team last year.

Under Pitino, Minnesota has flipped its record from 8-23 to 23-8, the biggest turnaround in the nation. With one of the youngest rosters in Division I, the Gophers went from 13th in the Big Ten, at 2-16, to fourth, at 11-7. The Gophers’ conference finish was their highest in 12 years, and their 11 league wins were their most since 1989-90.

The 2017 AP All-Big Ten team, with players listed with school, class, height, weight, and hometown (“u-” denotes unanimous selections):

FIRST TEAM

Nate Mason, Minnesota, Jr., 6-2, 190, Decatur, Georgia.

Melo Trimble, Maryland, Jr., 6-3, 185, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Peter Jok, Iowa, Sr., 6-6, 205, West Des Moines, Iowa.

u-Caleb Swanigan, Purdue, So., 6-9, 250, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Ethan Happ, Wisconsin, So., 6-10, 232, Milan, Illinois.

SECOND TEAM

Derrick Walton Jr., Michigan, Sr., 6-1, 190, Detroit, Michigan.

Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern, Jr., 6-3, 185, Greensburg, Indiana.

Malcolm Hill, Illinois, Sr., 6-6, 225, Fairview Heights, Illinois.

Miles Bridges, Michigan State, Fr., 6-7, 230, Flint, Michigan.

Jordan Murphy, Minnesota, So., 6-6, 240, San Antonio, Texas.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

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