Michigan State senior guard Denzel Valentine will find out today if he is Big Ten player of the year.
The Spartans will play in the quarterfinals Friday night against the victor of the Ohio State-Penn State game.
“It was everything I expected and more”, the senior point guard said.
His performance was the biggest factor in Michigan State going 26-5 and tying a school record for regular-season wins. Greg Gard was great down the stretch at Wisconsin, but Crean won the league in a year when it felt like a foregone conclusion that the league title would go to Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans.
The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will open play Wednesday with the first game on the agenda No. 12 IL facing No. 13 Minnesota at 3:30 p.m. Play will be held at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
“I’m ready; I love tournament time”, Valentine said.
York hit a career-high nine 3-pointers, tying a school record set by Salim Stoudamire in 2005.
Izzo later got emotional during the postgame celebration, honoring the seniors and their families. You basically can’t sleep this month, you’re just so excited.
The moment we have all be waiting for has finally come: Denzel Valentine has been named the Big Ten player of the year.
With Valentine running the show, anything is possible for these Spartans. The back out of Hubbard, Ohio, ran for 699 yards and 11 touchdowns previous year in a shared role with Gerald Holmes and Madre London. “I don’t know of many guys that have improved in every aspect of the game like he has”.
Ohio State, the nation’s No. 2 scoring team (87.5 points), had only 12 baskets and two 3-pointers through the first three quarters, and the Buckeyes couldn’t get closer than 20 until they made it 78-59 with 3:21 left in the game.
Brandon Taylor chipped in 11 points and Jordan Loveridge added 10 points for the Utes.
“We were fixated on one thing defensively too much”, said Ohio State coach Thad Matta, whose team might need a win or two in the Big Ten tournament to receive an NCAA bid.
“Rotation-wise, we weren’t where we needed to be”.
“I think I’m a lot better coming off screens, getting open now”, he said.
If the Ohio State basketball team wants to make the NCAA Tournament, the Buckeyes are going to have to go through Michigan State sooner than they would have hoped.
Matt Costello, who was also named to Seth Davis’ all-glue team, averaged 10.5 points and 8.5 rebounds.
Ohio State shot 51.9 percent from the floor during the first half but 47-37.
Rutgers finished on the bottom of the Big Ten with just a single conference win. “They were rolling for 40 minutes”.
It had to be disheartening for a team that was playing as well as they had all season on the offensive end to still be on the cusp of being blown out.
“But it wasn’t meant to be because they did not miss”.