Big Ten Women’s Basketball Honors Announced On BTN
Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell chosen as Player of the Year
ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Big Ten Conference announced its 2016-17 women’s basketball all-conference teams and individual award recipients on Monday during BTN’s Women’s Sports Report.
Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell was chosen as Big Ten Player of the Year by both the conference coaches and a select panel of Big Ten media members. Maryland’s Destiny Slocum was named Big Freshman of the Year by both the coaches and media, while Michigan’s Kim Barnes Arico took home Coach of the Year accolades from her colleagues as well as the media. In addition, the Big Ten coaches selected Northwestern’s Ashley Deary as Defensive Player of the Year and Ohio State’s Linnae Harper as the Sixth Player of the Year.
Mitchell, who was tabbed as the Big Ten Player of the Year by the conference coaches in 2014-15, helped Ohio State to a share of its 15th Big Ten Championship (first since 2010), leading the Big Ten and ranking fourth in the nation in scoring (23.4 ppg.), while standing second in the conference and fourth nationally with 3.33 three-point field goals per game. A four-time Big Ten Player of the Week with a conference-high five 30-point games this season, Mitchell ranks sixth on the conference’s all-time scoring list with 2,463 points, while placing fourth in Big Ten history with 353 career three-point field goals, 12 shy of the record set by Penn State’s Maggie Lucas from 2010-14.
Mitchell is the seventh Buckeye student to earn Big Ten Women’s Basketball Player of the Year honors from either the coaches or media.
Slocum was part of a six-player freshman class that helped Maryland to a share of its third consecutive Big Ten title. She was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week back on Nov. 21 after scoring a season-high 25 points in her fourth career game a day earlier at Niagara. For the season, Slocum averaged 11.1 points and 6.0 assists per game, ranking second in the Big Ten in the latter category. She is the first Terrapin chosen as Big Ten Freshman of the Year since Maryland joined the conference prior to the 2014-15 season.
Barnes Arico was selected as Big Ten Coach of the Year after guiding Michigan to a school record-tying 22 wins, including 11 conference victories, and a third-place Big Ten finish, the Wolverines’ best conference showing since a tie for third place in 2010-11. That season also marked the last time Michigan earned the No. 3 seed for the Big Ten Tournament. Barnes Arico is the third Wolverine mentor to earn Big Ten Coach of the Year plaudits, and the first since 2000, when Sue Guevara was the media’s choice for the award.
Deary received the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honor for the second consecutive season, becoming the third student to earn the award twice and the first since Ohio State’s Shavelle Little in 2008 and 2009. The first Wildcat chosen for the honor, Deary leads the Big Ten in steals again this year with 3.86 per game (112 total), ranking third in the nation while adding to her Big Ten record of 423 career steals. Deary also is tops in the Big Ten and 15th nationally in assists (6.5 apg.) and has led Northwestern to a 19-10 record and 8-8 mark in conference play.
Harper is the first Ohio State student to earn the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year trophy. Despite not seeing the floor until December as a midseason transfer and coming off the bench in 19 games since then, Harper averaged 8.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, standing fifth on the team in scoring and third in rebounding. She also scored in double figures seven times, adding two double-doubles for good measure.
Mitchell joined Maryland’s Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, and Michigan State’s Tori Jankoska, as unanimous first-team selections by both the coaches and media. In addition, Michigan’s Katelynn Flaherty was a unanimous first-team choice by the coaches and Northwestern’s Nia Coffey was a unanimous first-team pick by the media. The conference’s All-Big Ten teams consist of 10 first-team honorees, 10 second-team selections and honorable mention choices.
The Big Ten also recognized 14 Sportsmanship Award recipients. The students chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These students must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
The complete All-Big Ten teams, as well as a list of other honorees can be found on the attached PDF