Last night featured an incredible duel between two players on this list. Back to back ridiculous shots by Bates-Diop and Tony Carr exemplified the true talent and excitement that this conference puts on display.
While the front runner for player of the year is undoubtedly Bates-Diop, there are plenty of players with a lot of talent and incredible numbers, giving the Buckeye little breathing room.
There are a number of players putting up great stats on terrible teams. However, players of the year typically come from teams that win, so while this list may appear to leave off some qualified names, there is a strong emphasis on winning that is taken into account. That being said, let’s take a look at which players have been leading the pack.
5. Carsen Edwards - Purdue
Edwards has continued to be a consistent option for the Boilermakers as they continue their march of dominance through the inferior competition of the Big Ten. He put up 13 points in last night’s win over Michigan, as well as 22 and eight assists in the previous win over Iowa. He currently leads the team with 17 points per game, but is neck and neck with the other Edwards as the team’s scoring leader.
4. Tony Carr - Penn State
Tony Carr has established himself as one of the most prolific scorers in the conference. He led the Nittany Lions to a wild upset victory on the road in Columbus with an insane 40-foot heave at the buzzer to walk it off. Whether he called “bank” on the game winner remains to be seen, but the incredible shot capped off a 28-point performance. He currently ranks second in the conference with 19.4 points per game, as well as fourth in assists with just under five per game.
3. Vincent Edwards - Pudue
Vincent, not to be confused with Carsen, Edawrds has been the best player for the best team in the conference. In last night’s win over Michigan, he had perhaps his best performance of the season with 30 points. He continues to help the team in all aspects as he is second in points and first in rebounds.
2. Miles Bridges - Michigan State
It seems as though Bridges struggles are now a distant memory as his excellent play has reignited the Spartans team that got off to a rocky start in conference play. Bridges has turned it around with his latest slate of performances that included a 31 point performance in the team’s latest victory over the Illini. Over the last three games, Bridges is averaging 24 points and 5.6 rebounds.
1. Keita Bates-Diop - Ohio State
Despite the heart wrenching loss last night, Bates-Diop turned in another magnificent outing with 25 points on 61 percent shooting. Before Carr nailed his wild game winner, Bates-Diop too hit a difficult game-tying shot while doing a split in the waning seconds of the game. Bates-Diop continues to distance himself from the competition in the race for Big 10 player of the year. He is a very skilled offensive talent, and has his way with opposing defenses. It took a wild shot to hand the Buckeye’s their first loss of conference play, but they will surely bounce back.