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Big Ten Basketball Week Nine Player of the Week Index

NCAA Basketball: Florida Atlantic at Minnesota Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has not been the most impressive conference in college basketball - to say the least. Despite the struggles of the conference as a whole, there is some true NBA talent hidden in the abyss. Here is a look at the five players who lead the pack for Big Ten player of the year honors.

5. Vincent Edwards - Purdue

Purdue is blessed with a variety of scoring options this year, but Vincent Edwards has been a true difference maker. Averaging almost 14 points and nine rebounds, the 6’8’’ forward is coming off another great showing against Lipscomb. He scored 23 points on 4 of 7 from three to go along with 15 rebounds.

Edwards has six double doubles on the season, and has excelled in big games. He had 17 points and 8 rebounds against Arizona, hitting all five of his threes. He’s god ideal size and can spread the floor with his great long rage shooting.

4. Ethan Happ - Wisconsin

Happ got the Badgers off on the right foot in confrence play when he led them over the Hoosiers thanks to his 28 points and nine rebounds, shooting 11 for 17 from the field.

Happ leads the team in both scoring and rebounding with 17.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. What’s also been notable for Happ, that has caught the attention of NBA scouts is his ability to score in big games. In his last three games against ranked opponents, Happ has scored 23, 21, and 19 points respectively shooting above 57 percent in each of them.

3. Nick Ward- Michigan State

Although his teammate may get all the glory, Nick Ward has been sensational for the Spartans. His effecient shooting is hard to comprehend. In his last four games he has missed just two shots. Two. Shots.

It looks like Bridges has some friendly competition from his own teammate for player of the year honors . The Sophomore has broken onto the scene, ranking second amongst the Spartans in both scoring and rebounding, in under 20 minutes per game no less. And of course, he leads the entire Big Ten in field goal percentage. The 6-foot 8-inch forward looks to be a major threat for the Spartans going forward, but his lack of production in big games so far leads me to be concerned with how he'll fair during conference play.

2. Miles Bridges - Michigan State

As the preseason Big Ten player of the year, Bridges did not light up the scoreboard early on in the way many predicted he would. Since his relatively slow start, Bridges has buckled down in the Spartans latest group of blow out wins. In his last performance Bridges was a beast on the glass when he absolutely dominated Savannah State grabbing 21 rebounds.

Bridges leads the Spartans in both scoring with rebounding with 17 and 7.8 respectively. He also recently had a 35 point outing against Houston Baptist, not the most fierce school on the schedule, but a good sign for Bridges to get hot before conference play.

Cassius Winston and Nick Ward have helped Bridges lead the Spartans to number on in both the AP and Coaches’ poll, but Bridges will be the team’s true ex factor going down the stretch.

1. Jordan Murphy - Minnesota

Jordan Murphy has been a double-double machine for the Golden Gophers this season. Literally. He has had a double-double in every single game so far.

Every. Single. Game.

He leads the Gophers in scoring (obviously) with 19.1 points a contest, and the entire nation in rebounds with over 12 per game.

On top of his Kevin-Love-on-the-Timberwolvesesque numbers, his team has been able to rattle off four consecutive wins before the start of conference play. I am excited to see this man play against tougher competition, before the Gophers squander their March Madness hopes.