As we enter February the picture is getting clearer of who the conference’s best players are. At this point, it looks like it will be an interesting fight between Keita Bates-Diop and Miles Bridges for the conference player of the year award. Although there is plenty of talent across the Big Ten, these two have consistently been the two most valuable players for their teams this far.
5. Carsen Edwards - Purdue
Edwards had yet another strong showing for the Boilermakers, and continues to be the team’s leading scorer. In an easy win over Maryland, Edwards contributed with 17 points and three assists. He hasn’t been shooting as consistent over the past three games: under 45% in each. However, despite the cold shooting, he is still finding ways to make an impact and keep this team running like a well oiled machine.
4. Tony Carr - Penn State
Carr had yet another scoring outburst in a hard fought loss to the Spartans. I’m sure Carr would have preferred a victory, but his play in the loss is certainly something to take note of. It was his second 28 point performance in just three games, exemplifying his diverse scoring abilities. He is now tied with Bates-Diop as the conference scoring leader with 19.6 points per game, and fifth in the conference with just under five assists per game. Carr is keeping Penn state competitive as they try to navigate the remainder of their conference schedule, however with their ninth loss in the books, it is becoming less and less likely that we will get a chance to see Carr put his talents on display in the tournament.
3. Vincent Edwards - Purdue
Edwards didn’t have quite the scoring performance we’ve grown accustomed to in Purdue’s latest victory, however he still managed to contribute to the win with 11 rebounds. He still leads the team in rebounds an is second in points with over 15 per game. Combined with the other Edwards, the Boilermakers are flooded with talent, still yet to lose in conference play.
2. Mile Bridges - Michigan State
The Spartans had another scare against Penn State, but after some second half adjustments they were able to pull out the victory behind 22 points from Miles Bridges. He has been consistently performing at the high expectations the nation had for him heading into the year. Over the last five game he has been a force, averaging 22.2 points per game to go along with 7.2 rebounds.
1. Keita Bates-Diop - Ohio State
Following the crazy buzzer beating loss to Penn State, Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes to a bounce back victory with his ninth double-double of the season. As I mentioned before he is tied for first in the conference in points, and is third in rebounds with just under nine per game. At six-feet seven-inches and 235 pounds, Bates-Diop is a physical specimen that continues to put up big numbers game after game. The Buckeyes will look to ride his coattails through the end of the season, with hopes of making a big push come march.