Big Ten announces postseason honors
— Big Ten Women's Basketball (@B1Gwbball) February 29, 2016
The Big Ten Conference unveiled the women’s basketball All-Conference teams and individual award winners. Minnesota’s Rachel Banham was named Big Ten Player of the Year by the media and the coaches. Nebraska’s Jessica Shepard was honored as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the coaches and media, while Indiana’s Teri Moren was voted Coach of the Year by both the media and her peers. Northwestern’s Ashley Deary collected Defensive Player of the Year recognition and Maryland’s Brene Moseley was tabbed Sixth Player of the Year by the coaches only.
Banham became the Big Ten’s all-time scoring leader earlier this season and currently has 2,982 career points. The senior guard leads the Big Ten in scoring and ranks second nationally with 27.7 points per game. Banham set the Gophers’ record for three-pointers in a single season as she leads the conference with 107.
Shepard set a Big Ten record with 10 Freshman of the Week awards this season. She earned National Player of the Week when she produced one of the best efforts in school history with a freshman-record-tying 35 points and a career-high 20 rebounds at Michigan on Jan. 24.The freshman forward has recorded 16 performances of 20 or more points and 10 games with rebounding numbers in double figures. Shepard earns Nebraska’s first Freshman of the Year honor.
Indiana’s Teri Moren was tabbed Big Ten Coach of the Year after guiding the Hoosiers to the No. 4 seed at the Big Ten Tournament with a 12-6 conference record and a 20-10 overall mark. The last time Indiana entered the conference tournament as high as the No. 4 seed was in 1998. The Hoosiers were the only conference team to remain undefeated on its home court, going 14-0. Moren becomes Indiana’s first Big Ten Coach of the Year since 1983.
Northwestern’s Deary picks up Defensive Player of the Year laurels after breaking the Big Ten’s single-season steals record with a nation-leading 128 steals. The junior guard helped the Wildcats to a +5.8 turnover margin and a +1.3 assist/turnover ratio to lead the conference in both categories. Deary is the first Wildcat to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Moseley becomes the first Terrapin to earn Sixth Player of the Year honors. The senior guard leads the Big Ten with a +2.6 assist/turnover ratio. Moseley helped the Terrapins to their second consecutive Big Ten Championship, coming off the bench in 29 games with one start.
Michigan State’s Aerial Powers, Minnesota’s Banham and Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell were unanimous first-team selections by both the coaches and media, while Maryland’s Shatori Walker-Kimbrough was a unanimous pick by the coaches. The conference’s All-Big Ten teams consists of 10 first-team honorees, 10 second-team selections and honorable mention.