Denzel Valentine Big Ten Player of the Year
On Monday, the Big Ten Conference unveiled it's yearly basketball awards and Michigan State came away with an impressive piece of hardware.
Denzel Valentine has been named the Big Ten Player of the Year and a unanimous all-Big Ten first teamer by both the coaches and the media. In other words, water is still wet.
Valentine has had a monstrous senior season as the catalyst of a top five team in the nation with 19.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and shooting 45% from three and 84% from the charity stripe.
“There were some other great candidates especially Yogi Ferrell and Jarrod Uthoff, but I think Denzel is very deserving of the award,” said MSU head coach Tom Izzo. “If you look at all categories, Denzel had a tremendous year. What’s really impressive about his season is that not only did he miss some games due to injury and come back at a higher level, he also had teammates miss time because of injury and he was able to excel while playing a completely different position.
Izzo continued: "As impressive as Denzel’s stats are, when you take into account his leadership, which has always been a strength, and his defense, which has greatly improved, he’s really the complete package.”
From an official press release, Valentine is the eighth Spartan to earn Big Ten Player of the Year honors, joining Jay Vincent (1981), Scott Skiles (1986), Shawn Respert (1995), Mateen Cleaves (1998, 1999-coaches), Morris Peterson (2000-coaches), Kalin Lucas (2009) and Draymond Green (2012).
Earlier this year, Valentine became just the fourth different Spartan to record a triple double and became the third to post multiple triple doubles in his college career, doing so against Kansas and Boston College this season.
Other seniors getting recognition from the Big Ten include Bryn Forbes as a unanimous second team selection for the Big Ten, and Matt Costello as a second teamer with the media and third team with the coaches in the Big Ten.
For more information on the Spartans award winners click here.