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March 7, 2011
Purdue cleans up in Big Ten awards
Listen: JaJuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore and Lewis Jackson talk All-Big Ten awards
For the first time since Glenn Robinson in 1994, Purdue has the Big Ten Player-of-the-Year, as senior JaJuan Johnson earned the coveted distinction Monday night.
Joined on the first-team All-Big Ten team by classmate E'Twaun Moore, Johnson won the award over fellow All-America candidates Jared Sullinger of Ohio State and Jordan Taylor of Wisconsin.
Johnson also won the Big Ten's Defensive Player-of-the-Year Award, keeping the award won twice by Chris Kramer in West Lafayette.
The 6-foot-10 center averaged 20.5 points per game this season, making him the first Boilermaker to lead the Big Ten in scoring in all games since Willie Deane in 2002 and the first to lead the conference in scoring in both all games and league games since Robinson in '94.
The leading scorer and rebounder for the Big Ten's runner-up, Johnson was a driving force for a Purdue team that lost two-time first-team All-Big Ten player Robbie Hummel to a preseason injury, yet still won 25 regular season games and entered its finale at Iowa still in contention for a share of the conference's regular season title.
Joining Johnson as a first-team all-conference selection for the second time was classmate Moore, honored as a first-team pick for the second consecutive season; Johnson was previously named to the first team after his sophomore season.
With the double first-team honor, those remaining from Purdue's 2007 signing class become what's believed to be the first class ever in Big Ten history to produce three multi-year first-team all-league selections.
If Hummel makes first-team All-Big Ten as a fifth-year senior, he'll become only the 12th player in league history to do so and Purdue's first.
Purdue coach Matt Painter was recognized as Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year for the third time in four seasons, after guiding Purdue to a 25-6 regular season record and a second-place finish in the conference.
Painter won the Coach-of-the-Year award outright in 2008 and shared it last season with Ohio State's Thad Matta, who earned the nod from the media while Painter won it from the coaches.
Johnson's obvious inclusion on the Big Ten's All-Defense team was his third such commendation in as many seasons, likely an expected one for a player who led the league in shot-blocking.