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March 8, 2007

All-Big Ten Team: Living up to the hype

And a pair of freshmen shall lead them.

Turns out they'll lead them well, too.

Former high school teammates Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. have more than lived up to the hype. Coming to Ohio State together from Indianapolis Lawrence North, Oden and Conley took the Big Ten by storm. The former five-star prospects have helped the Buckeyes (27-3, 15-1) not only to the top seed in the conference tournament, but to the top ranking in the country.

For their efforts, they're two-fifths of the Rivals.com All-Big Ten first team.

Oden has done what he was expected to do. The 7-foot center averaged 15.3 points and led the Big Ten in rebounding, blocked shots and field-goal percentage. He was a difference-maker on defense from the first time he took the court in December after missing seven games because of surgery on his right (shooting) wrist.

The revelation was Conley, who made a seamless transition to the college game. He has proven to be a consummate floor general, getting the ball to open teammates and knowing when to take it himself.

However, our All-Big Ten first team is not entirely about the new faces. Our team also features a couple of seniors who have left an indelible mark on the conference. Here are the Rivals.com All-Big Ten basketball teams for 2006-07:

Rivals.com 2006-07 All-Big Ten First Team Rivals.com 2006-07 All-Big Ten Second Team
G Mike Conley Jr.
Ohio State, Fr., 6-1, 180
The newcomer led the Big Ten in assists (6.4 per game) and had a 3-1 assist/turnover ratio. He averaged 10.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and a league-leading 2.3 steals.
G Roderick Wilmont
Indiana, Sr., 6-4, 203
The senior turned up his game in Big Ten play. He finished with averages of 12.8 points and 5.9 rebounds, including consecutive double-doubles to end the season.
G Drew Neitzel
Michigan State, Jr., 6-0, 180
The left-hander raised his scoring average 10 points from last season to finish fourth in the Big Ten (18.3 per game). He shot 41 percent on 3-pointers despite taking more than any other Big Ten player.
G David Teague
Purdue, Sr., 6-5, 196
The yin to Carl Landry's yang, he helped propel the Boilermakers to a tie for fourth in the league by averaging 14.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
G Adam Haluska
Iowa, Sr., 6-5, 210
The leader of the Hawkeyes led the Big Ten in scoring (20.8 points), including consecutive 30-point games in victories over Indiana and Minnesota.
G Lawrence McKenzie
Minnesota, Jr., 6-2, 180
When the shots are falling McKenzie can fill it up with anyone in the league. He was seventh in scoring (15.3 points) and fifth in 3-pointers made.
F Alando Tucker
Wisconsin, Sr., 6-6, 205
The Badgers' go-to guy earned league player of the year honors from the coaches and media after averaging 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists.
F Carl Landry
Purdue, Sr., 6-7, 252
One of the league's most consistent performers, he finished in the top four in the league in scoring (fourth at 18.7), rebounding (fourth at 7.1) and field-goal percentage (second at 60.1).
C Greg Oden
Ohio State, Fr., 7-0, 280
When you consider he played the entire season virtually one-handed after wrist surgery the numbers are sublime 15.3 points, 9.3 rebounds (tops in the conference) and 3.5 blocks (also led the Big Ten).
F D.J. White
Indiana, Jr., 6-9, 250
Returning from a broken foot that cost him all but five games last year, White averaged 13.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game to lead the Hoosiers.
Rivals.com 2006-07 Big Ten All-Freshman Team
G Mike Conley Jr., Ohio State, 6-1, 180: 10.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 6.4 apg
F Tyler Smith, Iowa, 6-7, 210: 14.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.7 apg
F Kevin Coble, Northwestern, 6-10, 200: 13.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.6 spg
F Raymar Morgan, Michigan State, 6-7, 225: 11.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg
C Greg Oden, Ohio State, 7-0, 280: 15.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 3.5 bpg

Rivals.com Big Ten Tournament Preview

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