Illini Wonk
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
  The Awards, Please!
Today, much of the buzz as the conference prepares for the Big Ten Tournament tomorrow is on the conference awards bagged by the Illini. Dee Brown, the heart and soul of top-ranked Illinois received news of his conference player of the year award from his mother Tuesday morning right after undergoing a root canal.

For his part, Brown thought his roommate, Head, would win and said he's never been into the individual stuff. Brown also won defensive player of the year and became only the third player to sweep those awards in the conference. Not content to simply give Brown the conference player of the year award, the Pantagraph's Randy Kindred says Brown is the most exciting player in the Illini's 100 years of basketball.

The "Three-Headed Monster"

Marlen Garcia wrote in the Chicago Tribune that with Brown joined on the first team by Luther Head and Deron Williams, it marked the first time since 1975 that at least three players from the same school had earned first-team honors. If you want to read about the two other Illini teams who placed three players on the all-conference team, go here.

The Trib

The Chicago Tribune writers mostly toed the line and gave their awards to Brown and Bruce Weber. The notable exception of the pack is John Mullin, who picks Carl Landry (yes, the one with the knee injury who won seven games) as his player of the year and Dan Monson (yes, the one who's team was 2-5 against the top 50 RPI and 6-6 in road and neutral games) as his coach of the year.

No Roger Left Behind

James Augstine made the third team and Roger Powell received an honorable mention. Weber said I just wish Roger would have squeezed in, because we really are a team.

That's why they play the games

Dick Vitale names his All-Rolls Royce Teams, placing Deron Williams on the second team and Dee Brown on the fourth. Bruce Weber is his coach of the year. Readers of this blog know that when Vitale posted his pre-season version, of these awards, there wasn't an Illinois player to be found in the top 25.
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