D.J. Newbill Snubbed From All-Big Ten First Team
On Monday, the Big Ten announced its end of season honors. Newbill, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, received All-Big Ten second team honors from both the coaches and media.
Newbill was snubbed from a first team that included Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell, Iowa’s Aaron White, Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell, Maryland’s Dez Wells (coaches only), and Melo Trimble (media only). He led not only the Big Ten, but all five of the power conferences in scoring with 20.7 points per game this season. Time and time again, he got it done against the best teams in the conference:
— Penn State Hoops (@PennStateMBB) March 9, 2015
Newbill finished the regular season ranked eighth nationally in scoring with 20.7 points per game. Within the conference, his closest competition was Russell, who trailed Newbill by 45 points in the same number of games.
Newbill’s snub is clearly a direct reflection of Penn State’s disappointing season. The Nittany Lions finished above .500 at 16-15, but after a promising non-conference start they fell apart in Big Ten play with a 4-14 conference record.
Despite the Lions’ struggles, these end of season lists should be a reflection of performance and few players performed like Newbill. Even fewer had more weight put on their shoulders, as Newbill played a conference-high 37 minutes per game. Perhaps Newbill’s statistics were slightly inflated by that extra playing time, but there’s likely no player in the Big Ten that was more valuable to his team. He singlehandedly helped the team stay competitive on many occasions, providing a one-man offensive wrecking machine when the Lions needed it most.
Newbill proved he deserved a first team nod, doing everything Pat Chambers needed from him on a team that struggled to find consistent scoring from anyone else. His scoring average was the highest in the conference since the 2007-2008 season.
Frank Kaminsky even just said @PennStateMBB DJ Newbill was the most difficult player they faced ALL season. Gasser said the same.
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) March 9, 2015
Anyway, congrats to Newbill on the second team honor. Penn State opens the Big Ten tournament on Wednesday as the 13th-seed against No. 12 Nebraska.