Neitzel Named First-Team All-Big Ten By League’s Coaches

By: Michigan State University
By: Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State senior guard Drew Neitzel was named First-Team All-Big Ten by the league’s coaches, the Big Ten Conference announced on Monday, March 10. This is the second-straight season that Neitzel has been a first-team all-league honoree. He also earned a spot on the media’s second team, where he is joined by sophomore forward Raymar Morgan. Morgan made the All-Big Ten Second Team as selected by both the media and coaches. Junior guard Travis Walton made the All-Defensive Team for the second consecutive season. Freshman guard Kalin Lucas earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors from both the media and coaches. Neitzel was MSU’s Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree.

This season, Neitzel is averaging 13.4 points and 4.2 assists. He ranks third in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.07-to-1). For his career, Neitzel ranks 15th in MSU career scoring (1,448). He currently ranks fourth in career assists (565), second in career free-throw percentage (.859), and third in 3-point field goals made (255) and 3-point field goals attempted (639). He leads the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio, ranks fourth in assists, seventh in scoring, and fourth in 3-point field-goals made (2.55 pg).

Joining Neitzel on the coaches’ all-conference team are Eric Gordon and D.J. White of Indiana, Purdue’s Robbie Hummel and Wisconsin’s Brian Butch. Ohio State’s Jamar Butler switched spots with Neitzel for the media’s first team, as Neitzel found a home on the second team. White was the unanimous selection for the coaches’ Player of the Year, while also picking up the honor from the media. The media and coaches also agreed in naming Gordon Freshman of the Year and Purdue’s Matt Painter Coach of the Year. In addition, the coaches named Wisconsin’s Jason Bohannon Sixth Man of the Year and Purdue’s Chris Kramer Defensive Player of the Year.

Morgan leads the Spartans in scoring (15.0 ppg), field goals made (171) and free throws made (113) and attempted (164), ranks second in rebounding (6.3 rpg) and field goals attempted (297), third in blocks (15) and fourth in steals (27). He is second on the team with three double-doubles. The Canton, Ohio, native ranks fourth in the Big Ten in scoring, eighth in rebounding, and third in field-goal percentage (.576). He earned Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors last season.

Walton is a repeat member of the All-Defensive Team. He is joined by Kramer, Wisconsin’s Michael Flowers and Joe Krabbenhoft and Michigan’s Ekpe Udoh. He has recorded 29 steals, but more importantly, his defense frustrated many opponents, making life difficult for some of the premier perimeter players in the league. MSU’s defense has held 16 of 31 opponents below 40 percent field-goal shooting.

Lucas has turned in a good freshman campaign, averaging 9.8 points and 3.9 assists. Over the last 21 games, he is averaging 11.2 points and 3.9 assists, scoring in double figures in 12 of the 21 contests. He has led MSU in scoring in six of the last 21 games. Lucas burst onto the national scene against Texas (Dec. 22) with an 18-point, six-rebound, six-assist effort, leading the team in points and assists. In conference games, Lucas averaged 10.6 points, shooting .447 from the field and .379 from 3-point range. With 120 assists, Lucas ranks fourth all-time among Spartan freshmen, 26 behind Mateen Cleaves and Scott Skiles in second place. Over the last six games, Lucas has 28 assists and five turnovers.


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