Big Ten's Most Valuable Players
Frank Williams of Illinois voted the best in the conference
March 22, 2001
The Chicago Tribune's Silver Basketball Award has been
given to the Big Ten's most valuable player each year
since 1946. This year's award (2001) went to Illinois
sophomore guard Frank Williams. Williams is the fifth
Illini player to be so honored and the first since Jim Dawson
Williams joins a veritable who's who of former winners,
including Ohio State's Jerry Lucas from 1960-1962,
Michigan's Cazzie Russell 1965-1966, Minnesota's Jim
Brewer in 1972, Michigan State's Magic Johnson in
1979, Indiana's Steve Alford in 1987, and Michigan
State's Mateen Cleaves in 1998-1999.
1946: Max Morris, F, Northwestern... 1947: Glen Selbo,
G, Wisconsin... 1948: Murray Wier, F, Iowa... 1949:
Dike Eddleman, F, Illinois... 1950: Don Rehfeldt, C,
Wisconsin...1951: Don Sunderlage, G, Illinois... 1952:
Chuck Darling C, Iowa... 1953: Don Schlundt, C, Indiana
... 1954: Johnny Kerr, C, Illinois... 1955: Chuck Mencel,
G, Minnesota... 1956: Robin Freeman, G, Ohio State...
1957: Archie Dees, C, Indiana... 1958: Archie Dees, C,
Indiana... 1959: John Green, C, Michigan State.
1960: Jerry Lucas, C, Ohio State... 1961: Jerry Lucas, C,
Ohio State... 1962: Jerry Lucas, C, Ohio State... 1963:
Gary Bradds, C, Ohio State... 1964: Gary Bradds, C,
Ohio State... 1965: Cazzie Russell, G, Michigan... 1966:
Cazzie Russell, G, Michigan... 1967: Jim Dawson, G.
Illinois... 1968: Sam Williams, F, Iowa... 1969: Rick
Mount, G, Purdue.
1970: Rick Mount, G, Purdue... 1971: Jim Cleamons, G,
Ohio State... 1972: Jim Brewer, C, Minnesota... 1973:
Steve Downing, C, Indiana... 1974: Campy Russell, F,
Michigan... 1975: Scott May, F, Indiana... 1976: Scott
May, F, Indiana... 1977: Kent Benson, C, Indiana...
1978: Mychal Thompson, C, Minnesota... 1979: Magic
Johnson, G, Michigan State.
1980: Mike Woodson, F, Indiana... 1981: Ray Tolbert, C,
Indiana... 1982: Clark Kellogg, F, Ohio State... 1983:
Randy Whitman, G, Indiana... 1984: Jim Rowinski, C,
Purdue... 1985: Roy Tarpley, C, Michigan... 1986: Scott
Skiles, G, Michigan State... 1987: Steve Alford, G, Indiana
... 1988: Gary Grant, G, Michigan... 1989: Glen Rice, F,
1990: Steve Smith, G, Michigan State... 1991: Jim Jackson,
G/F, Ohio State... 1992: Jim Jackson, G/F, Ohio State...
1993: Calbert Cheaney, F, Indiana... 1994: Glenn Robinson,
F, Purdue... 1995: Shawn Respert, G, Michigan State...
1996: Brian Evans, F, Indiana... 1997: Bobby Jackson, G,
Minnesota... 1998: Mateen Cleaves, G, Michigan State...
1999: Mateen Cleaves, G, Michigan State...
2000: Morris Peterson, F, Michigan State... 2001: Frank
Williams, G, Illinois.
Copyright 2007 basketballhistorian.com
Michigan State knocks down Temple 69-62... March 2001
From 'Detroit Free Press' by Mitch Albom, Sports Writer:
Atlanta -- With less than a minute left, the ball came off
the rim and Andre Hutson rose to it like, well, like a
Spartan. His big hands clamped, his elbows swung, and
He owned that ball, he owned it, never mind that three
Temple players tried to get it away from him, it was his,
the ball was green, the score was green, the day was
green, and the lights to the Final Four were turning
Get the boards, get the glory. With a philosophy that
is more like hockey -- dump it in, storm the rebounds,
good things will happen -- the machine that is Michigan
State basketball has rolled to the Biggest Dance again.
"Three Final Fours in three years," coach Tom Izzo said,
shaking his head in amazement, after his Spartans
ousted yet another team with a gimmick, this time
Temple and its ballyhooed wear-you-down defense, to
reach the final battlefield in its quest to defend the
"Even I have to give in to the idea that our program
now shows... consistency," coach Izzo continued.
Consistency? There are calendars that are less reliable.
The Spartans take you on, wear you down, bang you
sideways, and grab every shot that doesn't fall
through the rim.
It is true that every game, there seems to be another
hot hand, points-wise, and on Sunday afternoon it was
David Thomas, the senior from Canada, who scored a
career-high 19, including a crucial three-pointer, in the
But all you really need to know about Sunday's South
Regional final is this: in the last five minutes, the Spartans
crashed the boards so effectively, that Temple got just
one shot on all but one of its possessions.
The Spartans stepped over every pothole the critics could
dig and played the game they have been playing in 27
prior victories this season (2000-2001). Crash the boards,
clamp on the defense, depend on your leaders to find a
way to get points.
Here was Zach Randolph, the freshman, grabbing one
offensive board, then another, three in the final two
minutes alone, 14 rebounds for the day.
Here was Andre Hutson, the big man, making like a
guard, bounce-passing beautifully to Randolph for a
lay-up and Jason Richardson for another.
Here was Charlie Bell, the senior guard, spotting up
for a three. And here was David Thomas, battling
personal sorrow over a gravely ill cousin who is
dying from cancer, rising above it for the moment, not
only gunning long-range jumpers but slamming down
a rebound, then roaring to the crowd.
"I just got rolling," Thomas said, in typical MSU
Didn't they all? By the final horn, the Spartans had
43 rebounds to Temple's 27. They harassed Temple's
big gun, Lynn Greer, forcing him into 7-for-21
shooting. And they got the offense they needed from
Thomas (19), Bell (14), Hutson (11) and Richardson (11).
The eturn appearance of the men from East Lansing --
third time in three years -- creates the perception, and
a correct one, that this is a premier program now, this is
one of those teams that you expect to be there, this is
color, this Spartans green, that belongs in the Final Four,
the same way as the varying shades of blue that are
Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky.
What that does for future recruiting and team confidence
"The key was they were willing to work for it. They
worked and worked and worked," said coach Izzo.
And the result is, they have forged an identity of their
own. Here is their identity: They don't care about your
gimmick. They don't care about your seed. They have
seniors - Bell, Hutson, Thomas - who can play
level-headed. They have underclassmen - Richardson,
Randolph, Marcus Taylor - who can come on in star
bursts. They seem to mostly enjoy playing defense. And
they have a simple philosophy about the loose basketball
that more teams would win if they could adopt it.
That rebound is ours, and nobody else touches it.
Get the boards, get the glory.
Get the airplanes ready.
It's happening again.
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