Ohio State redshirt junior Keita Bates-Diop, a former University High School star, has been named Big Ten Player of the Year by conference coaches and media, the conference office announced Monday.
The forward becomes the Buckeyes’ seventh Big Ten Player of the Year and the first since Evan Turner in 2010.
Bates-Diop leads the 24-7 Buckeyes and ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring at 19.2 points per game and is tied for second at 8.9 rebounds per contest. He is sixth in the conference with 52 blocked shots in a team-high 32.7 minutes per game.
In 18 Big Ten games, Bates-Diop has averaged 19.4 points and 9.2 rebounds while blocking 30 shots. His 12 double-doubles this season are tied for second in the conference. The Buckeyes are 11-1 this year when he records a double-double.
Bates-Diop has been at his best in big games. He had 32 points, seven rebounds and three steals in an 80-64 win over top-ranked Michigan State on Jan. 7. He produced 18 points and 11 rebounds while scoring the game-winning putback with 2.8 seconds left in a 64-63 win at No. 3 Purdue on Feb. 7.
Bates-Diop also scored a career-high 35 points in a 65-57 win over Illinois on Feb. 4 and went for 24 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in a career-high 45 minutes in an 80-78 double-overtime win at Indiana in the regular season finale on Friday.
A member of the USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Player of the Year watch list and a Naismith Player of the Year and Julius Erving Award candidate, Bates-Diop was named Big Ten Player of the Week four times this season and earned Naismith Trophy, USBWA and NBCSports.com National Player of the Week honors on Jan. 8.
He is the 28th player in Ohio State history to eclipse 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. Bates-Diop is 38th in program history with 1,195 career points heading into this week's Big Ten Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York.
All-Big Ten teams: Bates-Diop and Miles Bridges of regular-season champion Michigan State were unanimous first-team all-conference selections by both the coaches and media.
The coaches also selected James Palmer Jr. of Nebraska, Tony Carr of Penn State and Carsen Edwards of Purdue to the first team. The media chose Bates-Diop, Bridges, Carr, Edwards and Wisconsin's Ethan Happ.
Jaren Jackson Jr. of Michigan State was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. Among those joining him on the All-Freshman Team was Trent Frazier of Illinois.
Illini junior Leron Black received honorable mention all-conference from the coaches and media, while Frazier was an honorable mention pick by the media.
Ohio State first-year coach Chris Holtmann was named the Coach of the Year by both groups.
The league also recognizes 14 Sportsmanship Award winners (one from each school). Illinois' representative was Aaron Jordan.