Men's Basketball

E.J. Liddell, Malaki Branham, Gain All-Big Ten Honors

The Ohio State Department of Athletics has issued the following statement.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State junior forward E.J. Liddell and freshman guard Malaki Branham have each earned All-Big Ten honors as announced by the conference on Tuesday. Balloting was done by the leagues 14 head coaches as well as members of the media.

Liddell earns first team honors for the second consecutive season. He is the 18th Buckeye to earn All-Big Ten honors multiple times and the first to be named first team All-Big Ten in back-to-back years since Jared Sullinger in 2011-12. Branham was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in addition to earning third team honors. Branham is the eighth Buckeye to be named the conference’s Freshman of the Year. Liddell also earned All-Defensive Team honors while Branham earned All-Freshman Team accolades.

Liddell is having a tremendous all-around season. He’s averaging 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.6 assists per game. He has scored in double figures in every game and has 12 games of 20 or more points. The Belleville, Ohio native has eight double-doubles on the year and is the only player in the country with averages at or above 19.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.5 assists.

Branham is averaging 13.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while shooting over 49 percent from the floor. He is one of just five freshmen national and one of only two from a Power 5 school to have multiple 30-point games this season, and both of his came on the road. Branham has really stepped up down the stretch of the season as he has scored in double figures in eight consecutive games.

Branham joins Jim Jackson (1990), Greg Simpson (1993), Michael Redd (1998), Greg Oden (2007), William Buford (2009), Jared Sullinger (2011) and D’Angelo Russell (2015) as Buckeyes to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He is also the first Buckeye rookie to earn All-Big Ten honors since Russell in 2015.

With Liddell and Branham’s selections, Ohio State now has 76 total All-Big Ten honorees (27 forwards, 32 guards and 17 centers).

Justin Ahrens was named Ohio State’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Honoree. The senior from Versailles, Ohio has made multiple three-pointers in a game 11 times this season and is six threes away from the Top 10 in program history. The Buckeye captain is averaging 5.3 points per game and is shooting over 36 percent from beyond the arc.

The No. 6-seed Buckeyes open Big Ten tournament play at approximately 9 p.m. ET Thursday (BTN) against the winner of the opening-round matchup between No. 11 seed Penn State and No. 14 seed Minnesota.