Craft, Thomas Named Preseason All-Big Ten
By Brandon Castel
Photo by Jim Davidson
Junior point guard Aaron Craft and junior forward Deshaun Thomas were both named to the 2012-13 Preseason All-Big Ten Team Thursday morning at the Big Ten media day in Chicago.
Craft and Thomas represent two of the three returning starters at Ohio State for head coach Thad Matta, whose Buckeyes were picked third in the preseason poll by the media.
Indiana was tabbed as the preseason favorite in the Big Ten, with star center Cody Zeller being selected as a unanimous choice for the preseason All-Big Ten first team. Zeller was also selected as the conference’s preseason player of the year on Thursday after being named Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the conference coaches last year.
He was also a second-team All-Big Ten honoree by the coaches and media last season. Indiana returns all five starters and 11 total letterwinners from last year’s team that advanced to the Sweet 16 and finished with a 27-9 overall record. The Hoosiers are led by fifth-year head coach Tom Crean.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Zeller was joined on the preseason all-Big Ten team by Thomas and Craft, as well as Penn State’s Tim Frazier and Michigan point guard Trey Burke.
The Wolverines were picked as the No. 2 team in the Big Ten behind Indiana and ahead of Ohio State. Michigan welcomes back three starters from last year’s NCAA Tournament squad that won a share of the Big Ten title. Head Coach John Beilein enters his sixth year with the program and returns a pair of All-Big Ten selections in Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. Burke was the media’s selection for Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season.
Ohio State returns three starters from last year’s Final Four squad. The Buckeyes won a share of last year’s Big Ten title and are led by ninth-year head coach Thad Matta. Craft and Thomas both earned All-Big Ten recognition a season ago, while Craft was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.
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