Day Three of the Big Ten Tournament was another exciting one, highlighted by plenty of outstanding individual performances. The Big Ten’s stars shined the brightest on the biggest stage, setting up a much-anticipated championship matchup between in-state rivals Michigan and Michigan State. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman provide their all-Saturday team from Day Three of the Big Ten Tournament.
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DIENHART’S ALL-SATURDAY TEAM
Adreian Payne, Michigan State. The big fella was a force, hitting 7-of-10 shots for 18 points. He also chipped in four rebounds. When he is dialed in, there is no better big man in the conference.
Caris LeVert, Michigan. The thinny-thin quickster tallied 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. He also had a team-high eight rebounds in 37 minutes. His transformation into a star continues.
Nik Stauskas, Michigan. His shot was falling, as the Canadian sharp-shooter hit 6-of-12 attempts and 4-of-8 from long range to finish with a team-high 18 points.
Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin. Big Frank tried his best to lift the Badgers by Michigan State. He hit 9-of-16 shots for 28 points and had two boards.
LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State. He failed to notch a third consecutive double-double but still impressed with 19 points and six rebounds. Too bad he was 0-for-5 from 3-point range.
MERRIMAN’S ALL-SATURDAY TEAM
Caris LeVert, Michigan. This kid is becoming a rising star for the Wolverines. He had 17 points, eight rebounds and was 6-of-9 from the field in Michigan’s win over Ohio State. No one has improved as much from year one to year two as LeVert.
Nik Stauskas, Michigan. The Big Ten Player of the Year was terrific today, scoring a team-high 18 points and hitting 4-of-8 shots from 3-point range. Sure, he has a bit of cockiness about his game, but he can flat-out back it up.
LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State. While he didn’t notch a third straight double-double, he still had 19 points and six rebounds in 34 minutes of play. Have to believe that he is a lock for the all-tournament team.
Branden Dawson, Michigan State. His emergence makes Michigan State one of the toughest teams in the nation. The talented junior forward poured in 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Spartans 83-75 win over Wisconsin.
Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin. The Badgers’ big man was the best player on the court Saturday. He totaled 28 points and shot 9-of-16 from the field, albeit in a losing effort. His 28 points were the most of any Big Ten player on the day and also his highest scoring output against a conference opponent.