Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, February 23, 2013

Last week, my colleague Tom Dienhart and I debated the frontrunner for Big Ten Player of the Year. Hours after leading No. 1 Indiana over No. 5 Michigan State, Victor Oladipo was my selection.

Not only does the guy do it all, he does it for the Big Ten's best team. My only question is: Does he score enough? Right or wrong, scoring often is what decides who brings home the hardware.

At 14 points per game, it's not like Oladipo struggles to put the ball in the basket. That said, there are seven Big Ten players who average more than him, including teammate Cody Zeller (16.6).

[ RELATED: View our Victor Oladipo news archive ]

Let's look at some history to get a better feel for this topic. Going back to the 1995-96 season, only two players have averaged fewer points than Oladipo and won Big Ten Player of the Year – Mateen Cleaves (11.7 in 1998-99) and Dee Brown (13.3 in 2004-05).

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Not surprisingly, Cleaves and Brown both led their teams to the Big Ten title in their award-winning seasons. Like those two former stars, Oladipo could benefit from team success – even if he isn't the point guard of the title team.

Take away Cleaves and Brown's seasons, though, and the 17 other players to win Big Ten Player of the Year since 1995-96 (there were ties in 1998-99 & 1999-2000) have combined to average 17.6 points per game.

That's quite a bit more than Oladipo. But the Indiana junior makes up for it with superb peripherals, including field goal percentage (64 percent) and defense (2.4 spg, 0.8 bpg).

Given all that Oladipo does and the way in which he impacts the game, this race figures to come down to – surprise, surprise – the Big Ten standings. If Indiana holds on to win the crown, Oladipo should claim at least a share of the conference's top honor.

Big Ten Player of Year (since 1995-96)
2011-12: Draymond Green, Michigan State – 16.2 ppg
2010-11: JaJuan Johnson, Purdue – 20.5
2009-10: Evan Turner, Ohio State – 20.4
2008-09: Kalin Lucas, Michigan State – 14.7
2007-08: D.J. White, Indiana – 17.4
2006-07: Alando Tucker, Wisconsin – 19.9
2005-06: Terence Dials, Ohio State – 15.3
2004-05: Dee Brown, Illinois – 13.3
2003-04: Devin Harris, Wisconsin – 19.5
2002-03: Brian Cook, Illinois – 20.0
2001-02: Jared Jeffries, Indiana – 15.0
2000-01: Frank Williams, Illinois – 14.9
1999-2000: Morris Peterson, Michigan State – 16.8; A.J. Guyton, Indiana – 19.7
1998-99: Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State – 11.7; Scoonie Penn, Ohio State – 16.9
1997-98: Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State – 16.1
1996-97: Bobby Jackson, Minnesota – 15.3
1995-96: Brian Evans, Indiana – 21.2

About Brent Yarina web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men's basketball for He writes the popular uniform feature "Clothes Call," which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina's RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.