Sean Merriman, BTN.com web editor, June 11, 2015
Matthew Dellavedova has quickly become one of the biggest names in sports. The Cleveland Cavaliers' guard recently stepped into the starting lineup after star Kyrie Irving suffered a season-ending knee injury in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Over the past two games, Dellavedova has put up a combined 29 points and 10 rebounds, all while playing great defense on Golden State's dynamic backcourt of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
In less than a week's time, Dellavedova has gone from a reserve to one of the most-talked-about athletes on the planet.
Dellavedova's ascent got me thinking about the top reserves in recent Big Ten history. The conference introduced the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year in 2006, and of the 10 recipients, three of them have or currently play in the NBA, and several others could soon join that group.
I went ahead and ranked the Big Ten's 10 recipients, based on the success they had during the year they received the award.
1. Draymond Green, Michigan State
Sixth Man Award: 2010
2010 stats: 9.9 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 53 FG%
Current: Starting forward for the Golden State Warriors.
2. Daequan Cook, Ohio State
Sixth Man Award: 2007
2007 stats: 9.8 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 43 3P%
Current: Plays for SPO Rouen Basket of the LNB Pro A League in France.
3. Will Sheehey, Indiana
Sixth Man Award: 2013
2013 stats: 9.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.3 APG
Current: Plays professionally for Panionios in Greece.
4. Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Sixth Man Award: 2011
2011 stats: 7.0 PPG, 4.8 APG, 2.0 SPG
Current: Plays for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Developmental League.
5. Gabe Olaseni, Iowa
Sixth Man Award: 2015
2015 stats: 8.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.6 BLKPG
Current: Working out for the upcoming 2015 NBA Draft.
6. B.J. Mullins, Ohio State
Sixth Man Award: 2009
2009 stats: 8.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 64 FG%
Current: Plays for the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Developmental League.
7. D.J. Byrd, Purdue
Sixth Man Award: 2012
2012 stats: 8.9 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 43 3P%
Current: Works as a Real Estate Agent in Indiana.
8. Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
Sixth Man Award: 2014
2014 stats: 7.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 51 FG%
Current: Entering his junior season at Wisconsin. Hayes will be recognized as one of the top returning players in the Big Ten.
9. Jason Bohannon, Wisconsin
Sixth Man Award: 2008
2008 stats: 8.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 39 3P%
Current: Bohannon last played for USC Heidelberg in Germany in 2011.
10. Doug Thomas, Iowa
Sixth Man Award: 2006
2006 stats: 4.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 47 FG%
Current: Plays for the Mississauga Power of the National Basketball League of Canada.