We’ve reached the midway point of our Big Ten Tournament potluck (days one and two here), and as a reward for sticking with us this long, I got you something special: a nice big slice of New York Style Cheesecake. (Strawberries are on the side, but go ahead and drizzle them on top if you’d like.)
The proper New York style cheesecake is made with either heavy cream or sour cream, which makes it more resilient to being frozen (this is why most grocery store cheesecakes are considered New York Style, though most are sweeter than the genuine article). Our friends at the Village Voice recommend Junior’s in Brooklyn for the best cheesecake in New York City, if you happen to be going any time soon. Have yourself a bite while we chew on today’s question:
To celebrate the first day of the Big Ten Tournament (only two games, but it counts), here’s an either/or/both set of questions for you. If you’ve been to a day at the BTT (any location) before, what’s your best memory from it? Alternately, who is your pick for player of the year in the Big Ten this season?
WSR: POTY has to be Bates-Diop, doesn’t it? This seems pretty simple.
Graham: My POTY is KBD. Individually won a couple games for OSU on sheer skill and versatility.
Chicago 2013 was a solid time. Couldn’t get a cab from the United Center, so we walked two miles back downtown. #cardio I guess. Really showed why Indi is the best place to hold the BTT. Am I insane or was Aaron Craft the BTT tourney MVP that year??
BRT: James Palmer, Jr. The biggest surprise in the conference this year was Nebraska not being terrible, and Palmer is a big part of that. Though this team might have exceeded expectations without him, as there are some other quality players, they’d be nowhere near this record without him. Oh, and I’ve never been to the BTT. And never will, most likely, if they continue to hold it in BFE (aka NYC).
BMan31: Still a heavy lean towards KBD. Although Palmer Jr. at Nebby has been a pleasant surprise. Life has usually dictated that attending the BTT will probably never be in the cards for me and this year will be no different thanks to work travel and stuff.
Andrew K: Bates-Diop, and it’s not especially close. OSU without him, or with a version of him who is merely average, is probably no better than 6th or 7th in the conference; with him, they are where they are. No one else had the same impact and no other player’s team would be as impacted by losing a single guy.
JC: I realize it’s KBD, but I’m glad to see some talk - if even from my Nebraska colleague - about James Palmer, Jr. We’ll look back on this year and realize just how great he was for Nebraska in almost every facet of the game. At one point, he had gone on like 30+ FT in the last five minutes of the game before sort of running out of steam against Wisconsin. All I know is that Palmer is more than just a volume shooter/scorer like Petteway was and I love that he’s on our team.
MNW: Northwestern shutting the whiny, bitchy Maryland fans the fuck up last year. No, everything’s not a foul, and no, you should never get the chance to win the Big Ten Tournament on home court again.
Aaron Yorke: As much as I appreciate what Tony Carr has done this season to put Penn State in the NCAA Tournament picture, the award should go to Keita Bates-Diop. When you look at the top three teams in the Big Ten, both Purdue and Michigan State have stacked lineups with multiple great players, but on Ohio State that’s not the case. There’s a big talent gap between Bates-Diop and everyone else on his team, and he gets a lot of credit -- deservedly so -- for Ohio State’s turnaround. Plus, he can score from anywhere, dominate the glass, and block shots on defense. What’s not to love?
Beez: KBD. Other players who had really good seasons: Edwards, Carr, Bridges, Happ, Palmer, Murphy (add yours in the comments).
Candystripes: So far, I’ve only been to one Big Ten Tournament, and it was year 2 of the Crean era, so IU was, as they say, not good. However, the Crimson Guard had been able to arrange a bus for students to go watch IU’s day in Indy, and as I didn’t have any afternoon classes that day, it was off to the Fieldhouse for basketball!
As expected, IU did not win their game that evening, but my abiding memory from that day was being seated a couple sections over from the Maize Rage, the only other student section to have a notable presence on our end of the arena that day. What makes this more impressive is that Michigan didn’t even play on Thursday, yet they were still there. We helped them root against Michigan State; they helped us root for IU. (Unsurprisingly, neither effort was terribly successful, but we tried.) Getting multiple student sections together to cheer for the same team during a regular basketball game would be impossible, due to the ‘playing against each other’ complication, but at major neutral site events like the Big Ten Tournament, anything is possible. It’s a large part of why I like coming to OTE over individual sites: once you get past team rivalries, we’re all passionate fans who share some common interests, and that’s pretty cool.
Who is the Big Ten Player of the Year?
This poll is closed
James Palmer, Jr.
Someone else that the "writers" didn’t give enough credit to