Aaron Craft, D'Angelo Russell Named to Big Ten All-Decade Third Team
After the Big Ten Conference teased everyone last week, today's announcement of the Big Ten All-Decade Men's Basketball team came with good news for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Aaron Craft and D'Angelo Russell were each named to the Big Ten All-Decade Third Team.
Other members of the Third Team include Indiana's Yogi Ferrell, Minnesota's Jordan Murphy and Purdue's JaJuan Johnson and Caleb Swanigan.
Even beyond the scope of the last decade, Aaron Craft is one of the most spectacular players in Ohio State history. Craft was a tenacious defender, with a relentless energy on both ends of the floor and unparalleled court vision. His teammates also held his leadership skills in the highest regard. He is the Ohio State all-time record holder in assists and steals. Craft led the Big Ten in steals three times in four seasons and holds the conference all-time career record with 337. He is fifth all-time in league history with 694 assists.
Craft visited with Mike Hall from Big Ten Network and shared with him his philosophy on defense.
"I just wanted to frustrate the other guy," Craft said. "That's as simple as it comes down to. We studied a lot of film and I like to know my opponent, so anyway I could frustrate him and get him out of his game, that was my goal."
In addition to his standout performance on the floor, Craft was also a three-time First-Team Academic All-American, and he was back-to-back Academic All-America of the Year (the award given to the nation's top student-athlete in each sport). He helped lead the Buckeyes to a Final Four appearance in 2012.
D'Angelo Russell only played one season in Columbus before he was drafted second overall in 2015. Russell was named a consensus First-Team All-American in addition to several conference honors. In 35 games for Ohio State in 2014–15, Russell averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.6 steals in 33.9 minutes per game.
He had many memorable moments that season, but his triple-double against Rutgers on February 8, 2015 stands out most of all. He scored 23 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and collected 11 assists en route to becoming the first Buckeye freshman to ever record a triple-double.
Russell won the Oscar Robertson Trophy as the most outstanding player in the country, the Jerry West Award for shooting guard of the year, and the Wayman Tisdale Award as the National Freshman of the Year.
Here are the remaining roll-out dates for announcing the members of the Big Ten All-Decade Team:
Tuesday, June 23 - All-Decade Second Team ... TBA at 2 p.m. ET
Wednesday, June 24 - All-Decade First Team ... TBA at 2 p.m. ET
Thursday, June 25 - All-Decade Coach ... TBA at 10 a.m. ET
Friday, June 26 - All-Decade Player of the Decade ... TBA at 10 a.m. ET
Fans can follow along with the release of the rest of the All-Decade team here.