The countdown to college basketball season is almost done.
Wisconsin is considered the conference favorite, is the highest-ranked Big Ten team at No. 9 in the AP Poll and has the league’s leading contender for First Team All-America honors. At least that’s what USA Today thinks, as Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes was named to the First Team.
But he wasn’t the only Big Ten player selected.
The Big Ten picks:
- Wisconsin F Nigel Hayes, First Team
- Maryland G Melo Trimble, Second Team
- Indiana C Thomas Bryant, Third Team
- Michigan State F Miles Bridges, “Keep an eye on”
It’s another big preseason honor for Hayes. On Oct. 11, he was named the Big Ten’s Preseason Player of the Year. Trimble and Bryant were also named to the Preseason All-Big Ten team.
Here’s USA Today’s Nicole Auerbach on Hayes:
Hayes spent the offseason making headlines for his work — and words decrying racism and NCAA hypocrisy among other things — off the court. But don’t forget how talented and versatile this senior is. Hayes led Wisconsin in scoring a year ago, and will be surrounded by a similar cast this season, too, looking to add to his already impressive career with the Badgers.
Hayes is one of the Big Ten’s biggest stars and is also not afraid to speak out against social injustice. He was just one Badgers athlete to share a statement on Twitter about racial injustices he’s experienced.
— Nigel Hayes (@NIGEL_HAYES) November 8, 2016
Wisconsin begins its regular season at home against Central Arkansas at 8 p.m. ET on Friday.