Ryan named Big Ten Coach of the Year

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by the league’s media members and coaches on Monday.

Ryan claimed the honor for the third time in his 12-year career at Wisconsin and first since 2002-03. He won Big Ten championships in his first two seasons with the Badgers to earn Coach of the Year honors on both occasions.

Ryan surprisingly led the Badgers to yet another top-four finish in Big Ten play, as the team posted its fourth consecutive season with at least 12 conference victories. Wisconsin has never finished worse than fourth since Ryan’s tenure began.

The Badgers lost starting point guard Josh Gasser for the season to a torn ACL on Oct. 27, but they rallied with Traevon Jackson and George Marshall as his replacement. Wisconsin finished the regular season 21-10 overall and 12-6 in the Big Ten, earning a No. 22 ranking in the last regular season Associated Press top-25 poll.

Ryan now trails Purdue’s Gene Keady (seven) and Indiana’s Bob Knight (five) for most Big Ten Coach of the Year awards.

Other Wisconsin honorees on Monday were senior center Jared Berggren (second-team All-Big Ten and All-Big Ten Defensive Team), junior guard Ben Brust (honorable mention All-Big Ten) and freshman forward Sam Dekker (honorable mention All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Freshman Team).

Berggren was one of just four players to finish the season among the Big Ten’s top 25 scorers and top 10 rebounders. He led the league in blocks per game (2.0) and became the program’s all-time blocks leader with 134. He is averaging 11.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

Berggren’s All-Defensive Team honor gives Wisconsin a player on the team in six of the last seven years. Michael Flowers (2007 and 2008), Joe Krabbenhoft (2008), Trevon Hughes (2010), Jordan Taylor (2011) and Gasser (2012) have also been on the All-Defensive Team.

Berggren also was the Badgers’ recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, which honors individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior.

Brust averaged 11.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game to earn the first conference accolades of his career. He ranks third in the conference in 3-point field goals made per game (2.3) and ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (.394).

Brust also has a team-high five double-doubles this season. He leads UW in assists-to-turnovers ratio (2.0), is second in assists (76) and ranks third in rebounds. Among the Big Ten’s top 20 rebounders, the 6-foot-1 Brust is the only player under 6-4.

Dekker averaged 9.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game off the bench for the Badgers. He finished the season fourth in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage (.427), while ranking 10th in the conference in field goal percentage (.486) and second among all Big Ten freshmen in that category.

A Sheboygan, Wis., native, Dekker scored in double figures in seven of Wisconsin’s last eight regular season games. This season, he made three starts and is one of just four freshmen ever to start under Ryan, joining Devin Harris, Alando Tucker and Gasser.

Wisconsin opens Big Ten Tournament play as the No. 4 seed on Friday at the United Center in Chicago. Wisconsin plays at 1:30 p.m. CT and will face the winner of the No. 5 Michigan/No. 12 Penn State game.

Follow Jesse Temple on Twitter.