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Melsahn Basabe, Mike Davis
Iowa's Melsahn Basabe passes the ball back out as Illinois’ Mike Davis defends during the second half of a NCAA college basketball game in Champaign. Illinois won 81-68. (AP Photo)

Instant impact made by two newcomers to the Iowa basketball program did not go unnoticed. Melsahn Basabe and Bryce Cartwright were awarded honorable mention all-Big Ten recognition Monday and Basabe was named to the league's all-freshman team selected by coaches.

Basabe, honored by both the coaches and media, leads Iowa in rebounding and blocks and is the first Hawkeye - regardless of class - to collected 325 points, 200 rebounds and 40 blocks in a single season since Ryan Bowen in 1998.

"Melsahn has had a great freshman season,'' Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "He's learned every step of the way and he will only be better with the more experience he has.''

Cartwright moved into the point guard role after starter Cully Payne was injured and he became the first Hawkeye since Dean Oliver in 2001 to lead the Big Ten in assists in conference play.

"I'm not sure where we would be without Bryce,'' McCaffery said. "He's really grown into his role.''

Purdue senior JaJuan Johnson became the third Boilermaker to earn Big Ten player of the year honors and the first since Illinois' Dee Brown in 2005 to earn both player of the year and defensive player of the year recognition from the league coaches.

Johnson was joined on the first team selected by both coaches and the media by Big Ten freshman of the year Jared Sullinger of Ohio State, Purdue teammate E'Twaun Moore and Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor. Coaches awarded the fifth first-team spot to the Badgers' Jon Leuer, while Penn State's Talor Battle took the final spot on the media first team.

Illinois' Demetri McCamey received third-team honors from both groups, while the Illini's Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale were honorable mention selections.

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