Westbrook, Johnson and Abu-Shamala all receive Big Ten honors

Daily File Photo

Jules Ameel

Daily File Photo

Big Ten coaches and media named junior forward Damian Johnson to the conference All-Defensive team and picked junior guard Lawrence Westbrook as an All-Conference honorable mention selection, the conference announced Monday. Johnson, at a lanky 6-feet 7-inches and 195 pounds, was a defensive presence inside for the Gophers this regular season, and was an especially valuable shot blocker, averaging more than two per game. Johnson also finished second on the team in scoring and was the only player on the team to start every game he played in (he did miss three nonconference games with a fractured hand). Westbrook led the Gophers in scoring, with 12.4 points per game, highlighted by a 29-point game against Wisconsin on Jan. 15, in which he hit a three-pointer in the final seconds to send the game to overtime. But Westbrook struggled in February during MinnesotaâÄôs worst stretch of the season, scoring six or fewer points in four straight games, of which the Gophers lost three. He was the only Minnesota player to average double digit scoring. Gophers senior Jamal Abu-Shamala was picked as MinnesotaâÄôs Sportsmanship honoree. Michigan StateâÄôs Kalin Lucas won Player of the Year, and Evan Turner (Ohio State), Talor Battle (Penn State), Manny Harris (Michigan State) and JaJuan Johnson (Purdue) comprised the rest of the All-Big Ten team. Big Ten coaches voted Michigan StateâÄôs Tom Izzo as Coach of the Year, while the media picked Penn StateâÄôs Ed DeChellis.