Xavier Tillman wins Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year
Despite making six starts, Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman was named Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year on Monday.
The sophomore stepped up and started the last five games of the regular season while Nick Ward recovers from a hairline fracture in his left hand suffered in MSU's win over Ohio State Feb. 17, averaging 14.4 points and 7.8 rebounds in Ward's absence.
Tillman appeared in all 31 games and is the team's second-leading rebounder (218) behind senior Kenny Goins (282), and ranks 13th among conference players. The 6-foot-8 native of Grand Rapids also led the team and ranks third in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage (61.1) and finished sixth in the league with 54 blocks (1.7 per game).
Tillman also played a key role in MSU's win over then-No. 7 Michigan on Saturday, scoring 17 points and six boards in 33 minutes.
The Spartans (24-6, 16-4 Big Ten) resume play Friday as the top seed in the Big Ten tournament and will play the winner of Thursday's No. 8 Ohio State/No. 9 Indiana matchup. Tipoff from the United Center in Chicago is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. EST.