Josh Reaves Named Big Ten Defensive Player Of The Year
Penn State men’s basketball senior Josh Reaves was named the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year on Monday evening.
Reaves finished second on the team behind Mike Watkins with 30 blocks, and he led the Nittany Lions with 77 steals as he started in all 31 games this season. One of those 30 blocks was a game-clinching swat against Rutgers in a hostile road environment on March 6, and his steal count was the 12th-highest in the country this year.
The senior guard has been recognized by the Big Ten for his defensive prowess in the past — he and Mike Watkins were both named to the conference’s all-defensive team last season before leading Penn State to an NIT title. On top of his defensive responsibilities, Reaves chipped in offensively quite a bit with 10.6 points and 3.1 assists per game in 2018-19.
Pat Chambers has always been able to count on the guard on the defensive end of the floor — Reaves also led the Big Ten with 74 steals last season. The conference will have to find a new steals king because Reaves won’t be back in Happy Valley next season.
The Nittany Lions earned a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament thanks to a 7-3 finish to the 2018-19 season. As the No. 10 seed, they’ll take on Minnesota in the second round at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14 at the United Center in Chicago.
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About the Author
Diaz served at the helm of Penn State’s defense from 2022 to 2023.
There were a lot of Penn State fans who took to Twitter when Manny Diaz’s departure was announced. The consensus? They’ll miss him.
Diaz led the Nittany Lions to a No. 1 total defense ranking with 3.91 yards per play.