Penn State Hoops’ Ace Baldwin Jr. Named To Naismith Defensive Player Of The Year Watch List
Penn State men’s basketball point guard Ace Baldwin Jr. was named to the 2024 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List, the organization announced Wednesday.
Baldwin, in his first season in Happy Valley and fourth in college basketball, is averaging 13.6 points, a team-best 5.2 assists, and a Big Ten-best 2.82 steals per game in the blue and white. Meanwhile, his 2.82 steals rank sixth in the nation.
The Baltimore native joins Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi and Purdue’s Zach Edey as the Big Ten representatives.
Ahead of the Nittany Lions’ Thursday matchup with Iowa, Baldwin has tallied 1,129 points, 534 assists, and 245 steals and is on the way to becoming the only active Division I player with 1,000+ points, 500+ assists, and 250+ steals. Before he reaches that steal mark, his 245 steals rank No. 3 among Division I players.
In 2023, the point guard was named the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year after leading VCU to an Atlantic 10 Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance.
Penn State is leading the Big Ten in three-point percentage defense and has allowed 30.9% from three-point land this season. The group, led by Baldwin, has forced a conference-leading 15.73 turnovers per game and scored 16.9 points off of turnovers per game.
Baldwin will continue on the road to 250 steals against Iowa at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 8, in the Bryce Jordan Center. Folks can tune into the broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
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Our photographers were on hand to capture the sights of Penn State basketball’s return to Rec Hall.
A Cathedral Is Useless If You Never Hold Mass: Penn State Basketball Should Permanently Return To Rec Hall
Rec Hall is an intimidating place to play basketball and the Bryce Jordan Center simply is not. Why not make the switch?
“I’ve just been super interested ever since that first year trying to grow my personal THON story, get more connections to it, help as many people as I can, and be that person [my mom] is for other people.”