Penn State junior Lamar Stevens and senior Josh Reaves both took home Big Ten honors on Monday evening as the league announced its season awards.
Stevens, the Nittany Lions' star power forward, was named to the All-Big Ten first team by coaches and second team by the media. Reaves rounds out his senior season as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Stevens ends the regular season second in the Big Ten in scoring averaging 19.8 points a game, trailing national Player of The Year candidate Carsen Edwards' mark of 23.4 points per outing.
For his efforts Stevens has averaged nearly eight rebounds per game and two assists per contest. The junior has scored 20 or more points on 17 occasions this season and has been held to single-digits just once all year. He also has nine double-doubles during the 2018-19 campaign.
Stevens is one of only two players to rank in the conference's top 10 in scoring and rebounding in all league games with a 20.0 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game average.
"Lamar's value to this team is immeasurable," said coach Pat Chambers "It would be really easy to take Lamar's consistency for granted because he does what he does without any fanfare. We wouldn't be having the success we have had, both now and throughout his career, without his contributions as a player and as a leader."
Reaves, meanwhile, leads the conference with 2.5 steals per game. Playing with a do-it-all style, the Virginia native does much that doesn’t make the box score but — as the conference voters indicated — is unquestionably the best defender in the league.
“Josh is the heart and soul of our team," said Chambers. "There's no way to describe how much he means to this program. His efforts day in and day out, not just in games, but in practices, in film sessions and in the locker room, have helped our team continue to improve. When we talk about the identity of Penn State basketball, especially in terms of defense, Josh sets the standard."
Reaves joins center Calvin Booth (1998) as Nittany Lions to be selected Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
Both players will take the court on Thursday for the second round of the Big Ten Tournament as Penn State takes on Minnesota. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Nittany Lions lost to the Gophers in Minneapolis earlier this season 65-64, with a last second shot by Stevens hitting iron but not falling for the win.