UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) – Penn State men’s basketball senior guard Jalen Pickett has been named the ESPN National Player of the Week, the NCAA March Madness Player of the Week, the Lute Olson National Player of the Week, the Field of 68 National Player of the Week and the Big Ten Player of the Week following his historic performances in the Nittany Lions’ 2-0 week.
According to PSU reporting, Pickett averages 36.5 points per game, 8.0 assists per game, and 5.5 rebounds per game to lead Penn State to a 2-0 week. The guard finished the week shooting 65.0% (26-40) from the field, 52.9% (9-17) from 3-point range, and 92.3% (12-13) from the free throw line. Per OptaSTATS, Pickett, LeBron James, and Steph Curry are the only three players in NCAA Division I or the NBA in the last 25 years to have had a two-game span with 70+ points, 15+ assists, 10+ rebounds, 65.0+ FG%, and 90.0+ FT%.
Pickett collects his second Big Ten Player of the Week award of the season after also earning the honor on Dec. 27.
He is the first Nittany Lion to earn two Big Ten Player of the Week awards in the same season since Geary Claxton during the 2007-08 season (Dec. 17, 2007, and Jan. 8, 2008).
Pickett started the week leading the Nittany Lions to a regular-season sweep of Illinois with 41 points on 15-of-20 shooting, eight assists, and two rebounds. The 41-point game was the first 40-point game by a Nittany Lion since 1961 and the sixth 40-point game in school history. His 41 points set a Bryce Jordan Center record and are the most points scored by a Big Ten player this season. Pickett scored his 2,000th career point in the 41-point performance against the Illini.
The Rochester, N.Y. native followed his 41-point game with another monster performance in a road win at Minnesota Saturday night, going off for 32 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Pickett is the only Big Ten player in the last 20 years to have 30+ points, 9+ rebounds and 8+ assists in a conference game.
Pickett collected his 700th career rebound in the win at Minnesota, becoming the first Division I men’s college basketball player in AT LEAST the last 37 years to have accumulated marks of 2,000+ career points, 700+ career rebounds and 700+ career assists. Pickett currently owns career marks of 2,054 points, 707 rebounds and 787 assists.
Pickett remains the only player in the country averaging upwards of 18 ppg (18.6), 7 RPG (7.4), and 7 apg (7.0). Only one men’s college basketball player in the last 30 years has finished a season averaging 18/7/7 – Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine in 2015-16 (19.2 ppg, 7.5 RPG, 7.8 APG), who collected Big Ten Player of the Year and first-team All-America honors.