Strong Showing for Nittany Lions

Penn State is well represented on the 2009 All-Big Ten basketball teams. DeChellis named Coach of the Year by media and Battle makes first team.

It remains to be seen what kind of respect the NCAA Tournament selection committee will give Penn State next Sunday.

But in the friendly confines of the Big Ten, the Nittany Lions are receiving some serious love. On Monday, the All-Conference teams were revealed, and Penn State was extremely well represented.

Leading the way was sixth-year head coach Ed DeChellis, who was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by the media. It marks the first time a Nittany Lion mentor has been so-honored.

"It's a great award, but it's really a tribute to our players," DeChellis said on the Big Ten Network awards show. "We have great players."

From a player perspective, guard Talor Battle earned first-team All-Conference honors from the coaches and media. Battle, who finished the regular season as the league's leading scorer (17.3 ppg), is only the fourth Lion be named first-team All-Big Ten.

Senior forward Jamelle Cornley was named second-team All-Conference by the media and third-team by the coaches.

And senior guard Stanley Pringle won honorable-mention All-Conference honors.

Penn State failed to post a winning record in DeChellis first five years at the helm, but finished the 2008-09 regular season at 21-10 overall and 10-8 in the league. It marks PSU's second-most wins in a conference campaign. The Lions came within one shot of finishing second in the conference, but tumbled down to sixth following a double-overtime loss to Iowa Saturday.

Penn State has four wins over ranked teams this season, with two of them coming on the road. The Lions went 3-1 against opponents ranked in the RPI top 25.

Beyond leading the conference in scoring, the 5-foot-11 Battle also ranks second in assists (4.87), seventh in defensive rebounds (4.58) and 14th in steals (1.19).

Previous Penn Staters who earned first-team All-Big Ten honors were John Amaechi (1995), Matt Gaudio (1996), Jarrett Stephens (2000) and Joe Crispin (2001). Amaechi was named before the voting was split between the coaches and media. Stephens was honored by the coaches and media. Meanwhile, Gaudio and Crispin were only honored by the media.

Cornley ranks ninth in the Big Ten in scoring (13.9 ppg) and eighth in field goal percentage (50.9). He was a second-team All-Conference pick a year ago after winning third-team laurels as a freshman and sophomore. He was also named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2005-06.

Pringle is the Big Ten leader in 3-point field goal percentage (46.9) and ranks eighth in steals (1.4).

Michigan State's Tom Izzo was named Coach of the Year by his fellow coaches.

Penn State opens Big Ten Tournament play against No. 11 seed Indiana in Indianapolis Thursday. The game is slate to tip at 5 p.m. and will be carried by ESPN2.


Fight On State Top Stories