Basketball players

Men’s basketball players take home a host of individual awards | Basketball

In addition to earning the No. 1 spot in Associated Press polls this season, Purdue players have earned their share of individual recognition through awards and watchlist spots this year.

Sophomore guard Jaden Ivey was named Big Ten Player of the Week and March Madness National Player of the Week on Monday, according to a press release from Purdue Athletics.

Ivey hit a long-range back shot to give the Boilermakers a 3-point lead against No. 16 Ohio State at almost the last second. The clip spread like wildfire across national media, making its way to CBS and ESPN, among others.

The shot helped provide a small bright spot during what Ivey described as a tough mental slump at a post-match press conference, something that gave him the ability to come together and prepare for future matches.

“I thought ‘it’s game over.'” he said. “I hit that shot.

“I’m just trying to pull myself together because I know I want this game so badly. Just seeing that kick in meant everything to me.

Ivey finished the game with 21 points, six off his season high, while shooting 50% from the 3-point line in 32 minutes of play.

Senior forward Trevion Williams was the last Purdue player to win Big Ten Player of the Week honors. He averaged 21.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and five assists against Rutgers and NC State, coming off the bench behind sophomore center Zach Edey to provide a steady rebounding presence and score in the paint. Williams was last named Player of the Week in mid-January after a 22-point, 11-rebound performance against the Indiana Hoosiers.

Williams was one assist away from Purdue’s first triple-double since the 1977 season against NC State, picking up 22 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists against the Wolfpack.

The forward won the award alongside Ohio State forward EJ Liddell, who averaged 19 points, seven rebounds and 2.7 assists per game last week.

Playing in a reduced role behind Edey, Williams is the Boilermakers’ third-leading scorer and leading rebounder this season.

Edey earned a spot on the Wooden Award midseason watch list along with Williams and Ivey, moving to the top 25 after being initially selected from 50 applicants in early November. Purdue was the only school with three representatives on the roster, according to a Purdue press release, with three other top-5 schools following close behind with two players each.

Even before the start of the season, Purdue players had gained the recognition needed from national outlets to propel themselves onto the national stage.

Both Ivey and Edey were selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team along with Michigan center Hunter Dickinson, Iowa forward Keegan Murray and Illinois guard Andre Curbelo. Edey averaged 8.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game behind Williams, earning two starts in mid-December while Williams played off the bench.

Williams was recognized as a first-team All-Big Ten selection, a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award for Top Center in the Nation and an AP All American Honorable Mention at the end of last season, according to Purdue Athletics.

Both Ivey and Williams were named to the CBS Sports preseason Third Team All-America in early October.

Purdue was one of three teams to have two players on the CBS roster alongside UCLA and Gonzaga, according to a team statement.

Ivey was named to the Big Ten playoff All-Freshman team for his outstanding performance during the second half of his freshman season. He averaged nearly seven more points per game over the final six games of the season than his season-to-date average, according to a team statement. His 26 points in Purdue’s first-round loss in the NCAA Tournament were the second most by a Big Ten freshman in his debut, the statement said.

Williams was a first-team All-Big Ten selection last year and a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award for his 15.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He won 11 double-doubles during the season, the statement said.

Purdue’s star players have been recognized for their contributions not only on the field but also off it.

Lead guard Sasha Stefanovic was named one of 30 male nominees for the CLASS award in early December, according to a press release from Purdue.

The CLASS award, Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, lists 60 athletes, 30 in men’s basketball and 30 in women’s basketball, who “excel on and off the court”. Each nominee for the award must be an NCAA DI senior and have “notable accomplishments” in character, class, community and competition, according to the award’s website.

A three-time Big Ten All-Academic member, Stefanovic joins Rutgers forward Ron Harper Jr., Michigan guard Eli Brooks and Illinois guard Trent Frazier among the six Big Ten players selected for watch list.