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Aug. 20, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Aug. 20, 2009 - Penn State point guard Talor Battle (Albany, N.Y.), a first team All-Big Ten and All-Region selection as a sophomore, has been named among the preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy. The list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
Battle, who led the Big Ten in regular season scoring (17.3 ppg) last season, was among eight Big Ten players named to the list and one of six that are juniors. Also joining Battle on the list from the Big Ten were Michigan State's Kalin Lucas and Raymar Morgan, Purdue's Robbie Hummel and E'Twaun Moore, Michigan's Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims and Ohio State's Evan Turner.
Battle returns for his third season in a Nittany Lion uniform after leading the U.S. World University Games team in scoring (10.0 ppg) and a bronze medal in Serbia in July. Battle, posted one of the most outstanding seasons in Penn State basketball history in his sophomore campaign as he helped lead the Nittany Lions to a school record 27 wins and a first-ever national tournament title in claiming the 2009 NIT Championship.
He led the Big Ten in scoring, ranked second in assists (5.0) and stood in the top 15 in eight conference statistical categories. Named an honorable mention All-American by FOXSports.com and Collegehoopsnet.com and to the NIT All-Tournament team, Battle posted a Penn State single season record 189 assists. His 635 points ranked as the fifth-best total in program history and his 92 three-pointers were the third-best mark in PSU history. Battle was named team co-MVP for the second straight year after leading the Big Ten with 14, 20-point games and leading the nation playing 1,422 minutes in 38 games, an average of 37.4 mpg.
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation's best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), and Blake Griffin ('09).
Penn State will tip off its 114th season of basketball on Friday, Nov. 13 when it take on Penn at 7:30 p.m. in the Bryce Jordan Center the night before the Nittany Lion football team hosts Indiana at Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions will play one exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 6 vs. Slipper Rock. That game is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. tip in the Jordan Center the night before the football team takes on Ohio State in Beaver Stadium.