ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference coaches voted Penn State senior guard Josh Reaves as the league's 2019 Defensive Player of the Year. With the ability to change the game on both ends of the floor, the senior guard from Fairfax, Virginia, is in position to become the first-ever Big Ten player to lead the league's steals category for all games in three consecutive years.
"Josh is the heart and soul of our team," said men's basketball coach Patrick 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. The former Oak Hill Academy standout also was named to the conference's All-Defensive Team for the second consecutive year.
Reaves has recorded 77 steals and 2.5 per game in the 2018-19 season with 27 more steals than the next individual on the league's list. Reaves' season average is 13th nationally with his season total rank checking in at 14th in the country. He had the most entries, three, on the Big Ten Conference game bests list for steals with five vs. Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Second on Penn State's all-time career steals list with 247, Reaves' total is good for eighth on the Big Ten Conference's all-time chart and ranks fifth among the NCAA's active current Division I leaders. In addition to his impressive steals totals, Reaves also moved into a tie for ninth place on Penn State's all-time list with 91 career blocked shots.