Sunday, October 28, 2007

Claxton named All-Big Ten

Penn State senior forward Geary Claxton (West Haven, Conn.) was named to the Preseason All-Big Ten team for the second straight season at the conference’s annual Basketball Media Day. Claxton and fifth-year Nittany Lion head coach Ed DeChellis joined other conference team representatives in meeting with approximately 200 members of the media Sunday in Chicago, Ill.

The Big Ten’s top returning rebounder (8.0 rpg) and second leading scorer (16.3 ppg), Claxton is the first Nittany Lion player to be named to the preseason all-conference team twice by Big Ten media voters and collected just the third Nittany Lion selection since Penn State joined the conference in 1992-93. Guard Joe Crispin, the Nittany Lions second all-time leading scorer, was also selected prior to the 2000-01 season.

“I’m really just excited for the team to have a great year,” Claxton said in Chicago. “This is it for me. This is my last go around, so I just really want do whatever I can to get the program as much success as I can and help make it as strong as I can before I leave.”

The 6-5, 220-pound Claxton was joined on the preseason team by Michigan State senior guard Drew Neitzel, Illinois senior center Shaun Pruitt, Indiana senior forward D.J. White and Ohio State senior guard Jamar Butler. Neitzel, the Big Ten’s top returning scorer (18.1 ppg), was selected the Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year. Michigan State was selected as the preseason Big Ten favorite followed by Indiana and defending Big Ten Champion Ohio State.

Claxton has also earned first team preseason All-Big Ten recognition from the Sporting News, Lindy’s and USA Today. A second team All-Big Ten pick by the media and third team by the coaches last season, Claxton enters his senior campaign with 1,262 career points (12th all-time at PSU) and 621 rebounds and is on pace to finish his career ranked among the top three all-time at Penn State in both categories. He leads active Big Ten players with 17 career double-doubles and can join All-American Jesse Arnelle as just the second player to lead the Nittany Lions in scoring in four seasons.

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