Penn States Talor Battle and Tyra Grant have been named to their respective Preseason All-Big Ten teams.
Battle was one of five juniors named to the preseason all-conference mens team by a media panel of 24 voters. Battle was joined by reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas (Michigan State), Evan Turner (Ohio State), Manny Harris (Michigan) and Robbie Hummel (Purdue). Lucas was selected the preseason Player of the Year while his Spartans were selected as the favorites to win the conference title for the second consecutive season. Purdue and Ohio State were picked to finish second and third, respectively.
Joining Grant on the five-player preseason All-Big Ten womens team are preseason player of the year Jantel Lavender of Ohio State, Illinois Jenna Smith, Michigan States Allyssa DeHaan and OSUs Samantha Prahalis.
Battle, who played with Turner and Hummel on the U.S. World University Games team during the summer and led that squad in scoring (10.0 ppg), is the first Nittany Lion to be named to the preseason All-Big Ten team twice and will look to become Penn States first-ever two-time, first-team All-Big Ten selection at the conclusion of the season. Battle is coming off a season in which he ranked third in the Big Ten in scoring (16.7 ppg), set a Penn State single season record with 189 assists and posted the fifth-best scoring season in Nittany Lion history with 635 points. Battle also led the nation in minutes played (1,422) and posted the third most three-pointers (92) in a Penn State season while leading the Big Ten with 14 20-point games. He earned NIT All-tournament team honors while leading Penn State to a school-record 27 wins and first-ever NIT Championship with clutch play and several last second shots.
Grant garnered first team All-Big Ten honors a year ago as she finished second the conference and 18th in the country with a 19.6 scoring average. Her scoring mark also ranks sixth on Penn States single-season chart. Grant, a preseason Wooden Award candidate, finished in the Top 10 in the Big Ten in free throw percentage (.764), three-point field goal percentage (.367) and three-pointers made per game (1.9). The senior had 15 games with 20 or more points last season en route to becoming a semifinalist for the Naismith Player of the Year award.
Grant has already etched her name into the Penn State record books. She ranks 13th in school history with 1,447 entering her final season and is one pace to become just the fourth player in school history with 2,000 points. Grant is also fifth in career three-pointers (130) and 16th in blocked shots (54). She is one of five players in school history to have three career games with 30 or more points.