Battle, Brown named Penn State Athletes of the Year

June 16, 2011

University Park, Pa. — Former Nittany Lions Talor Battle (Albany, N.Y.) and Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) have been selected as the 2011 Penn State Athletes of the Year. Battle, an Associated Press honorable mention All-American, became Penn State men's basketball's all-time leading scorer, while Brown, a three-time AVCA All-American, led the women's volleyball team to four consecutive national championships.

Battle and Brown are now eligible for the Big Ten's Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year Award and Suzy Favor Female Athlete of the Year Award.

Battle led Penn State to its first-ever Big Ten Tournament championship game and its first NCAA Tournament appearance in a decade during a senior season in which he finished second in the Big Ten in scoring (20.2 ppg) and became Penn State's all-time career scoring leader, posting 2,213 points to surpass the 56-year old mark set by All-American Jesse Arnelle in 1955 and rank 10th all-time in Big Ten Conference history.

A Big Ten Tournament All-Tournament team selection after posting 25 points in a semi-final win over Michigan State and 24 in the final vs. No. 1 ranked Ohio State, Battle became the first Lion to earn first-team All-Big Ten, NABC All-District and USBWA All-District honors in multiple seasons; the first since 1996 and just the sixth-ever to earn All-American recognition (AP - honorable-mention); the first to earn team MVP honors in four seasons; and just the second to lead the team in scoring in four seasons. Battle's 687 points and 106 threes on the year both ranked as the second-best season marks in Penn State history. He led the Big Ten hitting 3.12 threes per game and playing 38.06 minutes per contest and played all 40 minutes in nine of Penn State's last 10 games of the year and the final six straight as the Lions made a run to the NCAAs.

Battle's scoring average stands as the highest by a Lion in 48 years. He posted 18 games of 20 points or more and three outings of 30 or more on the year. Battle led the Big Ten with nine games of 25 points or more and became the first Big Ten player ever and just the fourth in NCAA Division I history to post at least 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists on a career. Battle finished his Penn State career ranking second in career threes (317), third in assists (517), seventh in steals (145) and an amazing 14th in rebounding (625) in Penn State history while becoming the program's all-time leader in starts (131) and the Big Ten's all-time leader in career minutes played (4,799).

The 2010 Honda Award winner for women's volleyball, Brown finished her Penn State career helping the program to its fourth straight NCAA Championship. During her career, the Nittany Lions won a record-breaking 109 consecutive matches, 65 straight Big Ten matches, 55 road matches in a row and never lost on their home court at Rec Hall. She owns a career record of 140-7 between 2007-10.

The 2010 Big Ten Player of the Year, the sixth consecutive for Penn State women's volleyball, Brown finished her career with 1,295 kills to rank 14th all-time at Penn State. Brown was a finalist for the AAU Sullivan Award and was named the Female Athlete of the Month by the United State Sports Academy in January. A three-time All-Big Ten selection, Brown earned Second Team laurels in 2008 and First Team honors in 2009 and 2010. In her final season, Brown was a Unanimous Preseason All-Big Ten pick and earned conference player of the week accolades three times.

Brown started all 37 matches in 2010 and led the Nittany Lions with 521 kills, averaging 4.24 kills per set on .320 hitting. She was second on the tea with 281 digs (2.28 digs per set) and 113 total blocks (0.92 blocks per set). Her 4.24 kills per set ranked second in the Big Ten and 21st nationally, while her .320 attacker percentage was ninth in the league. In addition, Brown's 4.72 points per set ranked 18th in the nation.

Penn State won two NCAA Championships and three Big Ten crowns in 2010-11. Penn State has won 10 NCAA Championships since March 2007, the most of any school in the nation. Penn State was No. 3 in the latest Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings. The Big Ten Conference has recognized a Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year since 1982 when Indiana's Jim Spivey earned the inaugural award. The following year, a women's award was created. In 1991-92 as part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of women's athletics in the Conference, the women's award was renamed in honor of former Wisconsin track standout and three-time recipient Suzy Favor.

  • Talor Battle and Blair Brown

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated June 17, 2011