The postseason accolades are beginning to roll in for Penn State senior guard Jalen Pickett. After being a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection by the Big Ten coaches and media, Pickett is now adding the title of All-American to his bio.
The Sporting News released its all-American teams for the 2022-23 college basketball season. Although Pickett did not garner first-team accolades from Sporting News, he did land on the second-team list.
“It’s almost too limiting to call him the nation’s best point guard because his contributions to the Nittany Lions go well beyond mere playmaking,” Sporting News said about Pickett. “You will not find a lot of players in Division I who lead their teams in scoring, rebounding and assists – like, ever.”
“His physicality allows him to back down guards of any size and either score on turnaround jumpers or find teammates open on the perimeter for 3-point shots,” Sporting News continued. “He is always looking for the open pass, even on nights when he determines it will be best to serve as his team’s primary option. His versatility helped elevate a team with essentially no frontcourt presence to an NCAA Tournament contender.”
Pickett averaged 18.0 points per game with 7.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game during the regular season in leading Penn State to a 19-12 record. Pickett has garnered some recognition as a potential all-American player from national media.
Sporting News included a pair of Big Ten players, Purdue center Zacvh Edey and Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, on the first-team list. There were no guards selected to the first team, leaving Pickett and Houston’s Marcus Sasser for the second team.
having an all-American in football is typical for Penn State football. For men’s basketball though, this is certainly rare territory. Pickett is just the second player in program history to land on a second-team All-American list or higher from a major outlet. And you have to go all the way back to 1954 to find the last time it happened with Jesse Arnelle being named a first-team All-American (helmet sticker to Lions247 for that note).
You can see the full Sporting List All-America teams here.
Pickett and the rest of the Nittany Lions will open their Big Ten tournament run on Thursday evening with a matchup against Illinois. Penn State went 2-0 against the Illini during the regular season, and one more could help keep the Nittany Lions in the NCAA Tournament picture with Selection Sunday looming.
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