COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State freshman Jantel Lavender was named the 2008 Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year and sophomore Shavelle Little was named the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year, the conference office announced Monday. Lavender was named freshman of the year by both the coaches and media and player of the year by the coaches only. Only the coaches select defensive player of the year.
In addition, senior Marscilla Packer was named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media while junior Ashlee Trebilcock was an honorable mention by the coaches and media as well.
Lavender becomes the first Big Ten freshman on the men’s or women’s side to receive conference player of the year honors. This is the fourth-consecutive year a Buckeye has at least shared the honor after Jessica Davenport won top honors from 2005-07.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Lavender is the second-leading freshman scorer and third-leading freshman rebounder in the nation, averaging 17.7 ppg and 9.8 rebounds during the regular season. She shot 51 percent from the field and ranks in the Top 3 in the Big Ten in each of the three categories, including first in rebounding. Lavender recorded a double-double in her first collegiate game and holds Ohio State freshman records for field goals (216) and rebounds (285) in a season.
Lavender became the first OSU freshman to be named to the Naismith mid-season watch list last month and has scored in double figures in all 29 games this season with 12 double-doubles third most by any freshman in Division I. She scored a career-high 36 points tied for fourth on Ohio State’s all-time single-game list and grabbed 16 rebounds in the win at Penn State Feb. 28. In that game she hit her first 12 free throws and finished 12-of-14 overall. Lavender also became the first OSU freshman since Katie Smith in 1993 to be named Big Ten Player of the Week Nov. 20.
Lavender was named the Big Ten co-player of the week for the fourth time Monday another Big Ten freshman record. Her week was highlighted by two double-doubles, including the career-high 36-point, 16-rebound performance in State College.
Little, who also was named to the all-defensive team, ranked first in the Big Ten with 2.9 steals per game. She caused havoc for opposing point guards all season and set the tone for Ohio State defensively as the Buckeyes gave up just 59 points per game. She recorded three or more steals 13 times and had seven games with five or more, including a season-high seven at Purdue Feb. 18.
Packer led the conference in free throw percentage (.887) and 3-point field goals made (75-2.6 per game). She was second in assist-turnover ratio (+1.75), third in 3-point field goal percentage (.417) and sixth in scoring (15.0) with six 20-point efforts and a career-high 32-points Jan. 20 against Wisconsin. She became the 26th player in school history to score 1,000 points and is only the third Buckeye in history to record at least 1,000 points and 200 3-point field goals in a career. Packer leads the Buckeyes with 60 assists (4.0 apg) over the last 15 games.
Trebilcock started all 29 games, averaging 11.0 points in Big Ten games. She was second on the team with 42 3-point field goals and scored a career-high 25 points twice once at Iowa Jan. 6 and the other at Minnesota Jan. 24. She connected on a season-high five 3-pointers in a December win over Ole Miss, scoring 18 points. Trebilcock averaged 2.5 assists and shot 72 percent from the free throw line.
Senior Alice Jamen received the Big Ten’s sportsmanship award for Ohio State.