Hammons, Stephens named to All-Big Ten teams

AJ Hammons

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) – The Big Ten Conference announced its yearly awards and honors on Monday evening, recognizing a pair of Boilermakers in voting done by the coaches and media.

Sophomore center A.J. Hammons was named to the Big Ten’s All Defensive team in voting done by the coaches as well as the Honorable Mention squad by both the coaches and media.

Freshman guard Kendall Stephens was selected to the All-Freshman team in voting done by the coaches.

In addition, senior forward Travis Carroll was named the team’s Big Sportsmanship Award honoree.

Hammons, a 7-foot center from Gary, Ind., is averaging 10.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game in 30 contests this year. His averages increase to 12.4 points and 7.7 rebounds in Big Ten play, ranking second in rebounding and first in blocked shots during league play only. Hammons has scored in double figures in 17 games this year and produced a Big Ten-best six double-doubles in league play only. He is only player in America this year to have a 15-point, 15-rebound, five-block, four-assist game when he scored 18 points with 16 rebounds, five blocks and four assists against Ohio State in the Big Ten opener on New Year’s Eve Day.

He currently ranks third on the single-season blocked shots list (91), just one behind Joe Barry Carroll’s 92 during the 1980 season for second place on the single-season list. He is currently fifth on the career blocked shots list with 158. Hammons has recorded 13 games of four or more blocked shots this year.

Stephens, a 6-6 guard from St. Charles, Ill., earns a spot on the All-Freshman team after ranking tied for second among all Big Ten freshmen in scoring at 8.0 points per game. Stephens led all Big Ten freshmen in three-pointers with 63, a total that ranks second on the Purdue freshman all-time list. He has made 63-of-170 (.371) three-point tries this season.

During league play, Stephens was tied for fourth among all players with 37 trifectas, and averaged 8.4 points per game while shooting 36.6 percent from long distance. During the last half of league play, Stephens averaged 10.1 points per game while shooting 38.5 percent from long distance.

He has recorded five double-figure scoring games in his last 10 outings and has 23 games of two or more three-pointers.

Carroll, a 6-9 senior from Danville, Ind., was recognized as Purdue’s recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Carroll averaged 1.5 points and 1.4 rebounds per game, but was called one of the “best leaders” and “best teammates” that head coach Matt Painter has ever had on his roster.

The Boilermakers will take on Ohio State at 2:30 p.m. ET in Thursday’s first round of the Big Ten Tournament at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

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