StaTuesday: Gophers’ Lynch makes his mark defensively
For the second time in its history, a member of the University of Minnesota men’s basketball team is the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year.
And for the second time, that player didn’t start his career with the Gophers.
Reggie Lynch was named the league’s top defender Monday, just two years after transferring to the program from Illinois State, and joining Travarus Bennett as the only Gophers to win award.
Bennett too was a transfer, joining the Gophers in 2000 following a two-year career at Southwest Missouri State-West Plains Junior College.
But while Bennett won the award after leading the conference in steals, Lynch has made his name by swatting down shots.
|Mike Watkins||Penn State||31||720||80||2.58|
|Nick Ward||Michigan State||31||608||50||1.61|
|Trevor Thompson||Ohio State||31||713||47||1.52|
Lynch led the Big Ten with 106 blocked shots — 26 more than his closest competitor — and nearly 6.5 blocks per 40 minutes.
The latter is one of the best single-season marks in recent Big Ten history, second only to Ohio State alum Ken Johnson since the 1996-1997 season.
|Ken Johnson||Ohio State||1999-2000||30||885||7.28|
|Calvin Booth||Penn State||1997-98||32||990||5.66|
|Ken Johnson||Ohio State||2000-01||31||916||5.46|
|Calvin Booth||Penn State||1996-97||27||706||5.21|