Siena basketball’s Jalen Pickett named to prestigious preseason watch lists


Loudonville, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Siena Basketball junior guard Jalen Pickett has been named to a pair of prestigious preseason watch lists. The Rochester, New York standout has been named to both the Lute Olson and Lou Henson Award Preseason Watch Lists, which are awarded annually to the nation’s top Division I player and top Division I mid-major player, respectively.

The Lute Olson Award is presented annually to the nation’s top Division I player. The 2020-21 Lute Olson Award Preseason Watch List is comprised of 30 Division I players, with Pickett being only one of just 11 players on the list who does not come from a high-major conference. The Lute Olson Award is named in honor of the late Hall of Famer who won 776 games spanning 34 seasons as a head coach, 24 of which were spent at the University of Arizona. He led the Wildcats to 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, four Final Four appearances, and the 1997 National Championship.

The Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the nation’s top Division I mid-major player. The 2020-21 Lou Henson Award Preseason Watch List is comprised of 50 Division I mid-major players, although Pickett is the lone MAAC player represented on the list. Pickett was named to both the Lou Henson Award Preseason and Midseason Watch Lists last year, before ultimately being named to the 2019-20 Lou Henson All-America Team at the conclusion of the season. The Lou Henson Award is named in honor of the late legendary head coach at both Illinois and New Mexico State who won 775 games and took both programs to the Final Four.

The unanimous 2020-21 MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, Pickett is looking to build off a stellar sophomore season. The reigning MAAC Player of the Year, he was also named an NABC District 1 First Team honoree, and a USBWA All-District II, ECAC First Team, and unanimous First Team All-MAAC selection last season. A three-time MAAC Player of the Week last season, Pickett ranked seventh nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.30), and stood 20th in the country in assists (6.0). He also ranked third in the MAAC in minutes (36.9 – 21st nationally), fourth in scoring (15.1), sixth in blocks (1.1), and seventh in threes (2.0). Pickett posted four double-doubles, and scored in double figures 25 times.

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