Purdue junior Ae’Rianna Harris was named Honorable Mention All America on Monday by the Associated Press, becoming the 15th player in program history to earn national honors and the first since 2013. Harris averaged 13.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game for the Boilermakers in 2018-19 and is also a finalist for the Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year award.
Harris adds this award to a growing list that includes 2019 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Second-Team All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Defensive Team honors. She attacked the Boilermakers’ record book this season on a number of fronts, most notably breaking Purdue’s career blocked shots record in just three seasons. Her 284 career blocked shots eclipsed the previous mark held by Boilermaker assistant coach Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton and is already No. 8 all-time in the Big Ten Conference. She ranked second in the NCAA in 2018-19 with 104 blocked shots and was fourth nationally with 3.06 rejections per game.
“It’s an incredible honor for (Harris), and a fantastic recognition for our program,” said Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp. “She completely changes the game on both ends of the floor, and that’s what being one of the best players in the country is all about.”
Harris became the 34th 1,000-point scorer in program history this season, the 17th player at Purdue to hit the mark in her third season, and is the first Boilermaker to secure at least 700 rebounds through three seasons, completing 2018-19 with 811. She exceeded 300 points, 300 rebounds and 100 blocked shots for the second straight season, becoming one-of-two players in Big Ten Conference history to hit all three thresholds twice in her career (Amanda Zahui B., Minnesota).
“I hope that she’s able to use this as a springboard into her final season,” Versyp continued. “She’s still scratching the surface of all that she’s capable of, and we hope to see it on full display in 2019-20.”
Harris enters her final season at Purdue on the cusp of two more career records, going into 2019-20 ranked sixth in program history in rebounding and fourth in double-doubles. She needs 158 rebounds to break the Boilermakers’ career record (968, Wisdom-Hylton) and six double-doubles to surpass Purdue’s all-time mark (27, Stacey Lovelace). She also has sights on becoming only the second player in Big Ten Conference history to exceed 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 blocked shots, a feat only accomplished by Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport (2004-07).