Big East Defensive Player of the Year Ryan Kalkbrenner to return to Creighton for 5th year

Creighton senior Ryan Kalkbrenner announced Wednesday on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he will utilize his fifth year of eligibility and return to school for the 2024-25 season.

Kalkbrenner was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year for a third straight season, averaging 17.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.1 blocks and 1.3 assists on 64.6% shooting from the field. He ranked second in the country in blocks per game and seventh in field-goal percentage.

The 7-footer became the third Big East player to win the award at least three times, joining Patrick Ewing (four times; 1982-1985) and Alonzo Mourning (three times; 1989-1990, 1992). He also became the first Creighton player since 1985 to have at least 100 blocks in a season (107).

Kalkbrenner was among the undergraduates who declared for the 2024 NBA draft ahead of the early entrant deadline. He was expected to test the pre-draft process for the second consecutive summer and ultimately return to school for a fifth year.

With their defensive anchor back, the Bluejays also add No. 38 prospect Jackson McAndrew and No. 64 prospect Larry Johnson to the roster next season. The program also signed Ty Davis, the 25th-ranked combo guard in the class.

The Bluejays have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each year with Kalbrenner on the roster. He has more March Madness appearances (11) and wins (8) than any player in program history and is one of two to play in four tournaments.

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire